Today is Tomato Tuesday, and bloggers all throughout blog world are dedicating their tomato based posts to raise awareness about slavery in America. That’s right, I said slavery. In America. On tomato fields in Florida, to be exact.For years, industrial tomato farmers have skirted their way around antiquated US labor laws, and have utilized practices that abuse basic human rights – like the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in 1865. ALMOST 150 YEARS AGO. Yet, over 1,000 people have been freed from slavery in US tomato fields over the course of the past 15 years. And there are still more to be freed. Together, we can halt this injustice and put an end to the exploitation of tomato farmworkers in Florida.
All we have to do is convince major supermarket chains to join the Fair Food Program. When they do, they’ll agree to pay a mere one and a half cents more (per pound) for tomatoes that are harvested under ethical conditions. One and a half cents, that’s all it costs. Once there is no longer a demand for tomatoes from farms that refuse to follow basic human rights laws, they will have no choice but to adhere to the new standards – fair wages and working conditions for all. Slave-free tomatoes.
Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are doing their part, and now it’s our job to convince Ahold, Publix and Kroger to do the same. Act now and send a message asking major US supermarket chains to join the Fair Food Program. Or download the petition and join those in your community in telling local supermarkets that you will not accept anything less than slave-free tomatoes on the shelves. Together, we have the capacity to make a difference and end slavery in US tomato fields.
As much as I’d like to take credit for this recipe, I can’t – this was one of the side dishes my incredibly handsome man served at my birthday dinner a few months back. If you can’t get your hands on rainbow quinoa, just use regular quinoa (or brown rice). And if you can’t find grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes would be a great substitute. To amp up this salad, throw in some black beans and a few handfuls of lettuce, and you’ve got yourself a burrito bowl.
TOASTED QUINOA SALAD WITH JALAPENO-LIME DRESSING (AND SLAVE-FREE TOMATOES)
1 cup rainbow quinoa, rinsed
2 cups filtered water
Juice and zest of one lime
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
15 slave-free grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup fresh corn
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
Add the quinoa to a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes, until the quinoa releases a nutty aroma. Stir for another minute then add the water and cover. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium low. Allow the quinoa to boil for 20 minutes (or until all of the water has been absorbed) then remove from heat and let to cool.
While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice and zest, oil, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, paprika and salt. Set aside until ready to use. Once the quinoa has cooled, stir in the dressing, then mix in the tomatoes, onions, corn and cilantro. Mix in the avocados immideately before serving. If desired, add sprouted lentils or black beans. Store salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Yield: 4 side servings