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Produce of the Month – Tomatoes & Recipe for Spanish Rice

This month JFCS Squirrel Hill Food Pantry is focusing on tomatoes! Tomatoes contain Vitamins A and C and support healthy eyes and skin. When choosing tomatoes, look for firm ones with bright, shiny skins. Tomatoes should be stored on the counter (cold storage can make them mushy), out of direct sunlight, and will last up to a week. 

Here is some other helpful information about tomatoes:

  1. Save overripe tomatoes by cooking them into a simple sauce with oil, diced onions, and salt.
  2. Tomatoes also contain Vitamin K and potassium.
  3. While available year-round, tomatoes are in season and freshest during late summer.
  4. Add tomatoes to sandwiches and salads for extra flavor and nutrition.
  5. Tomatoes come in all shapes, colors, and sizes–but you can tell the best ones by looking for firm tomatoes with even coloring and no bruises.

Spanish Rice

One of the most popular, affordable, quick and delicious tomato dishes is Spanish rice. Many of the items like rice, onions and canned tomatoes can be found in our food pantry! This dish can be a great alternative to plain rice and can be eaten with various vegetables and protein options (beans, chicken, fish, etc).


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup green pepper (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can canned chopped tomatoes (14.5 ounces, undrained)
  • 2 cups water


1. Brown green pepper and onion in oil until tender.
2. Stir in the spices, rice, tomatoes with juice, and water.
3. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is done.