Chef Wendell: Corn and tomatoes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Sweet, crunchy corn-on-the-cob and juicy vine tomatoes define Indiana summertime. Two of summer’s simplest, purest, abundant pleasures bursting from the earth with flavor, antioxidants, and health-creating vitamin nutrition. When hunting and gathering at your local farmers market, ask about the quality of the corn and tomatoes. Were they sprayed with agrichemicals? Or grown organically?

1st Segment: Nutritional benefits of tomatoes. The organic / fresh vs. GMO controversy. Hollow out tomatoes. Shucking corn.

2nd Segment: Nutritional benefits of fresh corn on cob. Grilling corn. What is Round-up Ready corn? What is glyphosate?  What is GMO and why are people unhappy with them? Assembling tomato cups.

Today’s corn:

  • 88% of corn in the US in GMO-Roundup ready.
  • GMO crops engineered to be glyphosate-tolerant are often called Roundup Ready crops.
  • (Worldwide outcry against this.)
  • April 25 (Reuters) – Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases: Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers.
  • You can spray in on the entire corn field and only the weeds will die.
  • The WHO: herbicide glyphosate classified as probably carcinogenic to humans.


  • Local, home grown tomatoes are full of vitamin C and Lycopene.
  • Tomatoes ward off cancer, heart disease, inflammation, and protect against blood clots.


  • Good source of antioxidant, ferulic acid. Studies suggest ferulic acid plays a vital role in preventing cancers, aging, and inflammation in humans.
  • Good source of carotenoid antioxidants supports the immune system.
  • Potassium, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese
  • Some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folates, riboflavin
  • High in fiber supports digestion
  • Antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein linked to eye and skin health.

Grilled corn, tempeh, summer vegetable salad in tomato cups

  • 6 ounces of tempeh, cubed-protein
  • 4 large tomatoes from the family garden or farmer’s market
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. Bragg’s liquid amino acids or soy sauce
  • 2 cobs corn
  • 1 yellow zucchini, cut in small cubes
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 1 bunch cilantro, minced-heavy metal detox
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chia or ground flax seed-omega 3, protein, and fiber
  • 4 small leaves of arugula or dark leafy green


  • 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Remember to:

  • Prepare the dressing in a small bowl and whisk with a fork to combine
  • Heat grill to high and shuck corn completely. When the barbecue is hot, add the corn to the grill, keeping it on high. When lines appear, pull corn from fire. When cool enough to handle, use a small knife and cut the corn off the cob.
  • Heat a pan to medium and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cubed tempeh and Tamari. Cook on medium for 8 minutes, stirring/turning here and there. When tempeh is browned, turn heat off and reserve.
  • Cut the stem side op off 4 large tomatoes and hollow out with an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, remove the innards and reserve. On a paper towel lined tray, turn the cups upside down to drain.
  • Prepare the remaining vegetables: cut zucchini into small pieces, chop cilantro (stems too), green onion, and tomato guts.
  • Once all ingredients are ready, and the corn and tempeh have cooled a little, combine all of the ingredients except the dressing and mix well. Add the dressing to taste and stir.
  • Lightly salt the insides of the tomato cups and then line each with some dark greens. Evenly distribute the tempeh, veggie mix into each awaiting cup.

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