Dine from the vine

Masterpiece!  4 months at an attempt to foster a garden, and look at the bounty I received….one luscious tomato!  Clearly I should just stick to cooking foods already harvested because my thumb is not green.  Nonetheless, what to cook with my precious morsel?

Since I’m going to be gone a lot this week (3 nights away from home: housesitting, visiting a friend at Skamania lodge (yay!!)), I had to plan ahead for 3-4 breakfasts, lunches and dinners.  I know myself and the temptation to purchase food becomes very strong if I’ve not planned well.  Now that Matt is in schoolnd the budget for eating out is quite different than it used to be, batch cooking for busy weeks is going to be a Sunday mainstay.  Plus, the choices I sometimes make when my stomach and my appetite call the shots aren’t always the best and I end up regretting them later.  Especially in lovely Woodburn, OR where there aren’t many good places to eat.  Sometimes I eat at the Bistro at work, but mostly I prefer to just BYOL and call it good.

Off to the kitchen I went with my one lovely tomato and an idea.  Here is what I prepared for the week ahead:

1 batch of chicken ‘n’ veggies (see recipe below)
5 hardboiled eggs (for breakfast or to put into a salad)
1 large tupperware of salad as a base for lunch a couple of days
1 HUGE yam, cut into 3 pieces to accompany my meals
Plus I added into my every so large lunch bag: a container of hummus, yogurt, organic black beans, 4 slices of Ezekiel bread, and about 6 carrots and 6 pieces of fruit.  Vioala, I am set for the upcoming week’s needs.  Yes, I will be rather sick of chicken and salads by Wednesday, but that’s okay because I’m banking on having left over barley risotto from my cooking class!  It pays to be the cook sometimes.

Here’s my ‘on a whim’ chicken ‘n’ veggie recipe, complete with warming spices to balance the chilly Salem weather:

4 large free range chicken breasts
2 tbsp EVOO
Sea salt, to taste
3 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/3 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 beautiful, home grown tomoato, chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes to offset my pathetic garden yield
1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces

Coat the bottom of a pyrex dish with EVOO.  Add chicken and coat with the rest of the EVOO.  Dust with spices and salt.  Spread seasonings with a brush.

Add the tomatoes, onion and zucchini.

Sprinkle with a little salt.

Cook at 400 covered for about 40 minutes, and then uncovered for 10 minutes.

TIP: I just learned from The Professional Chef book (a good reference for anybody wanting to learn about cooking without paying for culinary school) that when cooking in glass you can reduce the temp by 25 degrees for the same amount of time, which is why I chose 400.

Makes 6 -8 servings.

Good night, all, and happy Off-White living.


One thought on “Dine from the vine

  1. Nichole September 22, 2008 / 9:53 pm

    hey that looks like my tomatoes! 🙂 My early girls did that..split at the sides. My grape tomatoes did better but the vine itself went horribly horribly sick about a month ago. How the fruit even ripened on dead vines is beyond me. Found out from a member at the gym I OVER watered them. Who knew you could do that?

    for an “off white” tomato treat …I love fresh sliced tomatoes with the good and FRESH soft brick of mozzerella cheese and balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top.

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