It is a busy week ahead so I thought I would get a jump start on our dinners for the week. We had a 50th birthday party to attend of one of our closest friends on Saturday evening, and Mister Sive had a full day of meetings on Monday, so we did not go out to WestWard this week-end. I was up early yesterday morning so I did a little grocery shopping. I love shopping early when the grocery store is practically empty. My plan was to cook while I unpacked the groceries. I turned the oven to 375 degrees the moment I walked into the kitchen. A quick rinse of the yellow tomatoes and into a baking dish they went. A good smattering of sea salt, along with a garlic that I cut in half leaving the top intact and peeled the ends along with a few healthy glugs of extra virgin olive oil and it was ready to roast. Bake until the tomatoes have burst. This will be great mixed with pasta as the tomatoes have let off all their lovely juices which have mixed with the EVOO to make a yummy natural sauce. That will get topped with crumbled feta for an easy meal.
While that was baking, I got 2 pans ready by adding chicken stock I had just purchased. One would be for jasmine rice, the other for Parmesan couscous. Once they were finished cooking, I added tons of fresh cracked pepper to the rice and a quarter of a cup of Parm to the couscous. I like using chicken stock in place of water, as I think it adds so much extra flavor. These would be great side dishes to a quick roasted chicken breast or a piece of fish we pick up at the Market. With these done, it is so much easier to tackle dinner during a busy week if part of the meal is ready and all you have to do is reheat the side dishes.
Once the tomatoes were out of the oven, I put in 3 potatoes to bake that I had pricked with the end of a fork to help speed up the cooking process. I chose different varieties, so there are different flavors–jam, white, sweet. Some evenings, a baked potato and a big salad are a perfect quick dinner.
There was a fabulous looking box of kale at the grocer, so this would be our salad for several meals. A quick vinaigrette waiting in the fridge would also speed things along. A few splashes of Champagne vinegar, a dollop of Dijon, salt, pepper, and EVOO whisked together would do the trick. Since it is kale, I added a few spoonfuls of maple syrup to the vinaigrette. The sweetness is perfect against the slightly bitter, but oh so healthy kale. Add hazelnuts or walnuts along with a handful of dried cherries to make it an even more substantial salad.
In a little longer than it took to put things away from the grocer, we were on our way to dinners for the week, and I was so happy to spend the time in the kitchen cooking. By 9 a.m. I was done, ready to enjoy my iced coffee with the newspaper.