Indy Style

Simple recipes for back-to-school season: Fresh cherry tomato pasta, sheet pan chicken with bell peppers, pecans

Michelle Dudash, RDN, registered dietitian, chef and author of the upcoming The Low-Carb Mediterranean Cookbook: Quick and Easy High-Protein, Low-Sugar, Healthy-Fat Recipes for Lifelong Health, is here with her favorite ways to use the delicious Indiana tomatoes that are now bursting off the vines at a garden or farmers market near you.

Quick Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta

This is a popular dish in Southern Italy’s Amalfi coast, highlighting the amazing tomatoes of the region, plus, garlic, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with Michelle’s Dash Dinners Marinara Spice Kit.

Tip: Avoid refrigerating tomatoes until you have cut into them or unless they are about to go bad. Refrigerating tomatoes changes the texture and flavor.

Homemade Marinara Sauce

First blanch the tomatoes to easily remove the skins.

Then puree, season, and simmer down on low heat in a skillet to thicken the sauce. Season with Michelle’s Dash Dinners Marinara Spice Kit.

Use in your favorite recipes, like in lasagna, in meat sauce, or on pizza.

Stir into your favorite recipes that use canned tomatoes

Just keep in mind that fresh tomatoes will release a lot of water when cooking, so you may need to reduce the amount of liquid ingredients or simmer longer to thicken. Add to paprikash, tacos, chili, and curry.

Also, canned tomatoes contain added salt, so you may need to add more salt to your recipes when replacing canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes. Season at the end of cooking.

Sheet pan chicken with bell peppers and pecans

I love the ease of sheet pan dinners, where you place the protein and vegetables on one pan with the seasonings and cook it at the same time. This recipe is a go-to in our house.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds (910 g) chicken legs (about 6)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and diced 1⁄4-inch (6 mm)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored and diced 1⁄4-inch (6 mm)
  • 1⁄2 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup [160 g])
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup (56 g) pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C, or gas mark 6) convection. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Place the chicken in a single layer on one side of the prepared pan and the peppers, onion, and garlic on the other side of the pan. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the thyme, basil, salt, and pepper all over. Place the pecans in one section of the pan. Bake until the chicken is browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the vinegar on the chicken, peppers, and onions. Transfer chicken to a plate and stir the vegetables and pecans. Roast the vegetables a few minutes longer if they need it to become fork tender.

Suggestions and Variations: Feel free to swap the bell pepper with diced carrots, Brussels sprouts, or other vegetables you may have on hand. Just try to keep the amount the same.

Make It for the Whole Family: My kids love eating chicken legs, but they don’t care for the sight of the mystery “green things” on it, so I skip the herbs on theirs and just season with salt. Everybody’s happy!

TOTAL PREP AND COOK TIME: 1 HOUR • YIELD: 4 SERVINGS, ABOUT 2 LEGS EACH WITH 1⁄2 CUP (115 G) VEGETABLES

PER SERVING: 391 CALORIES, 11 G CARBOHYDRATE (3 G FIBER, 0 G ADDED SUGARS, 8 G NET CARBS), 27 G PROTEIN, 28 G FAT, 428 MG SODIUM.

By Michelle Dudash, RDN, from the book Clean Eating Kitchen: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Cookbook: Quick and Easy High-Protein, Low-Sugar, Healthy-Fat Recipes for Lifelong Health

For more from Michelle, visit:

DishWithDudash.com

michelledudash.com 

Instagram: @michelledudash 

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