Taming raw ingredients: Roasted tomatoes and a (pastured) chicken in every pot

A tomato ripe for roasting. Photo by the author.

(Cross-posted from my Examiner.com page on D.C. farmers markets)

Cucumbers by the quart. Fifteen-pound watermelons. Hunks of farmstead cheese. Entire organic chickens. Smiling at you from a farmer’s table, they look delicious. Plunked down on the kitchen counter, they get a little more complicated. Turning them into good-for-you meals is the next step, and that task sounds mighty intimidating.

It’s a familiar feeling, though. Life is full of major chunks you have to deal with, and trying to take shortcuts isn’t the best solution. Taking the time to break down a major challenge like moving to a new city or asking for a promotion can be invigorating and ultimately lead to better circumstances. So it is with food.

“If you live a really fast-paced life, which most of us do, you’re usually grabbing and going,” says Monica Corrado of Simply Being Well, a Takoma Park-based holistic nutrition counselor who teaches holistic cooking classes in the D.C. metro area. “With a little preparation, you can grab and go with nutrient-dense meals.” Continue reading