Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cod with tomatoes & white beans

Has this happened to you?

After a fantastic weekend, Sunday night starts to poke its head out around 5:00 and, suddenly, the feel good, free-spirited mood you were enjoying is zapped.  Stopped in its slipper-forming tracks.

Dun dun dun.  It’s the Sunday evening slump!

Immediately, thoughts of work, to-do lists, work (again), and responsibilities in the week ahead cloud your mind.  It’s almost enough to spoil those last few hours of relaxation.

I’ve been combating the Sunday slump for a few weeks now but, until this most recent one, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the problem.  I mistakenly thought it was getting tired of the same old routine, but soon eliminated that theory, too.  We shook things up and found a few new ways to entertain ourselves around the city and had a blast doing so.  

Two days ago, I spent the afternoon testing a new cookie recipe.  Twice I tried and twice it failed miserably.  By the time I cleaned up the messes, it was time to get to work on dinner.  Too bad I had absolutely zero motivation to cook and even less of an appetite to savor said meal.

That’s when the dirty thoughts started to form: I don't even want dinner, but I need something.  I'll just have oatmeal for dinner.  Or a grilled cheese.  No no, I don’t want to cook anymore.  I want to go out.  Again?  Yes, out.  Who cares that we went out last night, too.   I know Matt would be up for going out.  But if I suggest it, I can’t take it back.  Once it’s out there, it can’t be unheard.

I gave myself a nice hard mental slap and got it together.  I put on my big girl pants and looked at the perfectly articulated meal plan hanging on the fridge and saw this: Sunday - cod with tomatoes and white beans.  Yeah, sure why not.  At that moment, it didn't matter what was on the menu because nothing appealed to me.  Yet, for some reason, I marched on.

What happened over the next 20 minutes or so was a miracle.  A true testament to the wonders of how cooking not only feeds the stomach but feeds the soul, too.

It was a fast and simple barely-a-recipe kind of dish.  A can of this, a cup of that, a little seasoning and let it go.  Quickly, the smell of onion and garlic sauteing perfumed the air.  An easy homemade tomato sauce stoked my appetite.  And the sight of fresh fish cooking and absorbing all of those flavors made me so glad I stuck to the original plan.

Flaky baked cod with tomatoes and white beans is the ultimate lazy person's dinner!  Small on time and effort, but big on flavor and satisfaction.  It's elegant and rustic at the same time.  Serve it to company or to yourself.  Add a crusty baguette or mini sourdough loaf on the side for tearing and dipping so you don't miss one drop of the tasty sauce.

One bite and we both agreed staying in was the right decision.  This fantastic meal knocked out the Sunday night slump, so we could enjoy the last moments of the weekend, worry-free.  Instead, we spent our time discovering a new skill: a  talent for team-tagging speed Mahjong on the tablet.  Now that is how Sunday nights were meant to be spent!

One year ago: Cajun shrimp frittata
Two years ago: Savory cornmeal waffles
Three years ago: Homemade white {Sally Lunn} bread
Four years ago: Filled "doughnut" muffins

Cod with Tomatoes & White Beans
-serves 4

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound cod fillets, cut into smaller pieces (size of a deck of cards)

Add olive oil to large saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes, juice, and oregano, stirring until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.  Fold in beans and incorporate.  Season cod with salt and pepper and arrange pieces on top of vegetables.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove lid and check fish for doneness (it should be opaque and flake).  Serve and enjoy!


  1. Oh em geee!!! It is almost like a soup and I would have never thought of that with fish. I will definitely try this!

    1. You'll love it, I promise! And, if you want to make it a soup, try adding some vegetable broth and flaking the fish once it's cooked.

    2. I am making it right now, I will let you know how it turns out!