What’s for dinner: Spice-rubbed chicken

[Jan. 11: For some reason I never posted this little gem from Dec. 15, so it counts as my effort for today instead.]

It has been months since I cooked a meal at home, not counting Thanksgiving, so tonight on the way home from the gym I decided to hit the grocery store instead of the drive-thru.

Back when CPOS still worked at Linens n Things and repped a cookware line on the side, we ended up with multiple herb-and-spice sets from Napa Style — several of this set, to be exact — crowding drawers until I finally decided to start using them. (Or, in the case of the garlic rub, throwing it away.) I discovered that the Herbes de Napa were good with sauteed yellow and green squash, grape tomatoes and black olives, which is one of my favorite side dishes to make with chicken breasts.  The rubs add a nice crust that seals in juices to baked or roasted meats, like the chicken breasts I cooked tonight.

For vegetable, I went with kale, mostly because I just finished writing a food article, which will be published this summer, all about trying different fruits and vegetables. Kale has like 1300% of the vitamin K you need for a day, 350% of vitamin A, 89% of vitamin C, and about 10% of calcium. I like the bite of “mean greens” like kale and collards, so I sauteed the torn leaves in about a half-tablespoon of olive oil, then at the very end splashed on sherry vinegar. Be careful — if you add too much, you’ll end up with something that rivals sauerkraut. (Which I happen to like, so no big deal.)

And because I was on a “nutritional components” kick, I picked up some blueberries for dessert. (Blueberries are high in antioxidants!) I was pretty sure I wasn’t a big fan of blueberries; compared with the brighter, sweeter raspberries and strawberries, there is no “there” there, to steal a line from Gertrude Stein. (That’s right — I just compared blueberries to Oakland, Calif. Blueberries are the Oakland of berries.) But my article also points out that it’s important to try different preparations of foods, too — just because you don’t like, say, blueberry muffins doesn’t mean you won’t like raw blueberries. So I paired them with light vanilla yogurt.

So, it turns out I’m allergic to blueberries. Not like in an emergency/EpiPen sort of way, more like an annoying “my throat starts to tighten and constrict” — shut it, Coca! — “and it’s uncomfortable to swallow so I have to take Benadryl” way. Random wines and beers spark the same reaction, so as luck would have it I already had Benadryl in the house.

Would I make it again? All the time. Well, except the blueberries.

WHAT SAM WORE: 1-11-11
The shirt: Lightweight flannel button-down by Converse One Star, on sale at Target.
The pants: Jeans by BDg, from Urban Outfitters in Tempe.
The shoes: Leather sneakers by Puma, from Nordstrom in Chandler.
The scent: The now-discontinued Amen, the men’s scent from Philosophy.
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