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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple recipes using tomatoes

Chicken breasts are roasted on top of cherry

Chicken breasts are roasted on top of cherry tomatoes, corn and quick-cooking brown rice for a one-pan meal. Photo Credit: Marge Perry


3 pounds bone-in chicken breasts, cut across in half

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 cup quick-cooking brown rice

2 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes

1⁄2 cup chopped red onion

Kernels from 2 ears corn (about 1 1⁄2 cups)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray. Place the pan in oven for 5 minutes until hot.

2. Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon of the black pepper and place it skin sides down on the hot pan. Cook until the skin is golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the partially cooked chicken to a plate and cover with foil.

3. Spread the rice on the hot pan, season with 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt and add 1 3⁄4 cups water.

4. Combine the tomatoes, onion, corn, olive oil, thyme and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper. Spoon the mixture over the rice and bake 20 minutes.

5. Place the chicken on top of the rice (skin sides facing up) and cook until the rice is tender and the chicken cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 20 to 22 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 470 calories, 44 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 16 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 493 mg sodium



4 ounces French baguette, cut in 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 pounds tomatoes, mixed varieties, chopped in 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 cup very thinly sliced red onion

2 tablespoons capers

1⁄4 cup chopped Kalamata olives, divided

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a shallow baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Toss the bread with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread on the sheet pan. Toast until lightly golden and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

3. Combine the tomatoes, onion, capers, olives, 1 tablespoon of the balsamic and salt in a bowl and toss thoroughly.

4. In a second bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon balsamic, mustard and remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the bread and toss thoroughly. Stir in the chickpeas, mozzarella, cucumbers, basil and parsley. Add the tomato mixture and allow to stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 299 calories, 10 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 515 mg sodium



1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon honey

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds tomatoes, mixed varieties


1. Whisk the shallots, mustard, honey, salt and black pepper until the honey is dissolved. Slowly add the oil, continuing to whisk.

2. Cut the tomatoes into slices or wedges (depending on their size) and lay out on a platter (somewhat overlapped as needed to fit). Drizzle with the dressing and allow to sit at room temperature at least 20 minutes (to allow the flavors to bloom). Taste and sprinkle lightly with additional salt and pepper if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 108 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 172 mg sodium

TIP: To pick flavorful tomatoes, use your nose: the best ripe tomatoes will have a strong perfume at the stem end.

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