Meal MacGyver: Whitefish With Tomato Basil Sauce and Arugula Salad

I made a meal plan this week and placed an order with Artizone, but totally went off schedule and left work tonight without a plan. I was supposed to go to a food fun event and planned for a crock pot meal for Matt and W, but I skipped the event with the sick kiddos and skipped the crock pot, too. I started to think it would be a mac & cheese kind of night.

Instead I spent my train ride home from work considering what I could make for dinner. I envisioned my kitchen cabinets and actually threw together a really awesome meal.

First, I chopped an onion and sauteed it in a good amount of olive oil. I added a few cloves of finely chopped garlic and let it cook down for a while to get golden and soft. I added two cans of diced tomatoes, a really heavy pour of wine (1+ cup), salt & pepper, and let it cook on high, stirring often. I turned it down once it started to thicken and let it simmer.

While the tomatoes cooked, I rinsed and dried the whitefish, seasoned it with salt & pepper, and added to a hot pan with olive oil and a bit of butter and cooked for a few minutes on each side. Before flipping over the fish I squeezed half of a lemon over it.

I chopped up a handful of fresh basil and stirred into the tomato mixture, which was very thick by this time. I plated the whitefish and spooned the tomato sauce over it.

For the arugula salad, I simply tossed it with the juice of the other half of the lemon, olive oil, and salt. Then I drizzled over some 30-year aged balsamic vinegar, which makes everything heavenly.

This was an unexpected awesome meal. The highlight by far was the tomato sauce. I think I could use the sauce for anything... pizza, pasta, bruschetta...

Ever the critic, W and I discussed:

W: "Sometimes I don't like it when you make me try everything."

Me: "Do you not like this?"

W: "No, this is good."

Me: "What's your favorite part?"

W: "The tomatoes. It reminds me of salsa!"

And there you have it. Another reminder that forcing myself to take a moment to put together a homemade, fresh meal is worth the time -- Even when you're throwing something together and working without a recipe.

Have you pulled a Meal MacGyver lately?

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