Cast Iron Skillet, Sprouts Ca Whole Peeled Roma Tomatoes, and Rosemary Infused Olive Oil (From the HMO Parking Lot) – Dr. Plastic Picker

Cast Iron Skillet, Sprouts Ca Whole Peeled Roma Tomatoes, and Rosemary Infused Olive Oil (From the HMO Parking Lot)

| Posted in A to Z: Dr. Plastic Picker's Less Plastic More Plants Cookbook for Kids!

Iron cast skillet. Who knew? So important.

November 17, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m not sure when became a semi-food blog, but it has. I’ve been motivated due to the deliciousness of my creations and also various cooking projects have let me to new and different ingredients. Yesterday was likely the first time I ever created my own dish. I call it “Costco Rotissierre Chicken and Cous Cous and a Whole Lot of Stewy Vegetables!!!” It was really good and even Mr. Plastic Picker loved it (he loves Jambalaya type dishes). My mother-in-law was asking me about the recipe.

Looks decent enough to be on Instagram, but it was DELICIOUS and so simple.

I’m not sure how I developed the dish. I got home after a decently busy day in clinic. It was just an off day for Dr. Dear Friend. She had 3 complex cases in the morning. I was busy but with the normal outpatient pediatric issues. I empathized with her so much that I went to the coffee cart and picked up lunch. Wearing my mask and a faceshield, I got in line and bought way too much plastic encased food. I bought the chimichanga, tuna on whole wheat, pesto pasta salad and a soy latte. As I was carrying it back to Pediatrics, I walked by one of our RN-workers and I confessed, “I bought the whole cart. ” Dr. Dear Friend was still talking to Child Protection Services when I brought in the booty. We split the lunch as she finished her call and we chatted about her complex cases. She’s had COVID already which is why I eat with her. I have to eat with her first before other doctor friends try to snag her as a safe lunch companion.

I think that the busy morning of Dr. Dear Friend, and other interesting but a bit unusual interactions with other colleagues – made me just think more during the drive home. I am enjoying the Christmas music on the radio these days. Now I remember. I was so busy buying lunch for Dr. Dear Friend as we were commiserating over her complicated cases, and we had a patient in distress which I was the first MD to arrive (although it was just a fainter and we didn’t have to do anything), that I completed missed our DEPARTMENT TOWNHALL MEETING given by Chief Boss!!! It’s kind of an important meeting. I had contributed my part already, and had reviewed the slides and given my thumbs up. When Dr. Dear Friend asked me, “did you know we had the townhall?” I looked at her blankly and confused. So I missed the meeting. It was a busy afternoon as well, and I think I saw more patients per W (which is how we divide the workday) than everyone. So that is my excuse. I was actually delivering good patient care and had to get lunch for my friend and jogged to the Patient in Distress. If I ever get demoted back to 100% patient care, I have to be honest with you that I will be 100% OKAY WITH THAT. I actually love taking care of patients and I find my patients and clinic friends more interesting that managerial tasks and the management team. But I like to have the world around me run in an orderly manner and I abhor waste (financial especially) which is why I persist in my career path.

So that was my day at work, and I had sent what I thought was an amusing department email about updates on our Per Diem Doctors. Everyone I saw yesterday I asked, did you read my email? Was it funny? I just chuckled to myself because I had a great time writing the email. But most people have not read that departmental email. Dr. Dear Friend did and she liked it, and also Dr. Naomi Lawrence-Reid read it also. I thought it was hilarious. I was creating drama where there is no drama, just to make the email interesting. It just has the updates on who you can give your extra shifts to.

It’s so hard to get people’s attention these days with all the election chaos going on. But I got my family’s attention but not intentionally. I got home after that odd but interesting day at work, and looked at the kitchen. My in-laws had purchased a Costoc Rotissiere Chicken and it was sitting on the counter. The kids are okay with eating less meat, but they do still eat meat. I looked at the chicken and I was going to make just standard pasta with sauce, and another bagged salad. Mr. Plastic Picker is eating so much bagged salad that it is getting kind of boring.

I looked at the Costco Rotissiere Chicken, and then looked for a frying pan and encountered our hand-me-down iron cast skillet that I’ve never used. That thing is heavy! I remembered though from researching my anemia article, that cooking in an iron-cast skillet is good for extra iron.

OMG, I just read this revolutionary legit article and it does! “Yes, cooking in a cast iron skillet can add significant amounts of iron to your food and into your body‚Ķ if you eat it. This was proven by researchers who tested 20 foods, the results of which were published in the July 1986 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. They measured the iron and moisture content of these items when raw, and after cooking in an iron skillet and a non-iron (Corning ware) dish, separately. A new, seasoned iron skillet was used, in the event prior use might have affected iron absorption. The researchers also compared iron absorption when using a new iron skillet versus an older one.

Researchers found that cooking in an iron skillet greatly increases the iron content of many foods. Acidic foods that have a higher moisture content, such as applesauce and spaghetti sauce, absorbed the most iron. As a matter of fact, the big winners in the foods tested were these two items. For 100 grams of each (about 3 oz.), the applesauce increased in iron content from 0.35 mg. to 7.3 mg., and the spaghetti sauce jumped from 0.6 mg. to 5.7 mg. of iron.

Food cooked for longer periods of time absorbed more iron than food that was heated more quickly. They also found foods prepared with a newer iron skillet absorbed more iron than those cooked in an older one. Foods that were cooked and stirred more frequently absorbed a greater amount of iron as well, probably because they came into contact with the iron more often. ”

This is mind blowing. So I looked at my old-hardly used iron-cast skillet, and I also had a can of whole peeled roma tomatoes. And I this is what I did

Costco Rotissierre Chicken and Cous Cous and a Whole Lot of Stewy Vegetables!!! – Use an Iron-Cast Skillet


  • Use an Iron-Cast Skillet
  • Can of No Salt Added Tomatoes (I used Sprouts Whole Peeled Roma Tomatos No Salt Added, you could probably use fresh or dieced can tomatoes)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 of an onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 Costco Rotissiere Chicken, just cut the pieces I liked. I did add some skin.
  • Cous Cous
  • 1 cup of water
  • garlic or garlic salt
  • a bit of salt
  • Olive Oil (I used my rosemary infused olive oil I made from the HMO parking lot rosemary bush)


  1. A bit of Olive Oil in the cast-iron skillet
  2. Sauteed coarsely chopped onion, carrots, and celery
  3. After a few minutes, poured in can of tomatoes
  4. Simmered for a few minutes
  5. Added it bits of chicken
  6. Seasoned with garlic salt and sea salt
  7. Added more water, and poured in the desired amount of cous cous (maybe 1/2 cup?)

That’s it! It was really easy and really delicious. And now I realize really good to prevent anemia because it had the acidic tomatoes with the iron cast skillet! This recipe can definitely be made vegan with tofu. I’ll try that one next time. I’m definitely using this skillet more!

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