Weeknight Fare

By Marla Camp
Photography by Marla Camp

Eve Chenu and Tobin McGill are busy professionals. She is a personal trainer and certified Aston Patterning practitioner and he is a member of Whole Foods Market’s national accounting team. Making meals and eating together is time consciously carved out and protected. “We’ve gotten better cooking together,” explains Tobin. And both place great stock in quality ingredients as well as quality time.

“If you use great ingredients, you don’t have to be a really good cook,” says Tobin. “We buy seasonal food always and choose local whenever possible.”

Weekend shopping trips to Boggy Creek Farm and the Austin Farmers’ Market are supplemented during the week with shopping at Whole Foods and The Austin Wine Merchant.
So what’s a typical seasonal spring weeknight meal? Eve and  Tobin suggest their kale, cannellini beans and bacon bowl, served with a fresh loaf of bread and hearty wine. For an expanded weekend menu or when inviting additional guests, they might add a side of mushroom-filled crepes, a cheese course and a simple dessert of citrus in rosemary honey sauce. 

They like this meal for its great taste, simplicity and healthy attributes. “Ten years ago, most Americans hated eating kale,” explains Tobin. “But it’s high in fiber and antioxidants—one of the healthiest vegetables in the produce department. It holds up—you don’t have to cook it as long as collards, for example—only about 10 minutes.” And that’s a plus during a hectic workweek.

Working together, this dinner takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish.

“One of the things we love doing most together is cooking.”

Eve and Tobin’s cooking skills are complementary. Eve likes baking and making salads and soups. Tobin’s strengths are preparing sides, appetizers, meats and sauces. One-pot meals are good because they can tag-team on prepping or making side dishes and dessert.

Eve rides her bike to Boggy Creek Farm— about a 20 minute ride from her Travis Heights home. “I grew up in France. Even then the farms outside of Paris were disappearing, but my family still went to the countryside farms to get dairy, produce and flowers. When I go to Boggy Creek Farm it takes me back to that time when all seemed right with the world.”

“Native Nectar Wild Texas Guajillo Honey is an amazing honey—very versatile.” Eve and Tobin use it drizzled over yogurt or as an ingredient, like in a rosemary-thyme sauce, to dribble over fresh citrus, or in making honey mustard.