MINT SALMON WITH TOMATO – GREEN ONION – RED BELL PEPPER IN CREANER & CREAM SHERRY SAUCE

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–mint

–tomato (fresh, chopped, medium)

–green onions (4, fresh, chopped)

–red bell pepper (one-half, chopped)

–soy creamer

–cream sherry (use the real stuff)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 medium chopped tomato, 4 chopped green onions, and one-half chopped red bell pepper in a covered baking dish with a little soy creamer, and 2 tablespoons of cream sherry.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Then nestle the salmon amid the sauce, spooning some on top.  Season the salmon with salt, pepper, mint, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

2 – Serve the salmon and sauce hot, atop jasmine rice, quinoa, or pasta (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–salmon original.

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A Holiday Dinner Made Easy:  THYME CORNISH HENS WITH SHREDDED CARROT – MUSHROOMS – ONION IN BROTH / SLOW COOKER FIELD PEAS & SNAPS WITH ONION / ROMAINE SALAD WITH VEGGIES IN OLIVE GARDEN SIGNATURE DRESSING / DRESSING WITH MUSHROOMS – ONION – PARSLEY / SQUASH CASSEROLE / GREEN BEANS WITH SLICED ALMONDS

Note:  This is a largely make-ahead (same day) dinner, using the refrigerator to keep food cold until time for the microwave.  The dinner is served informally, as a buffet from baking dishes, in order to keep the food as hot as possible after microwaving in sequence.

For 4:

–Cornish hens (2, split)

–shredded carrots (1 handful)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–mushrooms (4 or 5, sliced)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–thyme

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–field peas with snaps (packaged, frozen)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–squash (yellow, 2, medium)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–green beans (frozen, packaged)

–almonds (sliced, one-half small package)

–dressing (stuffing; I used Pepperidge Farm cornbread)

–mushrooms (4 or 5, minced)

–onion (one-half, minced)

–parsley (1 handful, minced)

–romaine lettuce (heart romaine, 5 or 6 leaves)

–carrots (shredded, 1 handful)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–tomato (medium, chopped, fresh)

–zucchini (1, sliced, fresh)

–broccoli florets (1 head of florets, cut small)

–Olive Garden signature salad dressing (bottled)

Note:  Thaw the Cornish hens in the refrigerator for 2 and one-half to 3 days.  If you have less time, submerge the hens in cold, salted water for an hour or two, no more.

1 – Prepare the field peas with snaps and onion right after breakfast.  Use one-half large package of peas, and one-half chopped onion.  Season with salt, pepper, Bac’n pieces, and olive oil.  Cook on low in the slow cooker for 5 hours, checking for tenderness at that point.  If more tender peas are desired, cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Then place the setting on warm until time for dinner.

2 – Also right after breakfast, prepare the salad in a mixing bowl.  Break 5 or 6 romaine (heart) leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Cut off the broccoli florets, being careful to make the pieces bite-sized.  Add 1 handful of shredded carrots to the bowl.  Chop 2 stalks of green onion.  Slice 1 zucchini.  Chop 1 medium tomato, season with salt, pepper, and basil.  Gently stir the salad.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in the refrigerator.  (Salad dressing will be added later.)

3 – Slice a few mushrooms, and place in a long covered baking dish.  Slice half an onion, and also place in the dish.  With a very large knife and a fork to hold the hens, cut the Cornish hens into two parts, just to the right or left of the backbone.  Be very careful of your hands, as the hen may slip.  Place the hens in the baking dish.  Sprinkle shredded carrots, 1 handful, on top.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil.  Add chicken broth about one-third height of the dish.   Cover and place in the refrigerator.

TAKE A BREAK UNTIL AFTER LUNCH

4 – Place 3 cups of green beans in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Sprinkle a generous amount of sliced almonds on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Place in the refrigerator.

5 – Slice 2 medium yellow squash, and place in a covered baking dish, with NO water.  Slice one-half onion, and mingle with the squash.  Season with salt, pepper, and Bac’n pieces.  Sprinkle a small amount of plain breadcrumbs on top.  Season the casserole with olive oil.  Place in the refrigerator.

6 – Finely chop 4 or 5 baby bella mushrooms, and place in a covered baking dish.  Finely chop one-half onion, and place in the dish.  Finely chop 1 handful of fresh parsley, and place in the dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add a little chicken broth.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, place 1 cup of plain cornbread stuffing in the dish.  Stir well.  Add more chicken broth to reach desired consistency.  Use a little more olive oil on top.  Place in the refrigerator.

SET THE TABLE AND THEN REST

7 – Microwave in this order to preserve most warmth:  Microwave squash casserole for 5 minutes; green beans, 6 minutes; dressing, 3 minutes; and then Cornish hens, 20 minutes.  Microwave the dressing again for 1 minute, if piping hot is desired.  Serve the field peas from the slow cooker, taking them away from heat at the last moment.

8 – Add Olive Garden signature Italian dressing to the salad.  Serve the salad as a first course, when there are about 10 minutes left for cooking the hens.  

–Cornish hens, squash, field peas, green beans, salad recipes original; dressing adapted from To the Taste of a King (fifties Louisiana cookbook).

CREAMY COD WITH MUSHROOMS – GREEN ONIONS – PARSLEY IN CREAMER – MILK – WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 6 to 8, chopped fine)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–parsley (fresh, chopped)

–soy creamer

–milk (almond or dairy, not soy)

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–Promise margarine (heart healthy)

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add 6 to 8 finely chopped baby bellas mushrooms on top; then add 2 stalks of green onions, chopped and chopped parsley.  Set aside.

2 – Place one-half cup of white wine in microwaveable cup; add one-fourth cup of soy creamer, one-fourth cup of dairy or almond milk, and 1 teaspoon of margarine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  In a second cup, place 2 tablespoons of flour.  When the wine/milk/creamer has heated, very slowly add to the flour, stirring briskly.  Then pour the sauce over the cod.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 6 minutes.

3 – Serve the cod with creasy mushroom sauce hot, atop rice or quinoa (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–cod adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

SALMON SOUFFLE

Note:  This is delicious.  Use individual microwaveable bowls, 4 in all.  You can keep half the dish, uncooked, in the refrigerator for cooking and serving the next day.

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–eggs (4, divided, whites and yolks)

–milk (dairy or almond, NOT soy, 1 cup)

–Parmesan cheese (one-quarter cup, shredded)

–oregano (bottled)

–green onion (1 stalk, minced)

–Promise margarine (healthy margarine)

–flour (3 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–marinara sauce (2 tablespoons, for color; I used Newman’s Own marinara)

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish, with just a tad of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and margarine.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, the salmon will still be rare, but it is to be cooked again, and it is best not overcooked.

2 – Use 2 mixing bowls.  Divide the eggs, yolks in one bowl, whites in the other. 

3 – Microwave 1 cup of almond or dairy milk for 2 minutes, until boiling.  Place 3 tablespoons of flour in a second cup.  Slowly add the hot milk to the second cup, stirring briskly.  Then add the milk/flour to the mixing bowl with the egg yolks.

4 – Mince 1 stalk of green onion, and add to the milk and eggs.  Add one-quarter cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Add 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and margarine.  Stir briskly.

5 – Flake the cooked salmon, discarding the skin.  Add the salmon to the egg yolk/milk.  Stir well.

6 – Using a mixer, beat the egg whites to a stiff consistency.  Fold into the salmon, egg yolks, and milk.  Grease the individual bowls with margarine.  Ladle the soufflé into four microwaveable bowls.  Use a slotted spoon to retrieve all of the salmon.

7 – Microwave the covered bowls into 2 batches, 2 bowls at a time.  For 2 bowls, microwave for 3 minutes.  (If you save 2 bowls for the next day, at that time microwave for 3 minutes, 40 seconds, because the salmon soufflé will be cold from the refrigerator.)

8 – Serve the soufflé hot.

–salmon soufflé adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

WARM ROSEMARY – GARLIC CHICKEN ATOP FRESH TOMATO – ROMAINE SALAD DRESSED WITH WHITE WINE – ONION – OLIVE OIL – DIJON

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–rosemary

–minced garlic (bottled)

–tomato (medium, fresh, chopped)

–romaine lettuce (5 leaves, rinsed and dried off)

–white wine

–onion (one-fourth, medium, chopped fine)

–extra virgin olive oil

–Dijon mustard (1 teaspoon)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, minced garlic, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, take the cover off so that the chicken can cool slightly.

2 – Wash 5 leaves of romaine lettuce; then dry off.  Break apart into bite-sized pieces.  Chop 1 medium, fresh tomato, season with salt and pepper, and then add to the lettuce.  In a small mixing bowl, place 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard.  Minced one-fourth medium onion, and add to the bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Stir the mustard, oil, and onion well.  Very slowly add one-half cup of white wine to the bowl, stirring constantly.  Pour the salad dressing over the lettuce and tomato, and stir.

3 – Serve the chicken, just warm but not hot, atop the salad.

–chicken and salad adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way.

ROSEMARY – OREGANO – PARSLEY COD WITH TOMATO – ONION – MUSHROOMS – CAPERS – GARLIC – CAYENNE IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–rosemary, oregano (bottled)

–parsley (fresh)

–tomato (1, medium, chopped)

–onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 6 to 8, sliced)

–capers (bottled)

–garlic (minced, bottled)

–cayenne pepper (optional)

–white wine (use the good stuff)

1 – Place a chopped tomato, one-half sliced onion, and 6 to 8 sliced baby bella mushrooms in a covered baking dish with a little white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano, minced garlic, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  When finished, nestle the cod amid the sauce.  Season the cod with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (optional), parsley, and a few drops of olive oil.  Sprinkle capers on top.  Microwave on high for 9 minutes.

2 – Serve the cod hot, atop pasta or rice (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–cod adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way.

CHICKEN MOLE WITH COCOA POWDER – TOMATO – GREEN ONIONS – SRIRACHA – MARINARA SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–cocoa powder (boxed, 2 tablespoons)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–green onions (4, fresh, chopped)

–sriracha sauce (chili sauce, bottled)

–marinara sauce (I use Newman’s Own marinara)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop 1 tomato, and place in a covered baking dish.  Add 4 chopped green onions to the dish.  Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce, 4 tablespoons of marinara sauce, salt, pepper, and a few drops of olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

2 – When the sauce is finished, place in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Place chicken in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.  When finished, spoon the sauce atop the chicken.  Serve hot.

–chicken adapted from Real Simple magazine.

A Simple Dinner:  CAJUN MAHI – MAHI & SHRIMP IN RED CURRY & CLAM JUICE SAUCE

Note:  Mahi – mahi is also called swordfish.

For 2:

–mahi – mahi (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–shrimp (12, small, thawed from frozen)

–red curry paste (bottled)

–clam juice

–Cajun seasoning (I use New Orleans – based Slap Ya Mama seasoning)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the mahi – mahi in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning.  In a small mixing bowl, place 2 tablespoons of red curry paste.  Very, very slowly add a few drops of clam juice, serving briskly.  Add more clam juice, still stirring, until the curry paste has the consistency of a milkshake.  Spoon the sauce atop the mahi – mahi.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

2 – Take the mahi – mahi from the microwave, and add the shrimp on either side (do not cover the mahi – mahi).  Spoon sauce over the shrimp.  Microwave for 2 and one-half minutes more.

3 – Serve the mahi – mahi and shrimp hot, atop rice, if desired (for recipe, see the search box on this blog).

–mahi – mahi and shrimp curry inspired by Naïve Cook Cooks blog site by Amishi (chef)

OREGANO SALMON & POTATO CASSEROLE WITH FETA & PARMESAN CHEESES

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–oregano

–potatoes (baby Dutch, 8 to 10)

–feta cheese

–Parmesan cheese

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Slice 8 to 10 baby Dutch potatoes.  Place in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.  When finished, break apart the salmon with a fork.

3 – Place 1 layer of potatoes in a casserole.  Add one-half the salmon.  Sprinkle feta and Parmesan cheeses, generously, on top.  Then add another layer of potatoes, salmon, and cheeses.  Season with a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

4 – Serve the salmon casserole hot.

–casserole adapted from Top 50 Most Delicious Salmon Recipes.

SPICY GARLIC – LEMON CHICKEN & SHRIMP WITH BROCCOLI & MUSHROOMS TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & IN SHERRY SAUCE

For 4:

–3 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–shrimp (thawed from frozen, 10 to 12 small)

–cayenne pepper (bottled)

–minced garlic (in a jar)

–lemon juice (bottled)

–broccoli (florets only from 1 large head)

–mushrooms (5 or 6 baby bellas, sliced)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–sherry (cooking sherry is fine)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Cut the florets from 1 head of broccoli, and place around the edge of a large, covered baking dish.  Slice 5 to 6 baby bella mushrooms, and add atop the broccoli.  Place the chicken in the center of the dish.  Season with lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and olive oil.  Add a small amount of sherry to the dish.  Microwave on high for 9 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Place 10 to 12 small shrimp in a small, covered baking dish with a little sherry.  Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and olive oil.  Add a small amount of sherry.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  When finished, pour the cooked shrimp atop the chicken dish.

3 – Serve the chicken, shrimp, and vegetables hot, atop rice or quinoa (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–chicken and shrimp adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Well, Eat Right—the Italian Way.

SWEET COD WITH TOMATO – ONION – GARLIC – CINNAMON – PAPRIKA – PARSLEY IN MARINARA & WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

–cod (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–sugar

–tomato (medium, fresh, chopped)

–onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–cinnamon

–paprika

–parsley (fresh)

–marinara sauce (I used Newman’s Own cabernet)

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop 1 tomato and one-half onion, and place in a covered baking dish with a little white wine and 3 tablespoons of marinara sauce.  Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – When finished, nestle the cod amid the sauce, spooning a little on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 9 minutes.

3 – Serve the cod hot, with the sauce.  Place atop pasta, rice, or quinoa as desired (recipes for microwave, see search box on this blog).

–cod adapted from NYT Cooking web site.

CURRIED SALMON WITH TOMATO – ONION – GINGER – SRIRACHA – GARLIC – CORIANDER – TURMERIC – CUMIN – MINCED CLOVES – CINNAMON – SUGAR IN YOGURT SAUCE ATOP JASMINE RICE

For 4:

–salmon (size of 3 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–tomato (1, fresh, medium, chopped)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–ginger, coriander, turmeric, cumin, minced cloves, cinnamon (bottled separately)

–Sriracha sauce (1 tablespoon, or cayenne pepper to taste)

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–sugar (1 teaspoon)

–yogurt (plain, non-fat, 5 tablespoons)

–jasmine rice (packaged, sticky rice)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 cup of jasmine rice in a covered baking dish.  Add 1 and one-fourth cup of water and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 10 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Chop 1 medium tomato and place in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add one-half sliced onion.   Season with ginger, coriander, turmeric, cumin, minced cloves, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 5 tablespoons of plain, non-fat yogurt, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

3 – Nestle the salmon amid the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and then spoon some of the sauce over the salmon.  Finish with a drop or two of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

4 – Serve the salmon and sauce hot, atop the jasmine rice.

–curried salmon adapted from Top 50 Most Delicious Salmon Recipes.

A Simple Dinner:  MAHI – MAHI WITH LEMON ZEST & LEMON SLICES ATOP JASMINE RICE

Note:  Lemon with mahi – mahi (swordfish) is especially good.  Let the mahi – mahi shine.

–mahi – mahi (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–lemon zest (lemon peel)

–lemon (fresh)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–jasmine rice (packaged)

1 – Place 1 cup of jasmine rice in a covered baking dish.  Add 1 and one-quarter cup of water and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 10 minutes.  When finished, keep covered for five minutes.

2 – Place the mahi – mahi (swordfish) in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil.  With a very sharp knife, slice a lemon.  Place the lemon atop the mahi mahi.  Microwave on high for 9 minutes.

3 – Serve the mahi – mahi hot, atop the rice.

–mahi – mahi original.

A Simple Dinner:  OVEN FRIED GARLIC – HERB CHICKEN BREAST SLICED THIN / HONEY – BROCCOLI SALAD WITH PECANS – BLUEBERRIES – SLICED BANANA – RAISINS IN BALSAMIC & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING / SLOW COOKER BABY LIMA BEANS WITH FAUX BACON & FAUX BUTTER

Note:  If the slow cooker beans are prepared early, this easy dinner takes 15 minutes from start to dinner bell.

For 4:

–thin-sliced chicken breasts (2)

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (boxed)

–broccoli (florets only, 1 head)

–pecans (chopped, one-half small package)

–blueberries (fresh, 1 handful)

–banana (1)

–raisins (1 handful)

–balsamic vinegar (bottled)

–extra virgin olive oil

–baby lima beans (frozen, 1 package)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 package of frozen baby lima beans in a slow cooker.  Add water to cover.  Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Promise margarine, and Bac’n pieces (to taste).  Cook for 2 hours (only) on high.  When finished, keep the setting on warm until time for dinner.

2 – Place the thin chicken breast in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add garlic – herb breadcrumbs, a moderate amount, to the bag.  Shake well.  Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with 1 tablespoon of water (for steaming).  Microwave on high for 4 minutes. 

3 – Cut the florets off 1 head of broccoli, and place in a mixing bowl.  Add 1 handful of blueberries, 1 handful of raisins, and one-half small package of chopped pecans.  Season with salt, pepper, honey, to taste.  Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir well.  Then slice a banana and add to the bowl.  Fold the banana gently into the salad.

4 – Serve the broccoli salad as a first course.  Then serve the thin slices of chicken breast hot, with the baby lima beans as a side.

–recipes original.

TARRAGON SALMON WITH GREEN PEAS & ONION SLICES IN BROTH

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–green peas (frozen)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–tarragon (bottled)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place one-half cup of green peas in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Slice one-half onion, and place in the dish.  Season with salt, pepper, tarragon, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Nestle the salmon amid the peas and onion.  Season with salt, pepper, tarragon, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.

3 – Serve the salmon hot.

–salmon inspired by Top 50 Most Delicious Salmon Recipes.

CHICKEN STEW WITH POTATOES – ONION – CELERY – RED BELL PEPPER – GARLIC – BAY LEAVES – ROSEMARY IN WHITE WINE – BROTH – MARINARA SAUCE ATOP GARLIC – OLIVE OIL COUSCOUS

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–baby Dutch potatoes (4 or 5, sliced)

–onion (1, medium, sliced)

–celery (1 stalk, chopped)

–red bell pepper (one-half, fresh, sliced)

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–bay leaves (3, dried)

–rosemary (bottled)

–white wine

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–marinara sauce (I used Newman’s Own marinara)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place chicken in a slow cooker.  Slice 4 or 5 baby Dutch potatoes, and add to the cooker.  Also add 1 medium onion (sliced), 1 stalk celery (chopped), one-half red bell pepper (sliced), 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 3 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon of rosemary.  Place three-fourths cup of white wine and three-fourths cup of chicken broth in the cooker.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Cook for 5 hours.  Then add one-half cup of marinara sauce.  Cook for 30 minutes more.  (Stew will not be tender unless the marinara sauce is added toward the end of cooking cycle.)

2 – Place 1 and one-fourth cup of water in a covered baking dish.  Add contents of herb package and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Then stir in the couscous.  Let stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken stew, hot, atop the couscous.

–chicken stew adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way.