SOUTHWEST CHICKEN ALMANDINE WITH CORIANDER – CUMIN – CAYENNE IN CREAM SAUCE ATOP BROWN RICE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–sliced almonds (one-half small package)

–coriander, cumin, cayenne (bottled)

–almond creamer (or dairy or soy)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place a small amount of almond (or dairy or soy) creamer in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

2 – Place the chicken in the creamer.  Season with salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and olive oil.  Sprinkle one-half small package of sliced almonds on top of the chicken.

3 – Microwave on high for 5 minutes; then microwave for 5 minutes on 50 percent power (to prevent creamer from bubbling out of the dish).

4 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot, atop brown rice (place two-thirds cup of brown rice and two-thirds cup of water, with salt and olive oil, in a covered dish and microwave for 5 minutes)

–recipe original.

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A Simple Dinner: HERB COD IN BASIL – TOMATO CREAM SAUCE

For 4:

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

–basil – tomato spaghetti sauce (I used Newman’s Own)

–almond creamer (or dairy or soy)

–herbs of your choice (be generous; I used basil, thyme, oregano, and herbs de provence)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Pour one-half container of basil – tomato spaghetti sauce in a mixing bowl.  Add one-fourth cup of almond creamer (or dairy or soy).  Stir well.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Stir again.

2 – Place cod in the tomato – creamer sauce, spooning some sauce on top.  Sprinkle herbs of your choice on top of the cod, being generous.  Then season with olive oil.

3 – Microwave for 8 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the cod hot, atop white (preferably jasmine) or brown rice.

–recipe original.

CRAB CAKES VALENTINE ATOP ASPARAGUS IN PARMESAN WHITE SAUCE SEASONED WITH SHERRY

Note:  For an easier dinner, use ready-prepared crab cakes.

For 4:

–crab cakes (4)

–asparagus (frozen, 1 package)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–milk (almond or dairy, not soy, three-fourth’s cup)

–flour

–sherry (cooking sherry is fine, one-fourth cup)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place three-fourth’s cup of almond or dairy milk in a microwaveable cup.  Add one-fourth cup of sherry.  Microwave on high for 1 and one-half minutes.  In a separate cup, place 1 tablespoon of flour.  When the milk/sherry has heated, slowly add to the flour, stirring briskly.  Stir one-fourth cup of shredded Parmesan cheese into the milk/sherry.  Place the sauce in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, stir well.

2 – Microwave the asparagus, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil in a covered baking dish for 4 minutes.

3 – Place the sherry/milk/Parmesan sauce in the dish with the asparagus.  Place crab cakes in the sauce, spooning sauce on top.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

4 – Serve the crab cakes hot, atop the asparagus and covered with sauce.

–crab cakes inspired by Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.

A Celebratory Dinner for 2:  LOBSTER THERMIDOR WITH THYME – BAY LEAF – TARRAGON – CAYENNE – CELERY – CARROT – GREEN ONIONS – MUSHROOMS – LEMON JUICE – PARSLEY – PARMESAN IN A DIJON – BUTTER – OLIVE OIL – WHITE WINE – MILK – CREAMER – BRANDY SAUCE

Note:  This is Julia Child’s lobster thermidor made easy in the microwave.  And my husband and I found the dish delicious.  Just get organized with the various ingredients, and all will work swiftly.

For 2:

–2 lobster tails (uncooked, fresh)

–thyme, bay leaf, tarragon, cayenne (bottled)

–celery (1 stalk, chopped)

–carrot (1, chopped)

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 4 or 5, chopped)

–lemon juice

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded, packaged)

–Dijon mustard (1 tablespoon)

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–olive oil

–white wine

–milk (almond or dairy not soy, which doesn’t microwave well)

–creamer (soy or dairy)

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

1 – In a microwaveable cup, place 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.  Add a little almond or dairy milk, and stir until blended.  Then add more almond or dairy milk to make one-half cup, plus one-third cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons of brandy, and a few drops of soy creamer.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf (1), tarragon, cayenne pepper, chopped parsley, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 1 and one-half minutes. 

2 – In a second cup, place 1 tablespoon of flour.  When the sauce has heated, slowly add to the flour, stirring briskly.  Then place the sauce in a covered baking dish.

3 – Chop 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, 1 handful of baby bella mushrooms, and 2 stalks of green onions.  Add to the sauce.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  When finished, stir very thoroughly. 

4 – Place 1 tablespoon of Promise margarine in a small microwaveable cup.  Microwave on high for 10 seconds.  Then stir.

5 – Using a sharp knife, cut horizontally through the “soft” side of the lobster tails.  Then add the lobster to the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drench the lobster in lemon juice.  Pour the margarine on top of the lobster.  Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

6 – Microwave the completed dish for 5 minutes on high.

7 – Serve the lobster hot, atop brown or white rice.

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

PARSLEYED COD ARLESIENNE WITH MUSHROOMS – TOMATO – ARTICHOKE HEARTS IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

For 4:

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

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 5 or 6, chopped)

–tomato (fresh, medium, chopped)

–artichoke hearts (marinated, in a jar, 3 or 4, chopped)

–parsley (1 handful, chopped)

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, 1 medium tomato, and 3 or 4 marinated artichoke hearts.  Place in a covered baking dish with a little white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – When the vegetables have cooked, place the cod in the center of the baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle chopped parsley on top.

3 – Microwave for 8 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce hot, atop pasta, couscous, rice, or quinoa.

–cod adapted from Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.

CHICKEN FRANCAISE ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS & TOPPED WITH MUSHROOMS – GREEN ONIONS – THYME – GARLIC – PARSLEY IN RED WINE & BRANDY SAUCE

Note:  Chopped ham slices can be added to this recipe.

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–breadcrumbs (boxed, plain)

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 5 or 6, chopped fine)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–thyme

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–parsley (fresh, chopped)

–red wine

–brandy (buy a small, inexpensive bottle)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, minced garlic, and olive oil.  Add breadcrumbs and shake well.  Then place the breaded chicken in a covered baking dish with a little red wine and 3 tablespoons of brandy.

2 –  Chop 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, and sprinkle on top of the chicken.  Chop 3 stalks of green onions and sprinkle on top, also.  Chop 1 handful of chopped fresh parsley and place on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 9 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the chicken hot.

–chicken adapted from Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.

A Simple Dinner:  CHICKEN MANDARIN WITH LEMON JUICE – HONEY – GINGER IN BRANDY – BROTH – SOY SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–lemon juice

–honey

–ginger (ground, bottled)

–brandy (buy an inexpensive, small bottle)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–soy sauce

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little brandy (3 tablespoons), chicken broth, and soy sauce.  Drench the chicken in lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and ginger.  Drizzle honey on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Serve the chicken and sauce hot, atop white rice (preferably jasmine).

–chicken adapted from Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.

LEMON BUTTER COD TOPPED BY GREEN ONIONS IN A CREAMY TURMERIC SAUCE

Note:  There is speculation that turmeric protects against dementia.  This is based in part on the fact that people in India often live long lives with clear minds, and they frequently enjoy curcumin in turmeric and curry sauces for their dining.  Turmeric, often substituted for expensive saffron, has much more curcumin than curry.

For 4:

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

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–lemon (1, fresh, sliced)

–lemon zest (lemon peel)

–flour

–milk (dairy or almond)

–turmeric (bottled)

1 – Place 1 cup of dairy or almond milk in a microwaveable cup.  Microwave on high for 1 and one-half minutes.  In a second cup, place 1 tablespoon of flour.  When the milk has heated, slowly add the milk to the flour, beating vigorously.  Place the sauce in a covered baking dish.  Add a generous amount of turmeric.  Microwave the sauce for 3 minutes on high.  Stir well.

2 – Place the cod in the sauce, spooning some sauce over the top of the cod.  Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.  Chop 2 stalks of green onions and place on top of the cod.  Season with 1 tablespoon of melted healthy margarine.  With a sharp knife, cut the lemon into slices.  Place the lemon slices atop the cod.  End with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 9 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod hot, atop white rice (preferably), couscous, pasta, or quinoa.

–cod adapted from Top 50 Most Delicious Turmeric Recipes.

SALMON TOPPED WITH BREADCRUMBS – MINT – PARSLEY – LEMON – SUGAR IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

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

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–mint

–parsley (fresh)

–lemon juice

–sugar

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish with a little white wine.  Drench the salmon in lemon juice.  Sprinkle sugar and plain breadcrumbs on top.  Season with salt, pepper, mint, chopped parsley, and olive oil.

2 – Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

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

A Simple Dinner:  CRAB CAKES CARIB WITH HOT SAUCE – GARLIC – PARMESAN – LEMON JUICE – CAPERS IN CREAM SAUCE WITH A SIDE OF AVOCADO

Note:  Buy packaged crab cakes for an easy dinner. 

For 4:

–crab cakes (4, ready-prepared)

–hot sauce

–minced garlic (in a jar)

–Parmesan cheese

–lemon juice

–capers

–soy creamer (or dairy)

–olive oil

–avocados (2, fresh, medium)

1 – Place a small amount of soy or dairy creamer in a covered baking dish.  Microwave on high for 1 and one-half minutes.  Place the ready-prepared crab cakes in the creamer.  Drench in lemon juice.  Place a few drops of hot sauce on top, half a teaspoon of minced garlic on each cake, a few capers (without liquid), and sprinkle Parmesan cheese to finish.  Add a drop or two of olive oil atop each crab cake.

2 – Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3 – Serve the crab cakes, with sauce, hot, with a side of half an avocado per person..

–crab cakes inspired by Rene Verdon’s The White House Chef Cookbook.