PAPRIKA CHICKEN / HERBED CARROTS WITH ALMONDS / BAKED POTATO WITH YOGURT

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–paprika

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–shredded carrots

–coriander

–dill (fresh if possible)

–almonds

–red potatoes (2 medium)

–yogurt (plain)

 

1 – Scrub red potatoes with a kitchen brush.  Prick generously with fork.  Place on paper towel in microwave.  Cook 4 minutes on high.  Then turn over the potatoes, and cook for 4 more minutes.

2 – While the potatoes are cooking, place the chicken in a baking dish with cover.  Add a little water.  Sprinkle with paprika, salt, and pepper.  Season with olive oil.  Set aside.

3- Place one-half of the carrots in a baking dish with cover.  Season with coriander, tiny snips of dill, salt, pepper, and add almonds.  Then add second half of carrots.  Season similarly, and add olive oil.  Cook for 5 minutes on high in microwave.

4 – When vegetables are done, cook chicken for 5 minutes on high in microwave.

5 – Serve potatoes in their jackets with yogurt as dressing (instead of sour cream).  Salt and pepper the potatoes.

6 – Serve dinner hot.

–adapted from Real Simple.

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN / STEWED OKRA WITH TOMATOES / BLACK-EYED PEAS

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–herbed stuffing (pre-packaged)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–cayenne pepper

–okra (fresh)

–diced tomatoes (canned)

–garlic powder

–onion (medium)

–black-eyed peas (frozen)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

 

1 – Using a slow cooker, start black-eyed peas with salt and pepper, chicken broth to cover, and olive oil to season, when you leave the house at 8 or 9 in the morning.  Let cook on low all day until 5 or 6.

2 – Place a cup of stuffing in a plastic bag.  Crush with fist to make very fine.  Place chicken in bag with olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Shake well.  Place chicken in covered baking dish; pour remainder of stuffing over top.  Set aside.

3 – Select a large, wide-mouthed baking dish with cover.  Chop an onion; place in the bottom.  Cook on high for 2 minutes.  Add a full can of diced tomatoes, spreading out in the dish.  Chop the okra in one-half inch pieces.   Make one layer of okra.  (Do not allow okra to lie on top of each other.)  Add water just to cover.  Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high in microwave for 15 minutes.

4 – Cook chicken for 5 minutes on high in the microwave.

5 – Serve hot.

–chicken and black-eyed peas original recipe; okra and tomatoes adapted from recipe distributed at farmers’ market, Oxford (Mississippi).

ASIAN SALMON WITH HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE / GREEN PEAS WITH PORTABELLA MUSHROOMS

 

–salmon (size of three decks of cards)

–olive oil

–basil, thyme (fresh if possible)

–Worcestershire sauce

–soy sauce

–garlic

–salt and pepper

–mayonnaise

–onion bits

–lemon juice

–dill (fresh if possible)

–Dejon mustard

–paprika

–pepper

–green peas (frozen)

–portabella mushrooms

 

1 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish with a small amount of water.  Place snips of basil and thyme on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add one-fourth cup of Worcestershire sauce and one-fourth cup of soy sauce.  Add a little olive oil on top.  Set aside.

2 – To make tartar sauce:  Place one-third cup of mayonnaise in small saucer.  Add a tablespoon of Dejon mustard.  Season with onion bits, dill, paprika and pepper.  Add two tablespoons of lemon juice.  Stir briskly.  Set aside.

3 – Cut portabella mushrooms in quarters.  Place in covered baking dish, with a little water and a little olive oil.  Cook for 3 minutes on high in microwave.  Add frozen green peas and stir.  Season with salt and pepper and olive oil.  Cook on high for five minutes.

4 – Cook salmon for 4 and one-half minutes.  Test center to be sure that salmon is done.  If not, return to microwave for 1 minute. 

5 – Serve salmon hot with the homemade tartar sauce, with green peas as a side.

–salmon adapted from a recipe no longer on the web.

BASIL CHICKEN / FRESH TOMATO / PESTO – AVOCADO PASTA

Note:  My husband Paul had seconds, something he almost never does.

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–fresh tomatoes (2)

–penne pasta

–avocado

–garlic powder

 

1 – Measure 1 cup of penne pasta and place in an uncovered baking dish.  Add one teaspoon of salt.  Just cover with water.  Cook for 2 and one-half minutes on high in the microwave, and then cook for 8 and one-half minutes on 50 percent power.  When done, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Place chicken in covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with tiny snips of basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 5 minutes after the pasta has finished.

3 – Chop the tomatoes, and season with basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

4 – Cut open an avocado, discarding the pit.  Cut across two ways, and then scoop out into a food processor.  Add generous amount of basil and one-fourth cup of olive oil, plus salt, pepper and garlic powder, and pulse.

5 – When the pasta is done (al dente), stir in the pesto – avocado sauce.

6 – Serve the chicken hot, the pasta warm, and the tomato cold.

–adapted from Allrecipes.

MOROCCAN CHICKEN / WHITE RICE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–tomato soup (can)

–onion (medium)

–garlic powder

–cinnamon

–curry powder

–raisins (one-third cup)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–chickpeas (garbanzo beans, 1 can)

–almonds (one-third cup)

–white rice (instant)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

 

1 – Chop one onion.  Place in covered baking dish, and season with onion oil.  Add a small amount of water.  Cook on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Lay the chicken on top of the onion in the covered baking dish, and season with salt and pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, curry powder, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Measure two-thirds cup of white rice.  Pour into wide-mouthed baking dish.  Measure two-thirds cup of chicken broth and add to the rice.  Cook for 3 minutes on high.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes.

4 – Drain the can of chickpeas in a colander.  Empty undiluted tomato soup in a large baking dish, adding the chickpeas to it.  Add one-third cup of almonds and one-third cup of raisins.  Season with cinnamon, garlic powder, curry powder, and olive oil.  Cook for 6 minutes in the microwave on high.

5 – Cook the chicken on high for 5 minutes.

6 – Serve with the chicken (with onion) and tomato sauce on top of the white rice.  Serve hot.

–adapted from a Campbell’s tomato soup advertisement.

NEW ORLEANS COD WITH CRABMEAT / WHITE RICE / SALAD WITH BRIE AND STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE

–cod (size of three decks of cards)

–crabmeat (canned, 1 can)

–diced tomato (canned)

–Cajun spices – basil, thyme (fresh if possible), paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

–olive oil

–white rice (instant)

–bibb lettuce

–brie cheese

–strawberry vinaigrette

–pecan bits (one small package)

 

1 – Dip out one-half can of diced tomato in baking dish with cover.  Place the cod on top.  Spoon the crabmeat on either side of the cod (but not on top, for this would hinder cooking in the microwave).  Season with the Cajun spices (basil, thyme (fresh if possible), paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper), and olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Measure two-thirds cup of instant white rice in wide-mouthed, large baking dish with cover.  Season with one teaspoon of salt.  Add two-thirds cup of water.  Cook in microwave for 3 minutes.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes.

3 – Use food processor to puree 5 or 6 fresh strawberries.  Add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons of sugar, and puree the whole.  Set aside.

4 – Break the bibb lettuce in small pieces.  Cut small pieces of brie cheese.  Mix lettuce, brie, and pecan bits.  Just before serving as a first course, add the strawberry vinaigrette to the salad. 

5 – Cook the cod for 8 minutes in the microwave, covered.

6 – While cod is cooking, serve the first course of salad.  Then serve the cod on top of the white rice, while still hot.

–cod adapted from the Black Bass (Lumberville, Pennsylvania); salad adapted from Zynodoa (Staunton, Virginia)

GRECIAN ORANGE ROUGHY / ANGEL HAIR PASTA / BROCCOLI

–orange roughy (1 large, to share)

–feta cheese

–diced tomatoes (canned)

–onion (medium)

–oregano, basil, parsley (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–black olives (canned)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–angel hair pasta

–broccoli

 

1 – Dip out half a can of diced tomatoes into covered baking dish.  Chop one onion.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high for four minutes.  Set aside.

2 – Put two fistfuls of angel hair pasta in a long dish, covering with one inch water.  Season with one teaspoon of salt.  Cook, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes; then on 50 percent power for 4 minutes.  When finished cooking, cover with lid to preserve warmth.

3- Prepare broccoli, cutting off the stalk and cutting remainder into large chunks.  Cook on high for 4 minutes.

4 – Place the orange roughy on top of the onion and tomato.  Place black olives around the sides (but not on top, which would increase cooking time).  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, tiny snips of oregano and basil, and olive oil.  Sprinkle with generous amount of feta cheese.  Garnish with parsley.  Cook 9 minutes in the microwave, covered.

5 – Drain the pasta, and serve with appropriate utensil in a dish.  Cover to keep warm.

6 – Serve the orange roughy, divided into servings, on top of the pasta.  Serve the broccoli as a side.  Serve all hot.

CHEESY CHICKEN / SCALLOP SQUASH WITH PAPRIKA

Note:  This is an easy dinner after a hard day.

 

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–cheese crackers (gluten-free are delicious)

–cayenne pepper

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–4 scallop squash (or substitute summer squash)

–paprika

–milk (dairy or soy)

 

1 – Dump one cup of cheese crackers into plastic bag.  Crush with fist.  Please chicken in a separate plastic bag.  To the chicken, add cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Dump the bag with the cheese crackers into the bag with the chicken.  Shake well.  Place in baking dish with cover.  Set aside.

2 – Peel four scallop squash with a vegetable peeler.  Cut into small slivers.  Place in baking dish, uncovered.  Season with paprika, salt, pepper, olive oil, and pour one inch of milk into the dish.  Cook uncovered on high for five minutes in microwave.  Cover to preserve warmth.

3 – Cook the chicken for 5 minutes.

4 – Serve hot.

–chicken adapted from Southern Living Cooking for Two; squash inspired by the web.

SALMON WITH BERRY REDUCTION / THYME GREEN BEANS WITH PORTABELLA MUSHROOMS AND ONION

Note:  This meal may take 40 minutes of preparation time, but you won’t be working the whole time.

–salmon (the size of three decks of cards)

–blueberries (one-half cup fresh)

–red wine (one-fourth cup)

–sugar (2 teaspoons)

–onion (medium)

–green beans (frozen)

–portabella mushrooms (four button)

–thyme (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 

1 – Prepare the berries first, due to lengthy preparation time.  Measure one-half cup of blueberries and add to a food processor.  Measure one-fourth cup of red wine to the processor as well.  Pulse well.  Chop one-half onion and add onion and sugar to the berry mixture.  Pour into a large, wide-mouthed baking dish without a cover.  Cook on high for 3 minutes in microwave.  Then cook on 50 percent power for 15 minutes.  When finished cooking, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Place the salmon in a baking dish with cover.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Chop onion and portabella mushrooms, and place in baking dish with cover.  Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic powder, and thyme.  Cook on high for 3 minutes.  Add green beans, seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil, and thyme.  Cook for 5 minutes in microwave on high.

4 – Cook the salmon for 5 and one-half minutes.  Test the center to see if the salmon is done.  If not, return to microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Serve salmon with the berry reduction on top, with the green beans as a side.

–adapted from Williams-Sonoma.

ENCRUSTED CATFISH WITH OREGANO AND GARLIC / DILLED CARROT PENNIES

–3 small catfish fillets

–oregano (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–cornbread stuffing (pre-packaged)

–4 carrots

–dill (fresh if possible)

 

1 – Pour 1 cup of cornbread stuffing into plastic bag.  Pound the stuffing to make the particles more fine.  On a plate, season catfish with snips of oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Shake the catfish in the plastic bag to coat with the cornbread stuffing.  Place in a baking dish with cover.  Pour any remaining stuffing over the catfish.  Set aside.

2 – Peel carrots with a vegetable peeler.  Cut off ends.  Slice into round pieces.  Place the carrots in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper, snips of dill, and olive oil.  Cook for four minutes in microwave on high.

3 – Cook the catfish for 8 minutes in microwave (lengthier cooking times work best for catfish).

4 – Serve the catfish and carrots while hot.

–adapted from Quince’s (Wilson, North Carolina)