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)

SPICY PARMESAN CHICKEN WITH BASIL / GREEN PEAS TARRAGON / ANGEL HAIR PASTA

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–tomato (medium)

–onion (medium)

–Tabasco or other hot sauce

–garlic powder

–basil (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–olive oil

–green peas (frozen)

–tarragon (fresh if possible)

–angel hair pasta

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

 

1 – Chop the tomato and onion.  Nestle whole leaves of basil amid the tomato and onion in a covered baking dish.  Add water just to cover.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 3 minutes on high in the microwave.  Add chicken to the dish.  Top with more basil leaves and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, and several dashes of hot sauce.  Set aside.

2 – Use long baking dish, uncovered, for the angel hair pasta.  Add two handfuls of pasta to the dish.  Cover with one inch of chicken broth.  Cook for 2 minutes on high, followed by 5 minutes on 50 percent power.  When finished cooking, cover the dish to preserve warmth.

3 – Add frozen green peas and two inches of water to a covered dish, seasoning with salt, pepper, tiny snips of tarragon, and olive oil.  Cook for 4 minutes in the microwave on high.

4 – Cook the chicken entrée for 5 minutes on high.  When finished cooking, add generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top.  At that point, leave uncovered.

5 – Serve the chicken atop the pasta, with the green peas as a side.

–adapted from Allrecipes.

DILLED DEJON CHICKEN WITH ONION AND TOMATO / PASTA / BROCCOLI

Note:  My husband Paul gave this entrée a “10.”

 

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–onion (medium)

–tomato (medium)

–dejon mustard

–salt and pepper

–dill (fresh if possible)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–olive oil

–angel hair pasta

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–broccoli

 

1 – Select long baking dish for the angel hair pasta.  Place two handfuls of pasta in the dish.  Add one inch of chicken broth.  Do not cover.  Cook in microwave for 2 minutes on high; then cook for 5 minutes on one-half power.  When finished cooking, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Chop onion and tomato and place in bottom of baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Snip tiny bits of a generous amount of dill.  Dot with dejon mustard, a small amount.  Add white wine just to cover.  Cook for 3 minutes on high in microwave.  Set aside.

3 – Cut off large end of broccoli stalk.  Break apart the remaining broccoli, leaving some stem.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook, covered, for 4 minutes on high in the microwave.

4 – Nestle chicken in the onion/tomato sauce.  Salt and pepper, and add a tiny bit of olive oil on top.  Cook for 5 minutes on high.

5 – Serve the chicken and sauce on top of the pasta, with the broccoli as a side.

–chicken adapted from Epicurious.

DEJON SALMON WITH LEMON BUTTER / ASPARAGUS / BROWN RICE

–salmon – size of three decks of cards

–dejon mustard

–lemon juice

–butter or margarine (Activ margarine has plant sterols which are said to reduce cholesterol)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–fine breadcrumbs

–asparagus (frozen)

–brown rice

1 – Place about three generous tablespoons of butter or margarine in small microwaveable dish.  Cover.  Microwave on 50 percent power for 1 minute.  Add three tablespoons of lemon juice to the butter or margarine.  Stir.  Pour in bottom of baking dish large enough for the salmon.

2 – Place salmon on a cutting board or plate.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Spread dejon mustard on the top of the salmon.  Dust with fine plain breadcrumbs.  Place the salmon on top of the margarine or butter in the baking dish.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top.  Set aside.

3 – Measure two-thirds cup of brown rice in large, wide-mouthed baking dish with cover.  Add two-thirds cup of plain water.  Season with a teaspoon of salt.  Microwave for 3 minutes on high.  Then microwave for 4 minutes on 50 percent power.  (Do not use any oil.)

4 – Cook the asparagus for four minutes in the microwave.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

5 – Cook the salmon for five minutes.  After five minutes, test the center to be sure that salmon is done.  If not, microwave 1 minute longer.

6 – Serve the salmon and butter/margarine sauce over the rice, with the asparagus on the side.

–adapted from Carversville Inn (Carversville, Pennsylvania).

SHRIMP NOODLE SALAD / ASPARAGUS

–shrimp (60 – 80 small, shelled, deveined, tail off, thawed)

–salad dressing (see below for recipe)

–avocado (chopped)

–Asian noodles (the size of two fists)

–salt and pepper

–basil (fresh if possible)

–asparagus (frozen)

–olive oil

 

Salad dressing:

–1/4 cup of olive oil

–minced ginger (one-half teaspoon)

–mayonnaise (1 teaspoon)

–sesame seeds

–soy sauce

–sugar (1 teaspoon)

–lime juice (1 dash)

–cilantro

Add olive oil to measuring cup to one-fourth cup level.  Add to cup the following:  ginger, mayonnaise, sesame seeds (be generous), soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, and bits of cilantro.  The whole should reach the one-half cup level.  Stir vigorously.

 

1 – Thaw shrimp in refrigerator overnight.  Dump package in wide-mouthed, large dish with lid.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Rinse under tap water to cool.  Refrigerator or put in freezer (briefly).

2 – For Asian noodles, cook, just covered in water but without a lid, in microwave for 5 minutes.  Rinse under tap water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

3 – For avocado, cut in half lengthwise.  Remove pit.  Cut across two ways, and then use spoon to remove.  Set aside briefly (not too long or color will change).  Note:  If you wish to prepare the salad early and refrigerator, add the avocado just before serving.

4 – Stir together the shrimp, noodles, avocado carefully to avoid mashing the avocado and breaking the noodles.  Add snips of basil.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour sauce over all, and fold in gently.

5 – Cook frozen asparagus for four minutes in microwave.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

6 – Serve cold shrimp salad and hot asparagus immediately.

–shrimp salad adapted from White on Rice Couple.

FETA CHICKEN / GARLIC BROCCOLI / BEANS

Note:  I departed from solely using the microwave for this recipe, using instead a slow cooker (crock pot) for the beans.  Unless beans are canned, they don’t do well in the microwave.

 

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–feta cheese (crumbled)

–tomato (1 medium)

–garlic powder

–oregano and thyme (fresh is possible)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–salt and pepper

–great Northern beans (1 package, frozen)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–Bac’n pieces (soy artificial bacon)

–broccoli

–olive oil

 

1 – Cook the great Northern beans from the time you leave the house in the morning (8 or 9 a.m.) to your return (5 or 6).  The longer you cook, the better they may be.  Dump a package of frozen beans in the slow cooker.  Add two cups of chicken broth.  Season generously with Bac’n pieces, salt and pepper.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook on low for at least 8 hours.

2 – Chop tomato and place in bottom of baking dish with cover.  Salt and pepper and season with olive oil.  Lay the chicken on top of the chopped tomato.  Snip tiny bits of oregano and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Add about one-quarter cup of white wine, enough to cover chicken to about half of the depth.  Sprinkle generously with crumbled feta cheese.  Season with olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Select one stalk of broccoli.  Cut off stalk, leaving some stem and florets.  Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Cook broccoli in baking dish with lid for 4 minutes.

4 – Cook chicken for 6 minutes in covered dish.

5 – Serve chicken, broccoli, beans immediately.

 

–chicken adapted from Real Simple; broccoli adapted from Parmesan and Chocolate; beans original.

HERBED CATFISH / OVEN FRIED OKRA / SQUASH CASSEROLE

Note:  Now that I have a herb garden, this catfish recipe is a favorite go-to recipe.  The okra and squash are favorites of my husband Paul.

–3 small catfish fillets

–parsley, thyme, oregano, basil (fresh is possible)

–paprika, garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–okra (cut, fresh if possible or frozen)

–cornbread stuffing mix

–2 small squash (fresh)

–onion

–fine bread crumbs (plain)

–Bac’n pieces (soy artificial bacon)

 

1 – Place the tilapia fillets in the bottom of a baking dish with cover.  Add a small amount of water, just to cover bottom of dish and allow steaming.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.  Snip with kitchen shears very tiny bits of thyme, oregano, and basil.  Season with olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – If fresh okra, cut in small chunks about one-half inch in diameter.  If frozen, use cut okra.  Dump in baking dish without cover.  Add two inches of water (about half the level of the okra).  Salt and pepper the okra.  Add a very small amount of olive oil.  Cook on high for five minutes.  Then cook on 50 percent power for 9 minutes.  Add cornbread stuffing mix, stirring well; be sure to cover okra thoroughly.  Add more olive oil (but not much).  Cook on high for 1 minute.  Cover with lid to keep warm.

3 – Slice the squash diagonally and then halve each piece.  Chop one onion.  Make two layers:  squash, onion, salt, pepper, Bac’n pieces, small amount of bread crumbs, olive oil.  Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes.

4 – Cook the catfish for six minutes.

5 – Serve hot.

–catfish adapted from Allrecipes; okra and squash casserole original.