SPICY HERB COD WITH SAUCE OF FRESH BLUEBERRIES – LIGHT BROWN SUGAR – LEMON JUICE – BALSAMIC VINEGAR ATOP JASMINE RICE

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

–Mrs. Dash original (bottled)

–cayenne pepper (bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–blueberries (fresh, 1 cup)

–light brown sugar (packaged)

–lemon juice (bottled)

–balsamic vinegar (bottled)

–jasmine rice (packaged)

1 – Place 1 cup of fresh blueberries and one-fourth cup of water in a covered baking dish.  Add 2 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, place the cod in the sauce.  Drench in both lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, cayenne pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 4 minutes.

2 – Serve the cod and sauce hot, atop jasmine rice (1 cup rice and 2 cups water microwaved for 5 minutes on high; then 10 minutes on 50 percent power).

–cod and sauce adapted from the web sites of both Giant Eagle and Group Recipes.

A Simple Dinner:  SMOKED SALMON NATURALLY WITH CHILLED SALAD OF AVOCADO – FRESH BASIL TOMATO – FETA IN BALSAMIC & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING

For 2:

–smoked salmon (packaged, ready-prepared)

–avocado (1, sliced)

–tomato (fresh, medium, sliced)

–feta cheese

–balsamic vinegar (bottled)

–extra virgin olive oil

–basil (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

1 – Slice the smoked salmon into two pieces.  That’s all to do!

2 – Cut apart an avocado and discard the pit.  Slice in horizontal strips, and place on a serving plate.  Slice a medium fresh tomato, and add to the plate.  Season with salt, pepper, and basil.  Sprinkle feta cheese over the avocado and tomato.  Season with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

3 – Serve the smoked salmon with the salad as a side.

–menu and salad original.

SALMON WITH ORANGE MARMALADE – SOY SAUCE – GINGER – MINCED GARLIC – BALSAMIC VINEGAR TOPPED WITH SESAME SEEDS & GREEN ONIONS

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

–orange marmalade

–soy sauce

–ginger

–minced garlic (in a jar)

–balsamic vinegar

–sesame seeds

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–pepper

–olive oil

1 – In a mixing bowl, place one-half jar of orange marmalade, one-fourth cup of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and a few drops of both balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Season with ginger and pepper.  Stir very well.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Pour the sauce over the salmon.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.  Finish with 2 chopped stalks of green onions.

3 – Microwave the salmon for 7 and one-half minutes on high.

4 – Serve the salmon hot, atop white or brown rice, or quinoa (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–salmon adapted from 20 Savory Salmon Recipes.

CHICKEN WITH SAUCE OF BLUEBERRIES – MAPLE SYRUP – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – ONION – ROSEMARY – BUTTER – OLIVE OIL ATOP ROSEMARY – OLIVE OIL QUINOA

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–blueberries (fresh, 1 cup)

–maple syrup (one-fourth cup)

–balsamic vinegar (one-fourth cup)

–onion powder (bottled)

–rosemary (fresh if possible)

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–rosemary – olive oil quinoa (boxed)

1 – Place 1 cup of fresh blueberries in a covered baking dish.  Add one-fourth cup of both maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and rosemary.  Add 1 tablespoon of Promise margarine and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

2 – Add the chicken to the sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken hot, atop rosemary – olive oil quinoa (6 minutes on high; 9 minutes on 50 percent power).

–blueberry sauce adapted from Driscoll’s berries web site.

COD IN LEMON & WHITE WINE SAUCE WITH A SIDE OF CHILLED STRAWBERRY SALSA SEASONED WITH HONEY – LIME – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – MINT – BLACK PEPPER

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

–lemon juice (bottled)

–white wine

–strawberries (fresh, 5 or 6, chopped)

–honey

–lime juice

–balsamic vinegar

–mint (fresh if possible)

–black pepper

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Prepare the salsa early so that the flavors will blend.  Chop 5 or 6 strawberries, and place in a small mixing bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon each of honey, lime juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Season, to taste, with mint and black pepper.  Stir gently.  Chill in the refrigerator until time for dinner.

2 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Drench in lemon juice.  Add a small amount of white wine.  Then season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 9 minutes.  (Cod is done when it starts to break apart.)

3 – Serve the cod and sauce hot, with the strawberry salsa on the side.

–strawberry salsa adapted from the “closet cooking” web site.

COD GLAZED WITH CHERRY PRESERVES & BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND TOPPED WITH SLICED ALMONDS & GREEN ONIONS

For 4:

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

–cherry preserves (in a jar)

–balsamic vinegar (bottled)

–sliced almonds (one-fourth small package)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a small mixing bowl, place 3 heaping tablespoons of cherry preserves.  Slowly add one-third cup of balsamic vinegar, stirring briskly.  Then pour the sauce over the cod.

2 – Sprinkle one-fourth small package of sliced almonds on top of the cod.  Finish with 3 chopped stalks of green onions.  Add a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  Cod is done when it begins to break apart.

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

–cod adapted from Vital Choice web site.

A Simple Dinner:  SALMON TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & PARSLEY IN BALSAMIC VINEGAR & CLAM JUICE

For 4:

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

–green onions (2 stalks, finely chopped)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–balsamic vinegar

–clam juice

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish with a little balsamic vinegar and a little clam juice.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Finely chop 2 stalks of green onion and 1 handful of parsley, and place on top.  Microwave on high for 7 and one-half minutes.

2 – Serve the salmon hot.

–salmon 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.

BOURBON STREET CHICKEN WITH APPLE JUICE – BROWN SUGAR – BALSAMIC – CATSUP – CAYENNE – GINGER – SOY SAUCE

Note:  Rating on web is 5 out of 5, with almost 3,000 reviews.

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–apple juice

–brown sugar

–balsamic vinegar

–catsup

–cayenne pepper

–ginger (ground, bottled)

–soy sauce

–water

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.

2 – Place 6 tablespoons of soy sauce in a mixing bowl; 5 tablespoons of apple juice; 1 tablespoon of catsup; 2 tablespoons of brown sugar; 6 tablespoons of water.  Season with ginger, a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and cayenne pepper.  Stir well, and then pour over the chicken.  Season with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 6 minutes.

4 – Serve the chicken hot, atop jasmine rice (for recipe for rice, use the search box on this blog).

–adapted from food.com web site; original recipe comes from Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

A Simple Dinner:  SALMON WITH SIMPLE & HEALTHY BEURRE BLANC

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

–Promise margarine (heart-healthy)

–balsamic vinegar

–white wine

–milk (almond or dairy; soy doesn’t do well in the microwave)

–salt and pepper

–minced onion

1 – Place 2 tablespoons of Promise margarine in a covered measuring cup.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Add one-fourth cup of white wine, one-fourth cup of almond or dairy milk, and several drops of olive oil.  Stir well.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Pour the sauce atop the salmon.  Season with salt, pepper, and minced onion.  Microwave on high for 5 and one-half minutes.

3 – Serve the salmon hot.

–beurre blanc adapted from Epicurious; salmon with beurre blanc inspired by the Monkey Bar, New York City restaurant.

THYME CHICKEN WITH DIJON – MINCED GARLIC – BALSAMIC & NESTLED IN MUSHROOM BROTH

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–thyme (fresh if possible)

–Dijon mustard

–minced garlic (bottled)

–balsamic vinegar (bottled

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

–chicken broth (low sodium, non-fat)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Wash and quarter 4 or 5 baby bella mushrooms.  Place in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes (do not overcook). 

2 – When finished, nestle the chicken in the mushrooms and broth.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil. 

3 – In a small mixing bowl, place 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, and enough balsamic vinegar to form, when stirred, a paste.  Spread the Dijon, garlic, and balsamic on top of the chicken. 

4 – Finish with a few additional drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 and one-half minutes.

5 – Serve the chicken hot, with the mushroom broth. 

–chicken adapted from food.com web site.  Received 5 out of 5 rating with 41 reviews.

MINT CHICKEN & ROMAINE SALAD WITH FRESH PEACH & VIDALIA ONION IN LIME – BALSAMIC – OLIVE OIL SAUCE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–mint (fresh if possible)

–romaine lettuce

–peach (fresh, 1, medium)

–Vidalia onion (one-half)

–lime juice (bottled)

–balsamic vinegar

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place one-third cup of extra virgin olive oil in a small mixing bowl.  Add one-half sliced Vidalia onion.  Season the sauce with 2 tablespoons of lime juice and mint (to taste).  Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

2 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Pour one-half of the sauce on top of the chicken.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

3 – Wash and dry 6 leaves of romaine hearts.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Peel and chop 1 fresh peach.  Add the remaining sauce, and stir well.  If necessary, add additional extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

4 – Serve the chicken hot, with the salad as a side.  I also served lima beans and squash with onions and Bac’n pieces (recipes, see the search box).

–chicken and salad adapted from Real Simple magazine.

GARLIC SALMON TOPPED WITH GOLDEN RAISINS – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – GREEN ONIONS / ROMAINE LETTUCE SALAD WITH BANANA – BLUEBERRIES – HONEY – PECANS – FETA IN RED WINE – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING

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

–golden raisins (one-fourth cup)

–balsamic vinegar

–green onions (chopped, 2 stalks)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–romaine lettuce (6 leaves, broken)

–banana (one-half)

–blueberries (one-third cup)

–pecans (chips, one-half small package)

–honey

–feta cheese (one-fourth small package)

–red wine

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Chop 2 stalks of green onion and place atop the salmon.  Set aside.

2 – Break apart 6 leaves of romaine lettuce and add to a mixing bowl.  Add to the bowl one-half sliced banana, one-third cup of blueberries, and one-half small package of pecan chips.  Season with salt, pepper, and honey.  Add red wine and extra virgin olive oil to taste.  Stir gently.  Sprinkle one-fourth small package of feta cheese on top.

3 – Microwave the salmon for 5 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the salad as a first course.  Then serve the salmon hot.  I also served Brussel sprouts with onion and oregano, and field peas with snaps (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–salmon adapted from bell’alimento web site (Paula Jones, chef); salad original.

CHICKEN NATURALLY & CHILLED GREEN SAUCE WITH GREEN ONION – CELERY – ONION – PARSLEY – DIJON – GARLIC – BALSAMIC VINEGAR – RED WINE – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–breadcrumbs (boxed, plain)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–green onions (2 stalks, chopped)

–celery (2 stalks, chopped)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–Dijon mustard

–garlic powder

–balsamic vinegar

–hot sauce (optional; like Tabasco)

–red wine

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Chop 2 green onions, 2 stalks of celery, one-half onion, and parsley, and place in a food processor.  Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (optional).  Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and red wine.  Pulse until smooth.  Keep in refrigerator until time for dinner.

2 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Lightly sprinkle the chicken with plain breadcrumbs.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken hot, with the cold green sauce beside the chicken on the plate.  I also served corn, broccoli, and lima bean soup (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–green sauce adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way; chicken original.

SESAME SALMON WITH MUSHROOMS – PEPPER – GREEN ONION – HONEY – SRIRACHA – DIJON IN BALSAMIC – RED WINE – SOY SAUCE ATOP BROWN RICE

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

–green onion (1 stalk, finely chopped)

–honey

–Sriracha sauce (spicy chili)

–Dijon mustard

–balsamic vinegar

–red wine

–soy sauce

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 3 or 4, sliced)

–red bell pepper (one-half, cut lengthwise)

–sesame seeds

–brown rice

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

1 – Slice 3 or 4 baby bella mushrooms, and place in a covered baking dish.  Add one-half sliced red bell pepper.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add a little red wine, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce to the dish.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon of Sriracha sauce, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of honey, and a little red wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and soy sauce.  Stir vigorously.  Place the salmon in the covered baking dish, amid the mushrooms and red bell pepper.  Pour the sauce over the salmon.  Finely chop a green onion, and place atop the salmon.  Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.  Add a more olive oil, if desired.  Set aside.

2 – Place two-thirds cup of brown rice in a covered baking dish.  Add two-thirds cup of chicken broth and a few drops of olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave the rice and broth for 5 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Microwave the salmon and sauce for 5 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the salmon and sauce atop the brown rice.  I also served carrot chips with dill and a salad that included chick peas.

–salmon adapted from Country Living web site; rice original.

ASIAN COD WITH SESAME – ONION – BROWN SUGAR – GINGER – GARLIC – LEMON PEPPER IN BALSAMIC – WHITE WINE – SOY SAUCE

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

–sesame seeds

–onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–brown sugar

–ginger

–garlic powder

–lemon pepper (bottled)

–balsamic vinegar

–white wine

–soy sauce

1 – Slice a half, medium, onion and place in a covered baking dish with a little white wine and a little soy sauce.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, nestle the cod amid the onion.  Season with ginger, garlic powder, lemon pepper, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Place a few teaspoons of brown sugar on top of the cod.  Microwave on high for 6 and one-half minutes.

2 – Serve the cod hot.  I also served a salad, lentil bean soup, and zucchini topped with cornbread crumbs and Parmesan (recipes, see search box).

–cod adapted from food.com web site.

DILL – GARLIC SALMON WITH MUSHROOMS IN BALSAMIC – RED WINE SAUCE

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

–dill (fresh if possible; fresh is much tastier)

–garlic powder

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 4 or 5 medium)

–balsamic vinegar

–red wine

–salt and pepper

1 – Wash and slice 4 or 5 baby bella mushrooms.  Place in a covered baking dish with a little balsamic vinegar and a little red wine.  Season with salt, pepper, dill, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, place the salmon amid the mushrooms.  Season the salmon with salt, pepper, dill, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Serve the salmon hot.  I also served asparagus (recipe, see search box on this blog).

–salmon original.

MARINATED ROSEMARY CHICKEN WITH GARLIC IN BALSAMIC & RED WINE SAUCE / ROTINI PASTA WITH MINT – CELERY – ONION – GARLIC – PARSLEY IN SPICY MARINARA SAUCE TOPPED WITH CROUTONS

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–rosemary (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–balsamic vinegar

–red wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–rotini pasta (dried, packaged)

–mint

–celery (1 stalk, with leaves)

–onion (one-quarter, medium)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–cayenne pepper (optional)

–marinara sauce (Italian spaghetti sauce, bottled)

–croutons (seasoned, packaged)

1 – In the morning, place chicken in a plastic bag and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar to marinate.  Keep in refrigerator.  When preparing for dinner, place the marinated chicken in a covered baking dish with the balsamic vinegar and a little red wine.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Place 1 cup of dried pasta in an uncovered baking dish.  Add water to 2 inches above the pasta.  Season with salt.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes, and then microwave on 50 percent power for 6 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Chop celery and onion, and place in a covered baking dish with one-fourth jar of marinara sauce.  Season with mint, parsley, cayenne pepper (optional), salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  When finished, add drained pasta to the sauce.  Stir well.  Sprinkle with croutons.  Keep covered.

4 – Microwave the chicken for 5 and one-half minutes on high.

5 – Serve the pasta as a first course.  Then serve the chicken hot.  I also served green beans with almonds and field peas with snaps (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

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

MEDITERRANEAN SALMON WITH TOMATO – BLACK OLIVES – RED BELL PEPPER – OREGANO – BASIL – GARLIC TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS AND SPLASHED WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Note:  This is good enough for company.  For four people, double the food and double the cooking time.

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

–tomato (1, fresh, medium, chopped)

–black olives (half a small can, sliced, drained)

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

–oregano and basil (fresh if possible)

–garlic pepper

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped fine)

–balsamic vinegar

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop the tomato, season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and garlic powder.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Add one-half small can of sliced black olives and one-half chopped red bell pepper.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Nestle the salmon amid the vegetables.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Chop 3 stalks of green onions and sprinkle on top of the salmon.  Splash, generously, with balsamic vinegar.  Microwave for 6 and one-half minutes on high.

2 – Serve the salmon and vegetables hot.  I also served pasta as a first course, then broccoli and black-eyed peas with the salmon (recipes, see the search box on this blog).

–salmon adapted from food.com web site.

BALSAMIC – GLAZED SALMON WITH ROSEMARY – GARLIC – BROWN SUGAR

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

–balsamic vinegar

–rosemary (bottled)

–garlic powder

–brown sugar

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–clam juice (fish sauce)

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little clam juice.  Drench in balsamic vinegar.  Season with rosemary, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle brown sugar on top.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Serve the salmon hot.  I also served broccoli and baby lima beans (for recipes, use the search box in this blog).

–salmon adapted from allrecipes.com web site.

ASIAN CHICKEN SLAW WITH CARROTS – ONION – RED BELL PEPPER IN SEASONED PEANUT SAUCE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–angel hair slaw (half a package)

–carrot sticks (2 handfuls)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–red bell pepper (2 slices, chopped)

–peanut butter

–balsamic vinegar

–red wine

–basil

–teriyaki sauce

–lime juice

–garlic powder

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, let cool a bit, and cut into fine strips.  Set aside.

2 – Wash the slaw in a mixing bowl, and then rinse in a colander.  Replace in the mixing bowl.  Add 2 handfuls of carrot sticks.  Chop 2 slices of red bell pepper, and add to the bowl.  Finely slice one-half onion, and add to the bowl.  Add the chicken to the mixing bowl.

3 – In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of red wine, a generous amount of teriyaki sauce, a squirt of lime juice, basil, and garlic powder.  Stir until smooth, adding more teriyaki sauce if too thick.  Pour the sauce atop the chicken and vegetables, and stir well.  Add more teriyaki sauce if needed.  Then stir again.

4 – Serve the salad cold.

–Asian chicken slaw adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking? blog site.

A Holiday Dinner for 2:  BACON – FLAVORED CORNISH HENS WITH MUSHROOMS & ONION IN BROTH / PARSLEYED DRESSING WITH MINCED MUSHROOMS & ONIONS / WHIPPED SWEET POTATOES WITH CINNAMON / ASPARAGUS IN PARMESAN WHITE SAUCE / BUTTER LETTUCE WITH GREEN GRAPES – FETA CHEESE – TOASTED WALNUTS IN BALSAMIC VINEGAR & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

Note:  Allow 90 minutes of preparation time for this dinner, even if you are an experienced cook.

–Cornish hen (thawed from frozen)

–Bac’n pieces

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

–onion (divided, three quarters of a medium onion)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–Stovetop stuffing mix (boxed, chicken flavor)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–sweet potatoes (2, medium)

–cinnamon (bottled)

–asparagus (steamable in microwave; I use PicSweet)

–flour

–milk (dairy or almond; soy doesn’t work well in microwave)

–Parmesan cheese

–butter lettuce (one-half package)

–green grapes (seedless, about a dozen, split)

–feta cheese (half a small container)

–toasted walnuts (toast in microwave, 1 handful)

–balsamic vinegar

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place one-half package of butter lettuce in a mixing bowl.  Add a dozen grapes, each cut into two pieces.  Add half a small container of feta cheese.  Add 1 handful of toasted walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in refrigerator until just before dinner.

2 – Slice 6 baby bella mushrooms into fine strips.  Add to a large, covered baking dish.  Slice one-half onion, and add to the dish.  Add a small amount of chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, Bac’n pieces, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

3 – Using a sharp butcher knife and a fork, cut the Cornish hen in half.  Lay each half on its side, atop the mushrooms and onion.  Season with salt, pepper, Bac’n pieces, and olive oil.  Set aside.

4 – Scrub the sweet potatoes, and then pierce all around with a fork.  Place on a microwaveable dish.  Microwave for 7 minutes; then turn over, and microwave for 8 minutes more.  Test sweet potatoes during cooking to see when they are soft to the touch.  (Be careful; potatoes will be very hot.)  Let cool briefly before handling.

5 – Mince 2 mushrooms (baby bellas) and one-quarter onion.  Place in individual microwaveable bowls with a little chicken broth.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Set aside.

6 – Place one-half cup of milk in a microwaveable cup.  In a separate cup, place one level tablespoon of flour.  Microwave the milk for 45 seconds.  Slowly add the milk to the flour, beating briskly.  Pour the milk and flour into a covered baking dish.  Sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

7 – Cut open the sweet potatoes, and then cut crossways to make chunks.  Add to a food processor.  Add milk (dairy or almond) to the food processor.  Pulse until smooth, adding milk to desired consistency.  Place the whipped sweet potatoes in a microwaveable baking dish for reheating later, before dinner.

8 – Microwave the steamable package of asparagus for 3 and one-half minutes.  Add the asparagus to the Parmesan white sauce.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

9 – Microwave the Cornish hen for 5 minutes.  Then turn over, sprinkle more Bac’n pieces on top, and microwave for 5 minutes more.

10 – Microwave the whipped sweet potatoes for 2 minutes on high.

11 – Add Stovetop dressing to the individual microwaveable bowls with the minced mushrooms and onion.  Stir.  Add chopped parsley to the top.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.

12 – Add balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to the salad.  Fold gently.

13 – Serve the salad as a first course.  Then serve the Cornish hen, one half to each person, with the dressing, sweet potatoes and asparagus as sides.

–dressing adapted from my mother-in-law’s recipe, from To the Taste of a King; other recipes original.

PARSLEYED & BREADED GARLIC COD WITH MUSHROOMS IN BRANDY – WHITE WINE – BROTH SAUCE / CUT GREEN BEANS WITH PARMESAN / ROSEMARY GREAT NORTHERN BEAN SOUP WITH CAYENNE & BAY LEAVES ATOP GARLIC BREAD / BUTTERY LETTUCE SALAD WITH BLUEBERRIES – WALNUTS – PARMESAN IN BALSAMIC VINEGAR – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING  

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

–mushrooms (baby bellas, 6 to 8, sliced

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–brandy (purchase a small, inexpensive bottle)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–plain breadcrumbs

–great Northern beans (dried; soak overnight)

–cayenne pepper

–rosemary (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–bay leaves

–garlic bread seasoned with olive oil

–cut green beans (frozen)

–Parmesan cheese

–buttery lettuce (half a package)

–blueberries (2 handfuls)

–walnuts (1 handful)

–balsamic vinegar

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place two thirds cup of great Northern beans in a slow cooker.  Add chicken broth to one-half inch above the beans.  Season with rosemary, 2 bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  When finished, keep setting on warm until just before time to serve the soup.  (There is more preparation; see below.)

2 – Place sliced mushrooms in a covered baking dish with a small amount of brandy, white wine, and chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Place cod atop the mushrooms.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle a small amount of plain breadcrumbs on top.  Add parsley as a garnish, plus a few more drops of olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Place buttery lettuce, 2 handfuls of blueberries, 2 handful of walnuts, and a little Parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl.  Add balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste.  Stir well.

4 – Place 4 handfuls of cut green beans in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  Microwave for 5 minutes on high.

5 – Take one-half beans from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon, placing the beans in a food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Then add back to the slow cooker, just prior to serving.  Stir well.

6 – Prepare 2 slices of garlic bread with a generous sprinkling of garlic powder and a sprinkling of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 40 seconds.  Break apart the bread and place in the bottom of bowls intended for the soup.  Serve the soup atop the garlic bread.

7 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes on high.

8 – Serve the salad as a first course, the soup as a second, and the cod, hot, with green beans as a third course.

–cod and bean soup adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way; other recipes original.

CHICKEN TENDERS WITH SWEET ONION BALSAMIC RELISH / GREEN PEAS TARRAGON / BROWN RICE WITH BROTH

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–Vidalia onion (1, medium)

–balsamic vinegar

–thyme and oregano (fresh if possible)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–green peas (one-half package, frozen)

–tarragon (fresh if possible)

–brown rice (boxed, 5 – minute cooking)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

1 – Slice a Vidalia onion, and place in a covered baking dish with a little balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, nestle the chicken tenders in the midst of the sauce.  Season the tenders with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, parsley, and olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Place the green peas in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, tarragon, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

3 – Place two-thirds cup of brown rice in a covered baking dish with two-thirds cup of chicken broth.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

4 – Microwave the chicken for 5 minutes.

5 – Serve the chicken hot, atop the brown rice, with the peas as a side.

–chicken adapted from food network web site; other recipes original.

CHICKEN WITH PEACH – BANANA PEPPER – BALSAMIC VINEGAR RELISH / SUMMER SQUASH WITH ONIONS AND FAUX BACON / SPINACH SALAD WITH VIDALIA ONION – TOASTED WALNUTS – FETA CHEESE IN DEJON – RED WINE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–peach (fresh, 1)

–banana pepper (fresh, one-half)

–balsamic vinegar

–salt

–sugar

–summer squash (5, small)

–Vidalia onions (2, small)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–spinach (fresh, packaged)

–toasted walnuts (1 handful)

–feta cheese (one-half small package)

–Dejon mustard (1 tablespoon)

–red wine (3 tablespoons)

 

1 – Peel and chop (in small pieces) the peach, and place in a mixing bowl.  Mince one-half banana pepper and add to the bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Season with salt.  Stir well.  Refrigerator the relish until time for dinner.

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

3 – Peel and slice the squash.  Peel and slice 1 Vidalia onion.  Make 2 layers in a covered baking dish.  Sprinkle each layer with salt, pepper, Bac’n pieces, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

4 – Place one-half package of fresh spinach in a mixing bowl.  Add 1 handful of walnuts and one-half package of feta cheese.  Peel and slice 1 Vidalia onion, and add to the bowl.  For the dressing, add 1 tablespoon of Dejon mustard and 3 tablespoons of red wine to the spinach.  Season with olive oil and salt.  Stir well.

5 – Microwave the chicken on high for 5 minutes.

6 – Serve the spinach salad as a first course.  Then serve the chicken with the relish, and the squash as a side.

–spinach salad and relish adapted from allrecipes.com; other recipes original.

BALSAMIC – GLAZED SALMON SEASONED WITH HONEY – WINE – DEJON – GARLIC  / NEW POTATOES / BROCCOLI WITH HOT SAUCE

–salmon (size of 3 decks of cards)

–balsamic vinegar

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–Dejon mustard

–honey

–garlic salt

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–potatoes (2, medium)

–broccoli (1 head)

–hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

1 – Place salmon in middle of covered baking dish. Put a small amount of water in the bottom. In a small bowl, place 2 tablespoons of honey, one-third cup of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of white wine, and 3 tablespoons of Dejon mustard.  Season with garlic salt, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir vigorously.   Set aside.

2 – Wash the potatoes with soap and water, rinsing thoroughly. Scrub the potato skins vigorously. Cut potatoes so that each piece is about an inch in diameter. Add an inch of water to a microwaveable dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the potatoes. Season with olive oil. Cook covered in microwave for 15 minutes.

3 – Cut off broccoli stalk, leaving some stem and florets. Cut apart the florets. Season with salt and pepper, olive oil. Cook broccoli, covered, for 4 minutes. Serve broccoli with Tabasco or other hot sauce on table for seasoning.

4 – Cook salmon for four and one-half minutes. It is necessary with a thick piece of salmon to check for doneness when cooking is finished. Cut slit in middle of salmon. Replace in oven for 1 minute if fish is not yet done.

5 – Serve immediately.

–salmon adapted from allrecipes.com; other recipes original.

 

PITA PIZZA WITH DILLED CHICKEN – HUMMUS – FETA – TOMATO – ONION

–pita bread (2 slices)

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–hummus (packaged)

–feta cheese (one-half small package)

–tomato (1, medium, fresh)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–olive oil

–balsamic vinegar

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, dill, parsley, and olive oil.  Set aside

2 – Chop the tomato and the onion.  Place in separate small serving bowls.

3 – Mix one-third cup of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 3 tablespoons of red wine.  Stir well.

4 – Place the feta cheese in a small serving bowl.

5 – Microwave the chicken on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, slice into 1-inch pieces.

6 – Microwave 2 pieces of pita bread, separately, for 30 seconds each, just before dinner.

7 – Set up a buffet for serving.  The pita bread is topped with tomato, onion, feta cheese, chicken, and then some of the olive oil mixture is spooned over the whole.  If desired, sprinkle more dill and and parsley over each pita pizza.

–pita pizzas adapted from Real Simple.

BALSAMIC SALMON WITH ROSEMARY & BLACK OLIVES ON BABY SALAD GREENS / BUTTERY DUTCH POTATOES

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

–balsamic vinegar

–rosemary (fresh if possible)

–chopped black olives (1 small can)

–baby salad greens (one-half package)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–Dutch potatoes (one-half package)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 

1 – Place the potatoes in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 15 minutes.

2 – Place the baby greens in a mixing bowl.  Season with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, white wine, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Place the black olives in the bottom of a covered baking dish.  Place the salmon on top.  Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and olive oil.  Add a little balsamic vinegar and white wine to the dish.  Microwave on high for 4 and one-half minutes.  When finished, test to be sure that the center is done.  If not, replace in the microwave for 1 minute.

4 – Serve the salmon hot, on a bed of baby greens, with the potatoes as a side.

–adapted from Real Simple.