MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLE MEDLEY BASIL WITH GREEN BEANS – ZUCCHINI – FRESH TOMATO – GREEN ONIONS – RED POTATOES

For 4:

–basil (1 tablespoon, divided, dried, bottled)

–green beans (frozen, 1 cup, loosely packed)

–zucchini (1, sliced on the diagonal)

–tomato (medium, fresh, chopped)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped, fresh)

–red potatoes (2, medium, cut into bite-sized pieces)

–salt and pepper

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Place the bite-sized potatoes in a covered baking dish with one-half cup water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – While the potatoes are cooking, slice the zucchini, and chop the tomato and green onions.  When potatoes have cooked for 5 minutes, place green beans on top, following by zucchini, tomato, and green onions (in this order).  Sprinkle the basil on top of the vegetables.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

3 – Microwave the vegetables for 9 minutes on high.

4 – Serve the vegetables hot, with chicken or seafood.

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

 

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SWEET BASIL CHICKEN STEW WITH RED BELL PEPPER – CAYENNE – VIDALIA ONION –  GREEN BEANS – CORN IN BROTH & RED WINE SAUCE ATOP COUSCOUS

For 2 (note; just 2):

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil (fresh if possible, 4 diced leaves; or one tablespoon, dried)

–red bell pepper (one-half, medium, cut in 1-inch pieces)

–cayenne pepper (one-fourth teaspoon)

–Vidalia onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–green beans (1 large handful)

–corn (one-half cup)

–sugar (1 teaspoon)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–red wine (one-fourth cup)

–couscous (1 small package)

 

1 – Place the chicken, red bell pepper, Vidalia onion, green beans, and corn in a slow cooker.  Season with basil, cayenne pepper, sugar, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add red wine.  Pour chicken broth in the cooker just to cover the chicken and vegetables.  Season with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Place the cooker on low, and let cook for 5 and one-half hours.  Remove the chicken and shred (chicken will already have begun to break apart).  Return the chicken to the cooker, and cook on low for 30 minutes longer.  When finished, place the setting on warm until time for dinner.

2 – Place one and one-fourth cup water in a covered baking dish.  Add the couscous spice package and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes (until just boiling).  Pour the couscous in the water with the spices.  Stir.  Re-cover, and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

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

–chicken stew adapted from a clipping from an old Southern cookbook.

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).

GINGER – GARLIC CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS & GREEN BEANS IN SOY SAUCE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–ginger

–minced garlic (in a jar)

–mushrooms (5 or 6, sliced baby bellas)

–green beans (frozen)

–soy sauce

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 cup of green beans in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Slice 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, and add to the dish.  Season with garlic, ginger, pepper, and olive oil.  Add a generous amount of soy sauce.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Nestle the chicken amid the green beans and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, ginger, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes (more because of the vegetables).

3 – Serve the chicken hot, with the green beans and mushrooms by it.

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

BASIL SALMON WITH FRESH TOMATO – BLACK OLIVES – GREEN BEANS – GARLIC – IN LEMON – DIJON – WHITE WINE SAUCE

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

–basil (fresh is much better)

–tomato (1, medium, chopped)

–black olives (sliced, 1 small can, drained)

–green beans (fresh, 1 handful)

–garlic powder

–lemon juice

–Dijon mustard

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 handful of washed green beans in a large, covered baking dish.  Chop the tomato, season with salt and pepper, and place on top of the green beans.  Add a little white wine.  Season with olive oil and snips of basil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  While vegetables are cooking, mix together 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard with several drops of lemon juice.  When vegetables have finished, nestle the salmon amid the vegetables.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Pour the lemon – Dijon sauce on top of the salmon.  Add drained black olives and more snips of basil on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Serve the salmon hot, on a bed of the vegetables.

–adapted from the food network web site.

BASIL CHICKEN & JASMINE RICE SALAD WITH CHOPPED TOMATO – GREEN BEANS – GREEN PEAS – GREEN ONIONS – LEMON SLICES

Note:  This is a make – ahead, cold entrée salad, with enough food for four people.

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil (fresh is much better)

–jasmine rice (sticky rice)

–tomato (1, medium, chopped)

–green beans (fresh, 2 handfuls, each cut in half)

–green peas (frozen, one-half cup)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–lemon (fresh, sliced)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

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, chop into small pieces.  Set aside.

2 – Place two-thirds cup of jasmine rice in a covered baking dish.  Add 1 cup of water.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 10 minutes.  Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

3 – Place one-half cup of green peas in a covered baking dish.  Add 2 handfuls of green beans that have been chopped in half.  Chop 1 tomato, and season with salt and pepper.  Add to the dish.  Chop 3 stalks of green onions, and add to the dish.  Cut several leaves of basil into small bits; sprinkle over the dish.  Slice a lemon, and place on top.  Add a very small amount of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.

4 – Using a very large serving dish, spoon the rice into the dish.  Add the vegetables.  Stir.  Place the chopped chicken on top.  Cool in the refrigerator until time for serving.  Salad should be served cool or cold.

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

COMFORT CHICKEN WITH CELERY – ONION DRESSING / THYME – MARJORAM GREEN BEANS WITH CELERY & ONION

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–breadcrumbs (plain, packaged, I use Pepperidge Farm herbed)

–celery (2 stalks, divided)

–onion (one-half, divided)

–green beans (frozen)

–thyme, marjoram (bottled)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle plain breadcrumbs, a small bit, on top.  Set aside.

2 – Chop 1 stalk of celery, and divide between 2 individual, microwaveable serving bowls.  Chop one-fourth onion, and divide between the 2 bowls.  Add a small amount of chicken broth and olive oil.  Cover, and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Then add stuffing, chicken broth, and olive oil, and stir well.  Set aside.

3 – Place 1 chopped stalk of onion and one-fourth chopped onion in a covered baking dish with a little water and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Then add green beans.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and marjoram.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

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

5 – Microwave the dressing for 1 minute.

6 – Serve the chicken hot, atop the dressing, with the green beans as a side.

–green beans adapted from Betty Crocker; 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.

BARBECUED SALMON SEASONED WITH RED WINE / BUTTER LETTUCE WITH GREEN GRAPES & FRESH PEAR IN ITALIAN SALAD DRESSING / BROWN RICE IN BROTH / GREEN BEANS WITH SLICED ALMONDS

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

–barbecue sauce (bottled; I use Bull’s Eye Original)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–butter lettuce (one-half package)

–green grapes (about a dozen, sliced in half)

–pear (fresh, medium, chopped)

–Italian salad dressing

–brown rice (boxed)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–green beans (frozen, 2 handfuls)

–sliced almonds (one-half package)

1 – Place salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl, mix together one-third cup of barbecue sauce, 2 tablespoons of red wine, and a few drops of olive oil.  Stir well.  Pour over the salmon.  Set aside.

2 – Pour one-half package of butter lettuce in a mixing bowl.  Slice 12 grapes in half, and add to the bowl.  Wash and then dice a pear, adding to the bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add Italian salad dressing to taste.

3 – Measure two-thirds cup of brown rice, and place in a covered baking dish.  Add two-thirds cup of chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

4 – Place 2 handfuls of green beans in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Sprinkle one-half small package of sliced almonds on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

5 – Microwave the salmon for 5 minutes.

6 – Serve the salad as a first course.  Serve the salmon hot, atop the brown rice, with the green beans as a side.

–recipes original.

BREADED LEMON COD WITH CAPERS – GARLIC – PARSLEY / GARLIC GREEN BEANS IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

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

–plain breadcrumbs (boxed)

–lemon juice

–capers (bottled)

–garlic powder

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–green beans (frozen, 2 handfuls)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

1 – Place cod in a plastic bag.  Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Pour a small amount of plain breadcrumbs in the plastic bag.  Shake well.  Then place the cod in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Sprinkle capers and chopped parsley on top.  Set aside.

2 – Place 2 handfuls of green beans in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Add a small amount of white wine to the green beans.  Top the green beans with chopped parsley.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

3 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod hot, with the green beans as a side.

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