PAPRIKA COD WITH CAPERS – CAYENNE – GARLIC / GARLIC PASTA

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

–capers (about a dozen)

–lemon juice

–cayenne pepper

–garlic powder

–paprika

–pasta

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 

1 – Measure 1 cup of pasta into a covered baking dish.  Fill with water just to cover.  Season with one-half teaspoon of salt, garlic powder, and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 and one-half minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 7 and one-half minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.  Before serving, drain in a colander. 

2 – Place cod in a covered baking dish.  Add a little water, and drench the cod in lemon juice.  Season with cayenne pepper (just a little), garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add the capers on top.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  When finished, test the center to be sure that it is done.  If not, replace in the microwave for 1 minute.  (Thick cod may take up to 4 minutes longer.  Do not overcook.)

3 – Serve the cod, hot, on top of the pasta.  I also served squash casserole, which can be found by using the search box in this blog.

–cod adapted from “healthy recipes” on the web; pasta original.

GREEK CHICKEN PASTA WITH TOMATO – FETA – BLACK OLIVES / CAESAR SALAD

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–pasta (small pieces)

–tomatoes (1 can, diced, with the liquid)

–tomato sauce (one-half can)

–feta cheese (one-half small container)

–black olive (1 small can, sliced)

–Parmesan cheese

–Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

–parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder

–salad greens

–creamy Caesar salad dressing

–seasoned croutons

 

1 – Measure two-thirds cup of pasta and place in a covered baking dish with 1 cup water.  Season with one-half teaspoon of salt and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 and one-half minutes.  Then microwave on 50 percent power for 7 and one-half minutes.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Place chicken in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Slice half an onion, and place in a small covered bowl with water.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

4 – Place the cooked onion, tomatoes, tomato sauce, one-half container of feta cheese, black olives in a large, covered baking dish.  Season with parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave for 7 minutes on high.  When finished, stir in the drained pasta.  Set aside.

5 – Microwave the chicken for 5 minutes on high.  When finished, slice into 1 – inch pieces.  Place on top of the tomato – pasta mixture, spreading out to make a top layer.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top, then finish with a layer of Parmesan cheese.  Microwave for 1 minute more.

6 – Mix together 2 handfuls of salad greens, Parmesan cheese, and croutons with 2 tablespoons of Caesar salad dressing. 

7 – Serve the salad as an appetizer, and then serve the chicken pasta hot.

–recipes original.

CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS, ONION, & CARROTS IN BRANDY SAUCE / PENNE PASTA

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–mushrooms (4 or 5 small)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–carrots (1 medium)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–brandy (buy an inexpensive bottle at the liquor store)

–mayonnaise

–yogurt (non-fat, plain)

–penne pasta (1 cup)

–thyme (fresh if possible)

–bay leaves (2)

–nutmeg

 

1 – Slice mushrooms and place in covered baking dish.  Peel onion and carrot, and slice; place in baking dish.  Just cover with water.  Season with bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

2 – Place the pasta in a covered baking dish.  Cover with water.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Cook on high for 2 and one-half minutes; then cook on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  When finished, keep covered to retain warmth.

3 – Place 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of yogurt in a small, microwaveable bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of brandy.  Stir well.  Cook, covered, for 45 seconds in the microwave.  When finished, keep covered to retain warmth.

4 – Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the covered baking dish.  Season with thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, spoon the faux cream sauce over the chicken.

5 – Drain the pasta.  Season with nutmeg.

6 – Serve the chicken on top of the pasta.

–adapted from The New York Times 60-Minute Gourmet, with Pierre Franey, chef.

OVEN FRIED COD FINGERS WITH SPICY TOMATO SAUCE / PENNE PASTA / GREEN BEANS WITH ALMONDS

Note:  My husband Paul said that this dinner was a “hit.”

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

–ginger

–fine plain breadcrumbs

–lemon juice

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–tomato sauce (canned)

–cayenne pepper

–garlic powder

–onion (one-half)

–penne pasta

–green beans (frozen, one-third package)

–sliced almonds (one-third small package)

 

1 – Add one cup of pasta to a covered baking dish.  Cover the pasta with water.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Cook on high in the microwave for 2 and one-half minutes.  Then cook on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes. 

2 – On a cutting board, slice the cod into finger size.  Drench in lemon, and then season with salt, pepper, and ginger.  Place in a plastic bag.  Add olive oil.  Pour in breadcrumbs, enough to coat.  Shake well.  Set aside.

3 – Measure three-fourths cup of tomato sauce into a small, microwaveable, uncovered bowl.  Dice onion in very small bits.  Add to the tomato sauce.  Season the sauce with cayenne pepper, olive oil, and black pepper.  Set aside.

4 – Place the green beans in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and add almonds to the dish.  Cook on high for 4 minutes in the microwave.

5 – Cook the tomato sauce for 3 minutes in the microwave on high (uncovered).  Then cook for 4 minutes on 50 percent power in the microwave.  Cover to preserve warmth.

6 – Cook the cod for 5 minutes in the microwave on high.

7 – Drain the pasta.  Season with garlic powder and olive oil.

8 – Serve the tomato sauce over the cod and the pasta, with the green beans as a side.  Serve hot.

–cod and tomato sauce adapted from The Best of French Cooking; green beans and pasta original.

CHICKEN TARRAGON WITH WHITE WINE, THYME, AND PARSLEY / NOODLES

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–tarragon, thyme, parsley (fresh if possible)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–onion (1 medium)

–fine plain breadcrumbs (boxed)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–noodles (pasta)

 

1 – Pour 1 cup of noodles in uncovered baking dish.  Add water to cover the noodles, and then season with salt (one-half teaspoon).  Cook on high in the microwave for 2 and one-half minutes, and then on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  Cover when finished to preserve warmth.  Do not drain yet.

2 – Slice 1 onion, and place in bottom of covered baking dish.  Add one-fourth cup of white wine and one-fourth cup of chicken broth.  Season with tarragon (generously) and a small amount of thyme and parsley.  Place 1 bay leaf in the liquid.  Then add salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

3 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with tarragon, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add one-third cup of breadcrumbs.  Shake well.  Add to chicken broth, wine, and onion.  Season a little more with olive oil.  Cook on high in the microwave for 5 minutes. 

4 – Drain noodles.  Add a little olive oil.

5 – Serve the chicken tarragon on top of the noodles, hot.

–adapted from the White House Chef Cookbook.

THYME CHICKEN WITH APPLE / BUTTERY PASTA / SQUASH WITH ONION AND FAUX BACON

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–thyme

–apple (1, medium)

–butter or margarine (Promise Activ is heart-healthy)

–salt and pepper

–pasta

–squash (4 small)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 cup pasta in an uncovered baking dish.  Add water just to the top of the pasta.  Season with salt (1 teaspoon) and butter (or margarine).  Cook on high in the microwave for 2 and one-half minutes; then cook on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  When finished, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Slice apple and add to covered baking dish.  Season with salt (minimal amount) and butter (or margarine).  Add one-fourth cup water to the dish.  Cook on high in microwave for 4 minutes.  When finished, add chicken to the dish, nestling the chicken among the apple slices.  Season with thyme, salt, pepper, and more butter (or margarine).  Set aside.

3 – Chop squash and onion, and layer in covered baking dish with Bac’n pieces, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high in microwave for 5 minutes.

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

5 – Drain the pasta in a colander.

6 – Serve the chicken and apples on top of the pasta, with the squash as a side.

–chicken adapted from Real Simple; squash adapted from my mother’s recipe.

PESTO PARMESAN CHICKEN / PASTA WITH TOMATO / GARLIC SPINACH

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–pesto sauce (bottled)

–Parmesan cheese

–seasoned Italian breading (boxed)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–pasta

–tomato

–spinach (fresh, pre-packaged)

–garlic powder

 

1 – Place 1 cup of pasta in baking dish, uncovered.  Add enough water to cover, along with one teaspoon of salt.  Cook for 2 and one-half minutes in the microwave on high.  Then cook for 8 and one-half minutes on 50 percent power.  When finished, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Place chicken in plastic bag.  Add a tiny bit of water and then a generous amount of olive oil.  Salt and pepper.  Add one-third cup of breading.  Shake well.  Place in covered baking dish with a little water.  Spread pesto on each piece of chicken.  Season with olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Place spinach in large covered baking dish.  Add one inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Cook on high for 5 minutes.

4 – Chop two slices of tomato.  Salt and pepper, and add a tad of olive oil.  Stir into the pasta.  Re-cover.

5 – Cook chicken for 5 minutes in the microwave on high.  When finished, sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.

6 – Serve the chicken on top of the pasta, with the spinach as a side.

–recipes original.

BASIL CHICKEN AND PASTA / CHEESY TOMATOES

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil

–garlic

–cayenne pepper

–pasta

–2 tomatoes

–Parmesan cheese

–feta cheese

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 

1 – Place 1 cup of pasta in a baking dish.  Just cover with water.  Cook on high in microwave for 2 and one-half minutes, uncovered.  Then cook on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  Cover when finished cooking to preserve warmth.

2 – Place chicken in covered baking dish.  Season with basil, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Slice tomatoes in half.  Slice a tiny bit off the end, so that tomatoes will sit up in the covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, feta cheese, and olive oil.  Cook for 3 minutes in the microwave on high.

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

5 – Drain the pasta in a colander.  Add Parmesan cheese, basil, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Keep covered until ready to serve.

6 – Serve the meal hot.

–adapted from Real Simple.

LEMON CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP / EGGPLANT DIP / GREEN PEAS WITH MUSHROOMS

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–lemon juice

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–penne pasta

–oregano and basil (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (medium)

–tomato (fresh, medium)

–onion

–feta cheese

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–green peas (frozen)

–mushrooms (I use baby bellas)

 

1 – Using a slow cooker, add 4 cups of chicken broth to the chicken  and one-fourth cup of lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Cook from 8 or 9 in the morning to 5 or 6, on low.  Thirty minutes before serving, take out the chicken and shred it with two forks.  Return to the cooker, adding at the same time, 1 cup of pasta.   Continue cooking for the 30 minutes.

2 – Cook the eggplant ahead of time to allow time enough for it to cool (you can cool it in the refrigerator).  Cook for 5 minutes on each side.

3 – To prepare the cooled eggplant, cut off the stem and discard.  Cut lengthwise and rake out the inside of the eggplant.  Discard the peeling.  Cut the fruit of the eggplant two ways with a knife.  Place eggplant in a mixing bowl.  Chop one-half of the tomato into fine pieces.  Chop one medium onion.  Add tomato, onion, one-fourth of a small container of feta cheese, one-fourth cup of Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of red wine to the eggplant.  Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Stir well.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.  (This dip can be made ahead and leftovers are also possible.)

4 – Place half a package of green peas in a covered baking dish.  Chop 2 or 3 mushrooms and place on top.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 4 minutes while serving the eggplant dip.

5 – Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer with crackers or pumpernickel bread.  Serve the chicken noodle soup and green peas hot.

–recipes original.

A Simple Dinner:  SALMON WITH MAPLE SAUCE / ASPARAGUS / PASTA

Note:  Starting today, I’m going to indicate which meals are easy to prepare, with the notation, “simple dinner.”  As time passes, viewers of this blog can use the search box to enter “simple dinner” and bring up those meals that take 20 minutes or less to prepare—from start to finish.  Today’s dinner took a little less than 20 minutes to prepare.

 

–salmon (the size of 3 decks of cards)

–maple syrup

–butter or margarine (Activ margarine is heart-healthy)

–asparagus (frozen)

–penne pasta

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

 

1 – Pour 1 cup of pasta into baking dish (no cover).  Add water just to cover.  Season with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Cook in microwave on high for 2 and one-half minutes; then cook on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  When finished, cover with lid to preserve warmth.  (Do not drain yet.)

2 – Place salmon in bottom of baking dish with cover.  In separate small bowl, place 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine.  Cover bowl.  Cook butter or margarine for 20 seconds in microwave.  Then stir in one-fourth cup of the maple syrup until smooth.  Pour the maple sauce on top of the salmon.  Set aside.

3 – Place the asparagus in a baking dish with cover.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 4 minutes in microwave on high.

4 – Cook salmon for 4 and one-half minutes in microwave on high.  When finished, test the center to see if done.  If not, return to microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Drain the pasta in a colander.  Season with more olive oil.

6 – Serve the salmon with sauce on top of the pasta, with the asparagus as a side.

–salmon recipe original.