A Celebratory Dinner:  NEW ORLEANS ORANGE ROUGHY ROLLED IN CREOLE SEASONING & BREADCRUMBS WITH TOASTED PECAN BITS – FRESH PARSLEY – LEMON SLICES IN A SAUCE OF CLAM JUICE – WORCESTERSHIRE – LEMON JUICE – OLIVE OIL ATOP JASMINE RICE

For 4:

–orange roughy (thawed from frozen, 4 fillets of the size of 1 deck of cards each)

–Creole seasoning (boxed, 1 tablespoon for all 4 fillets)

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed, one-half cup)

–toasted pecan bits (one-third cup; toast pecans for 1 minute on high, and then stir and toast 1 minute more)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–lemon (1, fresh, sliced)

–clam juice (one-half cup, bottled)

–Worcestershire sauce (3 tablespoons, bottled)

–lemon juice (2 squirts, bottled)

–olive oil

–pepper (no salt, because the Creole seasoning has salt)

1 – Place the clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice, with a few drops of olive oil, in the large baking dish with cover.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Season the orange roughy with the Creole spice.  Place an orange roughy fillet in a plastic bag with a few drops of olive oil.  Add breadcrumbs and shake.  Repeat with each fillet.  Place the fillets in the sauce.  Top with pecan bits, parsley, and sliced lemon.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

3 – Microwave on high for 7 minutes.  Place atop jasmine rice (follow microwave recipe for 1 cup on the package).

4 – Serve the orange roughy hot, atop the jasmine rice.

–recipe adapted from a trout recipe in the New Orleans – based Commander’s Palace cookbook.

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WHOLE CREOLE CATFISH ENCRUSTED WITH MINCED PECANS

For 2:

–catfish (bone-in, medium, 1)

–Creole seasoning (bottled)

–minced pecans (one-quarter cup)

–egg (1)

–pepper (note: no salt; Creole seasoning has this)

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 egg in a small mixing bowl.  Stir to break the yolk.  Submerge the catfish.  Place the catfish on a large plate.  Season both sides with pepper and Creole seasoning.  Using a food processor, mince one-quarter cup of broken pecans.  Press the minced pecans against the catfish.  Then turn over, and also press minced pecans against the catfish.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of minced pecans.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Microwave the catfish for 3 minutes.  Then turn over, press the 2 tablespoons of minced pecans against the top, and microwave for 3 minutes longer.

3 – When the catfish is done, use a sharp knife to cut into two pieces. 

4 – Serve the catfish hot.

–catfish inspired by the Essence web site.

COD WITH SAUCE OF CRAB MEAT – CHERRY PRESERVES – BALSAMIC VINEGAR & TOPPED WITH GREEN ONIONS & PECAN CHIPS

For 4:

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

–crab meat (one-half small can, drained)

–cherry preserves (half a jar)

–pecan chips (one-fourth cup)

–balsamic vinegar (one-eighth cup)

–green onions (3 stalks, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – In a small mixing bowl, place cherry preserves.  Add balsamic vinegar slowly, stirring well.  Add drained crab meat, again stirring.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil.

2 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour the sauce over the top.  Chop the green onions, and sprinkle on top.  Finish with the pecan chips.

3 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes on high; then microwave for 6 minutes on 50 percent power.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce hot.

–cod and sauce inspired by food.com web site.

A Simple Dinner:  PARSLEYED PECAN COD WITH PARMESAN & FETA STEAMED IN WHITE WINE

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

–pecan chips (half a small package)

–Parmesan cheese

–feta cheese

–parsley (1 handful, chopped, fresh)

–white wine

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish with a very little white wine, just to steam.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, and pecan chips on top.  Finish with a few drops of olive oil and 1 handful of chopped parsley.  Microwave on high for 8 and one-half minutes.  When finished, test to be sure that the cod is done; cod is done when it begins to break apart.

2 – Serve the cod hot.

–recipe 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.

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.

SOUTHERN PECAN CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOM – ONION – PARSLEY DRESSING

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–pecan chips (half a small package)

–Dijon mustard

–Creole seasoning (or Cajun)

–corn flakes or corn chex (pulverized)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–cornbread stuffing (I used Pepperidge Farm herbed)

–mushrooms (2 baby bellas, chopped fine)

–onion (one-half, chopped fine)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

1 – Place chicken in a plastic bag.  Add Dijon mustard and Creole seasoning, modest amount.  Season with pepper and olive oil.  Within the plastic bag, see that all parts of the chicken are covered with the sauce.  In a separate bag, place 1 cup of corn flakes or corn chex.  Using the back of an ice cream spoon, pulverize the flakes or chex by beating against the kitchen counter.  When finished, pour the crumbs into the bag with the chicken.  Shake well.  Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a very tiny amount of water (for steaming).  Sprinkle with pecan chips.  Set aside.

2 – Place the chopped onion in 2 individual microwaveable serving bowls.  Add chicken broth to cover.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Place chopped mushrooms in the bowls with the onion.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Add packaged dressing to each bowl.  Season with olive oil, pepper, and chopped parsley (no salt).  Stir.  Set aside.

3 – Microwave the chicken for 5 minutes on high.  Microwave the dressing for 1 minute.

4 – Serve the chicken hot, with the dressing on the side.  I also served barbecued beans and broccoli (recipes, see the search box).

–chicken adapted from Kay Ewing’s Cooking School Cookbook (Louisiana); dressing adapted from To the Taste of a King (fifties cookbook by the Colonial Dames of Lousiana).

TARRAGON BAY SCALLOPS & CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS & ONION IN WINE WHITE SAUCE & TOPPED WITH PARMESAN / WHITE RICE / HERBED BUTTER PEA – PASTA SOUP WITH CARROTS & ONION IN BROTH / GREEN SALAD WITH PEAR – APPLE – RAISINS – PECANS IN GINGER – SESAME DRESSING

Note:  Shrimp can be substituted for scallops.

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–bay scallops (tiny, one-half cup, thawed from frozen)

–tarragon (bottled)

–mushrooms (4 or 5 baby bellas, sliced)

–onion (1, divided, chopped)

–white wine (use the real stuff)

–flour

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–white rice

–butter peas (1 package, frozen)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–marjoram, 2 bay leaves (bottled)

–miniature carrots (6 to 8, chopped)

–garlic powder

–penne pasta (1 cup, dry, packaged)

–apple (one-half, chopped)

–pear (one-half, chopped)

–pecans (chopped, one-half small package)

–raisins (one-half cup, golden)

–ginger – sesame salad dressing (to taste)

1 – Place the butter peas in a slow cooker.  Peel and chop one-half onion, and add to the cooker.  Chop 6 to 8 miniature carrots, and add to the cooker.  Add chicken broth to 1 inch above the vegetables.  Season with pepper, marjoram, 2 bay leaves, and olive oil.  Cook on low for 5 hours and 45 minutes.  Then add 1 cup of penne pasta.  Cook on low for 15 minutes more.  When finished, keep setting on warm until time for dinner.

2 – Chop one-half apple and one-half pear.  Add one-half cup of golden raisins, with the other fruit, to a mixing bowl.  Add one-half small package of chopped pecans.  Add salad greens to the vegetables and nuts.  Set aside until just before dinner.  At that time, add ginger sesame dressing to taste, and stir well.  Serve immediately.

3 – Place one-half chopped onion in a covered baking dish.  Add 4 or 5 sliced baby bella mushrooms to the dish.  Set aside.  Place one-half cup of white wine (the real stuff) in a measuring cup.  In a separate cup, place 1 tablespoon of flour.  Microwave the white wine for 1 minute on high.  When finished, slowly add the wine to the flour, stirring briskly.  Then pour the sauce into the baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, tarragon, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

4 – Measure two-thirds cup of white rice, and place in a covered baking dish.  Add two-thirds cup of water.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

5 – Microwave one-half cup of thawed bay scallops on high for 2 minutes in a covered baking dish.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

6 – Add chicken to the baking dish with mushrooms and onion.  Season with salt, pepper, tarragon, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, pour the cooked scallops into the dish.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

7 – Serve the butter pea soup as a first course, and then serve the salad as a second.  Serve the chicken hot, atop the white rice.

–chicken and scallops adapted from “taste of home” web site; soup adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way; other recipes original.

COD & WHIPPED POTATO PUFFS WITH PARMESAN & PARSLEY TOPPED WITH CRUSHED CROUTONS / BUTTER LETTUCE SALAD WITH HONEYED STRAWBERRIES & PECANS AND FETA IN LEMON JUICE & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

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

–small buttery Dutch potatoes (6 to 8, to make 1 cup of mashed, cooked potatoes)

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–Parmesan cheese (2 tablespoons)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–seasoned croutons (packaged)

–garlic powder (bottled)

–egg (1, whole)

–butter lettuce (one-half package)

–honey

–strawberries (8 to 10, fresh)

–pecans (half a small package)

–lemon juice

–extra virgin olive oil

1 – Rinse and then place the potatoes in a covered baking with a 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  When cooled somewhat, place in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Set aside.  Place the cod in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  When finished, place the cod in a mixing bowl, and break apart (small pieces).  Add the whipped potatoes to the mixing bowl.  Season with a generous amount of parsley, some salt and pepper, and garlic powder.  Add 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.  Break an egg and place in the bowl.  Stir well.  Place in single-serving microwaveable bowls.  Add 1 cup of croutons to a plastic bag.  Crush by using the back of an ice cream spoon against the kitchen counter.  Then sprinkle the crushed croutons atop the cod-potato.  Set aside.

2 – Place one-half package of butter lettuce salad in a mixing bowl.  Slice the strawberries and place in a separate small bowl.  Add one-half small package of chipped pecans.  Season with honey, generously.  Stir well.  Then add to the lettuce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add one-third package of feta cheese.  Sprinkle lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir.

3 – Microwave the cod-potato puffs on high for 4 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod-potato puffs hot, with the salad as a side.

–cod-potato puffs adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Italian Family Cooking; salad original.

ROASTED PECAN COD TOPPED IN BREADCRUMBS WITH CREOLE – LEMON – PARSLEY – WORCESTERSHIRE – CLAM SAUCE / QUINOA WITH BROTH

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

–pecan bits (1 small package)

–Creole seasoning (bottled)

–lemon juice

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–Worcestershire sauce

–clam juice

–plain breadcrumbs (boxed)

–quinoa (boxed)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

 

1 – Spread the pecan bits on a microwaveable plate.  Microwave for 1 minute; stir; then microwave for 1 minute more.  Let cool.  Then puree half of the pecans in a food processor.  Set aside.

2 – Place two-thirds cup of quinoa in a covered baking dish.  Add two-thirds cup of chicken broth.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Stir.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 9 minute.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Drench in lemon juice.  Then sprinkle a generous amount of Worcestershire on top.  Season thoroughly with olive oil; spread the oil over the cod.  Sprinkle a small amount of plain breadcrumbs on top.  Spread the pureed pecans on top of the cod.  Then sprinkle the remainder of the pecans.  Season with Creole seasoning, parsley, and a bit of olive oil.  Pour a very small amount of clam juice around the cod.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce on top of the quinoa.

–cod adapted from The New Orleans Commander’s Palace Cookbook; quinoa original.

COLD SHRIMP WITH AVOCADO – PEACH SALSA / OVEN FRIED SQUASH WITH GARLIC – HERB BREADCRUMBS / SPRING MIX WITH DRIED BERRIES – PECANS – FETA IN HONEY – WINE SALAD DRESSING

Note:  The salsa is very, very tasty.

–shrimp (one-half package, frozen, tails off, deveined, shelled)

–avocado (1, fresh)

–peach (1, fresh, medium)

–cilantro (fresh if possible)

–onion (one-half, finely diced)

–red bell pepper (1 slice, finely chopped)

–banana peppers (bottled, 6 or so, sliced)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–garlic salt

–summer squash (5, very small)

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs (boxed)

–spring mix (packaged salad, one-half package)

–dried berries (packaged)

–pecans (1 small package)

–feta cheese (one-half small package)

–honey

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–cilantro (fresh if possible)

 

1 – Thaw and rinse the shrimp.  Place in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Submerge in water to cool.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

2 – Cut open an avocado, remove the pit, and cut the flesh into small squares.  Set aside.  Peel the peach, and then slice into small squares.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Finely dice the onion, banana peppers, and red bell pepper.  Add to the mixing bowl.  Season with cilantro and olive oil.  Stir well.  Then fold in the avocado, being careful not to stir too vigorously.  Keep in the refrigerator until time for serving.

3 – Place one-half package of spring mix in a mixing bowl.  Add one-third cup of dried berries, the pecans, and the feta to the spring mix.  Season to taste with honey, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Add a small amount of red wine.  Stir well.

4 – Wash and peel the squash.  Cut lengthwise, one time, each squash.  Place in a plastic bag, about one-half of the squash at a time.  Add olive oil.  Pour in a small amount of garlic – herb breadcrumbs.  Shake well.  Place the squash in one layer of a wide-mouthed covered baking dish.  Add a very small amount of water.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

5 – Serve the salad as a first course.  Serve the cold shrimp with the salsa, using the squash as a side.

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

TURMERIC COD STEW WITH ONION IN WHITE WINE ATOP CIABATTA BUN / SALAD EXTRAVAGANZA

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

–turmeric

–onion (1, divided)

–ciabatta bread (1 bun)

–garlic salt

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–spring mix (salad greens, packaged, one-half package)

–tomato (1, fresh)

–feta cheese (one-half package)

–chopped pecans (one-half package)

–oregano (fresh if possible)

–honey

–balsamic vinegar

–extra virgin olive oil

–Parmesan cheese

 

1 – Place spring mix salad greens in a mixing bowl.  Chop the tomato; season salt and pepper and add to the bowl.  Empty feta cheese and pecans into the bowl.  Snip the fresh oregano generously (3 sprigs).  Add Parmesan cheese (generous amount) and sliced onion.  Add honey, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil to the salad.  Stir well.  Transfer to serving bowl.

2 – Chop one-half onion and place in a covered baking dish with a little water and white wine (equal parts of each).  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Place the cod on top of the onion.  Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, and olive oil.  Add a bit more white wine.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Cod is done when it starts to break apart.

3 – Break apart the ciabatta bun.  Drizzle olive oil on top.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

4 – Serve the cod with sauce atop one piece of ciabatta bread for each serving, with the salad as a side.

–cod adapted from Italian Family Cooking (Edward Giobbi, author); salad original.

PECAN SALMON WITH HONEY – LEMON – DEJON / NAVY BEANS IN CATSUP SAUCE

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

–pecans (small pieces, one-half small package)

–honey

–lemon juice

–Dejon mustard

–plain breadcrumbs (boxed)

–navy beans (canned)

–catsup

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Drench in lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread a light coating of Dejon mustard on top of the salmon.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey. Sift a light coating of plain breadcrumbs.  Place the pecans on top.  Drizzle a little olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Drain the beans in a colander.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Add a little water.  Add 4 tablespoons of catsup.  Stir.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave for 3 minutes on high.

3 – Microwave the salmon for 5 and one-half minutes (longer because of the pecans on top).

4 – Serve the salmon and beans hot.

–salmon adapted from allrecipes.com; beans original.

GRECIAN CHICKEN WITH OREGANO & LEMON / QUINOA / ARUGULA – SPINACH SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES, FETA, & PECANS IN HONEY – LEMON DRESSING /

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–oregano (fresh if possible)

–lemon juice

–lemon pepper (a prepared spice)

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–quinoa

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–arugula – spinach mix (packaged)

–strawberries (4 or 5)

–feta cheese

–pecans (one-third small packaged, diced)

–honey

 

1 – Place chicken in a covered baking dish.  Add one-fourth cup of chicken broth and a dash or two of lemon juice.  Season the chicken with oregano, garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Place two-thirds cup of quinoa in a large, wide-mouthed baking dish.  Add one and one-third cup of chicken broth.  Season with olive oil.  Cook for 6 minutes on high in the microwave; then cook for 9 minutes on 50 percent power.

3 – Add one-third package of arugula – spinach mix to a mixing bowl.  Slice strawberries and add to the bowl.  Add pecans and one-third small cup of feta cheese.  Stir gently.  Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the salad, plus 2 squirts to lemon juice, and then olive oil to taste.  Stir.

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

5 – Serve the salad cold while the chicken is cooking; then serve the chicken on top of the quinoa.

–chicken adapted from my husband Paul’s recipe (gleaned from a Greek restaurant years ago); salad and quinoa original.

TILAPIA WITH TOASTED PECANS AND CREOLE MEUNIERE SAUCE / QUINOA / SPINACH / TOMATO – AVOCADO SALAD

–tilapia (2 medium)

–pecans (1 small package)

–lemon juice

–Worcestershire sauce

–white wine

–Creole seasoning

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–fine breadcrumbs (boxed)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–quinoa

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–spinach (fresh, packaged)

–tomato

–avocado (one-half)

–basil (fresh if possible)

 

1 – Spread pecans on a microwaveable plate.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Then microwave for 1 minute more.  Set aside.

2 – Place tilapia in plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Shake with one-third cup of fine breadcrumbs.  Set aside.

3 – Place one-quarter cup of white wine in covered baking dish.  Season with 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Place the tilapia in this sauce.  Sprinkle with Creole seasoning and parsley.  Dump pecans on top.  Set aside.

4 – Measure two-thirds cup of quinoa into wide-mouthed, covered baking dish.  Add one and one-third cup of chicken broth.  Season with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook on high in microwave for 6 minutes; then cook on 50 percent power for 9 minutes.  Set aside.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

5 – Dump package of spinach into large, covered baking dish.  Add one inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high for 5 minutes.

6 – Chop a medium tomato and half an avocado.  Place in mixing bowl.  Season with basil and olive oil.  Gently fold together.  Transfer to serving bowl.

7 – Cook the tilapia on high for 8 minutes.

8 – Serve the tilapia, quinoa, and spinach hot, and the tomato – avocado salad cold.

–tilapia adapted from Commander’s Palace, New Orleans, Louisiana; remainder of meal original.

PECAN SALMON WITH HONEY DEJON SAUCE / BROCCOLI / EGGPLANT PARMESAN APPETIZER

–salmon (the size of 3 decks of cards)

–pecans (half a small package, diced)

–honey

–Dejon mustard

–parsley

–plain fine breadcrumbs (boxed)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (1 medium)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded, packaged)

–tomato (1 medium)

–garlic powder

–crackers

 

1 – Cook the eggplant in the microwave on high, uncovered, for 5 minutes on one side, and then five minutes on the other.  Let cool.  Cut off the stem, and open the eggplant lengthwise.  Rake out the eggplant, discarding the skin.  Cut two ways, and place in mixing bowl.  Chop the tomato, and then season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Sprinkle one-third cup of shredded Parmesan into the mixing bowl.  Place the tomato in the bowl with the eggplant and stir well.  Refrigerator until time for serving.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Add salt, pepper, Dejon mustard, and honey on top of the salmon.  Finish with breadcrumbs, parsley, and olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Cut the stalk off the broccoli.  Divide the broccoli into serving pieces, leaving some stem.  Place in covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil,  Cook on high in the microwave for 4 minutes.

4 – Serve the appetizer while cooking the salmon on high in the microwave for 4 and one-half minutes.  Test the salmon to be sure that it is done in the center.  If not, return to the microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Serve the eggplant appetizer cold, with crackers, and the salmon and broccoli hot.

–salmon adapted from food.com web site; eggplant and broccoli original.

BASIL – OREGANO TILAPIA WITH TOMATOES & RED WINE / COUSCOUS / GREEN SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES, HONEY AND PECANS

Note:  My husband Paul recommends this dinner.

 

–tilapia (2, medium)

–basil, oregano (fresh if possible)

–garlic powder

–tomatoes (2, medium)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–couscous (boxed)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–salad greens

–strawberries (6, fresh)

–honey

–pecans (chopped, one-half small package)

–feta cheese

–red wine

 

1 – Chop tomatoes.  Add to covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and olive oil.  Cook on high for 3 minutes in microwave.  Set aside.

2 – Measure two-thirds’ cup of couscous.  Add to wide-mouthed, large, covered baking dish.  Add one cup of chicken broth.  Cook on high for 3 minutes.  Then let sit for at least 5 minutes.

3 – Measure two handfuls of salad greens to mixing bowl.  Slice strawberries and add to bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of honey, one-half small package of pecans, and one-third package of feta cheese to salad greens.  Pour 3 tablespoons of red wine into mixing bowl.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Transfer to serving bowl.

4 – Place the tilapia on top of the tomatoes in covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Cook on high for 6 minutes in microwave.

5 – Serve the tilapia and couscous hot, and the salad cold.

–recipes original.

ROSEMARY CHICKEN / SPINACH SALAD WITH DRIED CHERRIES AND PECANS / HEALTHY TOMATO PIE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–rosemary (fresh if possible)

–onion

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–spinach (pre-packaged, fresh)

–dried cherries (one – half package, small)

–pecans (1 small package, chopped)

–carrots (2 medium)

–dill (fresh if possible)

–lemon juice

–tomatoes (3 large)

–whole wheat bread

–basil (fresh if possible)

–feta cheese

 

1 – Chop 1 onion.  Place in covered baking dish with small amount of chicken broth and small amount of white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

2 – Empty half a package of fresh spinach in a large mixing bowl.  Peel carrots with a vegetable peeler.  Then slice lengthwise (careful of your fingers!), and then diagonally.  Add to spinach.  Then add cherries, pecans, and tiny snips of dill.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix well. Set aside.

3 – In a wide baking dish, break wheat bread in very tiny pieces to cover bottom of dish.  On cutting board, slice tomatoes into 2 pieces each, cutting small amount off top and bottom; tomatoes will lie flat in the dish.  Place tomatoes on top of the broken wheat bread.  Season with salt, pepper, tiny snips of basil, and feta cheese.  Cover the whole with more tiny pieces of wheat bread.  Season the whole with olive oil.  Cook for 4 minutes in the microwave on high.  BE SURE to let the tomatoes sit for 10 minutes after baking, so that they have cooled somewhat.

4 – Season the salad with lemon juice and olive oil.  Serve as a first course, while chicken is cooking (see below).

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

6 – Serve the salad first.  Then serve the chicken hot and tomato pie warm.

–chicken adapted from Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet; salad and tomato pie original.

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)

EGGPLANT CAVIAR / ROSEMARY CHICKEN / GLAZED CARROTS

Note: My husband Paul gave this dinner five stars.

 

Eggplant

Onion (one-half)

Parsley (fresh is better)

Red wine

Olive oil

Cayenne pepper

Garlic powder

Mayonnaise (optional)

Triscuits to serve with eggplant

4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

Rosemary (fresh if possible)

Parmesan cheese (shredded)

4 carrots

Brown sugar

Toasted pecan bits

Lemon juice

 

1 – Prepare the eggplant early, so that it has time to cool. Wash eggplant with soap and water; rinse thoroughly. Use a fork to spear the eggplant all over. Place on microwaveable plate. Cook for five minutes. Turn over in microwave, and cook the other side for five minutes. Cool in refrigerator if time is short.

2 – Using a sharp knife, cut the stalk off the eggplant. Then cut the eggplant lengthwise. Using a fork, rack out the eggplant from its skin, discarding the skin. Pile the meat of the eggplant together, flatten slightly, and then cut two ways with a knife. Drop into large mixing bowl.

3 – Grab a handful of fresh parsley. Chop finely. Cut onion in half, and chop the half finely.

4 – Add to the eggplant mixture: parsley, chopped onion, cayenne pepper (not too much), olive oil to taste, garlic powder, salt and pepper, red cooking wine, and mayonnaise (if desired). Stir vigorously.

5 – You will have enough eggplant caviar for two small bowls. Freeze one; set the other in the refrigerator before dinner.

6 – Lay out 4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips in dish with cover. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, snips of rosemary. Set aside.

7 – Drop pecan bits on plate. Toast for 2 minutes in microwave; then stir; then cook for 2 minutes more. Set aside.

8 – Peel 4 carrots with vegetable peeler. Cut in half, and then cut again lengthwise. (Be careful of your fingers.) Place in dish with cover. Add pecan bits, rosemary snips, lemon juice, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, olive oil to top of carrots. Cook for 4 minutes.

9 – At dinner, as an appetizer, serve eggplant caviar with Triscuits. Meanwhile, cook the chicken for 5 minutes. When chicken is done, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

10 – Serve the chicken and carrots immediately.

 

–Eggplant caviar and carrots adapted from Real Simple; chicken adapted from Carmelo’s (St. Paul, Minnesota).