PESTO PASTA WITH HOMEMADE SAUCE OF FRESH BASIL – LETTUCE – TOASTED WALNUTS – PARMESAN – MINCED GARLIC – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

For 4:

–pasta (bowtie (farfalle), 2 cups, dry)

–basil (fresh)

–lettuce

–walnuts (toasted, 1 handful)

–extra virgin olive oil (bottled)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–salt and pepper

1 – Place 2 cups of farfalle pasta in an uncovered baking dish with a little salt and water to cover, above 1 inch.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 10 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Microwave 2 cups of water on high for 6 minutes (until boiling).  Add 1 handful of fresh basil, and microwave for just 5 seconds (yes, seconds).  Immediately plunge the basil in a bowl of ice water.  Repeat with 2 handfuls of chopped lettuce.

3 – Remove the basil and lettuce from the ice water, and, with paper towels, squeeze out the water.  Then place in a food processor.

4 – Add to the food processor, the following:  2 handfuls of toasted walnuts, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, one-half cup of extra virgin olive oil, one-fourth cup of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse until smooth.  If too thick a sauce, add more olive oil.

5 – Drain the pasta, and add the sauce to it, stirring well.  Pasta will be room temperature when served.

–pesto adapted from Real Simple magazine.

CHICKEN SEASONED WITH LEMON ZEST – PARSLEY – CORIANDER – GINGER – GARLIC & ROLLED IN BREADCRUMBS / HOMEMADE PARSLEY PESTO SAUCE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–coriander

–garlic (minced, in a jar)

–ginger

–lemon zest (lemon peel, bottled)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–parsley (fresh, chopped)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–pine nuts (one-half small package)

1 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, coriander, ginger, and olive oil.  Pour in a good amount of breadcrumbs.  Shake well.  Place in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Sprinkle chopped parsley and minced garlic on top.  Set aside.

2 – Chop 1 handful of parsley, and place in a food processor.  Add one-half small package of pine nuts and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.  Season with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Pulse until smooth.

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

4 – Serve the chicken hot, with the parsley pesto on the side.

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

COD PESTO WITH GREEN PEAS & ONION IN WHITE WINE / RED POTATOES / SPINACH SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES – HONEY – TOASTED WALNUTS IN RED WINE & EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING

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

–pesto sauce (traditional type of basil & garlic in olive oil)

–green peas (one-half package, frozen)

–onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–white wine

–red potatoes (2, small, peel left on)

–spinach (one-third package, fresh)

–strawberries (6 to 8, sliced, fresh)

–honey

–toasted walnuts (1 handful; toast half a large package on high in microwave for 2 minutes; stir; then microwave 2 minutes more)

–red wine

–extra virgin olive oil

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

1 – Place one-third package of fresh spinach in a mixing bowl.  Add 6 to 8 sliced strawberries and 1 handful of toasted walnuts.  Season with pepper and honey, to taste.  Set aside.  Just before serving dinner, add a small amount of red wine and extra virgin olive oil.  Stir.

2 – Scrub the potato skins, and then slice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.  When finished, leave covered to preserve warmth.

3 – Chop one-half onion, and place in a covered baking dish with a little white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  When finished, place one-half package of green peas in the white wine.  On a cutting board, make a slit vertically in the cod.  Nestle the cod amid the peas and onion.  Spoon pesto sauce all along the slit.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.

4 – Serve the spinach salad as a first course.  Then serve the cod with green peas and onion hot, with the potatoes as a side.

–dinner planned by Edward Giobbi in Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way; cod adapted from Giobbi.  Salad and potatoes original.

PESTO COD / PARMESAN CORN PUDDING / EGGPLANT DIP WITH BASIL – TOMATO – ONION – BLACK OLIVES

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

–pesto paste

–mayonnaise

–lemon juice

–garlic salt

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–eggplant (small, fresh)

–basil (fresh if possible)

–tomato (3 slices, fresh, large)

–onion (1, divided)

–black olives (one-half small can)

–corn (frozen, 1 package)

–Parmesan cheese

–milk (dairy, almond, or soy)

–eggs (2, medium)

–cornbread stuffing (3 tablespoons)

 

1 – Ahead of time, pierce the eggplant with a fork all-around.  Place on a plate.  Microwave for 4 minutes; then turn over and microwave for 5 minutes more.  Let cool, either on the counter or in the refrigerator.  Then cut the eggplant vertically and scoop out the pulp.  On a cutting board, cut the eggplant two ways, then place the pulp in a mixing bowl.  Dice 3 slices of tomato and one-half onion, and place in the bowl.  Add one-half can of black olives.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Refrigerator until time for dinner.

2 – Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Drench with lemon juice.  In a small bowl, measure 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of pesto paste.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir vigorously.  Spoon the sauce over the cod.  Set aside.

3 – Puree 1 cup of corn (thawed), 2 eggs, one-half cup milk, one-half cup of Parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons of cornbread stuffing in a food processor.  Empty into a wide-mouthed, covered baking dish.  Slice one-half onion and place in a small baking dish.  Add water to cover.  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of corn and the onion to the corn pudding.  Season with olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir.  Then microwave for 3 minutes more.

4 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes.

5 – Serve the eggplant dip as an appetizer; then serve the cod with the corn pudding as a side.

–cod adapted from Instant Gourmet (Ceil Dyer, author); corn pudding adapted from Real Simple; eggplant original.

MARSALA CHICKEN WITH PESTO – ROSEMARY – THYME – ONION / GARLIC PASTA WITH PARSLEY / PAPRIKA ONIONS

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–pesto sauce (bottled)

–rosemary and thyme (fresh if possible)

–onions (2, divided)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–marsala wine (cooking wine is fine)

–pasta

–garlic salt

–parsley (fresh if possible)

–paprika

 

1 – Place a cup of pasta in an uncovered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 and one-half minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  When finished, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Chop one-half onion and place in a covered baking dish with a little marsala wine.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Then place chicken on top of the onion.  Mix together in a small bowl 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce, one-half cup of marsala wine, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Pour over chicken.  Then sprinkle the dish with rosemary and thyme.  Set aside.

3 – Chop 1 and one-half onions into eighths.  Place in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 10 minutes.

4 – Microwave the chicken for 5 minutes.

5 – Serve the chicken on top of the pasta, with the onion as a side.

–chicken adapted from Italian Family Cooking (Edward Giobbi, author); other recipes original.

A Simple Dinner:  LEMON PESTO SALMON / YOUNG RED POTATOES WITH BACON FLAVOR / GARLIC SPINACH

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

–pesto sauce (bottled)

–salt and pepper

–lemon juice

–olive oil

–potatoes (tiny, young, 2 handfuls)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–spinach (fresh, one-half package)

–garlic salt

 

1 – Wash and scrub the potatoes.  Place in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, Bac’n pieces, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 15 minutes.  Check to be sure that water has not boiled out.  If so, add more.

2 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Drench with lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread the pesto on top of the salmon, evenly.  Season with olive oil.  Set aside.

3 – Place the spinach in a covered baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

4 – Microwave the salmon for 5 minutes on high (more because of the covering of pesto).  When finished, check to be sure that salmon is done.  If not, return to the microwave for 1 minute more.

5 – Serve the salmon hot, with the potatoes and spinach as sides.

–recipes original.

PAPRIKA & GARLIC BREADED CHICKEN WITH DIPPING SAUCE OF HONEY & SOY / BARBECUED BEANS / BROCCOLI WITH PESTO

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–paprika

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–plain breadcrumbs (boxed)

–honey

–soy sauce

–ginger

–onion bits

–great Northern beans

–tomato (1, medium)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–barbecue sauce (bottled, your favorite)

–broccoli (1 stalk, medium)

–pesto sauce (or garlic powder, basil and olive oil)

1 – Place the chicken in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Pour in one-quarter cup of plain breadcrumbs.  Shake.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Season with onion bits.  Add a very small amount of water.  Set aside.

2 – Chop tomato and onion.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Drain the beans in a colander.  Add to the tomato and onion.  Stir.  Pour in one-quarter cup of barbecue sauce.  Season with pepper and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

3 – Cut florets and stems off of broccoli stalk.  Discard stalk.  Break apart the broccoli, and place in a covered baking dish.  Dot the broccoli with pesto sauce (or sprinkle basil, garlic powder, and olive oil over the broccoli).  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

4 – Mix one-third honey to two-third soy sauce.  Season with ginger.  Place in individual dipping sauce containers for the table.

5 – Microwave the chicken for 5 minutes.

6 – Serve the dinner hot, with the dipping sauce with the chicken.

–chicken and dipping sauce adapted from “Of Kids and Cows” blog; other recipes original.

OVEN FRIED HERB – ENCRUSTED COD WITH ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS / PESTO BROCCOLI / GREEN SALAD WITH PARMESAN & HONEYED WALNUTS

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

–oregano, rosemary, parsley

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–garlic powder

–Promise Activ margarine (heart – healthy)

–Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (boxed)

–broccoli (fresh, 1 stalk)

–basil

–salad greens

–Parmesan cheese

–walnuts (1 handful)

–honey (2 tablespoons)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–lemon juice

 

1 – Place the cod in a plastic bag.  Drench with lemon juice.  Then add a small amount of olive oil.  Season the cod, in the bag, with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Set aside briefly.  Microwave 2 tablespoons of margarine in a small bowl for 20 seconds.  Stir in the herbs, minced.  Then stir in breadcrumbs to reach a consistency of paste.  Place the cod from the plastic bag in a covered baking dish, with a little water.  Spread the breadcrumb mixture on top of the cod.  Set aside.

2 – Cut off the stalk of the broccoli, leaving some stem and the florets.  Cut into portions.  Place in a covered baking dish.  Season with basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

3 – Add two handfuls of salad greens to a mixing bowl.  In a separate, small bowl, pour the honey, and then the walnuts.  Stir well.  Empty the honeyed walnuts into the salad.  Then add Parmesan cheese to taste.  Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, wine, and olive oil.  Stir well.

4 – Microwave the cod for 6 minutes.  When finished, check to be sure that cod has started breaking apart, which will indicate it is done.  If not, replace for a bit longer in the microwave.

5 – Serve the salad cold, as a first course.  Serve the cod and broccoli hot.

–recipes original.

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.

COLD BOILED SHRIMP AND BROCCOLI

Note: A simple meal after a busy day.

 

–shrimp (small size frozen, 60 to 80)

–broccoli

–pesto (ready-prepared)

 

1 – Thaw out the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. Place the entire contents of bag of shrimp in a wide-mouthed, large microwave dish with cover. Spread out the shrimp. Cook, covered, for 3 minutes. Rinse under tap water. Cool in refrigerator, or, briefly, in freezer.

2 – Remove large stalk from broccoli; leave small stems. Cut apart, including the florets. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook for four minutes (for crisp broccoli) in microwave.

3 – Mix pesto with water to make a sauce.

4 – Fill bowls with ice. Parcel out the shrimp in equal portions, placing on top of the ice. (There is no need for seasoning of shrimp.)

5 – On side, serve hot broccoli. Use pesto as a dipping sauce.

–shrimp adapted from Weidman’s (Meredith, Mississippi); broccoli and pesto sauce original.