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.

SHRIMP-TOMATO SALAD / CARROTS WITH BROWN SUGAR / PAPRIKA ONIONS

–shrimp (small, frozen, 30 to 40, uncooked, tail off)

–onions (3)

–tomato

–mayonnaise

–salt and pepper

–carrots

–brown sugar

–olive oil

–paprika

1 – Cook shrimp in covered baking dish in microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Rinse to cool.  Chop 1 onion.  Using food processor, pulse shrimp and onion, seasoned with salt, pepper, and mayonnaise (2 tablespoons).  Fold in 2 slices of chopped tomato.  Place in freezer (briefly) or refrigerator.

2 – Peel and cut 2 onions in quarters or eighths (depending on size, about an inch square for each piece).  Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a generous amount of paprika.  Add water.  Cook in microwave on high for 15 minutes.

3 – Peel and then slice carrots diagonally.  Place in covered baking dish, seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a generous amount of brown sugar.  Cook for 4 minutes in the microwave on high.

4 – Serve the shrimp salad cold, with the onions and carrots hot.

–original recipes.

CUMIN TILAPIA WITH CHIVES AND LIME / WHITE RICE / SLAW / TOMATO

–2 tilapia

–cumin

–lime juice

–garlic powder

–chives

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–white rice (instant)

–cabbage (shredded, pre-packaged)

–sugar

–Dejon mustard

–mayonnaise

–tomato

–green olives

 

1 – Place tilapia in a covered baking dish.  Add a little water and 2 squirts of lime juice (about 2 tablespoons).  Season with cumin, chives, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Measure two-thirds of a cup of white rice into a large, wide-mouthed baking dish with cover.  Add two-thirds cup of water and one-fourth teaspoon of salt.  Cook for 3 minutes on high in the microwave  Let sit for at least 5 minutes.

3 – Empty one-half package of shredded cabbage in a mixing bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 squirts of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of Dejon mustard, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Stir well.

4 – Slice a tomato.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Place on a serving dish with a few green olives.

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

6 – Serve the tilapia hot, on top of the warm rice, with the cold slaw, tomato, and olives on the side.

–recipes original, except the slaw, adapted from my mother’s kitchen.

A Simple Dinner:  BASIL SALMON WITH LEMON AND GARLIC / TOMATO-BASIL SALAD

–salmon – (the size of 3 decks of cards)

–basil and parsley (fresh if possible)

–lemon juice

–garlic powder

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–tomato (1 large, fresh, vine-ripened if possible)

 

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish.  Drench in lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, parsley, garlic, and olive oil.  Add a little water to the dish.   Cook for 4 and one-half minutes in microwave on high.  Test center to be sure the salmon is done.  If not, return to the microwave for 1 more minute.

2 – Chop tomato in bite-sized pieces.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil.  Stir well.

3 – Serve the salmon hot and the salad cold.

–salmon adapted from allrecipes.com and salad from Pensione Bencista, Fiesole, Italy.

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.

PARSLEYED COD / GREAT NORTHERN BEAN STEW WITH VEGETABLES

–cod (the size of 3 decks of cards)

–great Northern beans (1 can)

–squash (summer, 2 small)

–tomato (large)

–onion (medium)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–olive oil

–salt and pepper

–parsley (fresh if possible)

 

1 – In a departure from the microwave, use a slow cooker.  Rinse a can of beans in a colander until the foam is washed away.  Add to the slow cooker.  Add 2 cups of chicken broth.  Chop the squash, onion, and tomato, and add to the cooker.  Season the whole with a teaspoon of salt, a small amount of pepper, tiny snips of parsley, and a dollop of olive oil.  Start when you leave the house in the morning (8 or 9), and leave cooking until you return at night (5 or 6).  (The beans will be tender.)

2 – Cook the cod for 5 minutes in the microwave in a covered baking dish, with a small amount of water and snips of parsley on the top.  Season with olive oil.

3 – Serve the dinner in a bowl with spoon for eating.  Place one-third of the cod on the top of each bowl of stew.

–adapted from Real Simple.

PARMESAN CHICKEN / MARINATED MUSHROOMS / GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATO AND ONION, AND OREGANO

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–fine breadcrumbs (plain, boxed)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–mushrooms (I used baby bellas – 4 or 5)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–onion (medium)

–tarragon (fresh if possible)

–green beans (frozen)

–tomato (1 medium)

–oregano (fresh if possible)

 

1 – Place chicken in plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour one-half cup of breadcrumbs in the bag.  Shake well.  Place in covered baking dish with a very small amount of water.  Set aside.

2 – Slice mushrooms four ways.  Chop one-half onion.  Place in baking dish with one-quarter cup of white wine.  Season with salt, pepper, tarragon, and olive oil.  Cook for 3 minutes in microwave on high.

3 – Place green beans in covered baking dish.  Chop one-half onion and place on top.  Chop 1 tomato, and place over the whole.  Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, olive oil, and oregano.  Cook for 5 minutes on high in microwave.

4 – Cook chicken for 5 minutes.  When finished cooking, generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

5 – Serve the dinner hot.

–adapted from Real Simple.

GARLIC TILAPIA / FAUX CREAMED SPINACH / COUSCOUS WITH PARSLEY AND TOMATO

 

 –fillets of tilapia (2 medium)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

–lemon juice

-olive oil

–salt and pepper

–garlic powder

–spinach (one package fresh)

–yogurt

–mayonnaise

–couscous

–tomato (1 medium)

–parsley

 

1 – Place the 2 tilapia in a covered baking dish.  Add one-quarter cup of white wine and drench with lemon juice.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil.  Set aside to marinate.

2 – Measure two-thirds cup of couscous in a measuring cup.  Place in a baking dish.  Measure one and one-eighth cup of water and add to the couscous.  Season with one-eighth teaspoon of salt.  Cook on high for 1 minute in microwave.  Let stand at least 5 minutes.

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

4 – Chop tomato.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high for 2 minutes.  Set aside.

5 – Chop 2 tablespoons of parsley.  Set aside.

6 – Mix 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with one-third cup of yogurt.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

7 – Cook the tilapia for 5 minutes in the microwave.

8 – While tilapia is cooking, stir tomato and parsley into couscous.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

9 – Drain spinach in a colander.  Stir mayonnaise and yogurt mixture into the drained spinach.  Cover to preserve warmth.

10 – Serve dinner when tilapia has cooked.  Place tilapia on top of couscous, with spinach as a side.

–tilapia and couscous adapted from Real Simple; faux creamed spinach original.

BASIL CHICKEN / FRESH TOMATO / PESTO – AVOCADO PASTA

Note:  My husband Paul had seconds, something he almost never does.

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–basil (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–fresh tomatoes (2)

–penne pasta

–avocado

–garlic powder

 

1 – Measure 1 cup of penne pasta and place in an uncovered baking dish.  Add one teaspoon of salt.  Just cover with water.  Cook for 2 and one-half minutes on high in the microwave, and then cook for 8 and one-half minutes on 50 percent power.  When done, cover to preserve warmth.

2 – Place chicken in covered baking dish with a little water.  Season with tiny snips of basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 5 minutes after the pasta has finished.

3 – Chop the tomatoes, and season with basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. 

4 – Cut open an avocado, discarding the pit.  Cut across two ways, and then scoop out into a food processor.  Add generous amount of basil and one-fourth cup of olive oil, plus salt, pepper and garlic powder, and pulse.

5 – When the pasta is done (al dente), stir in the pesto – avocado sauce.

6 – Serve the chicken hot, the pasta warm, and the tomato cold.

–adapted from Allrecipes.

SPICY PARMESAN CHICKEN WITH BASIL / GREEN PEAS TARRAGON / ANGEL HAIR PASTA

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–tomato (medium)

–onion (medium)

–Tabasco or other hot sauce

–garlic powder

–basil (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–olive oil

–green peas (frozen)

–tarragon (fresh if possible)

–angel hair pasta

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

 

1 – Chop the tomato and onion.  Nestle whole leaves of basil amid the tomato and onion in a covered baking dish.  Add water just to cover.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 3 minutes on high in the microwave.  Add chicken to the dish.  Top with more basil leaves and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, olive oil, and several dashes of hot sauce.  Set aside.

2 – Use long baking dish, uncovered, for the angel hair pasta.  Add two handfuls of pasta to the dish.  Cover with one inch of chicken broth.  Cook for 2 minutes on high, followed by 5 minutes on 50 percent power.  When finished cooking, cover the dish to preserve warmth.

3 – Add frozen green peas and two inches of water to a covered dish, seasoning with salt, pepper, tiny snips of tarragon, and olive oil.  Cook for 4 minutes in the microwave on high.

4 – Cook the chicken entrée for 5 minutes on high.  When finished cooking, add generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top.  At that point, leave uncovered.

5 – Serve the chicken atop the pasta, with the green peas as a side.

–adapted from Allrecipes.