Category Archives: Roasted Vegetables

Your Garden-Variety Dinner

Some of my fondest memories of my father are of our runs together. One day, a couple of years before he died, we stopped near the end of our run at a neighborhood produce stand. Dad bought an assortment of fresh vegetables grown right there in the man’s backyard. I promised to cook whatever he bought. He spent about six bucks, total, and my family sat and ate as if it was Thanksgiving dinner.

We love vegetables, especially locally grown, fresh produce. Our favorite summer dinner is a fresh-from-the-garden vegetable plate. If you haven’t taken advantage of the produce grown in your area, now is the time to indulge.

Don’t restrict your menu. Plan your meals around what looks good and fresh, even if you have two or three green veggies. Corn on the cob, Squash, potatoes, beans, broccoli, tomatoes…it’s all better when fresh-picked. Steam, grill, roast, saut√©, or all the above. It’s healthy, tasty, and good for the local economy.

Green beans, roasted potatoes, and vegetable medley, served with a whole wheat roll.

Green beans, roasted potatoes, and vegetable medley with a whole wheat roll.

KITCHEN TIP: Add a little bit of butter for flavor. A tiny amount goes a long way. I freeze butter and use a hand grater to add it to cooked vegetables. Isn’t that a grate idea? ūüėČ

Grate cold butter for easier seasoning.

Grate cold butter for easier seasoning.


Filed under cooking, corn on the cob, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, onions, Quesadillas, Roasted Vegetables, Salads, spinach, tomatoes, Vegetables


I’ll admit I’m not much of a microwaver. With the exception of asparagus and corn on the cob, most of my dishes cook¬†rangetop or in a conventional oven. When I purchased the Deep Covered Baker (The Pampered Chef), I read the product guide that included directions for “30-Minute Chicken” in the microwave oven. I had my doubts.


The Pampered Chef¬ģ Deep Covered Baker

If you’re on the fence about buying this product or roasting in a microwave oven, keep reading.




  • 1 whole chicken (approx. 3 lbs.)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Seasonings (your choice fresh chopped¬†herbs + 1 tsp. salt and ¬ľ tsp. pepper)
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 baking potato cut into 1″ slices


  1. Spray nonstick cooking spray generously to cover the interior of the Deep Covered Baker.
  2. Pat dry the chicken using paper towels. Rub with the olive oil.
  3. Rub the herbs (I use fresh taragon, thyme, and parsley) over the chicken.(reserve part of the herb mix for vegetables)
  4. Position chicken breast side up in baker. Add carrots, onion, and potato. Add salt and pepper over chicken and vegetables.
  5. Microwave uncovered on High 30 minutes. Check using a digital thermometer (should be 165¬į in thickest part of breast). If necessary, microwave an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from microwave oven and cover for ten minutes. Residual cooking should bring the chicken to 170¬į.
  7. Remove skin from chicken. Transfer chicken, carrots, and potatoes to a platter to serve.

Yield: 4-5 servings chicken, 2 servings vegetables
Refrigerate leftover chicken.


So there you have it. You really can roast a chicken in the microwave oven, a great convenience if¬†pressed for time.¬†You won’t have a browned skin, but that isn’t an issue for me. I skin chicken before serving because skin contains too much saturated fat.

I am glad I experimented with roasting in the microwave oven. However, if I have the time, I still think it’s easier to slow cook chicken. The microwave method may save time, but it’s tricky, especially if your microwave oven varies on size and wattage.


Filed under chicken, cooking, Healthful Eating, Roasted Vegetables

Cajun Catfish Dinner

I love catfish, almost as much as I love salmon.¬†Can you tell? This is my second catfish recipe this year. Although fried in cornmeal and served with cheese grits is tasty, it’s not figure friendly.¬† So here’s how I cook and serve catfish fillets (shown here with roasted squash/onion/red bell pepper, steamed green beans, and brown rice):

Cajun Catfish, brown rice, steamed green beans, and roasted vegetables.

Cajun Catfish, brown rice, steamed green beans, and roasted mix vegetables.


Cajun Catfish for Two


2 fresh catfish fillets
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon spices (Your choice: I like Redneck Pepper Cayenne)


Preheat a quality stainless steel covered skillet over medium heat.¬† Sprinkle spices on both sides of each fillet.¬† Drizzle olive oil in the skillet then place the catfish fillets into the pan. Do not touch.¬† Lower heat to its lowest setting and cover.¬† Cook for at least 15 minutes without lifting the lid.¬† Check for doneness (do not overcook).¬†¬† If necessary, cover and cook another 5 minutes.¬† It’s not necessary to turn the fillets.¬† Check again for doneness.¬† Fish should be moist and flaky.¬† Serve immediately.

This low, slow method is still hasty, giving the cook just enough time to get the side dishes ready. Enjoy fish at least twice a week. It’s good for you!

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Filed under cooking, Fish, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Roasted Vegetables