A Late Summer Labor Day Meal


This Labor Day holiday weekend, our family has enjoyed burgers on the grill, watermelon, bar-be-que, peach cobbler and last-summer picnic foods. And in the coming weeks, I’m trying to take advantage another seasonal treat: vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes and corn, as well as herbs like basil and oregano, that are thriving now and should be around through early fall.

If you’re ever going to get your children to try and like vegetables, now is the time to do it. All you need is some of this tasty local produce, which should be available at your farmer’s market if not your own yard, and perhaps a new cooking method or recipe that will appeal to everyone in the family, including your kids.

Today I’m sharing one of my family’s all-time favorite late-summer recipes. This is an almost one-dish meal that is simple and fast to make; the whole thing cooks in the microwave. And it features chicken tenders, one of my favorite parts because they are easy to cook and eat.

Here’s a recipe for a simple, almost one-dish dinner that uses the best of summer produce. Try it and let me know if your kids like it as much as mine do!

1.5 pounds chicken tenders
8-10 fresh basil leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon capers
Juice from one large lemon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ears fresh corn, kernels scraped off
1 medium zucchini
2 large tomatoes, chunked

In food processor, combine basil, oregano, mustard, capers, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Chop quickly. Slowly add olive oil and process until dressing is smooth.

Place chicken tenders in large bowl, add about one half of the dressing and toss well to coat. Let chicken marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In medium bowl, combine corn, zucchini and tomatoes.

Tear four large pieces of parchment (about 12” x 12” each.) Place chicken tenders in center of parchment paper, divided equally among the four pieces. Divide vegetables in the same manner and place on top of chicken tenders. Fold up sides of parchment paper to form sealed pockets.

Place pockets (2 at a time) in microwave oven; microwave on high for 6 minutes. Open steaming packets and serve cooked contents on top of -brown rice. Top chicken, vegetables and rice with remaining dressing.


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