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TOASTED BARLEY-BEAN SALAD

1/2 cup quick-cooking barley

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1-1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon instant chicken

bouillon granules

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo

beans, drained

1 (8-ounce) can cut Italian green

beans, drained

1 (8-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained

1 small onion, thinly sliced and

separated into rings

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons snipped parsley

1/4 cup salad oil

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

In a large skillet cook the barley in hot butter or margarine over low heat until barley is golden, stirring frequently. Add water and chicken bouillon granules. Cook, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender; drain. In a large mixing bowl stir together the garbanzo beans, Italian green beans, kidney beans, onion rings, celery and parsley. Stir in the drained barley.

For dressing: In a screw-top jar combine salad oil, vinegar and dry mustard. Cover and shake well to mix. Pour dressing over bean mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator about 2 hours or until cold. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

HAM STEAK HAWAIIAN

(Excellent for breakfast with the hash-brown potatoes below.)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 (1/2-inch-thick) slice fully

cooked ham (about 1 pound)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large skillet; cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Add ham slice; cook over medium heat 10 minutes on each side or until thoroughly heated. (You can substitute white wine vinegar for red wine vinegar on this entrée. Red and white wine vinegars both have a pleasantly pungent flavor that gives the sauce a sweet-and-sour taste. Yield: 4 servings.

HASH-BROWN POTATOES

1/4 cup vegetable oil (corn, safflower)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

6 cups chopped or grated peeled potatoes

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat oil, pepper and onion and garlic powders in a large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add potatoes and paprika. Cook until potatoes are crisp and browned, stirring frequently. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

LOW FAT GRILLED ORANGE HONEY-MUSTARD CHICKEN

1 pound fat-free chicken breasts

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Black pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon honey

Rinse chicken breasts with cold water and dry well. Place chicken breasts in shallow glass baking dish; season both sides with onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. In a small bowl combine minced garlic, sour cream, mustard, orange juice and honey; blend well. Pour marinade over chicken and turn to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours or overnight. Prepare a hot fire and lightly spray grill with nonfat cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade; save marinade. Grill 7 to 10 minutes per side, until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through. Brush chicken breasts with marinade several times while cooking. Yield: 4 servings.

SUGARLESS BERRY MUFFINS

2 tablespoon lite applesauce

2 tablespoon apple butter

1/2 cup egg substitute

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla

1-3/4 cups + 2 teaspoons flour, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or any combination)

Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly spray muffin cups with nonfat cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, apple butter, egg substitute, orange juice and vanilla; blend until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine 1-3/4 cups flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix until blended. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture and mix until all dry ingredients are blended. In a small bowl, toss berries with 2 teaspoons flour; fold berries into batter and mix gently. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes. Yield: 12 servings.

BLUEBERRY CREAM PIE

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

3 tablespoons flour

1-1/2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons chopped pecans

(optional)

Combine sour cream, all-purpose flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and egg in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer about 5 minutes or until smooth. Fold in blueberries. Pour into unbaked shell and bake at 375º for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Combine flour, butter and chopped pecans; stir well with fork. Sprinkle over pie; bake for an additional 10 minutes. Chill before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

SEASONED CORN CASSEROLE

1 medium-size green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2/3 cup skim milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried whole basil

1/8 teaspoon dried whole oregano

1 (16-ounce can) whole tomatoes, drained

1 (16-ounce can) pearl onions, drained

1 (12-ounce can) whole kernel

corn, drained

Vegetable cooking spray

Sauté green pepper and garlic in butter in a large saucepan until green pepper is tender. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and seasonings to saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in tomatoes, onions and corn. Remove from heat. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 350º for about 50 minutes. Yield: 8 servings; 1/2 cup per serving.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send your email to helenkitchen@msn.com, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you.