Help! Dinner for one
My boyfriend just started travelling during the week and I am now alone for dinner most nights. I get tired of eating leftovers and find myself eating frozen meals or eating out now that he is gone. What are your favorite meals for one?
A few of my favorites include simple stir fries (e.g., beef/chicken & broccoli), fresh pasta with a nice sauce (homemade or store-bought, but not just the usual marinara; I like vodka sauce, pesto, etc.), omelettes or other egg dishes, and what I call "sandwich plus," which is a sandwich plus a yogurt, some raw or cooked vegetables, and some fruit.
You can easily ask for 6 - 8 oz of fish or salmon, and quickly pan sautee or bake it in the oven. Microwave some asparagus and dress with butter and lemon or throw together a quick salad of baby greens. Voila!
I recently bought some single serve portions of chicken breast (each is individually wrapped) made by Perdue. They have plain as well as white wine and garlic marinade ones. I have yet to try them, but I'm hoping they are good!
I like making myself a really nice omelet. Julia Child is a good inspiration here, as is Deborah Madison. I'm particularly fond of spinach and feta, and often base the meal around those. Mushrooms, red bells, onions, olives, basil, etc all make appearances.
Mujadarrah is delish. Carmelize yourself a bunch of onions in lots of olive oil. Cook some lentils. Perhaps cook some rice with the lentils. Mix onions with lentils/rice. Serve with harissa and/or sour cream. YUM. Definitely the kind of of thing that's nice to eat by yourself on the couch while you watch a DVD-- ugly but tasty and filling.
Crepes are nice for dinners alone too. You can stuff them with all the same things in an omelet. You can make the batter in a blender ahead of time and then have an easier time with the batter when it comes time to cook it. My favorite restaurant lunch crepe has carmelized onions, some thyme or sage, a mild sausage and some swiss cheese in it. That with a salad is very nice.
My husband has been out of town since the 10th and won't be home until the 24th. Stupid intensives.....anyhow =), Before he left I was thinking I would seize the opportunity to try out several new recipes and perfect a few things, but as it turns out, I really don't like cooking for just myself and have been doing all quick and easy meals.
The first night was a throw together salad of odds and ends in the fridge. Arthichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, feta, and a bit of balsamic with a piece of toasted crusty bread. It was really satisfying. Baked sweet potatoes which were already a staple have made a couple of appearances. I like mine plain, but you can jazz them up however you like. A couple of nights I've made green smoothies for supper which hit the spot as the weather is getting super hot here. Last night I was having a bit of a pizza pasta fit, but didn't really have any of the ingredients on hand so I improvised a little casserole of artichoke hearts, italian stewed tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, mozz, and bread crumbs. It was super yummy, filled the craving for something heavier and italianish, AND I didn't even have to worry about consuming an exorbitant amount of garlic as I was home alone=) I have also gotten really into cold soups lately. I did have a batch of very basil-y tomato soup in my fridge that I was having cold, but I finished that off. Not sure where you're at, but here it's in the 80's so not turning on the stove/oven is nice. I'll also admit to relying heavily of Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Burgers.
If you're feeling slightly more motivated than myself here is a link to some recipes that have been scaled down for one.
When my SO's away, I take the opportunity to experiment and to make things that he doesn't like much--like really spicy food, or the Nigella watermelon-olive-feta salad.
I like to do spaghetti with whatever's on hand: garlic, oil, and hot pepper; or fresh tomatoes and basil; or hot pepper and canned sardines in olive oil (a new one for me, thanks to others on this board!).
Sometimes I go for Asian-type things: noodles with garlic, chilli, fish sauce, chicken; or maybe a salad with noodles and vegetables and a fish sauce/lime/garlic dressing and lots of chilli.
If inspiration fails me, I like to make sure I always have lots of bits around for a stand-in-front-of-the-fridge meal: canned salmon or sardines, olives, cheese, bread, salad, avocados, maybe a steamed vegetable or two.