Thursday, July 5, 2012

Things I eat when I’m alone

Or, Better Ideas for Dinners than Entire Bags of Cookies (not that I've done that...)
When you're alone, it's easy to not cook, to say, what's the point of spending time preparing a dish that will leave me with so much left over, I'll end up eating 6 times in the next three days since I don't have a freezer?

It's easy to get take-out "just for today", and even easier to just eat cereal out of the box. It's late, and eating a bag of cookies and downing a half-pint of milk would be so easy... Resist!

Spend five minutes in the kitchen and whip yourself up something nice. You deserve it! Here are ten of my make-for-one staples:
  • Toasted tomato sandwiches with homemade mayo: Tall Guy isn’t big on sandwiches, but I love them. Especially toasted tomato on rye. Mmmm, good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and so easy-recipeasy.

  • Any combination of eggs and greens:
Lately it’s been mushroom omelets and a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, but it could also be a poached egg on a salad, scrambled eggs and asparagus,  eggs Florentine, broccoli quiche, hard boiled eggs and green beans...

  • Whatever’s on special or clearance at the grocery store: Use the sales for inspiration! There is a tiny M&S across the road from me, perfectly positioned for post-work food pickups. Focaccia (end-of-day clearance), sausage (on special)., antipasto (two for one). So I took the focaccia and accessorized. Voila - focaccia with sausage, olives and roasted red peppers.
  • Cupboard Creations: I've been trying to use up the bits and bobs of this and that I’ve got floating around. Coconut milk? I added the lentils and some curry. Porcini mushrooms? Threw then in a pan with cayenne and tomato for a zippy pasta sauce. But my best creation so far was dill adzuki bean dip. No picture, because it didn't look even half as good as it tasted.

  • Porridge: Sometimes I just really want porridge. Porridge creeps Tall Guy out a little, but I love it. It's warm, it's hearty, and you can mix it up with fruit, yogurt, syrup, spices... I keep a pot made with steel-cut oats in the fridge, usually for breakfast, but sometimes for dinner as well.
Pancakes: I love, love LOVE pancakes, especially buckwheat ones. I make a big batch to keep in the fridge,but it's just as easy (and quick) to make a small batch. I'll pop a couple in the toaster and then top them with yogurt, fruit, and maple or agave syrup.

  • Fridge-safari meals: This means you use all the bits and pieces of this and that that you have hanging around in the fridge. It also implies you have bits and pieces in the fridge. If all you've got is yogurt and a bottle of Perrier, this might not work out so well. The dish below is leftover asparagus, potatoes, and smoked haddock from the fridge, in a creamy dill-dijon sauce that I made with things in the cupboard.

  • Snackasaurus plate: This option takes me back to my childhood. Fill your plate with snack food - crudites and hummus, some cheese, olives, hard-boiled eggs, grapes, and some crackers. So simple and so much more satisfying than picking up a Cinnabon on the way home and calling it dinner.

  • Sweet potato fries, salad and a turkey burger, sans bun (I just don't like to say turkey patty): one potato is perfect for one person, and while the fries are baking and the burger is cooking, I can make a nice green salad to fill up the plate.

  • Poached eggs on toast with a nice hot cup of tea: my favourite breakfast and an easy dinner.

Do you have a fabulous lone-diner meal? Please share!

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