Well, good morning. Let’s continue on with my recent confessions, shall we?
I spilled a little chunk of brownie and ice cream from a Dairy Queen Blizzard on the center console of my car last week and haven’t cleaned it up yet.
Until this weekend, I hadn’t grocery shopped properly for at least a month. Just didn’t feel like it. Nothing sounded good except ice cream. When I had other things to pick up at Target, I would throw some random food items along with coffee grounds and 25-calorie hot chocolate packets (the essentials) into my cart and eat those.
I finally snapped out of it on Saturday and decided to make a meal plan for this week, which I’m sharing today. The shopping list and portion sizes are for one, with the exception of the yellow cake baked oatmeal which serves 10. You can eat this “oatmeal” at any time of day and pretend it’s healthy, so it’s nice to have on hand.
This past Saturday, my mom promised me at least four times that the soup she served that night would soon make an appearance on this blog. I ignored her but naturally proceeded to wake up on Monday with a headache and sore throat. When I hadn’t improved the next day, I thought I should eat something more nourishing than pasta (read: macaroni and cheese) for dinner, so I texted her for the recipe and here we are. Also, I was confused to discover when I unpacked my groceries that in my feverish haze, I’d bought a variety of tea that supports healthy lactation instead of whatever I intended to. So there’s that.
This soup is simple, healthy (lentils have plenty of fiber and protein but no fat), and soothing – perfect for the chilly, rainy spring we’ve had so far.
Tomato paste that doesn’t come in a can you have to throw away after using 1/16 of it!
Do you ever eat kitchen scraps for days on end because you just can’t go to work AND cook? This happened to me a couple weeks ago, and on one night, I felt pretty good because the blueberry granola I ate matched the blueberry Eggo waffles I toasted up next. On the side I had a bowl of frozen mixed vegetables. Delicious.
I finally went to Kroger this past Saturday morning, but before that I spent several hours paging through Google results for “meals that make one serving.” Sometimes I wonder if I will read the whole Internet in the process of writing this blog. Anyway, I thought having more options I could throw together without having to portion leftovers into containers and do a bunch of cleaning afterward would lead to fewer scrap dinners. Here’s what I came up with…
While I’m sure you enjoy reading about all the exciting activities I get up to in Ohio in the middle of winter, descriptions of how I spent Saturday and Sunday watching House of Cards on my iPhone because my MacBook broke (it broke, I dropped it, whatever) and my cruel and unreasonable employer (KIDDING) has prevented Netflix from running on our work computers would not make an interesting weekend recap. So, since I had to produce actual content for today’s post, I thought I’d share a few good recipes I’ve made recently. They’re not quite as healthy as the last batch I posted, but there is minimal cheese and plenty of protein involved. I consider the day a win if I’m not digging into a giant bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats two hours after dinner anyway.
Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast adapted from Allrecipes.com
This recipe uses ingredients you may already have on hand, and it’s easy to make for one.
I’ve discovered a few personal cooking principles over the years. I avoid making dishes that require more than two pots. Nothing you might also see on a plate of chicken wings can be involved (e.g. ranch dressing, celery, fiery orange buffalo sauce). Fruit is not a valid dessert. Luckily, my mom got me a Lebanese cookbook for Christmas that includes many recipes that meet my criteria.
Rose Water and Orange Blossoms by Maureen Abood
I used two of them to make easy meal you can pull together in half an hour or so.
Fattoush Salad and Hushweh
Hushweh is a mixture of rice, chicken, ground beef or lamb, and toasted almonds. It’s seasoned with cinnamon, and you stir in several tablespoons of butter at the end that make the chicken nice and juicy — it’s perfect for a cold winter night. I’ve adapted the ingredient list to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken instead of roasting your own. Whatever you do, I’d advise against trying to butcher a raw chicken with a steak knife. Continue reading →
I make myself dinner using tools other than the microwave or toaster oven maybe two nights a week, but a new section in Cooking Light magazine caught my eye recently. Let’s Cook! aims to ‘help busy folks [prepare] healthier meals for their families’ by offering recipes for ‘simple, kid-approved meals without any fuss.’ In other words, it’s a good place to start if you live alone and have plenty of time but lack both patience and determination.
This is their recipe for chicken noodle soup — it makes six servings. I didn’t cut the ingredients in half because I like big portions and soup is one of the few dishes I like left over.
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil (olive oil works too)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrot
1 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup thinly sliced celery (I substituted peas, adding them in step 4 instead of step 1)
2 cups water
1 32-oz container chicken stock
1 tsp dried thyme or 3 fresh thyme sprigs
6 oz (about 2 cups) rotini
12 oz rotisserie chicken, shredded (I just used the breast meat of a 2-lb chicken)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Saute the carrot, onion, and celery in the oil over medium-high heat for about five minutes.
Add the chicken stock and water to a pan and bring to a boil (the magazine suggests microwaving the stock and water for five minutes first if you want to cut down on time).
Add the thyme and pasta, turn the heat to medium, and allow pasta to cook for 8 minutes. Don’t use extra rotini even if you also love simple carbs and think there isn’t enough! The pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid.
Add chicken, salt, and pepper. The soup is ready when the chicken is heated through.