Author Topic: Cooking For One  (Read 6326 times)

Offline NYCMacUser

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Cooking For One
« on: January 21, 2008, 10:42:43 AM »
I raised a fairly large family and learned how to cook for armies! Now that I live alone (except for 2 furballs), I find that I haven't stopped cooking in large quantities. Every time I want something that needs hours to make, I put it off until I can get some friends over to share. Would anyone please share some really fast recipes, that don't require hours of prep and cooking time, for me?

BTW, I am an omnivore!

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 09:31:19 PM »
This one is very fast and easy and pretty healthy too.

ingredients:
shaved beef (Trader Joe's has this).   or ground beef if you can't find shaved beef
broccoli slaw (TJs has this too in the produce area near the lettuce and some other groceries have this but not all.)
soy sauce
ground chili paste (or red pepper flakes)
cooked rice

In a large non-stick pan, brown some of the shaved beef.  When it's nearly cooked, throw in about a third or half the bag of broccoli slaw and stir-fry.  Add some soy sauce and chili paste.  If you have cooked the rice on a preceeding day and it's been in the fridge, put some of the rice in the pan with the other ingredients and mix and heat.  If the rice is fresh, you can serve the meat/veg mixture over the rice in a bowl.

Other possibilities would be to use some onion, garlic, sesame seeds or sesame oil.  I'm sure you can think of some other ingredients to add since you know how to cook.

My other quick and easy favorite is a portabello mushroom and mozarella cheese wrap. 
Ingredients: sliced portobello caps, sliced mozarella cheese, whole wheat tortilla.  Brown mushrooms in a pan on stove.  Preheat toaster oven (or real oven).  Put cooked mushrooms on the tortilla and then 2 slices of moz cheese.  Bake in oven til cheese is melted.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 02:11:51 PM by Shelby2 »

Offline Chuckster

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 10:17:30 PM »
Here's a quickie, but a goodie.

Pasta with Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms and Chicken


Pasta (I use Barilla Plus Rotini) -- cook enough for one or two portions
1 small boneless chicken breast cut into strips
Baby bella mushrooms or white cap mushrooms (sliced)
1 small sweet roasted red pepper (from jar) -- cut into thin strips
Fresh garlic -- sliced, not chopped (I use 4 large cloves for 2 portions)
Olive Oil
Dab of butter
Low sodium chicken broth and/or Marsala wine (from liquor store, not the one from the supermarket) -- Use your judgment on how much liquid to add.  The amount really depends on how much pasta you cook.
Salt
Red pepper flakes

Season the chicken breast with salt
In a large sautee pan, melt the dab of butter in the olive oil
Add the garlic and sautee at low heat being careful not to let the garlic burn
Add the mushrooms and cook until tender then remove from pan and set aside
In the same pan you cooked the mushrooms, increase the heat to medium high and add the chicken strips to brown
Once the chicken is browned, return the cooked mushrooms, add the chicken broth and/or wine, cover and let the flavors infuse.
Once the alcohol from the wine is evaporated, add the mixture to the cooked pasta
Add the sweet red pepper strips and toss everything together
Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and freshly grated cheese
Enjoy!

This preparation is quite simple, and I've also mixed up the ingredients on occasion to include veggies such as asparagus and zucchini. :smitten:






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Offline NYCMacUser

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 11:37:11 PM »
THANK YOU Shelby2 and Chuckster. Keep 'em coming. I also have a slow cooker that I got as a gift a year ago, and have only used it once or twice. Any slow cooker recipes that don't require a whole lot of prep time?

I cannot use pungent spices or hot pepper anymore. Unfortunately, my digestive system is as old as I am and it balks quite loudly if I subject it to the things I love! However, garlic goes with everything. NO?

Besides Trader Joe's, I've found some wonderful stuff at Costco and Fairway.

Some of the prepared meals from Fresh Direct look so yummy, but I just can't reconcile spending that kind of money on, what essentially is, takeout!

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 11:50:12 PM »
I have one more that is kind of unusual and is not exactly a meal - but it's great if you're on a diet or just need a healthy snack.  It's a 'pancake'

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup oatmeal
3-4 egg whites or 1 egg and 1 eggwhite
vanilla extract
2 packets splenda

put all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Cook in a pan like a regular pancake. Super healthy and just as good as regular pancakes (in my opinion).  This is from the Body for Life eating plan.  (the actual recipe is a bit more exact than mine.)

Sometimes I add cocoa powder if I want chocolate pancakes.

Offline toddg

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 11:56:46 PM »
Here's a very delicious and easy dish my wife invented/discovered...

Sautee chicken breast in a little oil and some lime juice
Add some stir fry-type vegetables
Add a handful of Trader Joe's Thai Lime & Chili Cashews
Serve with rice.

There's enough seasoning on the cashews that nothing else is necessary (although some extra basil never hurts).  Don't use the Thai Lime & Chili Peanuts ... they're quite different and don't work as well.

The cashews are moderately spicy, so you may need to go easy on them if spicy food isn't your thing.


We've also tried this with shrimp and tofu, and that was yummy, too.

Offline Chuckster

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 12:11:25 AM »
Trader Joe's sells a rice that is fully cooked and is packaged in a clear plastic envelope.  They have a couple of varieties available...Jasmin rice, mushroom rice and a another one I can't remember right now.  Anyway, what's great about this rice is that it's super convenient.  It heats in your microwave in all of 2 minutes.  All you have to do is massage the envelope to break up any clumps, tear open one corner of the envelope, and microwave for 2 minutes to heat it through.  I prefer the mushroom flavored rice.  It's quick and comes in handy when I'm feeling lazy about cooking.  I'll serve this as a side dish alongside fish, chicken breast, etc.  The portion is enough for 2, so you can refrigerate the leftover rice for the next day.  Price = $1.99.
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Offline abee

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 10:50:02 PM »
The easiest meal I make for my husband and myself, though it is easily portioned down to 1 or up to 4:

-as many salmon fillets as you want to eat (costco sells them individually vacuum sealed and frozen, which while not as lovely and fresh tasting, is exceptionally easy)

-pesto (homemade, from a jar, whatever!)

Salt and pepper the salmon and coat with pesto. Bake for ~12 minutes (or until fish flakes easily when pulled at with a fork) at 375.

I side that with some green beans or asparagus and some rice. Salmon is my go-to for quick and easy with little or no prep.

For a more asian style recipe, I like this and sometimes instead of the mustard, I marinade the fish in teriyaki sauce and add a layer of wasabi spread to hold on the panko, though that might be a little spicy (not nearly as potent as wasabi is normally though!). They sell that at Walbaums.

Offline NYCMacUser

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 08:06:51 AM »
Have any of you ever used a can of soup as a base for a recipe? Frankly, I don't think I have ever even bought soup in a can. Someone sent me a recipe that calls for a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup. I am going to look in the supermarket to see if they carry it. Then I will probably read the ingredients label and have a heart attack!

Offline Chuckster

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 04:42:56 PM »
No canned soup recipes, but I have modified the Lipton chicken noodle soup pouches to create my own variation.

1 envelope of Lipton chicken noodle soup (not cup of soup)
1 medium red potato cut into small chunks -- no need to peel, just scrub well
1 very small onion cut in quarters
1/2 cup of milk
3 oz. of Queso Criollo (White Cheese) or 3 oz. of whatever cheese you like (I've tried with American cheese and it's pretty good)
A few broccoli florets

Place the chunks of potato and onion quarters in approximately 3 cups of water.  Boil until potato is slightly tender.
Add the envelope of Lipton Soup, the milk and cheese and bring to a boil.
Add the broccoli and continue simmering soup until broccoli and potato are tender.  Do not over boil or else the noodles will overcook.

Goes well with a tuna sandwich on a cold and snowy day!





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Offline Shelby2

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2008, 10:32:09 AM »
This is more like cooking for 6, but here's a recipe from Jackson Heights' own food writer Anya Von Bremzen.
On Valentine's Day last week The Miami Herald finds her a a party: ''One of the joys of writing about world foods is to feel you belong to a global community,'' says Anya von Bremzen, a well-traveled, Russian-born food writer who keeps homes in Jackson Heights, N.Y., and Istanbul, Turkey."

Here are two of her recipes from one of her cookbooks, and published in the NY Daily News.  And a longer article about her appears here

Spiced Orange Shrimp Ceviche

Serves 5 to 6

Make sure not to overcook, and don't frown on using ketchup, which is an authentic ceviche ingredient in Ecuador, Von Bremzen says.

1 pound extra-large shrimp in their shells

1/2 cup ketchup

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice or more to taste

2 large garlic cloves, crushed through a press

1 small jalapeño chili, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Large pinch of ground cumin

Small pinch of ground cinnamon

Small pinch of ground cloves

Salt

Dash of Tabasco sauce

1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, plus a handful of leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 Belgian endive, for garnish

In large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of salted water to simmer. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Add shrimp to boiling water, remove from heat immediately and let stand for exactly 11/2 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain the shrimp and dump them into the ice water to cool. Drain shrimp again, pat dry with paper towels, peel and devein.

Place ketchup in a large bowl and gradually whisk in orange juice until the mixture is completely homogenous. Whisk in lemon and lime juices, and add the garlic, jalapeño, oregano, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and Tabasco to taste. Taste the mixture and adjust lime juice to taste. The marinade should be sweet, tart and spicy.

In large nonreactive bowl, toss shrimp with onion, tomato and cilantro. Pour marinade over shrimp, toss, then toss in the oil. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, tossing the mixture once or twice as it marinates.

Serve the ceviche in martini glasses, garnished with cilantro and endive spears.


Classic Andalusian Gazpacho

Serves 6

Use a fruity Spanish olive oil and the best sherry vinegar you can find, says Von Bremzen. Tienda carries excellent Spanish olive oils and vinegars. To order, call 1-888-472-1022 or visit www.tienda.com.

4 (1-inch-thick) slices day-old coarse country bread from a round loaf, crusts removed, torn into small pieces

3 pounds ripest, most flavorful tomatoes possible, washed and quartered

4 tablespoons sherry vinegar, preferably aged

3 medium garlic cloves

Small pinch cumin seeds or ground cumin

Coarse sea salt

2 firm medium-size Kirby (pickling) cucumbers

1 medium green bell pepper, cored and seeded

1/4 medium red onion, peeled

1/2 cup fragrant, fruity extra-virgin Spanish olive oil, preferably from Andalusia

1/2 cup bottled spring water or more to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons each finely diced cucumbers, peeled green apples, slightly underripe tomatoes and green bell peppers, for garnish

Slivered basil leaves, for garnish

Place bread in large bowl and squeeze out seeds and some of the juice from the tomatoes over it. Crumble bread. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic to a paste with the cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Transfer the bread mixture to a food processor along with the garlic paste, and process until completely smooth. Leave this mixture in the food processor while preparing the next step. Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green peppers and onion into medium dice. Place vegetables in bowl, stir in 3 large pinches of salt, and let stand for 15 minutes so that the tomatoes throw off some liquid.

Working in 3 batches, process vegetable mixture in food processor until as smooth as possible, adding a third of the olive oil to each batch. The first batch will be processed with the bread mixture. Transfer each finished batch to a sieve set over a large bowl.

Pass gazpacho through a sieve, pressing on it with the back of a wooden spoon Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons vinegar and the water. Adjust salt to taste. Chill gazpacho for at least 3 hours before serving. (If you are making the gazpacho a day ahead, add the garlic 2 to 3 hours before serving, lest it overwhelm the other flavors.) Serve in glass bowls or wineglasses with the suggested garnishes.

Offline NYCMacUser

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2008, 11:42:29 AM »
Okay, I guess I also should have mentioned, I am a lazy cook now. That sounds delish, but I'd never spend that amount of time cooking for just moi.

However, should you be making it and think you are going to be having leftovers, I most certainly would accept your invitation for dinner!

Offline jennsch

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2008, 04:32:35 PM »
If you want easy easy easy, jarred salsa is your friend. Brown a chicken breast and then, right in the same pan, dump some jarred salsa right on top. Cook until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the whole thing over rice. Want to change up the flavor? Try a new salsa. I love peach salsa over chicken.

Or, for quickie (and healthy) fried rice -- cook  up an egg white or two. Remove from pan. Put some leftover rice -- I like brown rice for it -- into the pan, add whatever veggies and/or protein you're up for, then some soy sauce or jarred black bean sauce. (Pieces of chicken pulled from a rotisserie chicken works really well for this.) Stir that all together and let it heat through. Then add the egg whites back in and mix into everything else. I like to leave it for a moment or two over high heat so a bit of a crust forms on the bottom but it's not necessary. Then...eat up.

I do a lot of cooking but, when feeling lazy or rushed or whatever, do rely quite a bit on some of the prepared sauces/salsa/and so on out there in the world. Trader Joe's has tons of good ones. If you stock up on stuff like that and keep some individual portions of chicken, salmon, and so on, in your freezer, you'll always be good to go right quick.





Offline NYCMacUser

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2008, 06:32:11 AM »
Thanks. Great idea.

I've also taken to freezing individual, fully prepared meals. I put them in individual casserole dishes lined with a plastic freezer bag. When they are solid, I take out the bag and reuse the casserole dish. It saves room in the freezer.

I am now doing the same thing for my pasta sauces. Single portion sizes with either the meatballs and sausages or the marinara. Then I pop a defrosted bag into the microwave and boil up some fresh pasta. I've also been doing the same idea with my meats. Instead of freezing them in bulk, I package them by portions. That way I don't have to cook up a storm and eat leftovers for a week.

The best thing I learned was how to freeze fruits and vegetables. All those beautiful berries keep so fresh in the freezer. And I don't have to pay big bucks for those imports during the winter!

I can also take advantage of all the vegetable sales. For example, last fall a local supermarket had Brussel sprouts on sale at 3 little buckets for $2.49. I cleaned them and froze most of them. Now all I have to do is take out what I want and steam or sauté
them.

I am going to share my little secret about stuffed cabbage.

Ready?

I never have to boil the cabbage to get the leaves off.

NEVER.

I put the whole cabbage in the freezer. When it is solid as a rock, I defrost it at room temperature and cut the bottom core off. The leaves fall of the head ready for rolling. I usually make enough for an army, but I freeze it, portion sized and cooked, and I only have to make it a couple times a year.

Offline GregNYC

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Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2008, 08:06:26 AM »
Korean Kalbi / Galbi

1 pound Short ribs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 green onion
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 kiwi, juiced

Put all ingredients together and let it marinade for 2 hours in refrigerator.

Cook on fry pan, grill, or broil.

Serve with rice.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Cooking For One
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2008, 08:06:26 AM »