Cooking for one

Cooking for one

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Cooking for one

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Eating for one does not have to be boring or repetitive. Coming from a sizable family and always cooking for groups, adjusting to living by myself was a big adjustment. I would cook once a week and have leftovers every night thereafter. I am still a fan of this if I am  short on time, but by the end of the week I would get very bored of food and craved variety without much effort.

Below are my top three basic meals for one. The great thing about each recipe is it the ingredients can be altered to use a different protein and vegetables.

Easy Pan Fried Salmon and Vegetables

5 minutes preparation time and 10-12 minutes cooking time
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil spray
  • 150g salmon fillet
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 spears of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds

Method

  1. Heat a medium frying pan over medium to high heat and spray with olive oil to grease
  2. When hot, add the salmon fillet to one side of the pan and drizzle with soy sauce. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. At the same time add the onions to the other side of the pan and sauté lightly. Add the mushrooms after two minutes and continue to cook.
  4. When it is time to turn the salmon, add the asparagus and continue to cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add additional sauce if you wish; however the fish is usually flavoursome enough.
  6. Once the fish has finished cooking for 5 minutes on either side, serve the fish and cooked vegetables on a plate.

Quiche for One

5 minutes preparation time and 15 minutes cooking time|
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • Garlic infused extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sheet filo pastry

Method

  1. Pre-heat an oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle pan with garlic infused olive oil to help add to the flavour, however normal oil or spray oil work just as well.
  3. Add the onion and cook until soft and slightly caramelized. At this time, add the baby spinach, cooking for 1 minute until it wilts. Set the pan aside for later use.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the egg and ricotta cheese and season with salt the pepper. Add the onion and spinach mixture and stir through.
  5. Grease a small ramekin and line with a sheet of filo pastry. Fold a single sheet into thirds and roughly place into the ramekin. Add the egg, ricotta and vegetable mixture and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Serve hot with a side salad for a few extra vegetables.

Baked Chicken and Capsicum Salad

5 minutes preparation time and 15 minutes cooking time|
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 150g chicken breast fillet
  • Dried mixed herbs or slices
  • Extra virgin olive oil spray
  • 4-5 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • ½ capsicum, sliced into thin strips
  • 2-3 cups mixed lettuce leave / baby spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp sunflower seeds
  • Balsamic vinegar to dress

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C and line a small baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Place the chicken breast on the baking tray and sprinkle with herbs of spices of your choice. (My favourite are cumin, turmeric and paprika to make a Moroccan flavour, or basil and parsley). Bake in the warm oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan, and if desired grease with spray oil. Add the mushrooms and capsicum at the same time and lightly sauté.
  4. When the chicken is ready, place it on a plate, add the mixed leaves to the side, spread cooked mushrooms and capsicum over the lettuce, the sprinkle with sunflower seeds and dress with balsamic vinegar.