Posts tagged ‘dinner-for-one’

04.06.2012

Tomato Sauce Challenge 4 & 5: Sloppy Joe & Chili

by marilynk

Hi guys! Long time, no writing. Let’s just say life got away from me a bit. But I’m back and have a few posts queued up!

I actually thought these two had posted before I took my little break. Sorry about that! I’ve combined them into one post so we can move on to current things more quickly. Enjoy!

Sloppy Joe

For the Sloppy Joe, I combined the rest of my sauce with browned ground beef, some shredded carrot and a can of tomato paste. I ate it on a bun (toasted) from Tree Stone Bakery, topped with shredded cheddar cheese. A simple side salad rounded out the meal.

and

Chili

I am not a traditionalist when it comes to chili. My Texan relatives would never acknowledge what I make as chili. That being said, I like mine better. To me, chili should have lots of veggies and beans in it. Meat in sauce is just…boring.

So. My chili consisted of the Sloppy Joe mix from the night before with the following additions: pre-soaked red kidney beans (1 cup dried) that had been soaked overnight (a can of any kind of bean would work just as well), diced tomatoes (3), and a diced orange pepper. I also added chili powder, garlic powder, and some cumin. I had the chili with Tabasco sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, and a nice thick slice of Prairie Mill sourdough.

Again, I’m sorry for the gap between posts. But as you can see, a jar of pasta sauce can generate a number of different meals and sometimes leftovers don’t have to just be reheated and served. I hope this week’s worth of meal ideas inspires some of you to experiment with your ingredients. If you have another idea for a food challenge, please send it my way!

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22.11.2011

Tomato Sauce Challenge 1: Pasta & Sauce and Spinach & Pomegranate Salad

by marilynk

Ok, so this is the expected way to use the sauce, but I do love my pasta. And this is a great Meatless Monday option if you do that at your house. I did round-out the meal with a salad, so I did do some recipe-writing for all of you!

I took it easy for the first one.

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21.11.2011

Recipe Challenge: Five Ways to Use Tomato Sauce

by marilynk

I live on my own and most recipes are designed for families of four, so I end up with a lot of leftovers. This usually isn’t a bad thing, since I like taking leftovers as lunch the next day and you already know how much I like to cook batches and then freeze some of it. But sometimes it’s not leftovers of a full meal, it’s leftover ingredients. I like the challenge of finding different ways to use extra ingredients in different ways so I don’t end up eating the same meal multiple days in a week. So I’ve given myself a little challenge: 5 dinners in 5 days using one 1L jar of homemade tomato sauce.

Everyone uses pasta sauce.  I love pasta and prepared sauces (from the store or homemade) are a great way to get a meal on the table quickly, but a jar of sauce can be jazzed up and used as a base for a lot more than just noodles. Your family also probably uses a litre of sauce at one meal – any of these recipes can be made individually for a larger group.

I hope you’ll follow along this week to see what I come up with. The recipes will run Tuesday-Saturday. My sauce is defrosting in the fridge as you read this!

13.11.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Roasted Eggplant with Warm Chorizo Chickpea Salad

by marilynk

A few weeks ago, Adam posted photos of his dinner that had me salivating they looked so good. He kindly passed on the link for the recipe he’d used and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Yesterday I finally had all the ingredients together, so I made it for dinner and it was delicious! I’m not good at following recipes exactly to the letter, so I made a few minor modifications. This is a seriously delicious, one-dish, hearty autumn meal that I think you should try at your earliest convenience. Thanks Adam and France for this great recipe!

Roasted Eggplant with Warm Chorizo Chickpea Salad (adapted from Beyond The Peel)

  • 1 eggplant (from the farmer’s market – will update with the stall name next week)
  • 4 small chorizo sausages
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced (from EOGG)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered (from M&D’s garden)
  • 5 tiny potatoes (from EOGG)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme (from EOGG)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (from The Jam Lady)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (for serving)

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Slice the eggplant in half, salt the cut sides, and set aside. Remove the sausages from their casings and break up into the bottom of a casserole dish. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes to the casserole (distributed evenly). Place the rosemary and thyme in the dish. Squeeze the eggplant out over the sink, rinse off the excess salt, and pat dry. Lay the eggplant, cut side down, over the mixture in the casserole dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until the eggplant starts to collapse – stir the mixture once, halfway through the cooking time.

While the salad is baking, put together the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. When the salad has finished baking, remove the eggplant and set aside. Add the chickpeas and the vinaigrette and toss everything together until well coated.

I eat 90% of my meals at home out of bowls, so I served this by scooping out half the eggplant and topping it with about a quarter of the salad mixture. So good!

07.11.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Barley Salad & Pear and Cheese Tart

by marilynk

Ok, I’m getting caught up on my October posts still, but I had to throw this one in. This really was last night’s dinner and it is an excellent example of my cooking techniques: kinda inspired and kinda haphazard. I really like both of these recipes and I’ll make both again. One is a super easy, flexible salad that I made up (kinda inspired) and the other is a slightly finicky tart that I wanted to try ’cause I had puff pastry and a pear to use up, but I was missing one of the key ingredients so I substituted and reduced the recipe without a real plan (kinda haphazard).

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27.07.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Pasta with Mushroom & Peppercorn Infused Alfredo

by marilynk

I promise that not all of my recipes will be pasta, but it is a go-to meal for me finishing things up. This week I had just a few mushrooms left from my market purchases from the weekend before last. They were kinda dry and not very appetizing to eat as themselves, but I thought that they’d provide nice flavour for a sauce. This recipe made enough for me to eat tonight and have two servings-worth of leftovers. And I remembered to take pictures of the finished product!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • handful of dryish mushrooms (from Mo-Na Foods)
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cups milk (this is a guess…I just used what I had left!)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • whole wheat spaghetti

Boil water for the pasta and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, peel the onion and cut it in half. Wash the mushrooms*. Put the onion, mushrooms, and peppercorns into a saucepan and cover with the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat until reduced by half. Strain the flavoured milk back into your measuring cup. After you’ve added the pasta to the water, melt the butter in the saucepan and once melted, add the flour to make a roux (stir with a whisk to avoid lumps). Add the milk back to the saucepan stirring constantly. Add the cheese & stir to combine. Drain the pasta & toss with the sauce. Plate & add fresh ground pepper. I had mine with a simple salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers seasoned with salt and pepper.

It turned out pretty tasty!

*Some people think you shouldn’t wash mushrooms and only clean them by brushing. I believe what Alton Brown tells me and will continue to wash mine! 🙂

23.07.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Pasta with Elk Sausage and Spinach

by marilynk

I like to shop local, so wherever possible I’ll be including locally purchased ingredients and I’ll try to list the seller. I’ll also likely be exploring food triggers, so don’t be surprised if the recipes vary wildly or start eliminating foods completely. So far the only triggers I’ve found have been processed foods, so I’m cooking for myself as much as possible (which also helps with the jobless budgeting).

Ok, now for the recipe (sorry, forgot to take a photo of this one). This is a super simple dinner-for-one that let me use  up some leftover items in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 leftover elk bratwurst* (from Amberlane Elk), sliced
  • 1 handful spinach (from Riverbend Gardens), rinsed
  • leftover whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Cook the spinach until bright green and slightly wilted. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the sliced sausages and cook until heated through. Add the leftover spaghetti noodles and heat through. Plate & add fresh ground pepper & grated parmesan. Enjoy!

*I had pan-fried the sausages earlier in the week, but grilled would be very delicious too. You could use any kind of sausage for this meal.