Seeing as how I’m cooking for one most nights I don’t find it all that exciting most times. Since getting my own place I’ve made a couple of trends when it comes to meals for supper. They aren’t all exciting, healthy or creative but they get the job done, leaving me with a full belly and the peace of mind that the groceries are being put to good use. Sticking to my budget as it applies to food seems to be harder for me when I don’t feel like making only one serving’s worth of food each night, because it’s just easier to grab something on the way home. But alas, I’m getting better at sticking to my guns and coming home to cook a meal. It’s been paying off too, because I’ve learned a few new recipes and tried foods I may not have bad before, all because I just made myself cook. It may seem like a small achievement, but it’s a stepping stone, and one day when (hopefully) I must put dinner on the table each night for my big ‘ol happy family I’ll wish I had just one mouth to feed (and one person’s mess to clean!). So here’s a few things I’ve been enjoying from my kitchen. Bon Appetit!
Salad: It’s a go to for lunch and dinner because it’s easy to make, easy to switch up and always a healthy option. I like to get Iceberg lettuce, arugula, and especially baby spinach for the greens. After that I may add grilled chicken (I buy the grilled then frozen, cut chicken breasts and can microwave them pretty quickly) or another meat like cubed ham. I almost always use ranch dressing, mainly because it’s never missing from my refrigerator! Depending on what I have on hand I’ll throw sliced almonds, craisins, tortilla strips, sliced carrots, red onion, cucumbers or other veggies in there too. I especially like to make a salad for supper if I come home hungry and want to eat right away- no waiting for something to cook when you can just grab whatever you have that’s fresh and call it a salad!
Breakfast for Dinner: I pretty much choose scrambled eggs and toast each time I make breakfast for dinner. Once in a while I’ll make french toast or pancakes instead. It’s funny that I so look forward to eating breakfast for dinner because I hardly ever actually eat breakfast foods in the mornings. Apart from cereal and granola bars my morning diet doesn’t include much. But give me the chance to make a breakfast food feast come six 0′clock? Well count me in and hand over an apron!
Pasta: Can I just state for the record my deep and utter love for pasta? I’ve got to hand it to the Italians for having some pretty yummy dishes to indulge in. It does get a little tricky when it comes to all the dairy incorporated into pasta dishes because I’m lactose intolerant, but I’ve found ways around it and always keep lactaid (a dairy digestive supplement) on hand. I try to have one or two boxed pastas in the cabinet for weeknight meals. I also pre-cook and freeze away hamburger meat and Italian sausage so they’re easy to add to the dishes if I don’t use the frozen, pre-cooked chicken breasts. Prego tomato sauce or generic alfredo sauce are what I mix with the pasta and meat, then voila! Dinner’s ready, I’m happy and clean up is pretty easy.
Soup: Throughout the winter I turn to soups for my dinner quite a bit. I keep oyster crackers in the cabinet and add them to just about each kind of soup I like to eat. I enjoy chicken noodle (of course), tomato, chicken corn chowder, potato chowder, Italian wedding style and some others I can’t remember right now! Soups are quick and easy to whip up whenever you make it home at night, and depending on the type, can be pretty healthy options too. As summers slinks into town I probably won’t eat soup as often, but for the winter months they’re a staple.
Grilled Sandwiches: They go really well with soup, if you’re down for that type of thing, and make great use of bread, cheeses and meats you probably already have. They pretty quick to throw together and can be made with almost anything on hand. I enjoy these from time to time and count on them for a quick supper when it sounds right.
I probably have some others that are more or less notable but of course, I can’t think of them right now. Tonight, my sister and I made tortellini with sliced tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese. It was a nice easy meal to throw together when we both were starving but wanting “real food” (not fast food or just a PB+J). Now, as I sit here typing this up, we both have full bellies and even thought ahead to save some for her husband who will be home later. I think we can call that “Super Sister Supper Skills”, I dig it.
From the prairie with love,