What do you eat when you eat alone? Do you pick and nibble and eat at the counter or in front of the t.v.? Or do you make yourself a full-on meal? Although we all need an occasional junk-food feast, I advocate eating a real meal, even if you're by yourself. Chances are, you'll feel more satisfied and that you'll eat better if you do.
Although we're a family of 3, I make a lot of meals just for me. D. travels a lot, and L. won't eat anything interesting or reasonable (most of the time), so I’m stuck eating makeshift suppers or else biting the bullet and cooking a meal for myself. In the wintertime, I do big batches and eat them during the week, but now that the weather’s getting nicer, I want lighter, fresher fare.
Last night’s dinner was so fast, and so tasty, I had to share it. I had everything in the pantry or the freezer, and in fewer than 30 minutes I’d whipped up a lovely, healthful meal for myself (along with leftover noodles and plain chicken plus an apple for L.). The Lemon-Tarragon chicken has a sunny taste and cooks up super-fast thanks to pounding it out. The salad is fruity and bright as well – and can you say “antioxidant blast?” Spinach, beets, oranges, walnuts . . . this’ll set you up right. Better than that bag o' Doritos you were thinking about, for sure.
Lemon-Tarragon Chicken (adapted from Cooking Light)1 (6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breast half 1 t. extra-virgin olive oil 1 t. fresh lemon juice ½ t. dried tarragon Kosher salt to taste
Place the chicken breast in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag, or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to ¼-inch thickness with a meat mallet or a heavy skillet. Sprinkle the chicken with salt.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and tarragon in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Coat a small skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for approximately 3 minutes on one side. Turn the breast over, and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side, or until no longer pink. Drizzle the lemon-tarragon mixture over the chicken and turn to coat in the pan. Serve.
Spinach Salad with Beets & Oranges (adapted from Cooking Light)½ navel orange 3 c. torn baby spinach 2 baby beets, cubed 1 t. extra-virgin olive oil 3 t. raspberry vinegar A few grinds of black pepper 1 T. coarsely chopped walnuts
Peel the orange, segment, and cut each segment into 4 pieces.
Place the spinach in a salad bowl. Arrange the beets and orange pieces over the spinach.
Combine the oil, vinegar and pepper in a small bowl and pour over the salad. Top with walnuts. Serve.
If you’re cooking for 1+, I’m sure the recipes as written would be terrific.
What're your favorite solo meals? Share them in the comments!