Cooking for One (and Peanut Being Cute)

Back in the single gal days, I didn’t cook a whole lot.  But then I met Scott, and I realized that the man I liked loves to eat good food, so I learned how to cook for him.  Good thing I got motivated, because now that I know how to cook, dinner is a whole lot more fun.

As a modern woman, I should probably be embarrassed about why I learned to cook, but I’m not.  Scott has learned all kinds of things about stuff I like, so what’s wrong with me doing the same?  Nothing, that’s what.

But this whole “cooking for someone else” thing has one significant problem.  What am I supposed to do when he’s out of town?  Now my standards are higher, but cooking for myself still feels like more work than it’s worth.

I usually revert to my single girl bad habits, which start with Hot Pockets and progress to frozen pizza, and sometimes that leads to some grocery store sushi to mix things up. Oh, and cereal.  Lots and lots of cereal.

There comes a time, however, when even I have had my fill of carbs and super processed foods.

What do I do when that happens?  I call it the Single Hannah Gourmet Dinner.  (No, I don’t.  I’ve never ever called it that.  But it should have a name, and that’s the best I can do right now.)

Is it actually gourmet?  No.  Does it taste good?  Yes.  Does it give me an array of protein and vegetables that are missing in my typical alone food?  Thank goodness, it does.

veggie partySingle Hannah Gourmet Dinner

Please keep in mind that this was created before I ever mastered anything in the kitchen–before I could even properly saute onions.  This is just if you find yourself eating cereal every night of the week and need some vegetables and things to make sure you don’t get scurvy.  Don’t let yourself get scurvy.

Ingredients

  • Chicken–about 1.5 lbs or whatever you have around
  • Edamame–1 bag frozen (yes, any size bag is fine)
  • Grape tomatoes–1 container, halved
  • Kalamata olives–as many as you’re willing to part with (between 1/3 and 1/2 a jar in my case)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • Whatever you’d like to add in–some wine to make a bit of a sauce, some broth for the same, some capers for extra punch?

How To

  • Start with the chicken.  Cut it into bite-size pieces if you’d like.  I do that because the chicken cooks more quickly, and the small pieces make the leftovers easier to eat straight from Tupperware at work the next day.  Add olive oil to a skillet, heat it to medium or medium-high heat.  Add chicken to warmed oil, then salt and pepper that chicken.  Cook it until it’s more or less done.  It will get some extra cooking time with the veggies, so it doesn’t have to be entirely done.
  • Throw the frozen edamame into the pan to warm it up.  That’s your only goal with the edamame.  If you cook it too much, it loses that great crisp that I love so much.  Once the edamame is getting warmer, add the grape/cherry tomatoes and the olives.  Make sure they get adequately warm, then add anything else your heart desires, and enjoy.

Why does this recipe for one person include such large quantities?  Well, this will also be my lunch the next day and my dinner the next night.  And maybe my lunch again the day after that.  You don’t want to slave over a hot stove for 10-15 minutes for nothing!  Plus, you should probably eat fresh food more than once a week.

Oh, you have no interest in my super simple, not at all gourmet recipe?  How about this cute dog?

Peanut Being DepressedThis is Peanut being too depressed to get off the couch for his breakfast.  He wanted some olives, but I told him that I used too many the night before on my dinner, so he would have to eat the kibbles without olives.

Still DepressedThis is Peanut being so depressed that he won’t even shake off the blanket that I put on top of him.  He was still under the blanket when I left the house.  Poor kid.  He really wanted those olives.

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