Dinner for One
For the first time since moving in together (and since my cooking experiments began) Z will not be around for dinner all week. I have managed to convince myself that the reason it is ok to spend an hour in the kitchen every night, trying out a new recipe and making a spectacular mess in the process, is that I’m not just cooking for myself , but for two people, and we should eat wholesome, healthy meals. No more frozen entrees, no more veggies burgers or scrambled eggs and ketchup. Ok, occasionally those things cross our dinner plates, but I have begun to take pride in cooking a meal every night, much like my Mom did while I was growing up.
But tonight, I find myself in my kitchen alone. The usual batchelorette thoughts ran though my head of tossing together a salad, or some pasta with cheese. Why should I make such a big effort for just myself? But then I realized I was wrong. I should enjoy every meal I have, and so what if I am spending time making it just for me? I don’t mind giving myself a pat on the back once in a while, even for a one person meal. :) My Mom is coming into town on Friday (yay!) so that means a 4 night challenge of cooking meals for one. Can I do it?!
My good friend Cara from Cara’s Cravings recently posted a recipe for crispy tofu nuggets. After my recent tofu “eh-ness” (word: bland) I wanted to find a way to jazz it up. Cara’s tofu nuggets not only look amazing, but get major props from her husband, which is almost unheard of in man-dom! I had also read her recipe for Yogurt Tahini Sauce, and had recently bought some Oikos Greek yogurt after the lovely folks at Stonyfield Farm sent me some coupons. Two Cara’s Cravings recipes in one meal? Be proud :)
Lemon Crusted Tofu with Spinach Rice and Lemon Yogurt Tahini Sauce
Lemon Crusted Tofu adapted from Cara’s Cravings
1/2 block firm tofu, cut into 4 slices
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I put 2 slices of gluten free bread in the food processor)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Dried basil, salt and pepper
1/4 cup egg whites
Preheat oven to 375*.
Slice half a block of firm tofu into 4 slices. Press between paper towels for 20 minutes.
Combine the breadcrumbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, salt and pepper on a plate. On another plate, pour the egg whites.
Dip the tofu slices in the egg whites and then into the breadcrumbs to coat them. Place on a metal baking rack. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
1/2 container of frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup brown rice
Salt, pepper, cumin
Combine rice and spinach in a bowl and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Mix together, and add salt, pepper, and cumin. Heat again for another minute.
Lemon Yogurt Tahini Sauce adapted from Cara’s Cravings
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield Farm Oikos)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon water
Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place the spinach rice in the middle of the plate. Top with the tofu and sauce. Enjoy!
This was worth the time to make, it was a delicious meal! The amounts were perfect for one person. The bulk of the spinach made it incredibly filling, and I loved the crunch of the tofu mixed with the tangy nuttiness of the yogurt sauce. The Oikos was amazing with a tart, strong flavor and creamy texture. I am so happy Stonyfield decided to send me those coupons :) When I used to live by myself I would always sit down in front of the TV and eat my dinner, but tonight I sat at our dining room table, enjoying every mouthful. It was lonely without Z, but I’m glad I took the time to cook myself a delicious and healthy meal, and made sure I enjoyed every bite. The first night of cooking for one — success!
What is your favorite meal for one?