Dear Single Folk of Safeway:
STOP HANGING OUT IN THE FROZEN FOOD AISLE!
Fur realz! You can do so much better than Lean Cuisine and pre-made salads!
Look, I know it’s tough to cook for one and that it might not seem ‘worth’ the energy to prepare a dinner if you’re flying solo but I honestly can’t think of a simpler and more satisfying thing that you could do for yourself on a daily(ish) basis. With a solid meal plan that utilizes ingredients in multiple recipes designed to eliminate waste and full of foods that you love, I would hope you might start to actually look forward to cooking.
Another common complaint I hear from my single ladies is that cooking is too hard or time consuming. It’s like they think they need to be making fancy gastronomy foams or SousVide beef cooked to exactly 100 degree to be classified as “cooking”– that’s such bullshit! There are a lot of crazy talented chefs out there but don’t let it dictate your confidence in your cooking – real food is good food, save the fancy stuff for the pros. A good old baked potato can totally be a delicious and respectable meal (and I can prove it!)
Here is what I would make for myself if I was cooking for one and to make it even easier, I’ve included a grocery list below!
Monday: Strawberry Balsamic and Basil Grilled Cheese – this is fancy looking stuff but don’t be fooled, it is literally JUST a grilled cheese sandwich, cooked in the oven no less – you can’t get much easier than that AND it’s only 5 ingredients! This will cure (along with half a bottle of wine) the worst case of the Mondays.
Tuesday: Salmon with Green Beans en Papillote – again, this sounds fancy but it’s not! Click here for the basics for doing ANY kind of en papillote (cooked in paper). You could really play around here with different proteins and veg but if I were making it I would use green beans and salmon topped with lemon slices, fresh dill, and capers. I would use up some of yesterdays grilled cheese bread by toasting a couple slices and spreading some cream cheese on them…mmmmmmm.
Wednesday: Loaded Mexican Baked Potato – OMG there are so many things you can do with a baked potato or baked sweet potato – it’s actually overwhelming (http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/amazing-ways-to-eat-a-baked-potato-for-dinner)! One of the best things about a baked potato is there are so many ways to cook these guys. I often opt for the slow cooker (7-8 hours on low) but you could also use your microwave (10 minutes on high, turning once half way through) or oven (425 degrees for 45-60 minutes). One of my faves is a baked russet potato with salsa, black beans, and a dollop of Greek yogurt (it makes it a little extra special if you add some sliced green onion and shredded sharp cheese but that’s your call!)
Thursday: Quick Tomato Basil Pasta – use up the left over ingredients from the week in a quick pasta. Use any type of noodles you have around, chop some tomato, the left over basil from your grilled cheese sandwich, some garlic and toss with some mozzarella (a totally “worth it” splurge: get the fresh mozzarella from the deli, it will change your life!). This recipe is meant to inspire you so don’t feel that you need to follow it word for word.
Friday: Date Night/Dinner with Friends/ ordering a large pizza (and eating it all) and watching Netflix
OK, some quick ideas for lunches and breakfast:
Monday: Fancy Pants Cheese and Crackers – take a hunk of your brie, some of the cheddar (from the baked potato), and the mozzarella (if using fresh just slice of a few pieces and leave the rest in the water/brine) and pair with whole grain crackers, strawberries, and apple slices.
Tuesday: Make 2 of the grilled cheese sandwiches and pack one for lunch, girl!
Wednesday: Make a little extra salmon and green beans and turn that into a salad for lunch.
Thursday: Do up 2 Loaded Mexican Potatoes in the evening and voila!
Friday: Left over pasta
For breakfast I would get a large container of plain Greek Yogurt and eat that with fresh fruit, granola, and honey but be sure to save some yogurt for the Loaded Mexi Baked Potatoes!
Here is the Meal Plan Layout as well as the Shopping List – seriously, I can’t make this any easier!
So, can it with the excuses friends! This is like a colour by numbers for feeding yourself so give it a try and see what you think! And for god sake will someone please get me a cocktail, these posts are exhausting!