simple food for one

March 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

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My fiance, who I have been living with for years now, travels a lot. And by a lot I mean he’s gone about half the year. And even though his traveling has been going on for years now, I’m still not used to it. It’s a struggle every time he leaves and I find myself counting the days, hours and minutes until he’ll be home again. It’s a wee bit lonely when you’re used to someone being in the house with you all the time and then they’re suddenly not.

This traveling schedule has forced more than a few adjustments at home. The one I hate the most though is cooking for one. Food is supposed to be shared! I love cooking for friends and family, the more the merrier. I absolutely dread cooking for just myself. I think, no I know, grocery items are built for numbers. This means I am either eating the same thing every night because there’s so much of it and I don’t want to waste it, or I buy a bunch of food and throw half of it away, just so I can have some variety. It seems like a lose/lose to me.

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I have found a few recipes that I like making for one, things I don’t mind having multiple times in one week or recipes that have ingredients that don’t spoil quickly. I have also learned that cooking for one is most enjoyable when you simplify with fewer ingredients and shorter cook times. I’m usually against frozen ingredients, but they can be your friend in instances like this. Words of advice, eat your salads first thing in the week and save your grains and proteins for the end. Also, make meals that have simple bases so you can add whatever it is you have on hand. Like in this recipe, if you don’t have corn, add in frozen peas and spinach instead! Little tweaks can make cooking for one a little bit more enjoyable.

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Serves 1
1/3 cup Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil, split
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup frozen corn
1/2 tablespoon fresh herbs
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
splash of lemon juice
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the couscous and sauté for a couple minutes until the rice becomes slightly brown, stirring occasionally. While the couscous is sauteing, heat 1 cup of water in the microwave, until it begins to boil. Add the boiling water to the browned couscous, cover and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the couscous is plump and cooked through. (*Note: Sometimes I find Israeli couscous needs more water and more cooking time when you’re cooking a larger quantity. You really want your couscous to be soft so it melts in your mouth. If the water is absorbed, but the rice isn’t cooked, just add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup boiling water to the rice and continue cooking. Do this until the rice is cooked through; believe me it’s worth it!)

In a small saute pan over medium heat add the other 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Once warmed add the onion and saute 5 minutes. Then add the corn and saute 2 more minutes, just until the corn is warmed through. Add the fresh herbs (I used thyme which was quite nice, but use whatever you have on hand), salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Once the couscous is cooked add the corn saute and stir until combined. Top with a squeeze of lemon juice, crumbled feta and enjoy.

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