Posted Aug 25, 2011 in Food | 0 Comments

ModernHostess: Dinner for One

One of the things I get asked most often when people find out I like to cook is – if you’re eating alone, do you still cook for yourself? And the answer is… yes! I may be the only one eating, but does that mean I should settle for takeout or a frozen tv dinner? Of course not. And neither should you!

Although I do enjoy having the option available to order dinner in on those nights when cooking is just not going to happen, it’s not something I regularly turn to, even if I’m flying solo. The problem with takeout (and really, eating out in general) is that you cannot be sure exactly what has been added to your food. Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone is out to poison you or otherwise make you sick, but I am saying that it is difficult to control for things like calories and fat. With frozen dinners, the nutritional info is there but is probably not too appealing, especially if you’re trying to limit your sodium intake.

Something I’ve heard quite often from people is that they don’t want to bother cooking for just themselves because then they will have too much food leftover. My suggestion in this case would be to choose foods that can be easily scaled down to just one serving, like pasta. You also have the option of making more than what you will need for one meal and then freezing the leftovers, in one portion servings. That way, the next time you’re having dinner for one, you can just grab a homemade meal from your freezer.

If you’re eating yourself, say no to takeout and yes to the fabulous pasta recipe below. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious… and best of all, it’s all for you; no sharing required! And by the way, this dish is also great if you’re cooking for more than one… just increase the amount of each ingredient. Enjoy!!

Pasta with Zucchini and Summer Squash

-1 serving of pasta (whatever shape you desire).
-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/4 cup zucchini, cubed
-1/4 cup summer squash, cubed
-1 tomato, diced
-Handful fresh basil, chopped
-1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
-Salt and pepper, to taste

- Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente (firm to the bite).
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small pan over medium to medium/high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant,    about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and summer squash and some salt and pepper; sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato and lower heat to just above a simmer; let cook about another 5 minutes.
- Before draining pasta, reserve about 3 or 4 ladle-fulls of pasta water. Drain pasta.
- Combine pasta and tomato-vegetable mixture. Add basil, cheese, and just enough pasta water to create a little bit of a sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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