Build A Taco For One

Here’s one that’s super easy to fix, allows for creativity, and tastes great.

Build A Taco For One

1/2 pound ground beef

Half a taco seasoning packet

1/2 cup water

1 can black beans (optional)

Shredded Mexican cheese

Sour cream

Salsa

Guacamole

Tortilla chips (optional, use sparingly)

Shredded lettuce

Brown the ground beef, drain.

Add half a seasoning packet and the water, mix and stir over medium heat until thickened.

Warm the black beans in a saucepan or in a dish in the microwave.

Line a bowl with lettuce and/or tortilla chips.

Top with beef and beans, then cheese (so it melts), then everything else. Stir it up and eat it with a fork! That’s it! Super filling and super cheap, too. Enjoy!

Spaghetti (No Noodles) For One

Yes, yes, I know. You’re saying, “No noodles?” And the answer is yes, that’s just what I wanted to say. Noodles are fine, and they’re the go-to for spaghetti sauce, but wait, hear me out. Noodles, even the “whole-wheat” variety, are pretty empty nutritionally. Yes, they fill us up, but it’s with empty calories, and a blood-sugar spike that’s less than helpful. Unless you’re in perfect shape and exercise a lot, spaghetti noodles are not the most awesome thing for you. We’ll talk more later about why that is, but for now, just take a look at the recipe and give it a shot. (If it helps at all, eating it this way is an option at a rather good Italian restaurant chain. It’s for those who don’t want wheat or simple carbs in their food. You just have to ask.)

Note: If you must use noodles, boil just enough for yourself for 7 to 9 minutes, no more, and then lay them down under the sauce.

Note: If you want meat in there, just brown 1/4 pound ground beef or ground Italian sausage and add it when the sauce is cooking on the stove. I’m a big fan, myself, but the recipes are for straight tomato-based sauce.

Spaghetti (No Noodles)

Thin Spaghetti Sauce For One

1 tbsp (olive) oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder, or 1 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 tsp basil, or 2 leaves, chopped

1 can tomato sauce

salt and pepper

Sauté the garlic (or garlic powder) in oil over medium heat for about two to three minutes, until tender. (Cooking the powder also helps to release the flavor, so don’t get weirded out by that.)

Stir in the basil and tomato sauce.

Season with some salt and pepper, then cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens a little.

Chunky Spaghetti Sauce For One

1 tbsp (olive oil)

1 clove of minced garlic, or 1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, optional

1/8 cup chopped mushrooms, optional

1/8 cup chopped zucchini, optional

1 tsp basil, or 2 leaves, chopped

1 can crushed or diced tomatoes

salt and pepper

Sauté the garlic (or garlic powder) and the other vegetables in oil over medium heat for about two to four minutes, until tender.

Stir in the basil and the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens some.

Tomato-Only Spaghetti Sauce For One

1 tbls (olive) oil

1 clove garlic, or 1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/4 to 1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 tsp basil, or 2 leaves, chopped

salt and pepper

Sauté the garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes over medium heat, then add the tomatoes and the basil, cooking and stirring occasionally while the tomatoes soften. When they’re at the right consistency for your taste, you’re done.

Not Noodles For One

2 tbsp (olive) oil

1 to 2 cups chopped or sliced zucchini , squash, sugar snap peas, eggplant, bell peppers, onions (any or all optional)

salt and pepper

Sauté chopped vegetables in oil over medium to medium high heat until tender and slightly browned. Add salt and pepper.

Just put the sautéed vegetables down instead of the noodles, cover with the sauce of your choice, and you’re set. Believe me when I say that not only does this taste good, but it beats noodles for nutrition and weight loss hands down. Let me know what you think.

Chocolate Chip Cookie For One

Okay, I know better, but I’m still putting this one out there. (Shortly, I’ll try to post a recipe that doesn’t rely on flour and sugar for some chocolate chip goodness.) Suffice it to say that if you eat cookies, maybe one at a time is the only way to do it! This way, you don’t eat the entire bag, or half of the five dozen you made when you followed the Toll House recipe. This is one good-sized cookie. And it’s awesome. I mean it. Especially if you use REAL butter and DARK brown sugar. Either way, I make this in my toaster oven, and it’s the bomb. No. Really. The Bomb.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Yes, it’s as good as this looks. Try it already! And enjoy, please…

(Some of you may have seen this on one of my other blogs. That’s fine, ‘cause it’s still the best homemade chocolate chip cookie in the land! And you can make just one of them! With a mug, five minutes of prep, and 10 minutes in the oven. Tell me that ain’t awesome. (Okay, only one cookie is both a blessing and a curse. I know. But it’s still awesome.)

1 tbsp butter

2 tsp (dark) brown sugar

2 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp vanilla

1 tsp beaten egg or egg product

1/16 tsp salt (about a pinch)

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/32 tsp baking soda (half of a pinch)

2 tbsp chocolate chips

1 tbsp nuts, if you like ‘em (walnuts, or toasted pecans, mmm…)

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350.

Put the butter in a microwave safe mug or a bowl. Soften it, but don’t worry if you accidentally melt it, it’ll still work. I put my 1100 watt oven on about 15 seconds, and that seems to work okay (with butter).

Add the sugars and stir it up with a spoon or a fork until you feel like it’s good and mixed up, about 30 seconds.

Add the vanilla, egg and salt, stir it up some more.

In another mug or bowl, add the flour and the baking soda and mix it up. Dump this unceremoniously, or ceremoniously, if you prefer, into the other mug, and stir it up until just moistened.

Add your chocolate chips (and your nuts, if you like), and mush them together all cozy like.

Drop this big conglomeration onto your cookie sheet and stick it in the oven for about 11 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through. Keep an eye on it, of course, but that should do it. It’ll come out nice and big and golden brown. Might let it cool for a few minutes after that, but that’s up to you and your self-control.

Enjoy!

Easy Meatloaf for One

Let’s start out easy, okay?

Meatloaf and Mashed Cauliflower

Meatloaf and mashed cauliflower! So good… 

Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods, something warm and tasty and usually reserved for feeding more than one. No more. We’re taking it back.

Easy Meatloaf for One Recipe

Preheat your oven (toaster or regular size) to 400. Grease a little loaf pan or some kind of baking dish you can stick in there.

1/2 pound ground beef
1 egg, beaten, or egg substitute*
1 tbls chopped onion**
1 tbls chopped bell pepper, optional
2 tbls milk
2 tbls bread crumbs, or a piece of bread torn up into small pieces
Salt
Pepper

* Egg substitute is great for premeasuring, but if you’re out, just beat an egg in a mug. You can keep it covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days, and it comes in handy for the chocolate chip cookie you’ll make for dessert later.
** Fresh or frozen, but I like frozen, because it’s already cut up and so easy to measure. If you have trouble with heartburn, first sauté the onions until they’re good and brown, then add them to the mix. You get the flavor without the nasty belches that way.

Topping
This could be ketchup, barbecue sauce, or even cream of mushroom soup. A tablespoon or two’s worth. Whatever you like.

Mix it all up in a bowl, ’bout 30 seconds worth, then put it into the loaf pan or shape it into one for your baking dish.
Put the topping on and stick it in the oven.
Cook for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165. (If you don’t have a meat thermometer, get one. It’ll make you feel better. Do not stick it in your leg!)

When the meatloaf is done, enjoy, and take it to heart that you just made it for one person! Yes, it’s possible, yes, it’s good, and yes, you did it! Take that, stupid stereotypes! I’m eating this because I like meatloaf and it doesn’t have to be for four or more!

Thank you, and you may now return to your regular programming.