a lasagna for one

sundried tomato and goat cheese chicken + garlic mashed potatoes

Look, a fancy meal! My friend got me this giant hunk of goat cheese a while back and I needed to find a way to use it. I found this chicken recipe and knew I had to try it. Mashed potatoes and green beans popped in my head to accompany. I used this potato recipe and made those roasted green beans I posted a while back.

The potatoes were super easy. Garlic, potatoes, water, and butter, then milk later. They didn’t reheat all that well, but they were tasty fresh.

Here’s everything you need for the chicken. See that giant hunk of goat cheese? Yeah. Also, I really recommend using that Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc. I’m not a big fan of Barefoot generally, but this was a perfect complement to goat cheese.

Also good to drink while cooking! Cook your chicken, then put together a sauce of wine, chicken broth, and sundried tomatoes.

Reducing the sauce was pretty exciting, not going to lie. I’ve never reduced anything before. Yeah. After reducing the wine and chicken stock, you stir in the goat cheese. The sauce is delicious. I considered just putting it on pasta for a minute.

Here’s the finished product! So good. And surprisingly not hard for being so fancy.

zucchini pizza boats

So obviously I have a thing for zucchini. It’s delicious. I found this recipe while perusing the web for small batch recipes. This one is great because you can make a meal for one for super cheap. All you need is zucchini, pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and breadcrumbs.

Preheat your oven to 425 and scoop out the insides of a zuke. It’s actually really easy if you’re daunted.

Load it up with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, then top with breadcrumbs. Let it bake for about 20 mins and bam, you have a super low-cal, yummy dinner.

Easy, good, and made in about half an hour. 

spinach lasagna roll-ups

I see this recipe on Pinterest all the time, plus the name of this blog is lasagna for one, so I figured I kind of had to try this. Unfortunately, the week I had planned to make them got slammed full of dinners out and other responsibilities, so I was suddenly left with a day until my ricotta expired and no will to cook. Luckily, this is a freezer friendly recipe.

So about 10 o’clock one night I set about making the roll-ups. I had fresh spinach instead of frozen, but it seemed to work fine. Easy enough: mix up ricotta, spinach, egg, and seasoning, line your noodles with it, and roll ‘em up. The rolling took a little practice for me.

Flash freeze them for 30 mins-1 hour (mine only got about 30 mins since it was near my bedtime) on a pan. Then you can chuck them in a freezer bag and save them for a rainy day. The best part? You can reheat them just one at a time if you like. A lasagna for one!

When you’re ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor, put as many as you want in a pan with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake covered at 350 degrees for about an hour. I made two small ones (for dinner tonight) and one big one (for lunch next week).

Serve it with a salad or some sauteed zucchini. Add a little excitement to sauteeing your zucchini by letting the lid fall off of your oregano shaker! Yeah, that happened.

The roll-ups were a little dry, so make sure to put plenty of sauce in the pan and ladle some extra on your plate. Overall, easy, great for lazy days, and at ~225 calories a roll, not bad on the waist. Good stuff.

black bean taquitos

Remember those breakfast burritos I made? I had leftover black beans and peppers and decided to try to make something crispy but not deep-fried. So, black bean taquitos. Or close to that.

Spoon some black bean mixture and cheese into some tortillas. Use a slotted spoon to reduce the amount of sauce you get. Roll them up as tight as you can get them and spray with cooking spray. I use olive oil spray. Pop them in the oven at 425 degrees and bake for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Aah, yum. The black beans will ooze out and look kind of gross, but don’t worry, it tastes good. These are messy, so grab an extra napkin.

Also be warned that the filling will be molten lava hot! But the outside stays nice and crispy. Dunk them in salsa, sour cream, whatever suits your fancy. Super easy, warm, and comforting, which is really all I care about 5 days out of 7.

zucchini tots

I’ve let myself get behind on posting! I made these a couple of weeks ago after pinning the recipe months ago. Zucchini tots: grated zucchini, onions, cheese, breadcrumbs—basically a mixture of things I like baked in mini muffin form.

The recipe makes 12 mini muffins, about 3 servings, which is great. The tots didn’t reheat that well, so it’s better to eat them nice and hot and share with someone.

They are good but needed a little seasoning. If I make them again, I’d add some Italian seasoning and maybe some garlic. I would add some more cheese as well and chop my onions a bit more finely. (have I mentioned I have zero knife skills? cause I do.)

Cute little guys, right? I ate them with crockpot BBQ chicken and kale. A great side for chicken, or even with brunch.

Up next, a couple more posts including spinach lasagna roll-ups and black bean taquitos.

breakfast burritos

The other night, I came home from work exhausted and grumpy. My fridge was looking sparse and my energy levels were low. I needed easy comfort food. So naturally I turned to brinner—breakfast for dinner.

I had eggs, but no bacon and no bread. And there are always tater tots in my freezer. What else could I add to this? I remembered some really delicious huevos rancheros I had at Three Little Birds cafe when visiting my sister a few months ago. I wasn’t quite energetic enough to try to replicate that, so I opted to make some breakfast burritos instead.

I started by sauteeing some peppers and onions with garlic. Then black beans with most of the seasoned sauce in the can, plus some Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning. 

While that simmered, I scrambled an egg. Since it was just for me, I just did one egg. Obviously you can scale this for whoever’s eating. 

Then, bam! Into some tortillas. Yes, these burritos are that easy. Plus the beans and peppers make a good filler for more burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Top these with whatever you want. I added cheese, salsa, a dab of plain greek yogurt, and spinach.

(please ignore the xbox controller and kitten on the table.)

Voila, super lazy breakfast burritos. Really, shouldn’t all breakfast food be that easy? I mean, you’re making it in the morning.

Be warned if you make these, the delicious black bean sauce gets extremely messy. Grab an extra napkin! Or you can drain the sauce. Whatever. Eat it and be comforted.

london broil + roasted green beans

London broil is one of my favorite treatments of meat, particularly when cooked to perfection by my mother. I’ve made it once before but overcooked it past its ideal medium well level. This time, I did a better job of pulling it at the right time. That said, there is a disadvantage to making this for one person. The bigger cuts of top round steak seem to hold onto their juices better than the little one-pounders I make. Oh well.

Start by marinating your meat (as mentioned above, I used top round steak) in an easy combination of Worcestershire, red wine vinegar, garlic, and whatever spices you prefer. My Mom always uses Montreal seasoning, which works wonderfully. I added some old red wine to this batch since I needed to get rid of the last dregs of a bottle. Proportion it using it your judgement, though I recommend 2 parts Worcestershire, 1 part vinegar, 1 part wine. I marinated this steak for about 3 hours.

Broil that sucker. You’ll notice I put my broiler pan on another pan to make it easier to pull out. Way better than burning yourself on the broiler trying to get it out. Give it a flip about halfway through, but the whole cooking process should only last about 15 minutes, depending on how thick the steak is and how you like it.

To go with the meat, I decided to try a roasted green beans recipe I’d pinned a million years ago. You pretty much toss some green beans in olive oil, garlic powder, and whatever other seasoning you want, then roast in the oven.

My kitten, Marvin, was fascinated the whole time the beans were in the oven. (Please excuse my messy kitchen.) I guess all that sizzling got his attention.

Here they are, all browned and delicious. Mine weren’t necessarily crispy, (I think because I didn’t dry them off before roasting,) but they were still really, really yummy. I would make these again in a heartbeat. The recipe calls for Parmesan at the end, but I skipped that. These beans would be good with literally any meal, it’s kind of ridiculous.

Mmm. So yummy. 

Make these green beans. Eat them with steak. Have leftovers for only three days! Awesome!

quick bite: spaghetti & meatballs

Oh my goodness. It’s been a busy weekend. I went down (over technically?) to Isle of Palms to spend a little time with my parents while they vacation. The drive back today plus my usual sunburn has completely sapped all energy out of me. Somehow I mustered up some delicious spaghetti and meatballs, though.

Easiest thing in the world—pre-cooked turkey meatballs, whole wheat pasta, some jarred sauce and some cheese and salad to accompany. It was all I could handle tonight. BUT hopefully I can think of some cool ways to use up the leftover meatballs. Sandwiches? Pasta bake? We’ll see.

Next up, that london broil post. If I don’t fall asleep first.

field trip: White Duck Taco Shop

This weekend, I traveled up to Asheville with my boo for a concert. We got to wander around the city while a giant street festival was going on, which was cool. He got a hand carved wooden spoon, I got a pretty silver ring. While we were there, we also got some yummy food at White Duck Taco Shop.

We started with chips and salsa and queso. The queso was average, which still means freaking delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had bad queso. The salsa trio was pretty good too. The red salsa was super fresh. Not quite sure what the middle dip was, but it tasted good.

I got a steak taco, boo got two fish tacos. The fish tacos were really great, but I didn’t get a pic. Isn’t that a pretty taco?

The place itself was a tricky find but totally worth it. Also got drinks at a cool bar named Storm and had a great elderflower+blackberry mojito. Definitely recommend both if you’re passing through.

Coming up, a classy meal post. I made london broil and roasted green beans tonight. Check back later!

thai chicken bites

This is going to be a short post, but it still counts!

I pinned this recipe for Thai chicken bites a while back and finally made them last week. They are yummy! And very easy.

You basically just fry up some chicken and then put delicious delicious sweet chili sauce on it. Not the healthiest recipe ever, obviously, but tasty.

I was really excited when I found this recipe because it’s scaled to make 2 servings. The downside is that any leftovers of the chicken do not reheat well. It loses its crunchiness and the chili sauce flavor gets lost. Might be better if you broiled to reheat and added more sauce. Luckily the chicken bites are tasty enough to not leave many leftovers!

Overall, a good choice. I’d recommend making it when you know someone else will be around to eat the second serving. Or you can just cut it in half and make one.

That’s it for now! I had another lazy weekend and didn’t cook anything worth mentioning, but I’ll try to do something during the week. Next weekend, I’m going to Asheville for a few days, so no cooking. Also I keep fantasizing about those BBQ chicken nachos, so those might get made again soon. But I promise there will be more to come—a girl’s gotta eat!

snack time: guacamole

This weekend, I felt lazy. Like too lazy to make a real meal. Normally I try to do something cool on Sunday night, since that’s typically the only night I feel like spending more than 20 minutes prepping anything. (I work 10am-7pm, so by the time I get home every week night, I’m ready to just throw something together and call it a friggin’ day.)

So I ordered pizza and it was delicious. BUT I still made some snacks that I figured I’d share. One: guacamole.

I never thought I liked guacamole until one of my old college roommates made some fresh last summer. Since then, my feelings for avocados have blossomed.

My recipe for guacamole is a combination of various recipes from the internet mixed with how much of everything I like. I like red onions, so I’m cool with big chunks. I love cilantro, so I put a generous amount in.

Note: this avocado was extremely ripe, so the guac pictured turned out more yellow-y than mine typically does.

Super Easy, Five Minute, Lazy Sunday Guacamole:

Cut an avocado into chunks, using that cool cross-hatch trick you see everywhere on the internet. Dice up some red onion (amount to your preference) and throw avocado and onion in a bowl. Add cilantro to your liking. Spoon some fresh salsa over the mixture, about two or three tablespoons. Finish with a squeeze of line (a quarter of a lime will do) and some garlic powder and cumin. Mash everything together until it looks smooth. If you’re patient, stick it in the fridge for a while and let the flavors meld. If not, just eat it!

This makes enough to snack on for a couple of days, but beware, since guacamole gets all gross and brown when exposed to oxygen. I recommend making this when you want a really big snack, then packaging up the rest. You can put snack size portions in tupperware and put cling wrap over the surface of the guac, pressing it down so it’s not exposed to air.

I also recommend eating this with carrots. So good! And healthier than delicious, salty corn chips.

bbq chicken + mac & cheese muffins

Ladies and gentlemen, my first real post. Last weekend I cooked some really delicious things. First off, BBQ chicken in my crockpot. Then, spinach mac and cheese muffins. And then I just roasted some kale because kale is amazing.

I have a great, tiny, 2-quart crockpot that I think is the coolest thing ever. My chicken was an amalgamation of various recipes I’d seen. I used about a pound of chicken (boneless skinless breasts), so I’d only have 4 servings and wouldn’t have to eat only BBQ chicken for the next two weeks.

I’m partial to vinegar based BBQ sauce. I know that makes me a traitor to my home state of South Carolina’s mustard-based tradition, but I just really freaking love vinegar. For my sauce, I put in a little less than half a bottle of Publix brand BBQ sauce, around 2 Tbsp of brown sugar and Worcestershire, and maybe 1/3 cup of vinegar. I didn’t really measure anything, honestly. I just made sure the chicken was covered with the sauce mixture. Then I let it cook on Low for around 6 hours.

After about 5 hours or so I stuck a fork in there and shredded it up so the sauce could really permeate the chicken. Cooking it in the crockpot makes shredding ridiculously easy. While it was getting extra delicious, I made some mac and cheese muffins.

This is the cheese sauce, which I did not make cheesy enough. I’d seen the recipe on Pinterest and thought it looked interesting. 149 calories per muffin was also very appealing. I tried to half the recipe to only make 6 but somehow still ended up with 12. I think I forgot that pasta gets bigger when cooked. Who knows. 

They did turn out to be very pretty, but I definitely should have added more cheese. I still have like 4 in my fridge right now. They’re good, but not that good. I would definitely try the recipe again though, now that I’ve learned from my mistakes.

To top off my meal, I threw some kale in the oven at 400 degrees after spritzing it with some olive oil and salt and garlic powder.

So how did it taste? Amazing. The chicken was so tender and acidic from the vinegar but sweet and savory from the BBQ sauce. Getting the kale and chicken in the same bite? Magical. I was almost sad I didn’t make 8 servings worth. (almost!) The mac and cheese muffins were fine, but needed a little more oomph. 

All in all, I was very proud of myself for cooking such a grown-up and relatively healthy meal. The leftover chicken was also really friggin good in taco form. Thursday night, I had just a little bit left and decided to get creative. I thought about BBQ chicken pizza but decided on nachos instead.

This was a great decision. I threw some chopped up red onion with the chicken and cheese on tortilla chips and put it the oven for a few minutes. You guys. I literally devoured these in my kitchen, standing up. I couldn’t even make it to the table. I would make the chicken again just to make these nachos.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m going to try to make something tomorrow, but I don’t know what yet. We’ll see where my grocery shopping today takes me.