Tag Archives: dinner for one

Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Green Beans

3 Dec Wild Atlantic Salmon on Sale at Whole Foods

Salmon is one of those super foods you always hear about. I’ve also blogged about one version of baked salmon before, using aluminum foil to bake the fish, but you don’t have to use foil to bake salmon, and it tastes just as yummy! (That’s a technical term by the way: yummy.) I had picked up some green beans earlier in the week while grocery shopping, not entirely sure when I would cook them or with what. But after a couple of nights of chicken I needed something different so I decided to stop at my local Whole Foods to grab some fish. When I pulled in they were having a sale on fresh Atlantic salmon so it was an easy choice as to what I would get. I pulled out my “Weeknights With Giada” cookbook and found the below salmon recipe. I had all the ingredients for the glaze so I was set. Yes! another recipe from Giada done! *side note: my regular digital camera broke this night so photos are from my old iPhone 3GS.

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Green Beans, Garlic, Dijon Mustard, Honey, Cooking Spray, Atlantic Salmon Fillet, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Green Beans, Garlic, Dijon Mustard, Honey, Cooking Spray, Atlantic Salmon Fillet, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt and Pepper

BALSAMIC GLAZED SALMON WITH GARLIC GREEN BEANS (serves 1)

  • 1 6 oz. Salmon Fillet
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

First, make sure your oven rack is in the middle position then preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While your oven is heating up make your balsamic glaze. First, mince your large garlic clove, set aside half to use with your green beans. Combine the other half with the vinegar, maple syrup and mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it reaches a boiling point reduce the heat to low and simmer until it thickens, about 10 minutes. (May take longer if you make more glaze.)

balsamic glaze

Balsamic glaze simmering

Spray a small baking sheet (or a large one if that’s all you have, like me) with your cooking spray where you will place your salmon fillet(s). Drizzle both sides of your salmon fillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. The flesh should easily flake off with a fork.

Wild Atlantic Salmon on Sale at Whole Foods

Wild Atlantic Salmon on Sale at Whole Foods

While your fish is in the oven, work on your green beans. First make sure the ends are removed. In a small fry pan heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add in your minced garlic you set aside from earlier and cook for about 30 seconds, enough so you can smell it. Add in your green beans and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so the entire part of the bean gets coated in oil and cooked.

Green beans about half way done.

Green beans about half way done.

When green beans are done, remove to a plate. Add the finished salmon and top with the balsamic glaze and enjoy! Save the rest of the balsamic glaze for another night and enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner tonight!

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Glaze and Garlic Green Beans

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Glaze and Garlic Green Beans

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Pepper and Tomatoes and Sweet Corn

15 Aug

Growing up summer always meant barbecue. And corn. While I can’t exactly barbecue in my apartment, I can now grill on my stove. And the corn was just calling my name at the store so I couldn’t say no. But what sauce to put on the chicken? That’s always the big question. And that’s where you can get creative. Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially when you’re cooking for yourself. I had roasted peppers left over from when I made my steak salsa as well as plum tomatoes that would soon go bad if not used soon and part of an onion. All veggies I liked and all veggies that go well with chicken, so I decided to combine and make my own improvised sauce. (note, I was going to use chicken broth, but I changed my mind once I started cooking, lol.) Don’t be afraid to improvise in the kitchen. Every recipe started somewhere, and who knows where your cooking improvisation will take you. Have fun!

Grilled Chicken with Tomato and Pepper Sauce Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Garlic, Plum Tomato, Onion, Sweet Corn, Chicken Broth (which was NOT used), Chicken Breast, Parsley, Salt & Pepper

Grilled Chicken with Tomato and Pepper Sauce Ingredients L-R: Olive Oil, Garlic, Plum Tomato, Onion, Sweet Corn, Chicken Broth (which was NOT used), Chicken Breast, Parsley, Salt & Pepper

GRILLED CHICKEN with ROASTED PEPPER AND TOMATO SAUCE with CORN ON THE COB (serves 1)

  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1 Roasted Pepper or 2 Halves
  • 1 Small Plum or Roma Tomato
  • 1/4 of an Onion (any variety, but white or yellow is best)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • White Wine or Chicken Broth
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Clove
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley for Dressing
  • Ear of Corn
Marinating my chicken breast in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper

Marinating my chicken breast in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper

In a small bowl or container, combine about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of olive oil along with about 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix and then add your chicken breast and coat well. Let sit. You can also mix in a plastic bag and let sit in the fridge all day. Heat up your grill on medium high heat and place your chicken breast in the middle. Cook each side about 7-9 minutes depending on the heat of the grill.

grilled chicken

The chicken is on the grill!

grilled chicken

Grilling the chicken

Start a medium pot of water filled to a couple of inches away from the top. It should be full enough for the corn to be fully submerged. Remove the husk and add the corn to the boiling water. Let cook for about 6-9 minutes, or until the corn kernels have all turned yellow. You might have to turn the corn if it was poking up through the water.

sweet corn

Corn in the water. Because it’s poking out I flipped it later.

Make your sauce last. Dice up your tomato and set aside. Slice up your onion and roasted pepper(s) and set aside. Peel and chop up your garlic. In a small pan heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot add in your garlic and let cook for about a minute, you should be able to smell it, then add in your onions and saute for a few minutes until translucent. Add in your tomatoes, turn down the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes, then add in your roasted peppers and saute for a few more minutes. Turn heat to simmer if you’re still waiting for your corn and/or chicken to finish cooking to keep the sauce warm.

Roasted Yellow Peppers, Plum Tomato, Yellow Onion

Roasted Yellow Peppers, Plum Tomato, Yellow Onion

Sauteing the onions, garlic and tomatoes

Sauteing the onions, garlic and tomatoes

Roasted Yellow Peppers, Plum Tomato, Yellow Onion

Tomato and Pepper Sauce almost done!

When the chicken and corn are done move to plate and serve the sauce warm right over the chicken. Chop up some fresh parsley or cilantro and sprinkle on top. Serve your corn with butter, salt and pepper and enjoy! Preferably with a glass of wine!

Grilled Chicken with Tomato and Pepper Sauce and Sweet Corn

Grilled Chicken with Tomato and Pepper Sauce and Sweet Corn

Grilled Chicken and Spinach

6 Mar

Sometimes all you want is a simple dinner. What’s simpler than a chicken breast lightly seasoned and grilled on the stove top? It’s also healthy because of its simplicity. Be forewarned though, it is relatively easy to under or over cook a chicken breast, especially a thicker piece. (Trust me, I’ve under cooked it more than once.) My dad once said t hat you can tell there’s a good cook in the kitchen if they can cook a chicken breast. I still think cooking a chicken breast this way is super easy and everyone should feel comfortable doing it. I love that you can buy chicken breasts individually wrapped. It makes freezing them for later consumption quite easy. But back to my dinner. I still had fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes from my pork chop meal so I cooked those up as a side dish in the same pan, as well as the sauce that went with them. So I re-heated the sauce and poured some over my chicken. If you don’t have any kind of extra sauce in your fridge I would recommend using white wine and deglaze the pan after your chicken is done and use that on your chicken. Feel free to use whatever spices your heart (and taste buds) desires.

Chicken breast ready for seasonings

Chicken breast ready for seasonings

SIMPLE GRILLED CHICKEN (serves 1)

  • Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Heat your oil in a small pan over medium heat. While waiting to heat up season both sides of your chicken breast with salt, pepper and any other spices or herbs you have chosen. Once the oil is hot place your chicken breast in the pan and let cook for about seven to nine minutes.

Chicken Breast seasoned and in the hot oil

Chicken Breast seasoned and in the hot oil

You can see the chicken breast starting to cook. This piece is almost ready to turn over.

You can see the chicken breast starting to cook. This piece is almost ready to turn over.

Depending on how thick your breast is will depend on how long it takes to cook. After about seven minutes, turn over and cook another seven to nine minutes. The breast should be tender to the touch of a fork or knife. You may need to slightly pry open your breast (there’s usually a small opening already on one side that you can almost see inside) and see if it’s still pink or not. The more chicken you cook the easier it will become to tell when it’s done. Remember, it’s better to under cook the chicken and have to put it back in the pan, than over cook it and have dry, tough chicken.

Chicken Breast

Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes cooking in the same pan as the chicken

Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes cooking in the same pan as the chicken

While the first side of the chicken was cooking I prepped my tomatoes by cutting in half and got my spinach ready. After I turned the chicken over and it had been cooking for a few minutes, I moved it over a little and I added my spinach and tomatoes to the other side of the pan and cooked them down for a few minutes. I re-heated the pork chop sauce and after removing the chicken to my plate I poured about a tablespoon or so over my chicken. Enjoy!

Chicken with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes. Enjoy!

Chicken with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes. Enjoy!

Chicken Stuffed With Spinach

22 Feb

I had chicken, spinach, a little bit of onion and a remnant cheese from Whole Foods in my fridge. (Sometimes they have little buckets of small pieces of cheese. It’s a great way to try a new cheese or to satisfy a craving without spending a lot of money.) I decided to take a chance and try stuffing a chicken breast again. This time with the above mentioned items. (Remember my stuffed chicken with onions and cheese? Stuffing a chicken breast ain’t easy.) This time I decided to try a different technique-I flattened my chicken breast and then folded it over. It worked as well as slicing the breast. Either it needs to be flattened more or I need to work on the slicing method again. My meal was still delicious, the innards just fell out a little, lol. Either way, I will keep trying until I have perfected a stuffed chicken breast. I had mushrooms and an onion in the fridge, so I sautéed those up as a side dish. This is my own recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

My remnant cheese from Whole Foods

My remnant cheese from Whole Foods

CHICKEN BREAST STUFFED WITH SPINACH (serves 1)

  • 1 Boneless Chicken Breast
  • Fresh Spinach (about a handful)
  • 1/4 of an onion (any color)
  • 2 oz Soft Cheese (I used doux de montagne)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 or 2 button mushrooms
  • Cooking Red Wine (about 1/8 cup)
Chicken breast pounded down

Chicken breast pounded down

Place your chicken breast between two pieces of parchment paper or paper towels and take a meat tenderizer or a hammer and pound lightly so it’s about an inch thick or thinner. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small or medium skillet over medium-high heat. Slice half of your onion and add to pan once hot and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in your cheese in pieces and stir around so it starts to melt and stick to the onions. Remove this mixture to a small bowl, then add your fresh spinach to the pan and cook until wilted. Add to the onion and cheese mixture.

Spinach

That big handful reduced down to this.

That big handful reduced down to this.

Spinach, Onions and Cheese stuffing mixture

Spinach, Onions and Cheese stuffing mixture

Spread this mixture onto one half of your chicken breast and then fold over. Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium heat and place your chicken breast (seasoned side down) into the pan. Let cook for about 7 to 9 minutes, season with salt and pepper and turn over and cook for another 7 to 9 minutes. (This is where the insides of my chicken started to spill out. Oh well.) Once your chicken is done remove to a plate, reduce the heat to low and add in the red wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan and stir. This will become the sauce for your chicken. Once it has reduced by about half, pour over your chicken breast.

Chicken Breast with stuffing

Chicken Breast with stuffing

Stuffed Chicken Cooking

While the chicken is cooking I worked on my mushrooms. Thinly slice your mushrooms and chop or slice the rest of the your onion. Once you turn your chicken over, in another small or medium skillet, heat the last of your olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in your mushrooms and onions, stirring often. Salt and pepper to taste. The mushrooms should become soft and the onions should become translucent, about 5 minutes. Once done move to plate with chicken. Enjoy!

Sauteing the mushrooms and onions.

Sauteing the mushrooms and onions.

All done!

All done!

Stuffed Chicken and Mushrooms! Yum!

Stuffed Chicken and Mushrooms! Yum!

Sausage and Warm Potato Salad

13 Nov

On a Saturday afternoon I was trying to decide what to make for dinner. I had 3 red potatoes that would soon go bad if I didn’t do something fast though. I pulled out my current favorite cookbook, “The Pleasures of Cooking For One” by Judith Jones, and started leafing through. This was a book that my parents gave me for Christmas last year and is awesome! Judith had worked with the infamous Julia Child at one point in her life so many of her recipes are French inspired. The recipes are mostly pretty simple, and she talks about things like what “half an egg” actually is and making your own soup broths.

So back to my search for red potato recipes. As I leafed through I saw the words “potato salad” and “sausage” and I stopped. It was an uber simple recipe and I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. So I made a quick run to the grocery store for the sausage (I bought a 1 lb Smoked Sausage from Hickory Farms and cut it into 4 oz pieces and froze 3 of them) and a couple other fresh ingredients needed. Before buying the sausage double check the weight, as Hillshire Farm packages a 14 oz. sausage and not a 16 oz one. While I did discover it was a slightly messy recipe, the final dish was delicious! I paired it with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from Terrazas de los Andes that my roommate brought back from a restaurant in San Diego. So delicious that a few nights later I unfroze another piece of sausage and made it again. (I had made 2 servings of the potato salad Saturday night.) Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Yummy deliciousness!

SAUSAGE AND WARM POTATO SALAD (2 servings)

  • 2 sausages, 3-4 oz each, your choice of flavor
  • 3 red potatoes
  • 2-3 green onions
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Splash of Red Wine
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a large pot boil 4-6 cups of water. Once it’s at a roiling boil, place your potatoes in the water. Boil until they are tender and a fork can easily go in and out, but they shouldn’t be falling apart. While you are waiting for the potatoes to boil make your dressing and start your sausage.

In a small/medium bowl combine your Dijon mustard, red wine vinaigrette and olive oil and whisk. Then finely chop your green onions and add to the mix, stirring well. Set aside. In a small pan heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add your sausage to the pan once it warms up, rotating it so it’s evenly cooked. It should take about 7-9 minutes depending on how hot the pan is. Once it’s done remove from pan to your plate and turn heat to low. Now comes the messy part…very carefully (slowly) and very close to the pan pour in about a tablespoon or two of your red wine. WARNING: it will splatter and you will be cleaning later (see picture below). Stir around, deglazing the pan. It will become a syrupy mixture. Pour that over your sausage on the plate. Mmmmmm……

By this time your potatoes should be done. Drain over your sink and cut up into bite size chunks on your cutting board. I like to cut the potato in half, then half, and sometimes half again. Since no two potatoes are the same, sometimes I do it each half in thirds. Either way, think “bite size” so you don’t have to cut at the dinner table. Throw into the bowl that has your dressing, add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. Divide in half for each serving and enjoy! (P.S. Save the clean-up for after!)

The dressing for the potato salad all mixed together.

After adding the red wine to the sausage pan to deglaze. Yummy sauce!

See all those spots? That would be the result of the (hot) olive oil being mixed with the (warm/cool) red wine. It was also on the wall and the rest of the stove top. Oh well.

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