Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

I’ve been fighting the creeping crud and nothing helps fight germs better than a big bowl of soup, preferably spicy soup.  This Chinese chicken noodle cabbage soup is perfect. The spicy broth clears the sinuses, the garlic, ginger and chili sauce have antibiotic qualities, and it tastes good too.

I adapted the recipe from a recipe I found on Epicurious.  It’s not just smaller quantities though. My version has less sugar, and is a bit spicier (I wanted the heat more than sweetness). Gotta fight those germs!  Also, since I didn’t have tahini handy (and wouldn’t want to buy it just for this), I ditched that and used peanut butter instead.  I didn’t have seasoned rice vinegar either, so I substituted the regular kind. Their recipe cooked the chicken by boiling it in the soup.  I decided I wanted more complex, caramelized flavor, so I cooked it with the cabbage.  And, since I didn’t have sherry I reasoned that since sherry was essentially fortified wine, that some red wine and a drizzle of honey would work just fine. It did!

This is enough for one generous serving, or two smaller ones, depending on how hungry you are.




Chinese Chicken Cabbage Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

one serving

Chinese Chicken Cabbage Noodle Soup

Spicy chinese chicken cabbage noodle soup fragrant with garlic, chili garlic sauce, and scallions. Not too hot and not too sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken thigh (or 2 smaller ones)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sherry (or use red wine and a drizzle of honey)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (divided)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • 1 tsp peanut butter*
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 12 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 5-6 leaves cabbage, shredded or chiffonade**
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 oz long noodles, with water to cook

Instructions

  1. Cut up the chicken thigh into strips and put them in a small bowl.
  2. Add the soy, sherry, and half the sesame oil to the bowl with the chicken.
  3. Let sit about 20 minutes.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the garlic, peanut butter, ginger, rice vinegar, and chili garlic sauce.
  5. In a large, sturdy pot (a Dutch oven will work nicely), heat the rest of the sesame oil, and the canola oil on medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and the scallions.
  6. Cook for five minutes until the cabbage softens slightly.
  7. Add the chicken mixture and cook another 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add the broth, increase the heat, and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down a bit and let the soup simmer for five minutes.
  9. While the soup is coming to a boil, fill a saucepan with water and heat to boiling. Once it's boiling, add the noodles and cook 5-8 minutes until al dente.
  10. Once the noodles are done, drain them in a colander.
  11. Pour the soup into a large bowl, and add the noodles.

Notes

*If you use unsweetened, natural peanut butter, add a little sugar or honey

** How to chiffonade:

Take the cabbage leaves and stack them on top of each other. Then roll them up like a cigar. Cut them across (the short way) so you end up with long, thin ribbons.

Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • Add some sliced mushrooms, broccoli, or snow peas to the soup (when you cook the cabbage and scallions)
  • Substitute bok choy for the cabbage
  • Want it spicier? Drizzle the finished soup with some sriracha or more chili garlic sauce
  • Go with the original recipe and use the tahini instead of the peanut butter
  • Like it less spicy?  Use sriracha in the recipe instead of the chili garlic sauce




 

Tools and Ingredients for Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup

Huy Fong Sauce Chili Garlic

This is great for lots of recipes: put it in Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce, chili citrus chicken thighs, sesame noodles, or add a kick to scrambled eggs or meatloaf. Or, mix it into mayonnaise for chili aioli.


Nakano Rice Vinegar

This is just about essential for Asian cooking. Use it in this recipe, or for an Asian cole slaw. Baste meat with it, or combine it with some soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and scallions for a quick dipping sauce.


Kadoya Sesame Oil

Another essential for Asian cooking, great for salad dressings, shrimp, or teriyaki. Use it in Chinese cucumber salad, or saute it with some spinach.

 

More Asian Recipes

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Spicy Sesame Noodles Recipe for One Person

Chili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It’s suddenly fall-like here in NY, with cooler weather and even a few leaves starting to turn.  So, time to start thinking about comfort food. And what better comfort food than skin on garlic mashed potatoes.

I’m posting this partly in honor of my sister-in-law, who loves mashed potatoes.  She practically thinks they are a food group. When she married my brother, I included a larger version of this recipe in a mini-cookbook we made for her.  Now, many years later, I make them slightly differently: not just mashed potatoes, but skin on garlic mashed potatoes.  It’s less work, less cleanup and more nutrition. Win win win!

The original recipe calls for milk, but I was feeling decadent, so I went with half and half here.  Use milk if you prefer.  Or, even a bit of cream.

Make sure to use thin skinned potatoes that are suitable for boiling and mashing.  I like to use either white potatoes, (sometimes called Eastern potatoes), or Yukon gold.  The skins on the white potatoes are thinner than Russets, which makes them better for a recipe that calls for leaving the skin on the potato.  Yukon gold are naturally more creamy and buttery tasting.  Also, I’ve never particularly liked Russets, they seem floury to me. They’re higher in starch, and don’t reheat well. They also don’t hold their shape (not an issue for mashing, but a problem for potato salad or soup).




Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one serving

Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large white or Yukon gold potato (or two if they are small)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 T plus 2 tsp milk or half and half

Instructions

  1. Peel the garlic.
  2. Wash the potato and remove the eyes. Then cut it into quarters.
  3. Put the garlic and potato in a small (one quart) saucepan.
  4. Add enough water to cover, plus the salt.
  5. Bring the water to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and soft and yield easily to a folk.
  6. Drain the potatoes, put them in a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
  7. Meanwhile, add the butter and milk to the same saucepan, and heat on a low flame until the butter melts.
  8. Mash the potato garlic mixture with a potato masher (or a fork, in a pinch).
  9. Add the milk/butter mixture and stir until absorbed into the potatoes, and season with salt to taste.

Skin on Garlic Mashed Potatoes Substitutions and Variations

  • Top with some scallions
  • Add a few rosemary leaves
  • Try roasting the garlic, instead of boiling it with the potatoes
  • Stir in some freshly grated parmesan cheese




More Potato Recipes

French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Roasted Paprika Potatoes

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Frittata Recipe for One Person

Moussaka Without Bechamel Sauce Recipe

I just love moussaka, but the traditional version is just too much work for one serving. I had a recipe for a Jewish Eygptian version of moussaka without bechamel,(or messa’aa) but the first try needed more tweaking. Back to the drawing board! This version uses more spices, has better flavor, and is much easier to put together.

There’s Middle Eastern flavor from spicy/warm cinnamon and nutmeg, the bite of garlic and onion, tender eggplant, and tomatoes. You can make this either with ground lamb or ground beef (whichever you prefer).

Many of the recipes I saw required first making a tomato sauce, then a meat mixture, then the eggplant, and finally assembling the entire thing together. Too much work and too many pots and pans to clean up.

My way is easier. First salt and fry the eggplant (or broil if you’d prefer), then cook the onion and garlic, add the meat, tomatoes, and seasoning, layer it all together and bake it. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, you can have dinner ready in about an hour.

Or, make it all ahead of time, up to the point of putting it in the oven.  Then, put the baking dish in the fridge, and cook it when you’re ready. Just take the dish out about fifteen or twenty minutes in advance so that it isn’t ice cold when you put it in the oven. Make a quick salad or some rice and you have dinner.

This recipe is also a product of a bit of advance planning.  The trouble with cooking for one sometimes is that even if you make one serving you still have more ingredients left.  However, a little menu planning can go a long way toward fixing that problem.  You end up with several delicious meals,  a lot less waste, and it’s far more budget friendly too.

For example, this recipe uses the rest of the eggplant from rosemary olive oil broiled eggplant and the remaining crushed tomatoes from tomato artichoke pasta sauce recipe from two weeks ago. I’ve now used up the eggplant and the can of tomatoes. There are more recipes at the bottom of the post to help with the beef.




Easy Moussaka Without Bechamel

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

one serving

Easy Moussaka Without Bechamel

Ingredients

  • 12 thin slices eggplant (about half a small eggplant)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 T plus 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 lb. ground beef or lamb
  • 4 T crushed tomatoes
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • generous grinding of pepper and salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Instructions

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the sliced eggplant on a cutting board and sprinkle it with kosher salt. Let sit for fifteen or twenty minutes. Then rinse the salt off and pat dry.
  3. Heat 2T of the olive oil in a frying pan large enough to hold the eggplant in one layer.
  4. Add the eggplant slices to the hot oil and cook for a minute on each side (it should be lightly colored, but not brown).
  5. Remove the eggplant, place on paper towels, and pat dry.
  6. Add the onion to the pan, and add the additional 1T of oil. Let the onion cook for five minutes on medium-low heat, until it softens and the fragrance starts to waft through your kitchen. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  7. Now add the ground beef or lamb, the tomatoes, and the spices.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes until the meat is browned.
  9. Layer the bottom of a small (6 inches or so) baking dish with half the eggplant. Add the cooked meat mixture on top. Then arrange the remaining eggplant on top.
  10. Put the dish in the toaster oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Moussaka Without Bechamel Sauce Substitutions and Variations

  • Pan fry some almonds in olive oil and add that to the meat mixture in the pan
  • Toss in some raisins
  • Top the moussaka with a mixture of yogurt, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and chopped cucumbers (sort of a tzatziki without the dill)
  • Substitute potatoes or zucchini for the eggplant
  • Add some chopped green pepper to the meat mixture

Moussaka Without Bechamel Tools and Ingredients

HIC Square Baking Dish small porcelain baking dish

I use this dish all the time.  It’s great for mini-moussaka (like this recipe), mac and cheese, peach crumble, triple chocolate cake, brownies, or ginger pear bread. You could even make quiche or a mini-meatloaf in it. The dish goes in the oven, the microwave, or the broiler and it’s dishwasher safe too. And since it’s pretty, you don’t need an extra serving dish (one less thing to wash).

Simply Organic Allspice

Despite the name, this isn’t a spice mixture; it’s from a berry.  Allspice is great for moussaka, and indispensable for meatballs, pies (pumpkin season is coming!), and chicken. Like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves it’s one of those warm/spicy ingredients that can add a little kick or a savory flavor depending on how you use it.  It’s sort of a cinnamony, clove, nutmeg taste.

More Beef Recipes

Use up the rest of the package of beef with these recipes.

Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Small Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Compound Butter Cheeseburger

Easy Italian Meatball Recipe for One




Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad Recipe for One

Tuna cannellini bean salad is a great meal for those days when you just don’t feel like “cooking.” Maybe you got home late from work, or you’ve been out running errands all day, or it’s just too hot to fuss.  This meal requires nothing more complicated than opening a few cans, sprinkling some seasonings, and a little bit of chopping. Easy.

Everything comes straight from your pantry.  The beans are canned, the tuna is canned, and the only fresh ingredient you need is some scallions, and maybe the lemon juice. Even that isn’t essential; if you don’t have scallions, use onion instead.  If you’re out of fresh lemons, the bottled juice will do just fine.

If you do have the time and energy, this is a bit better with freshly cooked beans. The canned beans tend to be slightly mushy, and sometimes they’re a little salty.   If you go the dried bean route, use my quick soak method to speed things up.  If not, no harm, no foul.

The recipe is enough for two lunches or one dinner (depending  how hungry you are).  I usually find that I eat a whole 5 oz. can of tuna for lunch if I just make ordinary tuna salad, but adding the beans stretches it enough for two meals.

I’ve adapted it slightly from one of  Pierre Franey’s Sixty Minute Gourmet cookbooks. I reduced the quantity and eliminated the parsley (never had any use for parsley). This is not only better than sixty minutes, it only takes about ten.

Serve with some fresh fruit and you have a fast lunch in under fifteen minutes.  Add crusty bread to that and you have dinner.




Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: Meditteranean

one

Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 15 oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 1 small scallion, chopped (or about 1 T chopped onion)
  • one small garlic clove, minced
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1T olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 5 oz can tuna

Instructions

  1. Drain the beans and pour them into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except the tuna).
  3. Drain the oil from the tuna, add it to the bowl and break it apart with a fork.
  4. Take a fork and spoon and toss everything together to combine the ingredients.

Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • add some capers
  • mix in some cherry tomatoes
  • try red onion instead of the scallions
  • serve over romaine lettuce
  • mix some greens (watercress, arugula, or one of those baby greens mixtures) right into the salad

 

More Cannellini Bean Recipes

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup




Pasta with Tomato Artichoke Sauce Recipe

Shortcut your dinner cooking routine with staples you already have in your pantry. This tomato artichoke pasta sauce recipe (also called Pasta Sauce Raphael) is ready in less than half an hour.  The original called for fresh tomatoes and hours of simmering. My version is faster and tastes just as good!

It’s flavored with rich, sweet tomatoes, a bit of earthy oregano and summery basil, plus a gentle kick from red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper.

The only thing you need to get is the jar of marinated artichoke hearts. You likely already have the rest of the ingredients in  your larder (yay!).  Since the basil and oregano are dried, you don’t have to go and get fresh herbs.

The best way to approach this is to begin by making the pasta. Set the pasta pot on the stove with water and start to bring it to a boil. While that’s heating up, start working on the sauce.

Save the rest of the artichokes to make the recipe again, or add them to an antipasto platter with salami, fruit, olives, and cheese on a night you don’t feel like cooking.

The remaining tomatoes can go for Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant or Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili




Tomato Artichoke Pasta Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Tomato Artichoke Pasta Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • Pasta
  • 4 oz. short pasta or tortellini
  • 2 quarts of water
  • pinch salt
  • Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • generous grinding of black pepper
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 6.5 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts (with marinade)
  • 4 tsp grated Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Pasta
  2. Measure out the water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the pasta and salt and cook for about 8 minutes, until al dente.
  4. Sauce
  5. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium size saucepan.
  6. Add the onion, garlic, dried basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
  7. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the grinding of black pepper, the tomatoes, and a pinch of salt.
  9. Simmer for about 8 minutes.
  10. Add the artichokes and marinade and simmer another minute or two.
  11. If the sauce gets too thick, add some of the pasta water. This will also add extra flavor to the sauce.
  12. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the sauce.
  13. Add 3 teaspoons of the Romano cheese to the sauce and toss everything together so that the pasta is completely coated with sauce. Taste and correct seasoning (adding more salt and pepper if needed).
  14. Pour the pasta and sauce into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Tomato Artichoke Pasta Sauce Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Add a spoonful of capers to the sauce
  • Intensify the tomato flavor with sun-dried tomatoes
  • Try Manchego or Parmesan cheese instead of Romano
  • If you don’t have the marinated artichokes, use the canned kind with some olive oil and white wine
  • If you don’t like artichokes (or have them handy) replace them with mushrooms and a tablespoon of Italian dressing

More Pasta Recipes

Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

Penne with Feta Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Olives

Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil




Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

I first learned to make this eggplant dish when I was visiting a cousin in Boston. He was living in a rambling house with lots of roomies and a student budget.  Creativity was important!  This meltingly tender broiled eggplant infused with olive oil and flecked with fresh rosemary takes full advantage of seasonal produce.  Just grab some of the fresh eggplants popping up in your local farmer’s market and make this super simple recipe.

Since this recipe is made nearly entirely with pantry staples, all you have to buy is the eggplant.  Fresher eggplants are less bitter than their out-of-season cousins and the standard dark, nearly black supermarket offerings. And, the farmer’s market should have a much wider selection.  I used Graffiti eggplant (streaky purple), but white eggplant, or fairy eggplant (the smaller streaky variety, which is particularly tender) works just as well.

Look for smaller eggplants with firm skin.  A wrinkled eggplant is an old eggplant.  The smaller ones are sweeter too.  Check the stem to make sure it’s fresh; it should be free of mold or mushiness.  An eggplant that’s heavy for its size is better.  Lighter ones are likely to be hollow and less fleshy (so less to eat).

There’s some slightly inaccurate folk wisdom about “male” and “female” eggplants, with males having fewer seeds. The flowers are both male and female, but the fruit isn’t. However, if you want fewer seeds, check the bottom of the eggplant.  There’s an indentation which is sometimes oval and sometimes round. Eggplants with an oval indentation seem to have fewer seeds than the round ones.  So pick the oval eggplant (because you want fruit, not seeds).




Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

Tender, creamy, and super-easy to prepare. You only need a fresh eggplant and a few staple ingredients: olive oil, parmesan cheese, rosemary, and salt

Ingredients

  • 6-7 slices eggplant, cut thinly
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to broil and remove the tray.
  2. Salt the eggplant.
  3. Once the oven is hot, place the eggplant on the tray and drizzle with olive oil, turn each piece over to coat on both sides.
  4. Broil for three minutes.
  5. Turn the eggplant over, add the rosemary and parmesan cheese.
  6. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown.

Rosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant Substitutions and Variations

  • If you can plan ahead, pour a small quantity of olive oil into a separate, sealed jar.  Add a sprig of rosemary and let it sit.  The flavor will infuse into the oil
  • Add some zucchini to the eggplant
  • Or, put in a few slices of onion
  • Try some Romano or Manchego cheese instead of the Parmesan

More Eggplant Recipes

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Single Serving Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person




Homemade Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce

I’ve been craving chicken shawarma ever since I first saw The Avengers movie (years ago!)  Since I’m in NY, and the city wasn’t really broken like in the movie, I even looked up the place where the last scene was filmed (when they were all sitting around eating shawarma).  But somehow, I never managed to get there.  I was re-watching the movie again recently and had the same craving again. Then I thought, wait, I know how to cook! Why go out and schlep all the way to midtown when I can make homemade chicken shawarma instead?

So, instead of going out, I went to the Internet and found a NY Times recipe.  This dish is traditionally made on a spit or a rotisserie, but who has a roasting spit in their home? Not me, and certainly not in my tiny kitchen.  The oven works just fine.  If you want, you can roast the chicken first, and then fry it in a pan to make it crispier.  I prefer my chicken moist and tender, so I skipped that step.

You make this dish in two stages. First marinate the chicken, make the yogurt sauce, and let both sit in the fridge. It’s best if it sits overnight, but allow at least an hour so that the flavors have time to blend together.

I put the chicken and the marinade ingredients in a plastic zip lock bag, shook it all up, and rubbed the sauce into the meat.  One less bowl to clean! The yogurt sauce went into a small ramekin.

There are hundreds of different ways to make the sauce: with za’atar or sumac, with dill, mint, basil, mostly mayo, yogurt/mayo, and on and on and on.  I’ve listed several different variations, just pick the one that suits your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand.

I could use za’atar and sumac, but I left them out of the instructions since they are a bit exotic in the US and I try to stick to ingredients that are readily accessible. The lemon zest, salt, and pepper that are in the recipe are a decent substitute for the sumac.  You can combine thyme, sesame seeds, sumac (or lemon pepper), plus salt and make your own za’atar substitute.

If you like, combine the dry ingredients for the marinade together and keep them in a spice jar.  Then, you just have to add fresh lemon juice and you’re ready to cook.

Serve this with a Greek salad, rice, olives, feta, or even (gasp) French fries. Fried or roasted eggplant would be great too.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

one serving

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Get takeout flavor right in your own kitchen. Homemade chicken shawarma is a meal all by itself.

Ingredients

  • Homemade Shawarma Marinade
  • 1/2 small lemon, juiced (divided, about 2-3 T total; use 2T for the marinade and one for the sauce)
  • 2 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • generous pinch turmeric (about 1/8 tsp)
  • pinch cinnamon
  • red pepper flakes
  • Chicken
  • 1 chicken thigh (bone-in)
  • 1/2 onion, cut in quarters
  • One pita bread
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • grating of lemon zest (healthy pinch)
  • small clove minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Sauce ingredients
  • minced mint
  • z'aatar
  • sumac
  • minced dill
  • tahini
  • chopped cucumber

Instructions

  1. Marinade
  2. Start by making the marinade for the chicken. Pour all the marinade ingredients into a plastic zip lock bag. Mix it all up with a spoon.
  3. Chicken
  4. Add the chicken, close the bag, and shake it, and rub the marinade into the meat. Set in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably overnight).
  5. Sauce
  6. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or ramekin. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour (or overnight).
  7. Preheat the toaster oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Take the chicken out of the fridge, open the bag, and add the onion. Close the bag and shake to mix it all up.
  9. Grease the toaster oven tray (or a small rimmed baking pan) with the remaining oil. Pour the chicken and marinade onto the pan.
  10. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit for a minute or two until it's cool enough to handle. Cut the chicken up (save the bone for soup), and place on the pita.
  11. Drizzle the sauce over the meat and serve.

Notes

Note, the prep time on this includes an hour of marinating time. You don't actually have to work that long!




 

Homemade Chicken Shawarma Substitutions and Variations

  • Serve with Persian or English cucumbers and fresh tomatoes
  • Top with feta cheese
  • Add chopped dill or mint to the sauce
  • Put za’atar or sumac in the sauce
  • Make the sauce with tahini
  • Serve with a Greek salad (olives, feta, tomatoes, and cucumber)

More Middle Eastern Recipes

Shakshouka for One

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

Chopped Israeli Salad for One Person

Easy Lentils and Rice Recipe

Tools and Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Shawarma

norpro porcelain ramekinsNorpro 4oz/120ml Porcelain Ramekins, Set of 6norpro porcelain ramekins

These little ramekins are super-handy in the kitchen. I use them for dips, sauces, mixing up a quick salad dressing, nuts, slices of lemon to squeeze on fish, and olives. Use one for the olives, and another to hold the pits (works for cherries too). Or, you can even use them for spare change.

zaatar seasoning
USimply Season Za’atar

If you want try try actual za’atar, make sure to look carefully at the ingredients. Some of them have wheat (?!?) in them, and others are just thyme (which is the English translation). You want a mixture of sesame seeds, thyme, oregano or marjoram, and sumac. This one delivers what it should. Use it for the yogurt sauce, add it to roasted vegetables or fish, or sprinkle it into olive oil and serve with pita bread.

ground sumac
USimplySeason Sumac

Sumac adds a pop of bright red color, as well as a citrusy, lemon flavor to food. It’s great with hummus, over fish, mixed in salads, or on potatoes. There’s no additives, salt, or other fillers in this jar, just sumac.

 



 

Frozen Mango Yogurt Dessert Recipe Without an Ice Cream Machine

It’s so hot and sticky in NY you can practically swim in the air.  Bleah!  Even I don’t want to turn on the stove in this weather.  When it feels like 100 degrees outside, dinner is a no cook meal.   After dinner,  it’s this frozen mango yogurt dessert recipe. It’s super-easy to make. And, you don’t need an ice cream machine or any special equipment either (a blessing in a small kitchen).  An ordinary blender (or a stick blender) will do just fine.  You also don’t have to add any sugar or honey. The recipe gets its sweetness entirely from the natural sugars in the fruit.

I’ve adapted this from Foodaholic’s frozen lemon ginger mango recipe.  She made enough for a family (I didn’t), and I also changed her technique slightly. She freezes the yogurt and the fruit separately and then blends them together.  I found it got much too hard that way.  And, it’s an extra container to wash.  So, I just put it all in the blender and hit the button.  She is right that the yogurt must be thick (Greek yogurt works best), and that it will crystallize if you leave it in the freezer too long.

If you can get good fresh mangoes, use them! If you can’t, or if you are lazy and don’t want the fuss and mess of peeling and cutting them, buy the frozen mangoes from Trader Joe’s.  Take out what you need and let the fruit defrost slightly before trying to put it in the blender.




Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe Without an Ice Cream Machine

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Category: dessert

Cuisine: South Asian

one

one serving

Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe Without an Ice Cream Machine

A cold, refreshing dessert that's great for super-hot summer days.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 C mango*
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 12 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
  • A drop of vanilla extract
  • Slivered almonds (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients, except the almonds in a blender, or in a beaker with a stick blender.
  2. Scoop into a container and freeze for three or four hours.
  3. Remove from freezer and let sit for a few minutes until it softens enough to serve. Scoop into a dish and top with silvered almonds.

Notes

* If you use fresh mango, peel it and cut it into chunks. If you have the frozen kind, let it sit out for a while to defrost slightly before you try to use it.

Don't be confused by the cook time (that's really the freezing time).

Frozen Mango Yogurt Dessert Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have mangoes?  Try it with peaches instead
  • Add a drizzle of honey
  • Toast the almonds before adding them
  • Try a squeeze of lime instead of lemon juice
  • Be adventurous and substitute cardomom for the ginger (sort of a frozen mango lassi)

More Mango and Yogurt Recipes

Quick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

Cottage Cheese Yogurt and Fruit Salad

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake




Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A great way to take advantage of fresh, local strawberries, this strawberry balsamic grilled cheese sandwich is an updated childhood classic meant for grownups. Don’t worry, it’s still wonderful comfort food!

I saw a similar recipe on social media and decided I had to try it.  They used blackberries, but I figured strawberries would work just as well, and I had just a few local summer strawberries left (since the season was delayed by wet weather).  The original post I saw didn’t specify what cheese to use.  The internet suggested a strawberry balsamic brie sandwich, but I didn’t have brie either.  So, I used smoked gouda instead. The gooey, melty, smoky gouda, the tart vinegar, and the sweet strawberries combine for a salty-sweet-tangy burst of flavor. Plus, some crunch from the grilled bread.

You can use the gouda, or brie, or probably any mild cheese that melts well for this. If you don’t have strawberries, use blackberries instead.  I made this with rye bread, but any crusty bread would work well. Ciabatta would likely be great (it makes wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches), because it absorbs the oil’s flavor and turns a beautiful golden brown without getting greasy.

There are lots of different opinions on how to grill cheese sandwiches (or toast them if you are in the UK).  Some butter the bread, others slather on mayonnaise (no  no no).  I prefer to just cook them in a mixture of butter and oil.  The oil has a higher smoking point than butter does (so it’s less likely to burn).  The butter adds extra flavor.




Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 11 minutes

Category: sandwich

Cuisine: American

one

Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

An old classic American sandwich with a new, updated twist. This is not kid stuff, this sandwich appeals to grownups, while keeping the best part of "comfort food."

Ingredients

  • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons oil (you can use neutral oil or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 slices crusty bread
  • 3-4 slices smoked gouda, brie, or other mild cheese

Instructions

  1. Put the sliced strawberries and the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl or ramekin. Stir to mix until the strawberries are coated.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a small frying pan on low-medium heat.
  3. Once the oil/butter mixture is hot, build your sandwich - bread, then the cheese, then the strawberry mixture, then the second slice.
  4. Add the sandwich to the pan and cook for a two or three minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for another two or three minutes.

Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich Substitutions and Variations

  • use blackberries or raspberries instead of strawberries (blueberries might work too, but they’re harder to cut up)
  • try brie, goat cheese, or Monterey Jack instead of gouda
  • experiment with crusty breads such as ciabatta or a hearth loaf
  • toss in a few fresh basil leaves
  • add some black pepper to the strawberry/balsamic mixture

More Sandwich Recipes

Three Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich Recipe

Vegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person




Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a long-ago birthday dinner at a tiny neighborhood Italian restaurant. The restaurant is now (sadly) closed, but their smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauce lives on!

The pasta is bathed in a velvety, slightly pink, tomato sauce with a touch of cream.  It’s delicious and elegant too.  Make a double batch and serve it for company (they’ll think you’ll worked on it all day).

This only requires a little bit of smoked salmon (about a slice or two), so you won’t bust your budget cooking it.  Even better, check to see if your market or deli sells smoked salmon ends. They’re much cheaper, and taste just as good as the fancy slices.  Besides, a beautiful slice hardly matters when you are going to cut it up into small pieces!

If you don’t have any smoked salmon handy, you can use leftover cooked salmon instead. Add it right at the end.  The idea is just to heat it up. You don’t want to overcook it.

To save some time (and get dinner done faster), put the water for the pasta in the pot first, and start bringing it to a boil. While the water is heating up,  chop the onion.  Then get the second pan going with the butter and oil.   Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot.  Finish the sauce in the second pan while the pasta cooks. That way, you have dinner in about 20-25 minutes and nothing sits around getting cold.




Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Creamy, velvety pasta with smoked salmon. A dish elegant enough for company (but you don't have to share).

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. short pasta
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 T onion, chopped
  • 1/4 C crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 C cream
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 or two slices smoked salmon, chopped (about 1/4 C)

Instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 5-8 minutes.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter and oil in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onion, and cook until translucent (about five minutes).
  4. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add cream and pepper flakes.
  6. Bring to a simmer until thick (about 5 minutes).
  7. Add the salmon and heat for a minute.
  8. Drain the pasta, and pour into the pot with the sauce. Stir everything together and serve.

 

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce Substitutions and Variations

  • Trade the smoked salmon for leftover cooked salmon.
  • Add a shot of vodka for penne a la vodka with salmon.
  • Try sun-dried tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes.

More Pasta Recipes

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

Summer Pasta with Green Olives and Feta Cheese

Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce