Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Apple almond chicken salad is an easy lunch that’s full of flavor, without a lot of bother.  You can either start with rotisserie chicken from the store, or roast your own.  The flavor comes from sweet apples, crunchy almonds, and tangy sour cream.

Switching from all mayo to half sour cream and half mayo adds more zing, and makes the salad a lot less heavy. I don’t just mean calories.  I find all mayo is just too greasy.  If you don’t have sour cream, Greek yogurt works really well too.

This recipe was inspired by an online food group I belong to. There are themes most months and this time it was apples. So I decided to switch my usual chicken salad up a bit.  Goodbye grapes and hello apples!

Use a rotisserie chicken and this recipe is done in five minutes. Or, do it yourself (think of this as two recipes in one). The roast chicken is delicious for dinner too.

If you want to roast the chicken yourself, mix up 1 tsp olive oil, a small clove of garlic (chopped), and 1 tsp rosemary in a small ramekin. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then coat it with the olive oil mixture.  Roast at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Then let it cool, and remove the skin. Eat the skin as a chef’s treat (this is an important step!). Shred the chicken, and prepare the rest of the salad. Roasting at a higher temperature keeps the meat juicy while the skin gets crispy and golden brown.




Apple Almond Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Category: Lunch Recipes for One

Cuisine: American

1 serving

apple almond chicken salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked chicken thigh, shredded
  • 1 small apple, cut in chunks
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp ground almonds

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix them together.




Apple Almond Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Use chopped almonds or other nuts, like walnuts or pecans
  • Try switching the rosemary in the roast coating with tarragon instead
  • If you use rotisserie chicken, add some fresh rosemary or tarragon to the salad
  • Go back to the grapes
  • Toss in some craisins (sweetened cranberries)

More Chicken Salad Recipes

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Chicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette




Easy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

This hearty ham and lentil soup is just the thing for a chilly winter day.  It’s adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’ve naturally cut down the servings (from 8 to 4) and made a few other minor changes.  It’s pretty easy to prepare, and only requires a single pot. And you know how I hate cleanup! Funny, I enjoy the cooking part, but not the mess afterwards.

Since even four servings means a lot of soup for one, let the soup cool, and then divide it up into smaller containers and freeze it.  That way, a week or two from now, all you have to do is defrost an individual serving. Add a salad, a chunk of bread, or some cut up fruit and you have a quick meal. And once you’ve made the soup, there are no more pots to clean up.

The original recipe called for bacon, but having none, I used some kielbasa and a ham hock instead.  The kielbasa and ham hock get cooked along with the soup, which I think adds more flavor.

Also, the cookbook was written before the age of stick blenders.  So it instructed you to use a food processor or a food mill to puree the soup. Too much work! And too much mess. The immersion blender makes all that much easier, faster, and a lot less work to clean up.




Ham and Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: Small Batch Soup Recipes

Cuisine: American

4 portions

ham and lentil soup

Ingredients

  • 1 T cooking oil*
  • 4 inch piece kielbasa, cut in coin size slices (about 1/4 pound)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 3/4 C chicken stock
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf**
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 T (a bit over 1/3 C) brown lentils
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 3 quart pot.
  2. Add the kielbasa, and brown for a few minutes.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and ham hock, cover the pot, and cook on low for about 25 minutes, until the veggies are soft.
  4. Pour in the stock, add the thyme, bay leaf, pepper, and the lentils.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are soft and cooked through.
  6. Remove the bay leaf and the ham hock.
  7. Separate the meat from the ham hock bone and return to the pot. Discard the bone.
  8. Use a stick blender to partly puree the soup (you want a half and half mixture of whole and blended lentils.
  9. Taste the soup, and add salt or pepper if needed.

Notes

*I used kielbasa that was a mixture of turkey, pork, and beef. If you use pork kielbasa you won't need the oil.

**Put the bay leaf in a tea ball for easier removal.




Ham and Lentil Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • Use bacon instead of the kielbasa and ham hock; cook that first, then remove it and set aside, when the soup is finished, crumble the bacon on top
  • Use crumbled pork sausage, or some diced ham instead of the kielbasa and ham hock
  • Add a cup of diced tomatoes
  • Chop up a scallion and add that to the soup

Tools for Making Your Soup

Cusinart Stick Blender

I have an older version of this, and it is still going strong after years and years of use.  It’s great for milkshakes, pureeing soup, and making smoothies.  And it’s much easier to clean than my big blender. In fact, I hardly ever use the blender anymore.  Instead of cleaning a large appliance, all you have to do is pop off the shaft and wash that. Then wipe the top with a damp sponge. Unlike mine, this newer version is cordless, so it’s a lot easier to maneuver, particularly in a small space (like my kitchen). It also comes with a whisk attachment.


Chantal Soup Pot

I had no idea how much I needed a pot like this until I got one as a gift. The soup pot I got with my cookware set is far too large, and I hardly use it.  This one is great for small batches of soup, chili, even popcorn. The glass lid makes it easy to see when the corn starts to pop. And it’s a lot easier to handle than a full size soup pot (or a cast iron Dutch oven).

More Lentil Recipes

Red Lentil Carrot Soup

Cumin, garam masala and ginger add warmth and spice, while a touch of red pepper flakes give this soup a kick.

Easy Lentils and Rice Recipe

It may win no prizes for looks, but this recipe is healthy, really tasty, and easy to prepare. And, it features a surprise ingredient you may not expect.

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Exactly one serving of  warm, hearty soup with tangy tomatoes, rich lamb, lentils, and fragrant garlic.




Fifteen Minute Recipes for One

I have a whole page of quick dinner recipes (usually under thirty minutes), but sometimes even half an hour is too long to wait. You’ve got an appointment. Or, you got home late. And sometimes you can almost feel your blood sugar plummeting and if you don’t get food fast, you may fall over.  So, here are some fifteen minute recipes for one (some lunch, some dinner) that you can put together super quickly.

When you’re in a rush eggs, tuna, and sandwiches are your friends.  These are minimal prep, minimal cooking, one pot meals, that are finished faster than you can order takeout. But they are still real meals (not just standing in front of the sink eating out of a container of yogurt). And not a smoothie either. I like smoothies, but that’s not a meal in my opinion.

They’re all sized for one person, so there’s no leftovers.  And, there’s very little cleanup too. Because when you’re tired or rushed, the last thing you want to do is make a big mess making something to eat.

A little menu planning trick: when you make rice, make extra.  It reheats well (you can even freeze it in small bags and then microwave it), and it’s an easy way to fill out your dinner).




tuna cannellini bean saladItalian Tuna with Beans

Lighter than tuna with mayo, and made entirely with ordinary pantry and kitchen ingredients. The only fresh thing you need is some scallions (or onions).  Other than that, just open some cans and mix it all together.

 

cherry tomato basil frittataCherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Just four main ingredients, and ready in minutes. No special shopping trip required, these are all standard kitchen/pantry staples (eggs, cheese, tomatoes, and basil).

 


strawberry balsamic grilled cheeseStrawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This grilled cheese sandwich is comfort food for grownups.  Melty cheese with strawberries and balsamic vinegar for an extra jolt of flavor. The berries and vinegar complement each other beautifully.


easy canned tuna curryCanned Tuna Curry

Another super easy recipe, with canned tuna,  just a couple of things to chop or grate, and a quick spin on the stove. It’s curry in a hurry.

 

 


fried egg burritoFried Egg Burrito

Versatile, budget friendly, and ready to eat in about ten minutes.  You can make it as is, or add pre-cooked beans, top with guacamole, or add several types of cheese instead of just one.

bacon spinach tomato aioli sandwichBacon Spinach Aioli Sandwich

Mmmm bacon with some bell peppers for sweetness to balance the bacon’s saltiness. And a super-sneaky fast way to make aioli (it’s not hard)

 


eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Fast, delicious, and you only need one pan to make it.  Chop some veggies and aromatics, add the eggs, cook them and you’re ready to eat.

 

 

cranberry chipotle turkey enchiladaCranberry Chipotle Turkey Enchilada

A tasty, quick way to use up leftover turkey (or chicken).  Chipotle salsa gives it a smoky kick, and craisins (sweetened, dried cranberries) add sweetness.

 




Honey Sticky Garlic Chicken

This honey sticky garlic chicken recipe is brought to you by two online recipes, and my awful cold. I can barely talk, so I wanted something spicy and zippy to clear my head. But, since I’m not feeling well, it also had to be pretty easy. And only use pantry ingredients, since I’m not going out unless I absolutely have to! I was stuffy before I ate this, but not after! Yay!

I found two recipes online that were not quite right on their own, so I combined them.  The first one was a bit bland. The second required boneless breasts and said to dip the chicken in eggs and panko and then bake.  I never buy chicken breasts (no flavor), I didn’t want to bother deboning the chicken thigh I had, and I sure wasn’t in the mood for all that dipping and cleanup. Four bowls! No no no.

So, this chicken dish is super-simple to make. Just brown the chicken, and make a quick sauce. The honey and rice vinegar add a touch of sweetness, while the garlic, chili garlic sauce, and a bit of jalapeño pepper add a spicy kick (just perfect when you have the creeping crud).  You can adjust the heat downwards by using sriracha instead of the chili garlic sauce and substituting bell pepper for the jalapeño. Then there’s sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.

Another option is to toss in some fresh or frozen veggies while the chicken is cooking. That makes it a heartier meal, and adds some extra color and vitamins.  Also good for colds.  A more colorful plate somehow looks tastier, I think..




Honey Sticky Garlic Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: Dinner Recipes for One Person

Cuisine: Chinese

1 person

honey sticky garlic chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken thigh (bone-in)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T neutral oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 tsp chicken broth
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • generous pinch ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/8 inch slice jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, and diced

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in small skillet. When oil is hot, add the chicken and brown on both sides, about five minutes total.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Increase heat to medium high. Add the sauce, and cook, stirring until it thickens, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Plate the chicken and spoon the sauce over it.

Notes

If you want less heat, use sriracha instead of chili garlic sauce.  If you don't have rice wine vinegar, try apple cider vinegar instead.

 

Honey Sticky Garlic Chicken Substitutions and Variations

  • Add broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, or other veggies to the chicken about half way through the cooking process (fresh) or 15 minutes in (frozen)
  • Add extra chiles
  • If you don’t have rice vinegar, try apple cider vinegar (you want something with sweetness to balance the tartness)
  • If you have time and patience, cut the chicken up, dip in egg, and then in panko crumbs




More Chinese Chicken Recipes

Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Turkey Pot Pie for One Person

I’ve always loved chicken and turkey pot pie, likely because my mom does and she passed it on.  But I never made it myself, thinking it required a lot of fussing and that a turkey pot pie for one wasn’t terribly practical. I think it was the crust that scared me. However, I’ve started making more pies lately, since my brother has decided I am the designated holiday cook. And he really likes apple pie. 

So, for Thanksgiving, I made an apple pie, and the turkey, and then grabbed the remaining crust scraps, as well as turkey leftovers, and took it all home.  The pie scraps (from the all-butter crust) made the perfect topping for this turkey pot pie.  The bones were the basis for homemade stock, and the leftover cooked turkey became part of the filling. If you don’t have turkey stock and/or leftovers, use chicken instead. 

I made my own crust and stock, but if you don’t have the time or inclination, store-bought will work just fine. If you can, get made in store stock, not the stuff in the can or box (it tastes better).  You could even get some cooked turkey from the deli counter. Then you have a semi-homemade dinner, without a lot of work.

Don’t be intimidated by the way, by the idea of making stock. It’s really easy. You just need bones (from turkey, chicken, beef or whatever kind of stock you want to make), water, salt and pepper, carrots, onions, and a bay leaf. Toss it all in a pot, bring to a boil, and then let it simmer for a couple of hours. I like to caramelize the bones and veggies in a bit of oil first, for more flavor.

I have adapted this from a food network recipe. I reduced the quantities and eliminated the celery and parsley.  If we were meant to eat celery, it would taste better and not get stuck in your teeth! 

It takes about an hour overall, in two stages. First make the filling, then add that to a six inch casserole dish, top it with the crust, and bake until golden brown.




Turkey Pot Pie for One Person

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: Dinner Recipes for One Person

Cuisine: American

2 servings

turkey pot pie for one person

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 potato scrubbed and cut into chunks (about 3/4 C)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Pie crust (about half a recipe, or use a prepared crust)*
  • One egg (lightly beaten)**

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook on low heat until the onion softens.  Add the carrots and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the flour and cook the mixture another two minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and raise the heat. Once it’s bubbling gently, put in the potato, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the potato is tender (about 15 or 20 minutes).
  4. Add the shredded turkey and the peas.
  5. Butter and flour a small casserole dish (about 6 inches).
  6. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Place the pie crust on top and cut to fit.
  7. Brush with beaten egg (if using)
  8. Bake for thirty minutes

Notes

* I used the scraps left over from making an apple pie for the holidays. If you have a prepared crust, cut it in half.

**You probably won’t need the whole egg. You can skip this if you like, or use the remaining egg for an omelette or frittata.

Turkey Pot Pie for One Variations and Substitutions

  • Reduce the chicken broth to 1 3/4 C and add 1/4 cup of half and half
  • Add some sherry (about a tablespoon)
  • Add herbs, such as sage, thyme, and rosemary to the onions when you cook them
  • Substitute corn for the peas
  • Sauté some garlic with the onions

More Turkey Recipes

Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs with Jelly and Chili Sauce

Quick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup

Cranberry Chipotle Turkey Enchilada

Easy Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe




Belgian Potato Salade Liegoise

I confess I’d never heard of Belgian potato salade liegoise until recently.  It may make you think at first of French salade niçoise, but there’s no tuna or olives. And definitely no anchovies! Instead, this is a traditional Belgian warm potato salad made with green beans, and bacon! It’s all topped with a quick vinaigrette that takes only seconds to make.

Well, you’re supposed to use bacon, but I had none so I substituted kielbasa instead (which June, who wrote the original recipe said was just fine).

It’s an easy lunch or light dinner without a lot of fussing. Just the thing for this time of year when you need a bit of a break in between stuffing yourself for all the holidays.  The salad comes together in about twenty five minutes, which makes it perfect for a relatively quick meal. Serve it warm and eat it right away, or save it for another time and eat it cold. It’s good either way.

Plus, it only requires one pot! Yes!

I used frozen green beans, since that’s what I had, but you can use fresh as well. Just cook them a bit longer, just enough so they’re tender/crisp. You want them to retain a bit of crunch.

I confess I did think about getting fresher beans and the bacon, but I’d already been up and down twice that day and that was enough! Living in a walkup does make you think about how often you climb all those steps.

Belgian Potato Salad Liegoise

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: Lunch Recipes for One

Cuisine: Belgian

1

belgian potato salade liegoise

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C frozen green beans
  • 2 inches of kielbasa, cut up into coins (or use 1-2 strips of bacon)
  • 1 T plus 1 t olive oil
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 T onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Scrub the potatoes (you don’t have to bother to peel them), and then cut them up into chunks.
  2. Add to a pan of water large enough to hold the potatoes (2 quart or small Dutch oven should do it) and add a pinch of salt. Then add the egg.
  3. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes and remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Set it aside in a bowl to cool slightly so you can cut it up later.
  5. Check the potatoes. If they are tender, remove them with the slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the egg. They may need an additional five minutes to cook.
  6. Add the green beans to the hot water (same pot) and cook 2-3 minutes for frozen, 5 minutes for fresh.
  7. Once done, put them in the bowl with the potatoes and the egg.
  8. Now, drain the pan and add the bacon or kielbasa. Cook on medium heat until crisp or cooked through. Add the meat to the bowl.
  9. Slice the egg.
  10. In a small dish, mix the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and onion together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix everything well to coat.

Notes

Note: you can make the potatoes, eggs, and string beans all at once, or make extra for some other meal and save some for this. That makes it even easier and faster, because then it’s just the bacon (or sausage) and the vinaigrette.  Which means lunch in five minutes.




Belgian Potato Salade Liegoise Substitutions and Variations

  • saute the onions first and then add them to the salad
  • top with chopped walnuts
  • try different kinds of vinegar (such as sherry or raspberry)
  • swap the standard potatoes for red ones

More Potato Salad Recipes

Dill Caper Potato Salad

French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette




Lamb Kofta Meatballs

I had started out one night thinking I’d make lamb and spinach meatballs, but I found I was low on eggs, and wanted to use what I had for something else. So I switched to lamb kofta meatballs mid-stream! Sometimes, I pivot in the middle!

The meatballs are flavored with toasted nuts, warm spicy cumin and cinnamon, as well as sweet, minty green cardamom. All that makes them a feast both for the mouth and the eyes. Look how colorful they are!

Plus, they require no eggs and no breadcrumbs. I wasn’t entirely sure if they would stay together without it, but they did. So it’s a great way to have meatballs if you can’t have eggs. And, since there’s no bread crumbs, they’re also gluten-free.

I’ve adapted this from once upon a chef‘s recipe for Middle Eastern lamb kofta meatballs , and reduced the quantities. I did make a few other changes. One, I swapped cilantro for spinach (don’t like cilantro!). Two, my quarter of a bell pepper was questionable, so I used chopped carrot instead.  And lastly, I didn’t have the mixed nuts, only ground almonds, so I used that. More pivoting!

That also saved me the step of grinding up the nuts.  You can use almonds, or go with a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts as she did in the original recipe.

That’s the thing about cooking. Sometimes you have to be able to think on your feet, and figure out what to do when something doesn’t go quite the way that you initially planned.

Lamb Kofta Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: Dinner Recipes for One Person

2

lamb kofta meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 T ground almonds (or combination of almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
  • 1 small carrot, chopped (or about 1/4 of a large green bell pepper), chopped roughly
  • 1/2 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (take out the seeds and ribs to make it less spicy, leave them in for more heat)
  • 1/4 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Generous pinch ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch ground cardamom
  • Generous pinch ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper (or a grinding of peppercorns)
  • 1 T olive oil

Instructions

  1. If you have ground almonds, skip this step. If not, place the nuts in a food chopper and grind them up.
  2. Add the ground nuts to a small, dry pan and cook on medium heat. Keep stirring until the nuts take on color and become fragrant. This should take about five minutes.
  3. Remove the nuts from the pan and pour them into a medium size bowl. Let them cool while you prepare the rest of the kofte mixture.
  4. Now put the onion, garlic, carrot (or bell pepper) and spinach into the chopper you used to grind the nuts. Pulse until the veggies are minced into small pieces.
  5. Place a fine mesh sieve in your sink and add the veggie mixture to it. Push down on the veggies, using a spoon or a spatula, to get out as much moisture as possible.
  6. Add the strained mixture to the bowl with the nuts, and then add the lamb, spices, salt, pepper.
  7. Stick your hands in the bowl, and use them to mix everything together until it's all thoroughly blended.
  8. Still using your hands, take about 2 T worth of mixture from the bowl and form them into patties/balls about 2 inches around. Lay the kofta out on a cutting board, until you are ready to cook them. Note: if you like, you can stop at this point and refrigerate the kofta until you are ready to cook them. They will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
  9. Heat the olive in a medium size skillet on medium-high heat. Add the kofta to the skillet, in batches, if necessary, and cook, turning carefully, until they brown and cook through. This should take about 4 minutes per side.

Notes

Serve with tzatziki or hummus.  You can also make these on a grill, if you have one.

 

More Lamb Recipes

Spinach Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Keema with Potatoes and Broccoli

Turkish Lamb Burgers

Mushroom Barley Soup Small Batch for One Person

Mushroom barley soup is right near the top of my “comfort food” list.  I remember my grandma making it when I was little (and she made the best soups).  Sadly, I don’t have grandma’s recipe. She was a taste, toss, and stir sort of cook). Nothing was ever written down! My mom still mourns not having her recipe for pickles.

However, this Tori Avey recipe comes close.  Grandma wouldn’t have used fancy mushrooms, so neither did I, but you can add them if you like.

Grandma was from Poland, and as Tori Avey points out, mushrooms were a popular food there because you could dry them and store them for later use.  Barley also grew well in that climate, and could be dried and stored for the winter when other foods were less plentiful. Mushroom barley soup was popular throughout the whole country, but since observant Jews had dietary restrictions (no mixing milk and meat), there were two versions of this soup. One with just vegetables (which could be eaten with sour cream) and one with meat (more on that below).

There’s no meat in this recipe, but I did use chicken broth.  If you want a vegetarian version, you can substitute mushroom broth or vegetable stock instead.

As is, there’ s not a lot of fancy ingredients, and it’s just the thing for a chilly fall or winter day when all you want to do is snuggle inside a warm blanket in front of a fireplace. And you haven’t got a fireplace!

Also, since I’m lazy about pot cleaning, I simplified it. Only one pot! Not two or three. And I made fewer servings, because 8 is too much!




Mushroom Barley Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: Small Batch Soup Recipes

Cuisine: Polish

4 bowls

mushroom barley soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped (the baby ones are fine, just chop them in half)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven.  Add the onion and cook until wilted and soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and mushrooms, spreading the mushrooms in one layer. Cook for two minutes, then flip the mushroom/carrot mixture and cook another two or three minutes until the vegetables start to caramelize and brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Now, add the chicken broth, barley, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for an hour until the barley is soft, but still chewy. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Mushroom Barley Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • use vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken
  • add upscale dried or fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake or chanterelle
  • try it with flanken (short ribs, or spare ribs cut sideways with little oval bones)
  • deglaze the pan with a bit of sherry or white wine before adding the broth




More Mushroom Recipes

Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Single Serving Chicken Recipe with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Pan-Fried Steak with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce

Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

I’ve always found it fascinating to see how people all over the world come up with similar foods (blintzes, crepes, tortillas). Or people take a dish from one country and then mix it up and change it to suit local tastes in a different country.  Brazilian chicken paprika stew is one of the latter. It’s a Brazilian take on Hungarian chicken paprikash.  The sour cream is gone, replaced with beans and sausage. I discovered this dish when I went to look for something to make with some extra beans, chicken, and half a lime. It’s a thick, rich, comforting stew, and not at all spicy. And it only requires one pot to make! I’m always in favor of less cleanup.

The original recipe was for 6 or 8 servings, which is way too many for one person, so I reduced it.  It also called for both chicken breasts and boneless thighs, but I much prefer the thighs, so I skipped the breasts entirely. I only had bone-in thighs, so I just cut them up and left the bones in to cook. Yes, I took them out for the photo! They’ll turn into more chicken broth later.

I used spicy chicken sausage for this, but mild is fine if you prefer less spicy food.

I served this with crusty super-easy single loaf Kitchenaid bread, but rice works too. Or whatever starch you like: potatoes, noodles, etc. to sop up the sauce.

One thing on the paprika, it turns stale pretty quickly, so use a fresh jar/box or buy it in a spice store if you can.




Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: Dinner Recipes for One Person

Cuisine: Brazilian

2-3 bowls

Brazilian chicken paprika stew

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs, cut into chunks (about one inch)
  • 1 chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced,
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth
  • Generous pinch dried thyme, or about 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 C canned white beans
  • 1 tsp flour

Instructions

  1. Toss the chicken and the sausage in a bowl to combine them. Add the lime juice and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Add half the oil to a Dutch oven or medium size saucepan. Heat on medium high, then add the meat mixture. Brown the meat, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Once it’s browned, remove it from the pot and set aside while you go on to the next step.
  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the rest of the oil, and let that heat up. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Sauté the vegetables until they wilt, about three minutes. Add the paprika and tomato paste and stir to incorporate the tomato into the vegetables.
  4. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, and thyme, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove a tablespoon of broth into a small ramekin or bowl and add the flour. Stir that together and put in the stew pot. Now add the beans and cook another 10 minutes to heat them through and thicken the broth. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Notes

You can eat this with rice or crusty bread. I went with homemade bread.

Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew Substitutions and Variations

  • try it with lemon juice instead of lime
  • add some chopped peanuts and ginger
  • add some mild pepper, like poplano, either fresh or dried (ancho chili)
  •  substitute smoky paprika for extra depth of flavor

More Chicken and Bean Recipes

Chicken Chili Verde Recipe

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup




Rosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

I had never heard of rosemary potato pizza (or pizza con potate – which sounds sooo much better than the English translation) until recently. But when a friend described it, I had to have it. Sadly, he lives 3,000 miles away. And, the place that serves it only has it seasonally. Either that, or I had to fly to Italy. So, I decided to make my own pizza. I ended up mind melding two recipes and came up with rosemary potato roasted garlic pizza with thin slices of potatoes, roasted garlic, and mozzarella cheese.

The potato slices are soaked in salted water to soften and then layered on top of the pizza to get crispy, while the cheese turns brown and bubbly. Roasting the garlic transforms it into something sweet, mellow, and spreadable (incidentally this is also great on crusty bread). All topped with sprigs of fresh rosemary, a drizzle of olive oil, and grated Romano cheese.

And yeah, you can definitely tell everyone you’re making potato chip pizza for dinner!

I’ve included the recipe and instructions to make your own dough, but feel free to take the easy route and buy pre-made dough from your supermarket or local pizza joint. That will get you pizza in about an hour.

Making the dough yourself does require a bit of time and effort, so it’s definitely a weekend, rather than weeknight meal. And, since this is a long weekend in the US, it’s the perfect time to try it.

So, order of operations: first start the dough (if you’re making your own). Then, while that’s rising, slice and soak the potatoes. While they soak, roast the garlic. Then wait for a while, while the dough rises, and put it all together. Once all the components are ready, it comes together pretty quickly.

The pizza is enough for one dinner, or you can split the dough recipe in half and use it for two lunches. The dough will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure to wrap it tightly so it doesn’t dry out. Or, you can freeze it.




Rosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Category: Dinner Recipes for One Person

Cuisine: Italian

one

rosemary potato roasted garlic pizza

Ingredients

    Pizza Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 1/2 tsp instant yeast)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (you may need 1 or 2 T more)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    Potato Topping
  • 1 medium-large potato, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 C mozzarella, shredded or ciliegine (cherry size)
  • small sprig fresh rosemary (about 1 1/2 tsp)
  • grated Romano cheese

Instructions

    Pizza Dough
  1. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir them together.
  2. Add the water and the olive oil, stirring, until it sticks together in one large clump.
  3. Flour a board or counter, remove the ball of dough, and put it on the counter.
  4. Knead it for a minute or so until it's smooth and holds together in a ball.
  5. Oil the bowl (I use about a capful of oil), put the ball back in and turn it to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag.
  6. Let it sit for about an hour, until the dough doubles in size.
  7. Turn it back onto the counter, and press out the dough with your hands to get the air out. Roll it back into a ball and let it sit for another twenty minutes, covered.
  8. Place the dough in a pizza stone, baking sheet, or a nonstick shallow pan. If you have a nonstick pan, you're good to go. If not, sprinkle it with cornmeal or farina to keep the pizza from sticking.
    Potato Topping
  1. While the pizza dough is rising the first time, start the potatoes. Slice one medium-large potato thinly with a knife, a food processor, or a mandoline (vegetable slicer). Put them in a bowl of warm water with one teaspoon of salt and let them sit for about 30-40 minutes,
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Take two cloves of garlic, cut the tops off, and place them in a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap the cloves in the foil and seal it. Then roast for 40 minutes.
  4. Once the potatoes have soaked, drain them and pat them as dry as you can.
  5. When the garlic is ready, squeeze the insides out from the skin.
  6. Once the pizza has risen for the second time, you're ready to put everything together.
  7. Leave the oven on and raise the temperature as high as it will go.
  8. Press the pizza dough into your pan, pushing outward from the center.
  9. Layer the potatoes on top, then the mozzarella cheese, the second teaspoon of salt, the roasted garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil (1 -2 tsp). Top with fresh rosemary and grated romano cheese.
  10. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes get crispy on top and the cheese melts.

Rosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza Substitutions and Variations

  • add some cooked chicken
  • top with sliced red onion
  • add some hot red pepper flakes
  • switch the cheeses and use fontina
  • or, add some crumbled bacon

More Pizza Recipes

Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

White Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta