Sugar Crusted Salmon Fillet

I found this sugar crusted salmon fillet recipe in a magazine somewhere. It’s the ideal answer to “what’s for dinner” when you’re hungry and you don’t have a lot of time to fuss in the kitchen.  It was also the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some beautiful (and relatively low-cost) salmon from my Imperfect Foods order.

The beauty of this is, all you have to do is make a quick dry rub, coat the salmon with it, and then cook it. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes. If you have leftover rice (I always make extra), you’re ready to eat in about 20 minutes. What I tend to do with the rice is either make more than I need so I can have it quickly later, or freeze it in little zip baggies. Pull it out, zap it for 2 minutes, and “instant” rice!

Back to the salmon, it ends up slightly sweet, but with a little bit of a kick from the cumin, pepper, and paprika. I did reduce the sugar from the original recipe (because I don’t want super-sweet food). However, if your tolerance is higher than mine, coat it with 1 1/2 tsp of sugar.

Keep it simple and serve this with some plain rice and a basic salad or some fresh cucumber and tomato.




More Salmon Recipes

pan fried salmon with nectarine salsaPan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

A fresher, sweeter take on the usual salsa. This one is made with juicy nectarines and a squirt of lime. It gives the whole meal an extra pop.

 

salmon in foil packet with potatoesSalmon in Foil Packet with Potatoes

Quick, delicious, and no cleanup. It’s an entire meal in one easy package.

 

salmon greek yogurt dill sauceSalmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Rich and creamy, but the taste is yogurt (no cream at all). The tangy yogurt sauce, with a hint of mustard, complements the rich fish beautifully.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

A rich, decadent sauce that’s great for dining alone, or serving to company.  It’s easy to make too.

 




Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad

It’s a rare treat for me to get avocados at a decent price here in NY.  We always see them during the Super Bowl (for guacamole), but really the best time to buy them is now. But, I got a great deal at Imperfect Foods on both limes and avocados the other day. So, I decided to take advantage and create a chili citrus avocado chicken salad.

I must say it was a smashing success. The sweet limes, velvety avocado, bright and crunchy veggies, and the spicy chicken combine for a carnival of flavor and color.

The chili citrus chicken recipe is one I already had (here on the site).  Adding the veggies and the dressing transformed it into a completely different meal.

Great for hot weather.  Make extra chicken the night before for dinner and you don’t have to cook at all the next day.




 

Chili Citrus Avocado Chicken Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • Mix together whatever greens you like: spinach, leafy green lettuce, romaine, red lettuce, etc.
  • I used cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes as veggies, but feel free to substitute bell pepper, mushrooms, snap peas, cooked corn, or whatever other salad veggies strike your fancy
  • Add some orange segments to punch up the citrus flavor

More Entree Salad Recipes

belgian potato salade liegoiseBelgian Potato Salade Liegoise

A traditional Belgian warm potato salad made with green beans, and sausage.  It’s then dressed with a quick vinaigrette that takes only seconds to make. The result is savory, filling, and easy.

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Transform your lamb breast leftovers into a second meal (or make extra).  The creamy eggplant and the spinach balance the strong flavor of the lamb, all topped with a garlicky easy aioli dressing.

 

cold leftover steak saladCold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Forget the classic steak sandwich for a minute and use your leftovers to make this salad instead.  Chop some veggies, add goat cheese, and make a quick red wine vinaigrette. A full meal with no cooking! Ta da!

mixed greens egg potato chicken saladMixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Another great entree salad that’s easy and flavorful (without a lot of work). Use spinach, mixed greens, chicken, or tuna. It’s flexible and easy. All you have to cook is the potato and the egg.




Roast Chicken with Plums

Once summer rolls around, it’s hard to think about cooking too much. Complicated dishes, with lots of steps have very little appeal. On the other hand, something like this roast chicken with plums just hits the spot. It’s sweet, tangy, with just a hint of savory warm spiciness. And super simple to make.

My first thought the day I made this was to go for chicken with peaches and ginger, Then I had an idea. I had some fresh plums. Why not use those instead? Since plums are more tart than peaches, it needed something to balance the flavor, and add some sweetness. A bit of googling, and some reverse-engineering from a recipe I couldn’t see completely, and ta da!

All you have to do is cut up the ingredients, mix everything together, and bake it. You don’t have to fuss, or make a separate sauce, or hover over the stove.

I recommend using firmer plums as the riper ones are too soft to cut easily and tend to just collapse into mush (delicious mush, but still mush).




Roast Chicken with Plums Substitutions and Variations

  • make a spice rub with cumin, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon, salt, and olive oil and marinate the chicken overnight
  • add ginger and lemon to the sauce
  • put the plum sauce on the bottom of the pan and layer the chicken over it (so the juices drip down)

More Chicken Recipes

Vietnamese baked chicken with limeVietnamese Chicken with Lime and Ginger

Ginger for warm spiciness, plus lime for a citrusy tang, and a bit of a kick from chili garlic sauce.

 

crispy lemon chicken thighCrispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Great hot or cold, and perfect for picnics. Three kinds of lemon pack a big, citrusy punch, balanced by brown sugar.

 

feta brined roast chickenFeta Brined Roast Chicken Recipe for One

You’ve heard of brining turkey in salt? This is better. Brining with feta adds more flavor, and keeps the chicken moist and juicy.

 

peruvian roast chicken with green saucePeruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

The sauce! Oh the sauce! It’s tangy, garlicky, and soooo good. Great on the chicken and also as a veggie dip.

 




Chocolate Egg Cream with Homemade Syrup

Traditionally, the correct and right way to make a chocolate egg cream is with Fox-‘s U-Bet chocolate syrup. And, I may lose my NYC card for this, but I didn’t do it that way. I had no syrup, and I didn’t want to have to make a special trip to get it (particularly under current conditions). So, I made a chocolate egg cream with homemade syrup instead. And besides, not everyone has access to the “right” syrup.

Now, if you’re not from New York, you may not have heard of a chocolate egg cream. You may also, understandably, expect it to be made with eggs and cream. After all, it says so right in the name. Right? Nope. There are no eggs and no cream.  Just chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer. Why is it called that then? Nobody really knows.

Whatever the reason for the name, it’s a delicious, refreshing chocolatey treat that’s perfect for a hot day.

Turns out making the syrup is really easy. It’s actually quite similar to making chocolate pudding.  All you need is five simple ingredients you likely already have: cocoa powder, water, sugar, salt, and a little vanilla extract.  I have cut the original syrup recipe in half, so it’s enough for two egg creams. You can drizzle the extra syrup over cinnamon sugar bananas or use it to prepare poached pears with chocolate sauce.

Not to mention that if you DIY your own homemade chocolate syrup,  you know what’s in it (and can pronounce all of the ingredients).




 

More Chocolate Recipes

greek yogurt chocolate cakeGreek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Got a craving for chocolate? This cake is triple chocolate! It’s got cocoa, chocolate chips, and a super easy ganache on top.

 

Mini chocolate banana breadChocolate Banana Bread

Sure banana bread is good. But this is even better.  It’s moist, chocolatey, and minified. So you don’t have to worry about finishing it all.

 

small batch brownies cocoa powder

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

Made with cocoa powder so you don’t have to make a mess melting chocolate. Rich, moist, and downsized for one.

 




Pan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

Does this happen to you? I bought a big bag of nectarines from Imperfect Foods without thinking what to do with them, or how I was going to eat all those nectarines all by myself.  Sometimes my eyes get ahead of my brain. Uh oh, now what? But, I had previously bought salmon from them and frozen it. I thought, well the sweet nectarines should pair beautifully with the fish. So, the answer was pan-fried salmon with nectarine salsa!

And then later, there will be nectarine mini tarts. Because why not.

Nectarine makes a refreshing change from the usual tomato. They’re sweeter, juicier, and a perfect foil for the tangy lime and spicy jalapeño. And summer is the ideal time to take advantage. The salmon was simply pan-fried with a squeeze of lime and a few seasonings.

This made a bit more salsa than I needed for just the salmon. But, it was fantastic over eggs the next day.




Pan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have salmon? This would work beautifully with a pork chop too. Pan-fry with some olive oil and cumin
  • Or, try the salsa with some scrambled eggs
  • Haven’t got jalapeño? Use red pepper flakes instead

More Salmon Recipes

salmon in foil packet with potatoesSalmon in Foil Packet with Potatoes

Season, fold, and bake. No cleanup, and it’s a whole meal in a simple packet.

 

salmon greek yogurt dill sauceSalmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Crispy cucumbers, creamy yogurt, and touch of fresh dill add brightness and freshness to this sauce. Let it sit if you can to let the flavors meld.

 

smoked salmon artichoke saladSmoked Salmon Artichoke Salad

This works with either smoked or cooked salmon.  The citrus is sweet and bright, and the marinated artichokes add kick.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Creamy, velvety and elegant enough for a special occasion. Yet, it’s surprisingly easy to make.

 

 




Pork Chili Verde for One

I know, I’ve already got two chili recipes on here already: Chicken Chili Verde and Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili. So why a third? Because the chicken was frozen, and I found a pork chili verde recipe that appealed to me. It also seemed more authentic and actually was entirely green too. It’s made with ground pork, simmered in a salsa verde of jalapeños, garlic, onion, and cumin.

And, unlike the others, this recipe is ready fairly quickly. If you’ve already got cooked (or canned) beans, you can make this in about half an hour. If not, it’s about an hour (still pretty speedy for chili).

The original recipe called for potatoes and corn. I had some pre-soaked cranberry beans leftover from something else, so I tossed those in instead.

The cranberry beans are firmer than kidney beans, and more colorful than the navy beans I usually buy.  I initially bought them because that’s all that was in the store, but I find I rather like them. One of the few pleasant outcomes of the quarantine!

If you don’t have pre-soaked beans, the canned ones are fine. And it will take only 35 minutes to cook, since you don’t have to wait for the beans to soften. Or, speed up the soaking/cooking process with my quick soak beans method.




Pork Chili Verde Substitutions and Variations

  • If you have access to Hatch chiles, use those instead of the jalapeños
  • Don’t want to use beans? Substitute 1 or 2 small potatoes instead (and/or 1/2 C of corn)
  • Make it with all beef, all pork, or a combination of the two
  • You can also use pork shoulder, but then you’d have to cook it longer
  • Skip the beans, double the broth and you have green chili sauce for enchiladas or burritos

More Chili (and Chile) Recipes

eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Just the thing for a fast lunch or brunch.  The spinach mellows out the peppers, the eggs cook quickly, and the whole thing is topped with cooling yogurt or sour cream.

 

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito

Saute, scramble, and it’s a wrap.  A meal in minutes.

 

 

chicken chili verde recipeChicken Chili Verde Recipe

A mild chili, with green chiles, chicken, and cumin. Not spicy, and easy to put together.

 

spicy stovetop chili recipeSmall Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

If you’d rather have something that brings the heat, try this spicy chili. It’s flavored with sriracha, cumin, garlic, and onions. Slow-cooked for maximum flavor.

 




Mini Chocolate Banana Bread

Take banana bread to the next level of deliciousness and make it mini chocolate banana bread instead! This recipe is adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen. The original recipe is divine as is, but a whole chocolate banana bread is just too much for one.  Not to mention, I only had two bananas and the original recipe called for three. I used one and a half for this, then ate the other half with my lunch.  Plus, I just got some mini loaf pans I was dying to try out! I couldn’t resist.  It worked beautifully.

The bread is rich, moist, and chocolatey delicious.  I admit I skipped the chocolate pieces. You see, it was supposed to be double chocolate banana bread.  However, the chunk of chocolate I had was too cold and hard to break up and I was too lazy to wait for it to soften. And, I wanted banana bread ASAP!

If you want it super-chocolatey go for both and add about 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate. Then you get chocolate chocolate chip banana bread.




Tools for Mini Chocolate Banana Bread

Wilton Mini Loaf Pan

I got two of these. They’re about half the size of a normal loaf pan, and just perfect for smaller scale baking. I used them for this chocolate banana bread first.  Then, I took my white bread recipe and divided it between the two pans. Voilà, two mini breads instead of one large one! And, they won’t go stale before I can finish them.

The pans also work for other kinds of quick breads and mini meat loaf too. Eat one, freeze the second one. Or, cook once, eat twice.

More Banana Recipes

banana smoothie for oneBanana Smoothie Recipe for One

Easy, refreshing, and not too sweet. A good in-between meal snack you can make in minutes.

 

strawberry banana yogurt popsicles plateStrawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Beat the summer heat with this sweet treat that’s actually good for you. It’s loaded with fruit! And there’s no added sugar either.

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas with Brandy

Whip up an elegant dessert without a lot of work. All you need is bananas, a bit of butter, brandy, and only a touch of sugar.

 




Bibimbap Rice Bowl with Meat and Vegetables

It may not roll off your tongue (if you’re not used to it), but bibimbap means a variety of ingredients mixed with rice. So, essentially, a Korean rice bowl. You make this meal in layers, building up the rice, then the meat, the veggies, sauce, and finally top it all with an egg. It’s really flexible though, sort of a Korean spin on cleaning out the fridge.  This particular bibimbap rice bowl recipe is loosely inspired by a recipe I found on Korean Kitchen.

However, I didn’t have all the ingredients she used, such as sprouts or seaweed, and under current circumstances, I didn’t really want to go out looking for them. The idea was to make this easy for myself, and for you too.  In addition, I also wanted to focus on “sturdier” ingredients, such as cabbage and carrots that will last in the fridge, rather than sprouts. You could even use frozen veggies (cook them for less time), like broccoli or one of those frozen stir fry mixes. Definitely not authentic, but still good.

Since I was using cabbage, which takes longer to cook, I just chopped the carrot up, instead of julienning it. That way, the two vegetables would be ready at the same time.

You make this in several stages. If you are using brown rice, start that first, and let it cook while you put the meat mixture together and let that sit so the flavors blend together. If you have white rice, start the meat mixture, and then put up the rice while that’s marinating.




Bibimbap Rice Bowl Substitutions and Variations

  • try different vegetables, such as broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, or zucchini
  • swap the beef for ground chicken or even leftover fish
  • this should properly be made with gochujang, which is a spicy Korean pepper paste; if you have it, use it and add about 3/4 tsp water.

 

More Cabbage Recipes

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soupChinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Wonderful comfort food when. you’re stuck inside. Just enough soup for a generous serving for one.   The spicy hot broth helps clear your head , the garlic, ginger, and chili sauce have anti-bacterial (not viruses, bacteria) qualities, and it’s delicious.

asian chicken salad with cabbageSingle Serving Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage Recipe

Colorful, spicy, and frankly more colors makes a dish look and feel more appetizing.  Works with chicken, leftover pork, or even add some cooked noodles or rice instead.

 

unstuffed cabbage roll recipeSmall Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Stuffed cabbage is delicious, and pantry-friendly. But making all those separate rolls is a pain. So don’t bother.  Layer it like lasagne instead!

 




Milk and Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Everyone’s suddenly busy baking bread! I went for more flour and the stores are seriously depleted. I couldn’t find white flour, so I bought whole wheat instead. Then the search for a recipe! This milk and honey whole wheat bread recipe is adapted from King Arthur flour. 

For once, I didn’t have to reduce the amounts (since the original was for a single loaf – hooray!). However, it called for dry milk. I never have dry milk. And I expect that any in the stores is long gone. Plus, I’ve never liked the idea of buying a large package of something just to use a small quantity of it (1/4 C in this case)  So, I had to figure out what to do instead.  The answer turned out to be to replace some of the water in the original recipe with standard liquid milk.

It turned out soft, flavorful, and slightly nutty. I’m definitely going to make this more often. Adding milk softens the crust, and aids in browning.  The honey adds extra moisture, so the bread turns out tender, even though it’s whole wheat. 

I did say one loaf right? And you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the photo has two loaves of bread, not one.  Turns out I realized mid-baking that my standard loaf pan was in the fridge with an apple quick bread in it. Ooops.  Luckily, I’d just gotten these mini-pans.  So two mini-loaves it is.

If you have a standard pan, use that and make one loaf of bread. If you have the mini-pans, use those.  Just cut the dough in half with a bench scraper, roll out each half, and shape it.







 

Tools and Ingredients for this Recipe


Norpro Stainless Steel Bread Pan

This pan should have its own superhero comic.  It’s not coated, but somehow the food comes right out and it’s a breeze to clean up. And looks brand-spanking new, despite being about six years old.

Wilton Mini Loaf Pan

If you want to make mini breads (on purpose), try these half-size loaf pans. They’re nonstick, and clean up easily.  And, by making two little breads, you can freeze one and save it for later. Much better for single person eating.

Norpro Bench Scraper/Chopper

The perfect tool for cutting dough in half (especially dense whole-wheat dough).  Much easier than trying to use a knife (which just sticks and doesn’t cut through very well).  You can also use it for measuring equal parts of challah or cutting pastry (there’s a ruler right on the side). Great for scooping up cut veggies and transferring them to a pot too.

Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch

I love this stuff. I don’t have to keep running to the store for yeast, and it’s a lot less expensive per bread than the little packages. Not to mention, some of those packets have cornstarch in them!? What? Works faster than the packages too.


J.K. Adams FRP-1 Maple French Rolling Pin

When I first started baking bread, I was using a carved rolling pin my grandma gave me. It was quite pretty too. But it was also small, and the carving was really hard to clean. This is much better. It’s longer, easier to hold (and oddly, I find it easier to work with than the models with handles) and even fits perfectly in my kitchen cart.

More Kitchenaid Bread Recipes

single loaf bread recipe kitchenaidSingle Loaf Easy White Bread Recipe

A basic, simple bread that you don’t have to shape. This only requires five ingredients to make.

 

kitcheanaid potato bread recipeKitchenaid Potato Bread Recipe

Great for sandwiches, or toast, or just smeared with butter. Putting potatoes in the dough increases the starch, which then boosts the moisture.  You end up with soft, tender bread that is also easier to form into a loaf.

kitchenaid white bread recipeOne Loaf Kitchenaid Sandwich White Bread

Just think of  how good this will smell wafting through your kitchen.  Baking milk and butter right into the bread yields a soft, flavorful loaf that’s richer in flavor. It browns better too.

 




Polish Potato Pierogi for One Person

I normally wouldn’t post a recipe like this. It’s got several stages, and it’s time- and labor-intensive. And that’s usually a problem. Because we’re all running home from work and don’t have the mental bandwidth or energy to make complex recipes. However, these aren’t normal times. So, I thought I’d try my hand at making Polish potato pierogi from King Arthur’s recipe.

If you’re not familiar with pierogi, they are Polish dumplings, filled with potato or potato and cheese, meat, or even sauerkraut. Funny how every culture figured out some variation on this!  The original recipe was for potato and cheese, but I was low on cheese, so these are just plain mashed potato.

First you make the dough, then the filling, then boil them, and finally fry the whole thing in some oil with onions. I’ve cut down the recipe so it makes about 24 pierogi instead of 42. You can eat some right away and freeze the rest for later. Or do it in stages, and start the dough, then make the filling and assemble the pierogi another day, and finally cook them on a third day.

Here they are before cooking.

Polish potato pierogi uncooked


And here they are after.

Polish potato pierogi






Potato Pierogi Filling Substitutions and Variations

  • half and half potato and cheddar cheese
  • potato, onion, thyme
  • sauerkraut and onion
  • chopped or leftover shredded meat, onions, some broth, and the other half of the egg
  • use garlic mashed potatoes

More Potato Recipes

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Crispy outside, fluffy inside and full of flavor. These are much easier to make than fries (and less messy) but taste, dare I say, even better.

 

roasted paprika potatoesRoasted Paprika Potatoes

These always make me smile. My grandma used to make them for me when I was little.  They are baked, not fried, but still give you that French fry crispiness.

 

frittata recipe for one person

Frittata Recipe for One Person

Use the rest of the egg to make this frittata. It’s an Italian “omelette” with crispy potatoes on the bottom (like a crust), then topped with eggs and lots of veggies.