Oven Roasted Lemon Garlic Broccoli

I know, broccoli is controversial (though not quite as much as brussels sprouts). Some love it, some hate it.  If you’re not a broccoli fan, this recipe for oven roasted lemon garlic broccoli might change your mind. Roasting helps reduce the bitterness and gives the broccoli a nutty flavor (from the caramelization).  It also makes the broccoli crispy outside, tender and sweet inside.

I have used frozen broccoli florets, because they cook more quickly (and I had a big bag of them). This is also more practical, since it’s tough for one person to eat an entire head of broccoli all at once!  This way I can take out just what I need and the rest can stay frozen until I want it for something else.

Plus, frozen vegetables often have more vitamins and better nutrition than fresh vegetables do.  That’s because the frozen version has been picked and then preserved (by freezing) immediately, while fresh produce may have traveled for days from some other state (or even country) before it gets to your supermarket.

If you have fresh broccoli (or a farmer’s market nearby), you can use that too.  Don’t toss out the stems, they are just as good as the florets.  They do cook faster (and better) if you remove the tough outer layer from the stems first. A vegetable peeler will work just fine for this.

You’ll also need to cook fresh broccoli a bit longer (since the frozen broccoli has been blanched first).  Roast the fresh broccoli for about 25 minutes. If you like it super-crispy, roast it for half an hour (turning it once).




Oven Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one serving

Oven Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

Roasting broccoli adds sweetness and nuttiness. Lemon, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil make a classic combination.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 T olive oil
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper (which is dried lemon peel and black pepper)*
  • 1 garlic clove, slivered
  • grated parmesan
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss all the ingredients (except the cheese and lemon juice) together in a small bowl.
  3. Spread the mixture on a small baking sheet and put in the oven.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with the cheese and add the lemon juice. Toss to combine.

Notes

* If you don't have lemon pepper you can use dried lemon peel (and add some pepper), or about a half to three-quarters teaspoon of fresh lemon zest.

Oven Roasted Lemon Garlic Broccoli Substitutions and Variations

  • Toast some breadcrumbs or panko and sprinkle them over the broccoli
  • Sprinkle some pine nuts or chopped walnuts over the broccoli
  • Make it a full meal by topping it with a fried egg or mixing the cooked broccoli with some pasta
  • Use the same roasting technique and change the seasoning to make it Asian with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil

More Vegetable Side Dishes

Honey Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Sauteed Garlic Parmesan Spinach

No Mayo Healthy Cole Slaw Recipe for One




Frittata Recipe for One Person

The first time I made this frittata recipe it was for a crowd (rather than one serving) on a boat, which was rocking. It took quite some time to make and they devoured it in minutes! I’ve scaled it back considerably, made it a bit faster, and of course, it’s now a frittata recipe for one person instead of six.

Even scaled back, it does take a bit of time to put together (unless you cheat, and use some frozen, pre-cut veggies, which is what I did here). However, this makes it a great option for a weekend brunch. I’m calling it lunch, but you could make it for dinner too.

The other great thing about frittatas is that they’re flexible. The original recipe (from one of the 60 Minute Gourmet cookbooks) called for ham, zucchini, leeks, peppers, and mushrooms. A great combination, but I didn’t have all those ingredients when I made the version I’ve posted here. So, I used broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and onions instead.



If you’re not sure what a frittata is, think  of an omelette crossed with a tortilla. The full list of ingredients changes, but it’s essentially eggs, sliced potatoes, and veggies.

Fritatta Recipe for One

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Fritatta Recipe for One

A frittata recipe for one person; great for Sunday or weekend brunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 cup)
  • salt
  • 1/4 C sliced mushrooms
  • 1 C frozen broccoli/cauliflower mixture
  • 1/4 cup onions, sliced thinly
  • 4 T canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar.

Instructions

  1. Slice the potatoes thinly, but don't peel them. Place the sliced potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
  2. Boil the water and cook the potatoes until you can easily stick a fork in them. This should take about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain them into a colander, and then set them aside while you prepare the rest of the frittata.
  4. Heat half the canola oil in an omelette pan, or a non-stick ceramic pan.
  5. Put the potatoes in the pan and cook. turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown. Take them out of the pan and put on a plate until you need them again.
  6. Now, add the mushrooms and onions. Cook about 5 minutes are so.
  7. Then add the butter and stir until it melts.
  8. Put the potaotes back in the pan, and add the frozen veggies (this is the cheating part).
  9. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them thoroughly.
  10. Then pour the eggs over the vegetable potato mixture in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Cook on high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Gently lift the sides of the frittata and cover the pan. Cook about 2 minutes (watch this carefully so it doesn't burn).
  12. Splash the vinegar over the top of the frittata.
  13. Get a large plate and invert it over the pan. While holding the plate tightly over the pan, turn the pan upside down. The frittata should slide right out. You have to do this quickly. It seems a bit scary at first, but it's really not difficult. And, even if it breaks apart, it will still taste good!

Notes

The original recipe said to par-boil the potatoes whole. However, they fell apart and were hard to handle (too hot). Slicing them first makes it easier, and they cook faster.

Use an omelette pan or a ceramic pan for this. The frittata will slide out much more easily.

Substitutions and Variations for Your Frittata for One

  • Epicurious has some good combinations:
    • make it with spinach, feta, scallions, and dill (like spanakopitas)
    • or crumble some cooked sausage and parmesan cheese
  • add artichokes (the marinated kind) and red peppers
  • add a mild cheese
  • cook some bacon, crumble it up, and add that to the vegetable/potato mixture

Tools and Ingredients for this Frittata Recipe


SilverStone Ceramic Nonstick 8-Inch Deep Skillet, Chili Red

Much as I don’t like standard non-stick pans, a ceramic pan makes frittatas, omelettes, and other sticky foods much easier to prepare and serve. The eggs don’t stick, and the frittata comes out easily when you invert the plate over the pan to serve the frittata. And, I just love the cheery red color too.

 


Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Chef’s Skillet, 10-inch

Or, if you prefer, go for the conventional Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron pan. These pans will last forever if treated properly and food won’t stick. The drawback is that they’re heavy and you have to season them (with oil) after each use. They are made right in the US, by a company which also takes care to respect the environment.

More Egg and Omelette Recipes

Feta and Spinach Omelette

Egg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person



Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

This pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, and chicken sausage recipe is based on a recipe invented by Kimberly Chapman (from Eat the Evidence; she makes astonishing desserts and “Ace of Cakes” cakes too).

She had this wonderful English, locally raised bacon and fresh asparagus and decided to make pasta with it (her recipe is here).

It looked so good I wanted to try it.  But I didn’t have bacon (or asparagus).  I could have gone out and bought asparagus, but I’m not a huge asparagus fan, unless it’s drenched in Hollandaise sauce.  I did have some chicken sausage and frozen broccoli though.  So, I decided to follow her technique while changing the ingredients a bit.

I used chicken sausage instead of bacon, kept the mushrooms, added red bell pepper (as I had part of a pepper leftover from something else and had to use it up).  Then, I changed the cheese to Manchego instead of parmesan, because that’s also what I had on hand.

Tip:
When your chunk of parmesan, Manchego, or other hard cheese gets hard to grate with a box grater, use a microplane instead.  You can also save the rinds (or even buy them at the market) and use them for soup. Just put them in a plastic bag in the fridge. They’ll keep indefinitely.

Back to the recipe, you essentially, cook the sausage (or bacon), add the veggies, then the pasta, some chicken broth, and top it all with grated cheese.



Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Continental

one serving

Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Peppers

Pasta with broccoli, sausage, red peppers, and mushrooms. A quick and easy dinner for one.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 long pasta (such as spaghetti)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 link chicken sausage, cut into one inch chunks
  • 2 large mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 C red bell pepper, cut in chunks
  • 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 2T grated Manchego (or parmesan cheese)

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium size saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente (about 10) minutes.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large frying pan.
  4. Cook sausage, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the sausage from the pan, but don't wipe the pan.
  6. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook five minutes until they start to brown.
  7. Put the frozen broccoli into the pan and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes..
  8. Pour in the chicken broth, and let the mixture cook a minute or two.
  9. Add the red pepper.
  10. Once the pasta is ready, drain it and add to the frying pan, tossing with tongs to combine all the ingredients.
  11. Grate the cheese over the pasta mixture and serve.

Notes

You can use regular sausage instead of chicken sausage; if you do, you'll need less olive oil. Mix and match the ingredients to suit your own taste. Vary the veggies, go back to bacon, or skip the meat and use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian.

More Pasta and Mushroom Recipes

Chicken with mushrooms and tarragon

Three cheese grilled cheese sandwich with mushrooms 

Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant



Pistachio Pesto Pasta

This pistachio pesto pasta recipe is a bit different from standard pesto recipes. Most standard pesto recipes use basil and pine nuts.  A great combination, but it’s tough to use up a whole bunch of basil when cooking for one.  Either you have to make a big batch of pesto and freeze it, or it spoils.

I do have a basil plant, but cutting enough off to make pesto would leave me without much of a plant! This is a good compromise.

Plus, pine nuts have gotten awfully expensive.  It does have some basil, but I replaced most of it with broccoli. Then I substituted pistachios for walnuts or pine nuts.

Actually, to be entirely truthful, I ‘stole’ this idea from one of Robert Parker’s Spenser novels. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. He seemed to like food as much as he enjoyed mysteries and books (my kind of author).

You get the sweet, summery taste of basil, the earthiness of  broccoli, and the crunchiness of the pistachios (use the unsalted kind).  And frankly, while I love pine nuts, they’ve gotten awfully expensive.  You can use walnuts too, if you prefer.

It’s also quick and easy to make (which is always a plus).





Pasta Pesto with Pistachios

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Pasta Pesto with Pistachios

Quick pasta pesto recipe with pistachios and broccoli

Ingredients

    Pasta
  • 1/4 lb penne
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tsp salt
    Pesto Sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 C basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 1/4C broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 C shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 T grated romano cheese
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions

    Pasta:
  1. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the salt and the pasta. Stir the pasta to keep it from sticking together. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente (firm, but not hard).
    Instructions for Pesto Sauce:
  1. Combine the basil, broccoli, garlic, and pistachios in a mini chopper or blender. Slowly add the olive oil.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cheese, salt to taste and a generous grinding of black pepper.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander. Return the hot pasta to the saucepan, add the pesto, and stir to coat the pasta thoroughly.
  4. Pour sauced pasta into a bowl and garnish with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh basil leaves.

Notes

You can also use this pesto recipe on chicken or fish.

 

Pistachio Pesto Pasta Substitutions and Variations

  • Use spinach in the pesto instead of broccoli
  • Skip the greens entirely and make a walnut pesto with walnuts, olive oil, parsley, parmesan, salt, and pepper
  • If you like your pesto spicier, add some chiles
  • Make it with walnuts instead of pistachios

Tools and Ingredients for Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Roasted Unsalted Pistachios

These are freshly roasted (unlike the stale bags you often get in the store), and already have their shells removed, so you don’t have to fuss with cracking them open. Just pour, measure, and eat.

More Pasta Recipes

Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

Spicy Sesame Noodles Recipe for One Person

Pasta alla Norma with Eggplant

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

 




Quick Dinner Recipes for One Person

You get home from work, you’re tired, you’re hungry, and you’re thinking, “How can I make a quick dinner for one that won’t take forever to cook?” You open the refrigerator, and stare inside, hoping for inspiration. You’re tempted to go for fast food, or reach for the menu from the pizza place.

Skip the takeout and make one of these quick dinner recipes for one person instead. They’re all a single serving, but you can make enough for two, save the rest, and reheat it a day or two later (then you get dinner in 2 minutes!).

Most of these recipes take about 20 minutes to cook. Cut up some fruit, heat some rice (I always make extra), make a quick salad, or grab some crusty bread, and you’ve got dinner!

Quick Dinner Recipes for One

Single Serving Creole Cabbage with Sausage

creole cabbage and sausage

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Mushroom Sauce

chicken mushroom skillet recipe

Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Ingredients

1 chicken breast (or thigh)
1/2 egg (beaten)*
flour for dredging
salt/pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
pinch mustard powder
2T olive oil
1/2 C frozen broccoli
1/2 C. portobello mushrooms
4 T chicken broth

Instructions

1. Season flour with tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then in flour mixture.
3. Cut the chicken into thin strips, about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.
4. Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook a minute or two. Add the broccoli, then the chicken broth, and the chicken. Cook stirring about 1-2 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

*Note: Beat the entire egg, then pour off half of it into a container. Use that to make a Single Serving Eggplant Parmesan Recipe.




Easy Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

easy italian wedding soup

Ham Steak with Apples and Calvados

Most ham steak recipes go straight for the pineapple.  Pineapple is good, but I thought apples and a splash of calvados might be a bit more sophisticated.  It was!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 T 
butter
1 small apple, sliced
pinch 
nutmeg
1 tsp brown sugar
2 
cloves
1/4 C calvados (or cider or apple juice or a combination)
1 slice 
ham steak

Instructions

1. Saute sliced apples in butter. Add nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves, and calvados (or cider or apple juice)
2. Add slices of ham. Cook until heated through. Add flour if necessary to thicken sauce.

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe for One

curry chicken for one person

Pasta Pesto with Pistachios and Broccoli

 

pistachio pasta pesto

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce for One

salmon greek yogurt dill sauce

Singapore Noodles Dinner Recipe for One

single serving singapore noodles

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

greek fish with lemon and tomatoes

This has become one of my favorites during the summer. It’s tasty (and quick) when it’s hot and I don’t feel like cooking. Use greenmarket tomatoes (if you can get them).



More Quick Dinner Recipe Ideas

101 Meals in 10 Minutes

Get in and out of the kitchen quickly with tasty food that’s easy to prepare. Add some bread, maybe some wine, and you’re done. Note that these are (as the author notes), not “formal recipes, but outlines.” Follow along, adapt, or mix and match as it suits you.

Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way

Start with a French chef and you know the food will be good. His version of fast food has no Big Macs in sight. Instead, you’ll get sweet potato chowder, oven baked salmon with sun-dried tomato and salsa mayonnaise.

101 Picnic Dishes in 20 Minutes

Here are 101 recipes you can make quickly. Less time in the kitchen, more time in the park!

15 Minute Meals from Allrecipes

Get dinner in a hurry with recipes for tilapia parmesan, Asian beef with snow peas, and a yummy Vietnamese sandwich (among others).

Newman’s Own 30 Minute Meals

Easy chicken, seafood, fish, and pasta meals in minutes: gyro steak salad, fiesta pizza, Joanne’s cioppino (fish stew), and potato and chorizo frittata,

Quick Dinner Cookbooks


Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express

Mark Bittman is the king of quick and easy cooking. Many of the recipes don’t even require measuring. The book is divided by seasons; 101 dishes for each one. He’s got Latin, Creole, Caribbean and Asian flavors, including pasta jambalaya, Korean barbecued beef, and white bean stew.


The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh

The name pretty much says it all. It’s got over 1,000 recipes made with ingredients that are easy to find. This book uses everyday ingredients, tells you what’s in season, and organizes the recipes by both types of foods and meals. Great if you’ve got some fish and don’t know what to do with it.


French Cooking in Ten Minutes: Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life (1930)

Before Rachel Ray, there was Eduard de Pomaine. This cookbook shows you how to make veal, beef, fish, desserts, and even soups in only a few minutes. And, it’s funny and well-written.

Yes, it was written long ago, but the translators have kindly included instructions on updating it for the modern kitchen (if it took 10 minutes chopping by hand, imagine what you can do with a mini-chopper!)