Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

Why go out for chicken stir fry when you can make it easily at home?  This Thai-inspired stir fry chicken with peanut sauce recipe is ready in about 15 or 20 minutes. You get chicken, crisp-fried veggies, and a creamy peanut sauce over it all. 

It’s just enough for one person. I made it with rice stick noodles, but you can use plain rice or brown rice if you prefer.  I first tried a completely different recipe, from a usually reliable source, but I found it just lacked flavor. 

This one has peanuts (naturally), honey, hoisin sauce, and a generous squirt of lime.  The lime brightens up the flavor, and the honey adds a hint of sweetness.

I used freshly ground peanut butter (the sort of peanut butter they sell at health food stores), but the kind in the jar is fine too.  If you use the freshly-ground peanut butter you may need to add more oil. That will make it easier to mix the ingredients together. It should spread easily and you should be able to toss it over the cooked chicken and the vegetables.




Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as:  bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, or onions.  You can mix and match to suit your own taste.  Whatever you use, you’ll need about 1 1/2  cups.

If you’re making regular rice, start that first.  The rice stick noodles cook like pasta, just faster.  Bring the water to a boil and then cook the noodles about three minutes.

For the rest of the recipe, make the sauce first.  Then cook the chicken.  Once the chicken is done, set that aside and cook the vegetables.  Put the chicken back in the pan, and then add the sauce. Don’t let the sauce cook too much, just enough to heat everything up.

You can speed up the process by using mixed frozen veggies (not the bell peppers though, they tend to get soggy). That way, you save time cooking and chopping.

There is one “problem” though with this recipe. The kitchen still smells so good after you finish dinner that you want to eat it again.

Chicken Peanut Sauce Stir Fry Recipe (Single Serving)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Thai

one serving

Chicken Peanut Sauce Stir Fry Recipe (Single Serving)

An easy Thai-inspired recipe for chicken with peanut sauce.

Ingredients

  • Sauce
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • (1 tsp canola oil, if necessary)
  • 1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp (or four and a half teaspoons, if that's easier) soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Chicken
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1 T canola oil
  • salt and pepper (easy on the salt, the soy sauce is salty)
  • Veggies
  • 1 1/2 C vegetables, cut up (such as broccoli, bell pepper, snap peas, mushrooms, or cauliflower)

Instructions

  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. If you use natural, grainy peanut butter, add some extra canola oil to make it easier to spread and mix together.
  2. Heat the oil in a small frying pan.
  3. Cut up the chicken into strips (you can use a boneless thigh or cut the meat off the bone)*
  4. Cook the chicken for a couple of minutes and then set it aside.
  5. Add the veggies and cook for 3-5 minutes. I like to put the broccoli and cauliflower in first, then save the peppers for last (so they retain some crunch).
  6. Put the chicken back in the pan.
  7. Add the sauce and mix everything together until the chicken and vegetables are thoroughly coated.
  8. Cook until the chicken is reheated.
  9. Serve with rice or rice noodles.

Notes

I tend to use bone-in thighs, cut the meat off the bone, and let the bone cook for a while after the chicken is done. Then I save it for homemade broth.

Substitutions and Variations for Stir Fry Chicken with Peanut Sauce

  • Add some slivers of garlic and fresh ginger to the chicken when you cook it.
  • Make it spicier with sriracha or cayenne flakes.
  • Let the chicken cool, toss fresh, raw veggies in a bowl (use double the amount),  and eat it cold as a salad.
  • Skip the chicken, and just make it with the sauce, veggies, and rice stick noodles

More Chicken Recipes for One

Sichuan Chinese Chicken and Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Chili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Single Serving Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage Recipe

 




 

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

The beauty of this Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt recipe is that it’s delicious and can be made fairly quickly.  You can just serve it with naan or make some rice to help soak up the sauce.  I have adapted this from Madhur Joffrey’s recipe.  Her recipe is for four people, my version is dinner for one person.

I made a few other minor changes as well.  The original recipe calls for both dried and fresh coriander.  I don’t generally have fresh coriander (and if I did, it would spoil), so I used a bit more dried instead. 

She also says to use cardamon pods.  I keep thinking about buying them, but then I remember they  break my “no hard to get ingredients” rule.  So, I leave them out.  One day, I will have to try it with the cardamon, though! If you can get them easily and want to use them, you’ll need two. Add them with the cloves and cinnamon. Make sure to remove all of the whole spices before serving. You don’t want to crunch down on a clove.

Finally, I used black raisins instead of golden raisins, because that’s what I had.

I had sliced almonds, but you can substitute slivered, or blanched if that’s easier.  You might even use whole ones, or throw them in the mini-chopper to chop them up.

There’s also a fun bit of chemistry here.  When you add the raisins to the hot pan, they plump up and revert back to grapes!




Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

Indian royal chicken cooked in yogurt is ready in about half an hour and requires very little fussing. Nothing to chop, or mince. Just mix up the yogurt, brown the chicken, add a few spices, raisins, and almonds to the pan, and let the whole thing simmer. Easy.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • pinch salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander, plus a generous pinch
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/4 inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp blanched, slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp raisins

Instructions

  1. Put the yogurt in a small bowl.  Add the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne.  Mix that all up until it’s smooth and set it aside while you prepare the chicken and the rest of the recipe.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  3. Turn the heat on a burner to medium-high.  Add the oil to a large skillet and heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the cloves, cinnamon, (cardamon pods if using) and the bay leaf.  Stir that together.  Add the chicken thigh and brown it on both sides for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Once it’s brown, remove the chicken and place it in a small bowl.
  5. Now add the almonds and raisins to the pan and stir them up.  Keep an eye on it because the almonds will turn brown quickly and the raisins will magically transform back into grapes. Once they do, add the chicken back to the pan along with the yogurt mixture.
  6. Stir that to combine everything.  Increase the heat and bring the chicken/yogurt mixture to a simmer (not quite boiling).  Stir when you add the chicken and yogurt and again after about 10 minutes. Cover, turn the the heat down to low and cook for another 10 minutes (twenty minutes total).
  7. Take the cover off, increase the heat slightly, and cook down the sauce until it thickens.  Remove the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods if you used them, and bay leaf) and discard them before serving.

Notes

Update: do get the cardamom pods if you can. They are definitely worth the trouble.

Substitutions and Variations for Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

  • try it with ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil, sliced onions, and ginger paste (full recipe here)
  • add potatoes, curry leaves, tamarind paste, and coconut milk (recipe here)
  • make it Hyderabadi style with tomatoes, cashews, red chilis, saffron and turmeric

More Chicken Recipes for One Person

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

Chili Garlic Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Crispy Lemon Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Quick Chicken Mango Stir Fry Recipe

 




Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

In a hurry for dinner?  Pasta is your friend.  This pasta dish with olives, tomatoes, and capers (or pasta puttanesca) has a slightly racy name.  Nobody really knows why.  One theory says the dish was popular with the ladies of the evening because it was easy to cook and the ingredients were cheap.  Another says that the sauce’s aroma helped lure in customers.

Whatever the reason, it certainly is budget friendly and you can make it in about 20 minutes.

Whoever is responsible created a dish that’s packed with flavor.  There’s pungent little bits of garlic, slightly briny capers, and Niçoise olives. 

Capers, in case you don’t know, are the buds of a Mediterranean plant that are picked and then pickled (try to say that three times fast).  I always thought Niçoise  olives were a variety, but I found out today that they’re really called Le Calletier.  Niçoise is just the method of curing them.

I adapted this recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook. They suggested using whole canned tomatoes, and then squeezing them out and chopping them up.  That’s too messy for me. You can use crushed tomatoes, purée, or even tomato sauce in a pinch.

Traditionally, this recipe also includes anchovies.  However, I am a fish wimp. The strongest fish flavor I like is salmon.  Also, anchovies were $32 a pound.  Nope. Not happening. Nuh uh.

The other great thing about pasta puttanesca is that you can use canned tomatoes, jarred capers, dry pasta, and spices you probably already have sitting on your shelf.

Save the rest of the tomatoes for pasta alla norma.

The rest of the capers will keep indefinitely in the fridge once opened.  They’re great with smoked salmon, lemon, and dill for a weekend brunch.




 

Pasta Olives Tomatoes Capers or Puttanesca

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Pasta Olives Tomatoes Capers or Puttanesca

Pungent, earthy, and ready in minutes, this pasta puttanesca goes great with a full-bodied red wine. Pour yourself a glass and enjoy a great meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb spaghetti, linguine or long, dried pasta (about the diameter of a quarter)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 can (use half of the 15 oz size if you can find it), otherwise 1/4 of a 28 oz can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 2T black Niçoise olives
  • 1T drained capers
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a wide saucepan (or a Dutch oven)
  2. Add a pinch of salt and the spaghetti; cook the pasta until al dente (tender, but not mushy). Drain right away and transfer to a small pasta plate or bowl.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, combine the tomatoes and the olive oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once the tomato/oil mixture is boiling, individually add the oregano, pepper flakes, olives, capers, and garlic. Stir after each additional ingredient.
  5. Turn the heat down a bit and keep cooking the sauce until it thickens. Adding a bit of the pasta water will help thicken it.
  6. Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve. A chunk of crusty bread will help sop up the sauce.

More Pasta Recipes

Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe

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

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce




Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

Sometimes, meals are carefully planned. Other times, it’s pure serendipity. I spotted goat cheese on sale at the market and grabbed some. When I got home, I remembered I had some leftover pizza dough in the fridge. I decided to put them together and make a goat cheese caramelized onion pizza.

You can approach this recipe two different ways.  If you make the crust yourself (not hard, but it does take time), it’s a weekend meal. Buy the crust pre-made (you can get it at grocery stores or even your local pizzeria), and it’s a 30 minute meal. So, dinner in half an hour!

I made my own crust (following Smitten Kitchen’s easy recipe), but if you’re in a rush, you don’t have to. By the way, she says to roll out the crust, but I find it works better if I just place it on the baking sheet and gently press outward from the center with my fingers. 

If you do make the dough, it makes enough for one generous dinner serving, or two lunch servings.  It will keep in the fridge for several days, so you don’t have to eat it all at once.  Take it out and let the dough come to room temperature before you start working with it.




Cooking, of course,  is often a process of taking what you already know about food and flavors, doing a bit of research (in cookbooks or online) and combining bits of ideas and techniques.  I often find myself taking bits and pieces from two or three recipes and putting them back together in different ways.

In this case, I started with the pizza crust recipe I already had. Then I added the goat cheese. I took the caramelized onions and the bell pepper from one recipe, the spinach from a second, and the garlic oil from a third.   You can always mix and match to suit your own taste, or the ingredients you have on hand (see more in the Substitutions and Variations section).

Also, I don’t normally post “in progress” photos, but the pizza looked so good I couldn’t resist!

goat cheese caramelized onion pizza_1

 

Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Italian

one serving

Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

With a pre-bought crust, this is dinner in thirty minutes. Just a bit of chopping and cooking the onions.

Ingredients

  • Pizza crust (either pre-made or purchased).
  • 4 T olive oil (divided)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion. sliced
  • 1/4 C sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 C goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 C fresh spinach
  • 1-2 tsp semolina or cream of wheat

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven as high as it will go.
  2. Mix half the olive oil and the chopped garlic together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan. Cook the onions on low heat, until they soften and caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the bell pepper, cook stirring for thirty seconds or so. Then add the spinach for another 30 seconds.
  4. Sprinkle the semolina on a pizza stone (if you have one), or a baking sheet. This will help keep the dough from sticking.
  5. Put the pizza dough on the baking sheet. Using your fingers, push the dough out from the center, to form a circle.
  6. Brush about half the garlic/oil mixture over the crust.
  7. Add the cooked vegetables and the goat cheese. Brush the remaining garlic/oil mixture over the top.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.

Notes

The pre-made dough in the store is usually enough for two, so use half.

Substitutions and Variations for Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion Pizza

  • Use roasted red peppers instead of fresh
  • Try a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Add sliced mushrooms and basil
  • Substitute arugula for the spinach
  • Toss in some sun-dried tomatoes

More Pizza Recipes

White Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

Homemade Tortilla Crust Pizza

More Spinach Recipes

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce




Fried Egg Burrito

Fridays are tricky. Sometimes, I want to make a big feast because the week is over.  Other times, I just want something quick and easy so I can relax. This fried egg burrito recipe is perfect for the days when I’m leaning toward the quick and easy side.

Fried egg burritos are also versatile. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (make two).  And, they’re ready in about 10 minutes.  So, they’re well under the 15 minute meal threshold.



I added some Monterey Jack cheese to the eggs, then tossed in a bit of jalapeño pepper and topped that with some salsa and sour cream to serve.

Fried Egg Burrito

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 9 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Mexican

one serving

Fried Egg Burrito

This fried egg burrito works as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1T neutral oil, like canola
  • 2 eggs
  • 1T shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, or other mild cheese is best)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1 soft flour tortilla
  • 1 tsp salsa
  • 1 generous tsp sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Crack the eggs and add them to the pan.
  3. Once the egg whites start to turn white (about a minute or two), add the shredded cheese.
  4. Then, add the jalapeño pepper. Cover the pan and let it cook for a minute so the cheese melts.
  5. While the eggs are cooking, heat the tortilla. If you have a gas stove lay it on top of the burner grate, turn the flame on, and let it heat for a few seconds. Then flip it over and repeat on the other side. If you have an electric stove, turn a burner to medium heat, put the tortilla in a dry pan, and heat for a few seconds on each side.
  6. Place the hot tortilla on a plate. Remove the eggs from the pan with a spatula and lay them on top of the tortilla.
  7. Top with salsa and sour cream.

Substitutions and Variations for Fried Egg Burrito

Like any other burrito, this is endlessly customizable.

  • add some canned beans or refried beans
  • cook up some chorizo sausage
  • if you like it less hot, use bell pepper instead of the jalapeño
  • add a spoonful of chipotle peppers
  • top with guacamole

More Egg Recipes

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

Shakshouka for One

Frittata Recipe for One Person

Spinach and Feta Cheese Omelette




Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Great for a cold weekend, this Greek lamb breast recipe requires very little active preparation time.  Just make the marinade, zip it in a bag, and let it sit.

The longer this marinates the better.  You can leave it for an hour (if you don’t have lots of time), but it’s better overnight, or all day while you do something else.

I let this sit in the fridge for two days (because I unexpectedly ate out), and it was divine.

It cooks slowly in a low oven, just enough to heat the house a bit, but no so much that you’ll overheat yourself (this is, incidentally also a great way to cook roast beef, low and slow).



The recipe is adapted slightly from a recipe I found on Epicurious.  That was for lamb chops or a leg of lamb.  I reduced that marinade recipe and substituted the NY Times’ lamb riblet slow roasting technique instead of grilling.

If you don’t have breast of lamb, you can use a lamb chop instead.  Just let it marinate, then broil the chop 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how thick it is.

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Greek

one serving

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Greek-inspired slow roasted lamb breast.

Ingredients

  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • lamb breast (bone-in) about 3/4 lb.

Instructions

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Put the lamb breast in a plastic ziploc bag.
  3. Pour in the marinade, close the bag, and shake it to distribute the marinade evenly over the lamb.
  4. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 225 (yes, that's 225) degrees.
  6. Open the bag and remove the lamb with a pair of tongs.
  7. Place it in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up.
  8. Pour the marinade over the lamb.
  9. Roast the lamb, slowly, for 3 hours.
  10. Remove from the oven and cut the lamb into riblets to serve.

Notes

This is good served with skordalia (which is a garlicky mashed potato dip). The Epicurious recipe calls for yogurt instead of potatoes, if you want a change.

More Lamb Recipes

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

One Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

Tools and Ingredients for Greek Lamb Breast Recipe


Cuisinart 12-Inch Pan with Glass Cover

This pan is shallower than most roasting pans, which means it’s easier to remove your food. The relatively small size makes it a great option for smaller portions (and smaller ovens). It’s also great for pan pizza for one (the pizza fits perfectly).

While I don’t usually like nonstick surfaces, this one has held up nicely since I bought it two years ago. I haven’t used the glass cover with the pan, but fits over my other pots and pans (so I can see what’s cooking).


Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Tongs

A good pair of tongs is invaluable when cooking.  These are easy to hold, and they lock back together for storage.  Use them to turn meat, or pick up and turn food in the oven, without burning yourself.

The ends are nylon so they won’t scratch your nonstick pan. Dishwasher safe if you have one.  I’ve had mine for eight years (!) and they’re in perfect condition. Worth every cent I paid for them.

 




Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

This week’s recipe was going to be something else, but then I realized I hadn’t defrosted it.  Oops. No matter, this  Indian fish fillet in yogurt sauce recipe will do quite nicely instead.  You’ll just have to wait for the other recipe!

This is adapted from The Wednesday Chef , who in turn adapted it from Madhur Joffrey.  Since the amounts are smaller, you don’t have to heat up the oven. You can make this in the toaster oven instead. It heats up more quickly and it’s easier to clean too!

All you have to do is lightly fry some onions, pour them onto a tray, season and mix the yogurt, and then pour all of that over the fish.

It’s maybe ten minutes of prep, and 20 minutes of baking.  While it bakes, pour yourself a glass of wine or a beer or make some rice to go with it. Or both.

You end up with a rich, creamy sauce that tastes indulgent (but isn’t, since it’s yogurt, not cream).   So no need to feel guilty after the holidays.

The garam masala, ginger, and cumin add a bit of bite, but not too much (unless you want it spicier, of course). It’s pretty easy and approachable for Indian food.




Fish Fillets in Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Fish Fillets in Yogurt Sauce

Fish Fillets in Yogurt Sauce, creamy indulgence without any guilt.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 pound cod (or haddock or halibut) fillet
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp  lemon juice
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • generous pinch garam masala
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger*
  • 1 T butter (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove the tray from your toaster oven. Start by preheating the toaster oven to 350.  While that’s warming up, heat the oil in a small skillet.  Then add the sliced onion.  Cook that until you can see through the slices.  This should take about five minutes or so.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Remove the onions from the pan and scatter them over the toaster oven tray.  Cut the fish into small pieces (about 2 inches) and arrange the pieces over the onions on the tray.
  3. Take a small bowl and mix together the remaining ingredients (except the butter). If the mixture is too thick, thin it out with a teaspoon or two of water. Pour that over the fish and the onions and stir it around to cover the fish completely on both sides.
  4. Cover the tray with foil, place it in the hot toaster oven and cook for about 20 minutes.  The fish is done when it’s white and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. If you want a thicker sauce, pour the sauce from the tray into a small saucepan, heat it to boiling, and then slowly add the butter.

Notes

* I grated the ginger using my microplane. If you don't have one, just use a cheese grater.

Substitutions and Variations for Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

  • Add some curry to the sauce for more kick
  • Try pan frying the fish (about three-five minutes per side); add the yogurt sauce at the end, off the heat so it doesn’t curdle
  • Add half a hot chile pepper

More Fish Recipes

Easy Canned Tuna Curry

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

 




Shakshouka for One

Shakshouka doesn’t roll off the tongue when you try to say it.  Maybe it’s a Middle Eastern market?  Or a new folk dance?  It is Middle Eastern spicy poached eggs, either Tunisian or Israeli (depending who you ask, or which ingredients you use). If you make it with onions and bell peppers, it’s Israeli.  On the other hand, if you serve it up with feta or potatoes then it’s Tunisian.

This shakshouka for one recipe is actually two recipes that I mind melded together (one from column A and one from column B) to get what I wanted.

Also, for some reason, I thought it had spinach.  So, I washed and chopped 1/4 C of spinach. Only to find out there was no spinach in either recipe.  I added it anyway. Why waste perfectly good spinach? Besides it adds extra color and flavor, which I think worked out well.

The real recipe ingredients are poached eggs, tomato, onions, bell peppers, and some cayenne for kick.

I’m calling it lunch here, but it works well as a light dinner too. You can put the whole thing together in only 20 or 25 minutes.

So, easy, and no fussing. The hardest part is making sure you don’t break the egg yolks.

Serve it with lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.




Shakshouka for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

one serving

Shakshouka for One

Israeli, Tunisian, I've even seen a Chinese version of the same idea. Whatever your preference, this meal looks like you worked really hard (even though you didn't).

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • generous pinch cayenne
  • 2 mini orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 C pureed tomatoes
  • 2 T water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C chopped spinach

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium size frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring every once in a while. The onion should be soft and slightly browned (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the chopped garlic, cumin, cayenne, and chopped bell peppers.
  3. Cook, stirring, until the garlic gets soft. This should take another minute or two.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the water to the pan. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until it gets a bit thick.
  5. After the mixture has cooked about 10 minutes, season with salt.
  6. Carefully break the eggs over the tomato mixture. Cook until the whites set (this should be about 5 minutes). Spoon the sauce over the white part of the eggs. Be careful not to break them.
  7. Sprinkle the spinach over the eggs and cook for a minute.
  8. Using a spatula, carefully lift the shakshouka from the pan onto a plate.

Substitutions and Variations for Shakshouka for One

  • Slice and fry up a potato in some olive oil, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add some sliced spicy sausage (merguez would work beautifully)
  • Sprinkle it with some feta cheese
  • If you do break the eggs, just scramble them

More Egg Recipes

Egg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

Cherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Egg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

 




Moroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

The first time I made this Moroccan lamb stew I made a big pot of it for Passover. I was tired of the usual brisket and chicken for the holidays. So, mom and I made this instead.

It’s flavored with cinnamon, a touch of ginger, raisins, almonds, and lamb.  The lamb is cooked slowly, so it practically melts in your mouth.

While the full recipe is certainly worth making (and then freezing the leftovers), my freezer is tiny and too full of other food to do that right now.

So I “minified” the recipe (from The Book of Jewish Food) and made it for one instead.  Many Moroccan recipes call for somewhat exotic ingredients (if you’re a Westerner), such as sumac or ras el hanout.  This one doesn’t. It’s made entirely with ingredients that should be in any market.  And, once you start it cooking, there’s very little to do.

I have modified it slightly. She calls for honey and more water than I  have used. I left out the honey because I felt the raisins and the carrots (my own addition) were sweet enough.  I reduced the water, using just enough to soak the saffron. The lamb cooks nicely in its own fat, it doesn’t need the water.

I don’t have a slow cooker, but if you do, you could probably start your stew in the morning and have it ready when you come home from work.

Use a shoulder lamb chop with a round bone as it is easier to cut up. Shoulder cuts are also better for stews and long, slow cooking.

It’s great for a weekend dinner, washed down with some Zinfandel.



Moroccan Lamb Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Moroccan

one serving

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Traditional for the holidays, this Moroccan stew gets sweetness from raisins, and cinnamon and a bit of a kick from ginger.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 T vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 shoulder lamb chop (preferably round bone, as it's easier to cut up), cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • a few threads of saffron*
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • sliced frozen carrot (optional, about 8 pieces)
  • 1 T seedless raisins
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6-8 almonds (divided)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the diced onion and let it cook for a minute or two.
  3. Now put in the lamb cubes, cook, stirring, until the lamb browns.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, saffron, and ginger.
  5. The fat from the lamb should be enough to cook it, check it occasionally and add a tablespoon or two of water if needed.
  6. Simmer on low heat for one hour.
  7. Put in the raisins and cinnamon and cook another 15 minutes.
  8. Add the carrot, if using (I had about one carrot's worth of frozen carrots left, so I threw them in for color)
  9. Take half the almonds, and add to the pot, cooking and stirring for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the stew onto a serving plate. Chop the remaining almonds and sprinkle them on top.

Notes

*To use the saffron, soak it for about 20 minutes in about 2 T of water. Mash that up, and then add it to the stew (with the water). It will add flavor and color to the final dish.

More Moroccan and Lamb Recipes

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes for One

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Greek Lamb Breast Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Stew Tools and Ingredients

Spanish Saffron

Yes, it’s pricey, but it adds a unique flavor and beautiful color. Luckily, Amazon is easier (and likely less expensive and fresher) than the stuff in the supermarket.  Soak it first, then mash it with a spoon to release the flavor and color. You only need a little bit and you can use the rest for other dishes.

The Book of Jewish Food

This book is part cookbook, part history, and part travelogue.  There are recipes from places you probably never thought of as “Jewish.” The ingredients aren’t always what you’d expect either. Sure there are recipes for challah, and potato pancakes, and noodle pudding.

But there’s also stuffed zucchini, meatballs in apricot sauce, lamb with artichokes, pita bread, and phyllo pastry filled with pistachios. She gives recipes, as well as a history of the people in each part of the world she covers. It’s like going on vacation, and sometimes traveling back through time, without leaving your couch.




 

Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Have you ever gotten a a mad, out-of-blue craving for something?  A meal or a treat you just have to have?  This week, I had this crazy yen for Sloppy’s Joe’s. Unfortunately, most of the recipes I found were too big and had too much tomato sauce.  I wanted “sloppy joe’s” not “bathe in tomato sauce joes.” And, many of the recipes were also too bland. The only sloppy joe recipe for one person that I found was made with tofu. Nope.

Since I’d been feeling ambitious earlier in the week, I had fresh grass-fed beef on hand, and even homemade buns. If you want to make your own buns, try the recipe at King Arthur Flour’s website.

In order to boost the flavor, I added a bit of sriracha to the sauce and increased the Worcestershire sauce slightly.

The recipe includes two different amounts for the ketchup and the tomato sauce, so you can adjust the sauce/beef ratio to your own preferences.

Yes, it was messy. But it was also really good! I have put this under “dinner,” but really you could make it for a weekend lunch too, since it’s easy.



Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: American

one serving

Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Comfort food for the win! Sloppy Joe's really hit the spot on a cool day. This recipe is just right for one person.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 T canola or neutral oil
  • 2 T onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 -1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 1-2 T ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 mini bell peppers, chopped (about 2 T)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil on medium-low heat in a skillet.
  2. Add the chopped onion and cook for a minute or two.
  3. Next, add the minced garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring regularly, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the beef and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Now add the tomato sauce, sriracha, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Stir to combine the ingredients, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped peppers and cook, stirring, for a minute. This is just enough to heat them while retaining their crunch.
  9. Spoon the mixture onto a hamburger bun or fresh roll.

Sloppy Joe Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Make it with ground turkey or chicken instead of beef
  • Kick up the heat with chili garlic sauce instead of sriracha
  • Try half a chopped jalapeño pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Add some chili powder and mustard, then balance that with a bit of brown sugar

More Beef Recipes for One Person

Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

Cheeseburger with Compound Butter

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Meatball Recipe for One