Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

There are probably hundreds or thousands of variations of this easy Mediterranean fish stew. In San Francisco, they add shellfish and clam juice or fish stock and call it cioppino.  Sicilians make it with sea bass or orange roughy.  The Greeks use dill and potatoes, while the Portuguese add sausage.

This particular version has tomatoes, potatoes, and some citrus zest.  I adapted it from a New York Times recipe (which made a big pot of stew, enough for 6 people, and included the dreaded anchovies).  I also threw in some mushrooms (mostly because I wanted to use them up).  There’s no shellfish, and I made it with cod (which is more sustainable and budget-friendly than orange roughy or sea bass). I also swapped the chopped tomatoes they called for with tomato puree (that’s what I had, and it cooks faster).

There are two nice things about this recipe.  The first is that it’s super-easy to make.  Just make the stew, and then add the fish at the very end. Don’t overcook it!

The second is that you can make it in advance up to the point where you add the fish.  When you’re ready to eat, reheat the stew and add the fish once it’s hot.





Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Mediterranean

two or three servings

Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Easy Mediterranean fish stew with potatoes and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 large mushrooms, sliced, about 2/3 C
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C pureed tomatoes
  • 2 C water (or a combination of water, white wine, and fish stock)
  • 1 medium potato, cut in chunks
  • 1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, 1/2 inch strip of orange zest, 1 sprig thyme, or about half teaspoon dried, pinch red pepper flakes), tied together with kitchen string or put in a tea ball
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 pound cod, cut into large chunks

Instructions

  1. Mash up the garlic with a pinch of salt. You want it to turn into a paste.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, mushrooms, and salt and cook on medium-low for five minutes until the vegetables soften.
  4. Add the mashed garlic and cook for a minute.
  5. Add the tomato puree and cook 10 minutes. Add the water or wine , the potatoes, more salt and pepper to taste, the bouquet garni and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce the heat to low so the mixture just barely bubbles, and let that cook for 20-25 minutes. Taste it and adjust the seasonings.
  7. Remove the garni/tea ball. Now add the fish and simmer 5 minutes.

Substitutions and Variations for Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

  • Replace the water with fish stock, clam juice, or white wine
  • Add some capers
  • Double the garlic and add some pepperoncini (Italian hot peppers)
  • Vary the fish by adding some seafood such as clams, mussels, or shrimp
  • Make it Portuguese style with chicken broth (as the liquid), green bell pepper, potatoes, and sausage

More Mediterranean and Fish Recipes

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

 




 

Easy Canned Tuna Curry

There are some nights when you want dinner and you want it quick. This easy tuna curry can be made in just a few minutes. Just cut up a bit of onion, chop some garlic, grate some ginger, and open a can of tuna. Yes, canned tuna.

If you make extra rice in advance (as I usually do), you just have to heat that up and you have dinner. It’s curry in a hurry.

I adapted this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. Her recipe made two or three servings, which I have reduced. She calls for fresh chopped cilantro (which I never have, so I used a bit of dried coriander, which is the same thing). If you do have the fresh version, use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons.

I have simplified the preparation a bit.  Rather than slicing the onions into rounds, I chopped them.  I grated the ginger with my microplane zester, instead of slicing it into strips; I didn’t want to bite down on big hunks of ginger! Besides, this way is faster.




Easy Tuna Curry

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Easy Tuna Curry

Canned tuna curry in a hurry. An easy quick dinner you can make in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder
  • 1 five oz. can tuna, packed in oil
  • 1/4 -1/2 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • pinch dried coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the chopped onions and garlic.
  2. Stir the mixture in the pan until the onion starts to get brown.
  3. Add the hot curry powder and stir.
  4. Now add the tuna (make sure to use tuna in oil so it won't dry out),
  5. Reduce the heat to low, add the jalapeño, ginger, and coriander. Stir it all together.
  6. Add a little salt to taste (the tuna will be salty) and a generous grinding of black pepper.
  7. Mix that all in the pan and then spoon it out onto a plate.

More Quick Dinner Recipes

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

Quick Dinner Recipes for One

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

 

 




No Cook Meals for One Person

It’s summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), the sun is calling, and even I don’t always feel like cooking. So, here’s a list of no cook meals for one person that require no boiling, sautéing, roasting or toasting! And, since there’s no cooking, you can make them all in less than 15 minutes.

Fruit and Vegetable Salads

mango cottage cheese and honeyCottage Cheese Yogurt and Fruit Salad

Healthy and easy to make. If you have frozen mango, you don’t even have to chop anything. Just defrost, pour everything into a bowl. Done!

 

strawberry spinach salad balsamic dressing feta cheeseStrawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese

This salad is both colorful and tasty. The sweet fruit contrasts with the tangy cheese and the vinegar.

spinach and blueberry salad with feta cheeseBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

I liked the strawberry salad so much I decided to make a variation with blueberries and add some mushrooms and walnuts too.

 




Chicken and Fish Salads

These two require a bit of help from some leftover chicken or your local market to get a rotisserie chicken

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

Colorful, slightly spicy, and appealing even when the heat spoils your appetite.

chicken salad with currantsChicken Salad Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Dried Currants

No mayo needed to make this chicken recipe. Instead it has Greek yogurt and currants (or raisins or even dried cranberries if you prefer).


Italian Tuna with Beans: 1 can white beans, 1 can tuna, 1/4 C chopped red onion, romaine lettuce, 1 sliced tomato, 1 small mini bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste.  Drain the beans, rinse, and pour into a bowl.  Add the tuna, and onion.  Mix together.  Serve on top of romaine lettuce with tomato and pepper.  Season to taste. Make dressing with 3T olive oil and 2T lemon juice. Pour over tuna.




Sandwiches

peanut butter and cucumber sandwich on ryePeanut Butter and Cucumber on Rye

I know this sounds weird, but it’s really good. My mom invented it. The cucumber gives it crunch and the peanut butter makes it salty and slightly sweet (if you use the sweetened kind). Make sure to use rye bread.

Italian Tuna Sandwich: one can of tuna (packed in olive oil), 2 tsp chopped red onion (or scallion), 1/2 tsp capers, olive oil to taste, 2 T lemon juice, 1 T basil leaves (chopped), plus salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Eat as a sandwich, or serve with a green salad.

Turkey and Avocado Sandwich: Sliced deli turkey, sliced avocado, roasted red peppers, honey mustard on whole grain (or even better 7-grain) bread.  You can toast the bread if you like (even though that’s cooking, sort of.)

Tuna and White Beans: If the tuna/bean salad is too much effort, just mix tuna and beans with some olive oil. Put the mixture in a wrap or pita bread and add lettuce and tomato.

Platters

 
antipasto platter

Rosemary ham, goat cheese spread, crackers, olives, fruit, and a lovely glass of red wine.

Goat cheese spread: Take the goat cheese out of the fridge ahead of time to soften it. Add a bit of milk to make it more spreadable. Then roll it in ground almonds.

israeli breakfast

Israeli salad, pita bread, hummus, olives, and feta cheese. Or add some pickled herring.

 




Quick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

This creole cabbage and sausage recipe is quick and easy to put together. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list.  The creole seasoning and the mustard are fairly easy to find.

If you can’t find them, or don’t want to buy a whole jar of something for one recipe, it’s pretty easy to make both from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

I’ve linked to recipes for both below.  I keep a repurposed jam jar of the creole seasoning in my cupboard so it’s ready when I need it.

I used a spicy chicken sausage here, but you could use andouille sausage or hot Italian sausage if you prefer.  Just cook it a bit more, and eliminate (or reduce) the first tablespoon of oil.




Quick Creole Red Cabbage and Sausage

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: American

one serving

Quick Creole Red Cabbage and Sausage

Creole inspired dinner made with spicy mustard, sausage, and cabbage.

Ingredients

  • 2 T canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 spicy chicken sausage, cut up into slices about half an inch thick
  • 1/2 C onion, sliced
  • 1/2C red cabbage, sliced
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp creole seasoning
  • 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 1 t creole mustard
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the chicken sausage slices to the pan and cook about two minutes, turning occasionally, so it browns and cooks evenly. Be careful not to overcook it, as the sausage will dry out.
  3. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a small bowl while you make the rest of the recipe.
  4. Add remaining oil, the creole seasoning, onion, cabbage, and thyme.
  5. Saute gently until vegetables start to wilt (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add the broth, creole mustard, and the vinegar.
  7. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
  8. Return the sausage to the pan. Simmer until the meat is heated through.
  9. I served this over some leftover rice (I always make extra so I can just zap it when I need it, and have rice in a minute or two).

Notes

I used spicy chicken sausage, but you can use andouille sausage if you like.

Here are links to recipes for the creole seasoning and the mustard. Just toss (or mix) ingredients together and you’re done.

Creole Seasoning Recipe

Creole Mustard Recipe

More Sausage and Cabbage Recipes

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Pasta with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Chicken Sausage

Single Serving Asian Chicken Salad with Cabbage Recipe

Small Batch Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe


Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

This easy chicken curry recipe is a quick and delicious way to get the taste of Indian food without a lot of work.  The original recipe came from The New York Times (I think), but I had to put my own spin on it. It only requires a few ingredients and a small skillet and you can put the whole thing together in fifteen minutes. Just perfect when you’re hungry and in a hurry!

If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you can use sour cream instead. As a bonus, sour cream is more heat-resistant than yogurt so you can add it directly to the pan, rather than dirtying a separate bowl. I use the yogurt because I prefer the flavor.

Garam masala is a spice mixture (kind of like curry, every mixture and every manufacturer is a bit different).  It adds both spiciness and savor to the dish.




Fast Chicken Curry for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Indian

one serving

Fast Chicken Curry for One

chicken curry for one

Ingredients

  • 1T canola oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • generous pinch cumin
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • 1 boneless chicken breast or chicken thigh, cut up
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in small skillet on medium high heat. After a minute or two, add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onion, stirring, until it becomes clear. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn down heat to medium. Add half the curry powder and cook for another minute or so.
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, plus the remaining curry powder and the cumin. Push the onions to one side of the pan, away from the heat.
  4. Add the chicken and cook about 2 minutes. Turn the meat on the other side and cook another two minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a plate.
  6. Turn the heat down to very low, and wait a minute or two until the pan cools slightly. Measure the yogurt into a cup and add some of the pan drippings. Stir it around to blend (this will keep the yogurt from curdling when you add it to the pan). Add the yogurt mixture to the pan and stir it into the onions. Keep stirring until it gets hot again.
  7. Put the chicken back in the pan, add the jalapeño pepper and cook another 2 minutes. Turn after halfway cooked.
  8. Remove from pan and serve.

Notes

I served this over jasmine rice, along with a side dish of cabbage seasoned with ginger, garam masala, and red pepper flakes.

Chicken Curry Recipe Variations and Substitutions:

  • If you don’t have jalapeño pepper, add a pinch of red pepper flakes along with the curry
  • Add some garam masala (a spice blend that adds both savor and spiciness) or some ginger
  • If you don’t have boneless chicken, cut up a bone-in thigh, or just start the chicken first, cook it for ten minutes, then add the onions, and follow the rest of the recipe (with the bone-in thighs, the recipe will take about 25 minutes total).

Recommended Tools and Ingredients


Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking
I love Indian food, but I used to find it a bit intimidating, because it’s not as familiar to me as a home cook. However, this cookbook made that a lot easier (and I use it quite a bit).

My favorites are quick chicken korma, lamb with spinach, fish fillets in curry sauce, and curried tuna (the canned kind, not fresh). Most of the recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Indian Cooking Unfolded

Many Indian cookbooks use ingredients that can be hard to find if you don’t live in an area with a large Indian or Pakistani population. I have some excellent spice stores near me, but many don’t.

That’s one reason this cookbook caught my eye. He gives you the standard ingredients, and then tells you how to “cheat” if you don’t have them available. It makes the food much more accessible. The recipes are easy to follow and have 10 ingredients or less.

More Chicken Recipes for One Person

Chili Garlic Chicken Thigh Recipe

Chicken with Peaches and Ginger

Chili Citrus Chicken Thigh Recipe for One

Indian Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt


Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

This single serving of pan-fried tilapia with lemon butter sauce is quick, easy, and delicious. I was never a big fish fan growing up, but I’ve grown to like it as I have gotten older.  If you’re a bit wary of fish, tilapia is a good “starter fish.” It has a mild flavor and doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds (or your kitchen).

I got the idea from someone who said she made tilapia with butter, lemon, and rosemary.  I thought that sounded good, but that it would be even better with some olive oil and mustard powder (it was).



You can put the whole thing together and have dinner on the table in less than fifteen minutes. Make the fish, steam (or zap) some veggies and you’re good to go.

I made this recently (just as spring is finally showing signs of arriving, after a truly nasty winter), but it would be great in the summer when you want something fast.  There’s no need to heat the stove or the oven for an hour.

By the way, the fish came from Trader Joe’s.  They have great frozen fish. The tilapia was in a package with individually-wrapped fillets. Normally, I don’t like extra packaging, but in this case it was perfect, since I only had to defrost one fillet, instead of the entire bag.

 

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: American

one

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

A quick fish dinner for one with lemon, a bit of mustard, and rosemary.

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch dried rosemary
  • 1 pinch mustard powder
  • 1 tilapia filet
  • healthy squeeze lemon juice (preferably fresh)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil and the butter in a small frying pan.   Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle the tilapia with the mustard and rosemary on both sides.  Add it to the pan.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Cook until done, about 3-4 minutes per side (depending on how thick the fish fillet is).  It should be lightly colored, but no longer pink.
  3. Serve immediately, before the fish gets cold. I steamed some Trader Joe's string frozen beans and cut up some fresh carrots to serve with it.  I felt so healthy and virtuous.

Substitutions and Variations for Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

  • If you don’t have tilapia, use another mild, white fish such as cod, flounder, or Dover sole
  • Swap the rosemary for some capers
  • Skip the mustard and the rosemary and use dill instead

 




More Easy Fish Recipes

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce

Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Chicken Florentine for One

Sometimes, there are nights when you’ve been working hard all day, and you open the fridge and wonder, “Where’s the magic instant food fairy?” You’re hungry, you want food, and you want it now. But you also want something you’ll enjoy eating. Chicken florentine sounds fancy, but it’s really easy to put together. It also cooks quickly.  It only takes about 20 minutes to prepare, from start to finish.

All you have to do is do a little bit of chopping, a quick sauté, and toss a few ingredients in a frying pan.  Ta dah! Dinner is ready.

I served this with a simple side dish of spaghetti tossed with olive oil and butter, and topped with grated parmesan cheese.




Chicken Florentine for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Italian

Chicken Florentine for One

Chicken florentine for one

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, pounded and flattened
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • flour for coating the chicken
  • 6 tsp butter, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 C raw spinach, washed
  • 1/4 C cream
  • 1/4 C chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Pour the flour into a small bowl, and lightly coat both sides of the chicken breast.
  2. Take a medium size skillet and melt 2 teaspoons of the butter (on medium heat). Add the chicken breast and cook until it's lightly browned, about 5 minutes or so on each side (depending on the thickness of the breast).
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer it to a plate. Cover it with foil, or the top of a handy pan to keep it warm while you make the rest of the recipe.
  4. Melt another 2 teaspoons of the butter in the same pan you used for the chicken. add the garlic and the onion and saute a minute or so. Scrape any bits that may be clinging to the pan. Add the chicken broth.
  5. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Let the broth mixture cook down until it is reduced by half. This should take around 3 minutes.
  6. Add some of the liquid to the yogurt/milk mixture and slowly add the combined liquid back to the pan. Bring it to a boil and let it cook until the liquid is about half what it was.
  7. In another small skillet, melt the rest of the butter, add the spinach, and cook a minute or so. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the chicken back to the first pan (with the yogurt/milk/garlic mixture and spoon the sauce over both sides.
  9. Once the spinach is cooked, transfer it to a plate. Top the spinach with the chicken and the sauce.

Chicken Florentine for One Substitutions and Variations

• If you don’t have cream, try using sour cream or Greek yogurt, thinned with a little milk
• Replace the onions with shallots
• Use white wine instead of chicken broth
• Add a squeeze of lemon juice (instead of the wine or the broth); this will add a bit of acidity and brighten the flavor




More Recipes with Chicken or Spinach

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

Spinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes for One