Zucchini Carrot Fritters

Like starch? Like fried foods? Want to be a bit more healthy about eating them?  Think of these zucchini carrot fritters as “healthy veggie” potato pancakes. Except, instead of potatoes, this recipe uses zucchini (or yellow squash) and carrots (for vitamins!) and is topped with a yogurt mint dip instead of sour cream or applesauce.  You end up with tiny, crispy, slightly salty fritters which you can gobble down in two bites.

I got the recipe from the NY Times (which I would link to, except they now hide everything behind a paywall). I’ve cut it in half, to make it more suitable for one person. The recipe writer developed them for her picky daughter.  It was something she’d eat, and a semi-sneaky way to get in some veggies.

I confess this is a bit messier than usual, but they do taste good! And most people probably have a dishwasher and don’t fuss about cleanup as much as I do.




Zucchini Carrot Fritters Substitutions and Variations

  • try different combinations of vegetables, such as mashed up chickpeas, potatoes, or diced bell peppers
  • spice it up with some curry (and swap the mint for cucumber)
  • add a chopped scallion (which was supposed to be in there, but I blanked out!)
  • swap the coriander with basil
  • add some diced onion
  • add a few red pepper flakes to the batter
  • try panko instead of flour, for more crunch

More Vegetable Recipes

honey mustard glazed carrotsHoney Mustard Glazed Carrots for One

An easy side dish, great with roast chicken, roast beef, or lamb.  It’s both sweet and savory at the same time.

 

rosemary olive oil broiled eggplantRosemary Olive Oil Broiled Eggplant

Meltingly tender eggplant with a splash of olive oil, dusted with rosemary and grated cheese.

 

crispy garlic basil potato bitesCrispy Garlic Basil Potato Bites

Little bite size bits of potato heaven.  Fresh garlic and summery basil add flavor, aroma, and character to this easy side dish.

 

butternut squash brown sugar vanillaRoasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

The veggie side dish that thinks it’s a dessert. You may want to eat this twice in a row.  Topped with nuts and craisins, and only slightly sweetened.  The squash provides all the “sugar” fix you need.

 




Egg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

There are three holidays this weekend: two big ones and one silly one. The big ones are Easter and Passover and since each holiday has entirely different traditions and foods, I was initially stumped. What do I post that works for both holidays? Then it hit me! These holidays do have something in common: eggs.  This egg and tomato gratin is just the thing.

I adapted this dish from a recipe by Jacques Pépin.  It’s from his Fast Food My Way cookbook. I haven’t changed much, other than the quantities, and using canned tomatoes instead of fresh. The fresh tomatoes aren’t very good this time of year, and besides, I dislike fresh-cooked tomatoes.

The eggs are mixed with tomato and onions, garlic, and thyme. The thyme adds a slightly spicy flavor and pairs beautifully with tomato.  The whole thing is then finished with grated, slightly nutty Swiss cheese.  Delicious!

And it works whether you’re on Team Pesach or Team Easter. Not to mention that whether you observe Easter or Passover, you’re likely to want a light lunch before your big meal(s) or want to take it easy the next day.  This egg dish is relatively light and won’t fill you up too much before or after all that heavy food. I’ve listed it as lunch, but it would also make a good breakfast or light brunch.

The third holiday? That’s April Fool’s.  There’s no specific food for that (except in France maybe when they call it April Fish), but somehow the tomato cheese mixture on top of the eggs looks like bacon if you squint. April Fool’s!




Egg and Tomato Gratin Substitutions and Variations

  • At the end, turn up the toaster oven to broil and cook for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese
  • Don’t just have a dish that looks like bacon, add some real bacon and crumble it on top
  • Vary the cheeses: try Gruyère or mozzarella or Monterey Jack
  • Sauté some sliced porcini mushrooms with the onion/tomato mixture

Cooking tip: Poking the end of the eggs with a pin reduces the pressure inside, making them less likely to burst in the boiling water.

More Egg Recipes

egg and pasta gratinEgg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

A crispy egg, gooey cheese, and tender pasta layered together equals comfort food. This dish is easy to make too.

 

cherry tomato basil frittataCherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Who says you can’t make something delicious with simple ingredients? This frittata has only five. And you likely have most of them in your fridge and cupboard too.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

A versatile recipe that’s great for lunch, brunch, or breakfast.  Make the eggs, add seasonings, and wrap it all up.

 

shakshouka for oneShakshouka for One

Haven’t heard of shakshouka before? It’s just poached eggs with a spicy tomato sauce. Think traveling to the Middle East, without leaving home.

 




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. That’s why I have a list of “15 minute meals” on the blog.

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 not only delicious and easy, they’re dinner in less than 15 minutes. It’s faster (and tastier) than takeout. Plus, since you made it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it.




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.  You can use pepper jack cheese or cheddar or any other mild cheese you like.

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

eggs with spinach and chili pepperEggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

Great for a light meal, brunch, or breakfast. Only one skillet needed, and you get a healthy dose of greens too.

 

cherry tomato basil frittataCherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Just four basic ingredients and you’ve got breakfast (or a light lunch). Or, add spinach, mushrooms, or more veggies to make a bigger meal.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Another easy egg dish. This one is a wrap, with refried beans and scallions. It’s a bit heartier, but still super-easy and fast (with canned or pre-cooked beans).

 

shakshouka for oneShakshouka for One

Popular all over the Middle East and Mediterranean, shakshouka is great for lunch or brunch. Or add bread (to scoop up the sauce) and make it dinner.  There are lots of variations, but I added my own spin with some spinach.

 




Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich Recipe

Mmmm bacon….We’re obsessed with it.  We have bacon appetizers, bacon cocktails, and even bacon ice cream.  And now, meet the bacon spinach tomato aioli sandwich, a slightly different twist on the tried-and-true BLT.

I made this with Trader Joe’s uncured bacon (which is delicious; get the bacon ends if you can and save some money).   I tend to use spinach far more than lettuce, because it’s more versatile. You can cook with it, as well as use it in salads.  So, I reached for that rather than lettuce.

Then, I added some mini bell peppers. The sweetness and crunch of the peppers makes a nice foil for the salty bacon.

Finally, I decided to ditch the standard mayo in favor of aioli (which is mayo with garlic, some lemon juice, olive oil, and a bit of cayenne pepper).

If you are ambitious, and want to make your own aioli from scratch you can do that.  It’s delicious, and freshly made mayonnaise is far tastier than the stuff in the jar.

On the other hand, it doesn’t keep nearly as well, and making (and eating) a whole batch is a bit much for one person. Of course, you can always use the leftover aioli for french fries (like they do in Belgium) or as a dip for crudités.

I like to take the jarred mayonnaise and then add fresh ingredients to brighten the flavor so it tastes a bit more like homemade. That way, there’s no leftovers to worry about.




Substitutions and Variations for Bacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich

  • Add more heat with sriracha instead of just cayenne
  • Chop some basil or cilantro and incorporate it into the aioli sauce
  • Make it a bit lighter by using half mayo and half Greek yogurt
  • Prepare the aioli in advance so the flavors have more time to blend

 

Thick Cut Bacon

Make your sandwich even better with thick-cut bacon. Choose either natural (humanely raised with no antibiotics, and a vegetarian diet), or heritage.  Heritage pork is more flavorful and less fatty than standard pork.  You can even choose your farm (and check exactly what goes into your bacon).

More Sandwich Recipes

vegetarian eggplant sandwichVegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

Israeli salad, plus eggplant, and hummus and you have a delicious easy meal.

 

three cheese grilled cheese sandwichThree Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Why settle for only one kind of cheese when you can have three?  Ooey, gooey melty and delicious. Just the comfort food you need right now.

 

chicken caprese salad panini

Chicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Crispy, golden brown, and delicious! Transform a caprese side salad into a complete meal with chicken and sandwich fixings.

 

strawberry balsamic grilled cheeseStrawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You probably didn’t expect strawberries and balsamic vinegar in a sandwich, did you?  The tangy vinegar complements the sweet strawberries and enhances their flavor too.  And, of course, cheese nearly always makes everything better.




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 no cook meals 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).

 

 




No Cook 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 Salad
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.)

Platters

 
antipasto platter

Ham 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.





Cottage Cheese Yogurt and Fruit

Summer is in full swing. It’s hot, it’s sticky, and I really wasn’t terribly motivated to cook the other day (gasp). I wanted something quick, refreshing, and truly easy to make.  I looked in the fridge and saw that I had some cottage cheese yogurt and fruit (mango in this case).

Then I remembered that there used to be a store near me that sold fresh Greek yogurt with fruit, honey, and vanilla. They had all sorts of combinations: mango, blueberry, peach, and fig.  It was delicious.

Sadly. they’ve closed up and moved away from my neighborhood now, so I can’t get their yogurt without making a special trip.  While  I can’t recreate their yogurt exactly, I can use Fage plain yogurt instead.

Trying to recreate that yogurt salad sounded like a good idea, but I did want something just a bit more substantial than just yogurt and fruit, so I added cottage cheese as well to make a cottage cheese yogurt and fruit salad.

The proportions are about two parts cottage cheese to one part yogurt.




I’ve put this under “15 minute meals” but it isn’t even that much.  It’s closer to five minutes.  Just dump, mix, and drizzle.  Easy!

Cottage Cheese Yogurt and Fruit Substitutions and Variations

  • This works with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, figs, blackberries and raspberries.
  • Or use a combination of fruits instead.  It does not work well (in my opinion) with apples or grapes.

More Salad Recipes with Fruit

apple almond chicken saladApple Almond Chicken Salad

Sweetened with crisp/tart apples, crunchy nuts, and not too much mayo. An easy lunch for a summer’s day.

 

blueberry and spinach salad with fetaBlueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

No actual cooking required for this salad. Mix together your favorite greens, spinach, salty feta, and crunchy walnuts.

 

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

Tangy balsamic dressing and sweet summer berries are an unbeatable combination. Just toss and serve.

 

 




Blueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

I was so pleased with last week’s spinach and feta salad with strawberries that I decided to try another variation, this time with blueberries. Plus, the spinach and the blueberries at the market looked so fresh that I couldn’t resist buying them. So now, we end up with blueberry spinach salad with feta cheese and walnuts.

I changed the dressing from balsamic vinaigrette to a lemony vinaigrette made with olive oil, vinegar, and lemon peel. I topped it all off with a mixture of nuts, raisins, and sunflower seeds.

I bought the nut/seed combination already mixed, you can add some, or all of the ingredients, depending on what you have in your pantry, your personal taste, or whether you feel like going to the store to get anything you haven’t got handy.  You definitely don’t have to add all of them!

The resulting blueberry spinach salad with feta cheese and walnuts is crispy, a little salty (from the nut mixture), tangy from the lemon, and sweet from the blueberries.

And, it’s even red, white, and blue. It would be great for a Fourth of July picnic or party.  Just throw it together ahead of time and add the dressing when it’s ready to serve.  Gotta have something healthy in-between all those hot dogs!




Substitutions and Variations for Blueberry Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

  • Don’t have spinach? Try mixed greens or arugula instead
  • Or, add some mushrooms
  • Try adding some carrots or zucchini
  • Swap out different kinds of nuts (or nut mixtures)

More Spinach and Feta Recipes

spinach and feta cheese omeletteSpinach and Feta Cheese Omelette

The flavors of spanakopita (spinach feta pie) in an omelette. Much easier to make, and simply delicious.

 

spinach and egg frittataSpinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

Perfect for brunch or a light lunch and packed with herby and savory flavor from spinach, eggs, nutmeg, coriander, and fresh dill.

 

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

Sweet local strawberries balanced against tangy balsamic vinegar and feta cheese.  Great for a hot summer day (no cooking!)

 

penne with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and olivesPenne with Feta Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Olives

The intense sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes is a perfect foil for briny olives and salt feta.  The recipe comes together quickly and is a great summer meal.

 




Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese

Strawberry season has finally arrived! They’re wonderful just right out of the box, but much as I love strawberries, they’re not a complete meal.  This strawberry spinach salad with balsamic dressing and feta cheese is easy to make, delicious, and even healthy (all those greens and Vitamin C). And the colors look pretty too.  The tartness of the balsamic vinegar, and the saltiness of the feta cheese complements the sweetness of the strawberries. The almonds on top add a bit of extra crunch.

Since I wanted more veggies than just spinach, I added carrots, red cabbage, and tomatoes for extra color and more nutrition (I was trying to make up for indulging at a party!).

Make the dressing first, and let the flavors blend together while you fix the rest of the salad.

This is a great quick lunch or dinner. Just double the spinach, and add more tomatoes. You might want to increase the dressing recipe too (I like less dressing than most people).




 

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Dressing and Feta Cheese Substitutions and Variations

  • Try mixed greens instead of the spinach
  • Use goat cheese rather than feta
  • Swap the strawberries for blueberries
  • If you’re wary of the balsamic, try a lemony vinaigrette dressing instead
  • Top it all with some mixed nuts or walnuts

More Strawberry Recipes

strawberry banana yogurt popsicles plateStrawberry Banana Yogurt Popsicles

It’s summer! Time for a cold, sweet treat.  These popsicles are refreshing (and delicious), easy to make too. Perfect for a hot summer day.

 

strawberry balsamic grilled cheeseStrawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A fresh take on an old favorite. Sweet strawberries and tangy vinegar add new complexities of flavor that an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich can’t match.

 

strawberry basil mojitoStrawberry Basil Mojito with Lime

Whether you make it with rum, or without, this new twist on the standard mojito is the perfect end to a long summer’s day.

 




Three Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It seems almost silly to write a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich.  This was just too good, gooey, and cheesy not to share.

Grilled cheese and a hot bowl of tomato soup (if not homemade, then Pacific roasted red pepper and tomato soup) is one of the best comfort food lunches ever.  Well, maybe a tie with macaroni and cheese.

OK, OK, I am a cheeseaholic. I must be part mouse.  If something has cheese (not bleu cheese though),  I will probably want to eat it.

Back to the recipe, I had a few slices of whole wheat bread which I had to use up quickly because they were going to go stale.  Plus Passover was coming (so no bread allowed for a week).

I love grilled cheese and this is where buying cheese ends comes in handy.  I had some cheddar, some monterey jack, and some Swiss cheese left in the container, plus I had just bought some fresh mushrooms and spinach.




Three Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich Substitutions and Variations

  • use olive oil instead of canola oil, or a mixture of butter and oil
  • swap the three cheeses for mozzarella and replace the spinach with eggplant (this would work even better with ciabetta instead of whole wheat)

More Sandwich Recipes

chicken caprese salad paniniChicken Caprese Salad Panini Sandwich

Transform a side dish into lunch by adding a few ingredients. The result is crisp, golden-brown, gooey and delicious.

 

bacon spinach tomato aioli sandwichBacon Spinach Tomato Aioli Sandwich Recipe

The BLT with a twist. Skip the lettuce, make it spinach instead, and use aioli instead of ordinary mayo.

 

vegetarian eggplant sandwichVegetarian Eggplant Sandwich for One Person

Another upcycled side dish. This time it’s Israeli salad, plus creamy eggplant, and smooth garlicky hummus. All wrapped up in a pita.

 

strawberry balsamic grilled cheese

Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Tangy vinegar and sweet berries take this childhood favorite to a whole new level.  The combination adds complexity and depth to a simple sandwich.

 




Easy Italian Wedding Soup

I’m not Italian, so don’t hit me if this easy Italian wedding soup recipe isn’t authentic. It is, however, quick and satisfying.

There are plenty of recipes out there that require over an hour to make and a long list of ingredients. Sure there are times when I’m perfectly happy to spend an hour or more making soup, but there are other times when I’m hungry and I don’t want to wait!

This soup recipe goes from start to finish in about fifteen minutes.  It hardly even requires cooking at all.  Just dump, pour, and heat and you’ve got a fast, easy soup. It’s great when  you don’t feel like fussing.

Besides, something about soup is just comforting, especially on a chilly day.

All you need are a few simple ingredients: meatballs (frozen are fine, or make them ahead), chicken broth, a can of white kidney (cannellini) beans, parmesan cheese and some spinach.




 

I had some chopped beef to use up the day I made the soup, so I whipped up a few meatballs  with some onion, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, and oregano.  You can use pre-made or purchased frozen ones if you like, it will turn out just fine! If you do buy meatballs, I recommend the Trader Joe’s party meatballs.

Also, there was a bit of cabbage left in the fridge, too little to do much of anything with, so I added that in too for some extra vitamins.

Substitutions and Variations for Easy Italian Wedding Soup

  • Use chicken to make your meatballs
  • Add some cooked sausage
  • Saute some garlic and add that to the soup
  • Use garbanzo beans instead of white kidney beans

More Soup Recipes

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

Easy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Quick Caldo Verde Soup

Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)