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3 Delish Meals For One: No More Pre-Packaged Blandness!

Meals for one can be gourmet.

Even if you’re coupled, you have to eat alone at home sometimes. So, why not learn how to cook meals for one well and ditch those frozen standbys?

I am an expert at cooking meals for one. When I first went to college, I struggled. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to cooking and ate the same thing every night. Life was… boring. Well, since then, I’ve taken the time to learn how to make, excuse me, damn tasty meals for one. Now, none of the below meals are *exactly* what I make for myself, but they are pretty similar.

No. 1 Toasted Cheese Sandwich, via Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

Bread of your choice (the simpler the better)
Unsalted butter
Red Leicester cheese or cheddar cheese

Method

Lightly butter the bread on both sides. On one piece of bread, add grated, good-quality cheese that melts well. Place your second piece of bread on top, then cook in a sturdy, well-oiled frying pan on medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. While the sandwich cooks, rest something flat on it with a little weight to ensure maximum surface area and crunch.

 When lightly golden on both sides, lift the sandwich out of the pan and grate a little layer of cheese into the pan where it was sitting. Place the sandwich back on top and grate some more cheese on the top side. Leave it for just over 1 minute – wait for the cheese to bubble and the fat to spill out of it, then add a little pinch of cayenne pepper. Once it has a cheesy, doily-like crust on the bottom that moves as one, lift the sandwich out of the pan. Flip it onto the other side and once golden, serve.

Note: You do not have to use this much cheese if you don’t want to. Go as light or heavy as you’d like.

Zucchini-Shallot Frittata, via Big Girl Small Kitchen

Ingredients

1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack (or any mild white cheese)

Method

In a small well-oiled skillet, sauté the shallot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. When they begin to become tender, add the zucchini. Sauté the veggies until they are cooked through and beginning to brown — about 4 minutes. With your spatula, spread the zucchini and shallots evenly across the base of the pan. Season the egg with salt and pepper and pour it over the veggies.

Cook until the bottom of the frittata has set and the top is nearly cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, loosen the bottom. Peel back one side, and tilt the pan so that the remaining uncooked egg slides to the open surface area. Using a second spatula, gently flip the frittata. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, and cover the pan with a plate to lock in the heat. Cook for another minute or until the cheese is melted and the underside of the frittata has set. Slide the frittata onto a round plate and serve immediately.

Note: This can easily be made without cheese. And if you’re vegan, you can always sub tofu or tempeh for the egg and make it a scramble instead!

Quinoa Salad with Squash, Peppers, and Figs, via The Forest Feast

Ingredients

Water
Red bell pepper
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
3T olive oil
1T vinegar
Salt and pepper

Method

Cook the quinoa and set aside. Roast the sliced, red bell pepper and the cubed butternut squash for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Toss the cooked quinoa with the roasted squash and peppers, dried figs, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

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Image of quinoa salad from Shutterstock

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