If you are flying solo, or part of a couple, yet struggle with dinner ideas because most recipes are designed for 4 (or more), you are not alone. Being a single mom with two little ones, often times I want a more sophisticated meal than just mac-n-cheese, but I don’t want to have to go through an elaborate process just for myself.
Fear not, my lone diners. No more will you have to settle for TV dinners, take-out, or a bowl of cereal—or be forced to eat leftovers for a week. The following recipes are designed to yield one or two servings, so you can spoil your taste buds, and enjoy catering your party of one (or two).
Hear me out, folks. I can already feel some of your eyes rolling as you prepare to skip right onto the next recipe, but I assure you, this is super simple, easy to prepare, and is so much better than a greasy hamburger you pick up from a drive-thru.
Meatloaf has always gotten a bad rap, and rightfully so since most of us recall our mother’s flavorless slab of meat which we had to drench in catsup to make it edible.
I implore you to give this one a try and see if I can change your perception.
- 1 egg
- 1 – 1 ½ lb lean ground beef or bison
- 1 can Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
- 3/4 cup steel-cut oats
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Beat the egg in a mixing bowl, then add the ground beef, Ro*Tel, and oatmeal.
- Season with garlic salt and salt and pepper (to taste).
- Mix until evenly combined. Pack into a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour.
*An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F.
If you are like me and like a little extra kick, you may use the “hot” Ro*Tel, or you may add red pepper flakes or hot sauce (or all of the above).
Editor’s Note: The 4 Best Foods to Eat Before Bed
Baked Ginger-Cilantro White Fish
- 1-pound tilapia fillets (or thin white fillet)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 jalapeño pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 Tbsps soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- *Scallions, chopped for garnish
- *Cilantro, to garnish
- Heat the oven to 475°F.
- Pat the fish dry, season lightly with salt and pepper, and place in a baking dish.
- Combine garlic, ginger, jalapeño, cilantro, white wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil in food processor. Process until blended.
- Pour the sauce over the fish.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through.
- Serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa.
- * Garnish with scallions and cilantro.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 1 Tbsp ginger
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cook chicken, orange juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces to an almost sticky glaze.
- Remove from heat and serve with steamed broccoli or atop brown rice or quinoa.
*For an added kick, you could add red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce.
*If you would like some crunch or texture, toss cooked chicken in sesame seeds or sprinkle on top.
When I was younger and wanted a pizza, my mom used to let me make my own on half of an English muffin. While that may not quite satisfy my adult hunger, I borrowed this idea and made what I consider to be the lazy girl’s pizza.
- 1 tortilla (or wrap)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 handful of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 – 2 Roma tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Lightly toast tortilla on baking sheet (3 – 5 minutes).
- Remove from oven and spread tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, spinach, and tomatoes.
- Bake an additional 8 – 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
*You can add whatever toppings you prefer, but keep in mind this is like a thin crust pizza, so the heavier the toppings, the more chance your crust will break.
If you have ever longed for dessert but know your willpower won’t stand a chance with a whole cake, or batch of brownies in your kitchen, then hang on tight. I have a few recipes up my sleeve for desserts you can make just for one, and they are super simple… even a caveman could do it (if he had a microwave).
Banana Bread (in a mug)
- 3 Tbsps oat flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/16 tsp salt
- 1 pinch stevia
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsps water
- 1 Tbsp overripe mashed banana
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a small mug and set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients, and stir.
- Add wet ingredients to dry mixture, and stir.
- Bake for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- *You can also cook in the microwave.
*You can also add chopped walnuts or cinnamon to this, or add a simple icing.
Chocolate Low Carb Cake (in a mug)
- 1 Tbsp of coconut oil (melted)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1 scoop of BioTrust Low Carb Milk Chocolate
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
- Mix together all wet ingredients, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
- Combine wet and dry mixtures together until incorporated.
- Brush coconut oil inside your mug.
- Add batter to the mug and place in microwave for 45 seconds.
- If your cake isn’t “spongy,” return to microwave for another 10 seconds.
*Some people have used a small mashed banana in place of the applesauce, and it works just fine.
Chef Tip #1: Since I am kind of a peanut butter junkie, I sometimes substitute the Peanut-Butter Chocolate Low Carb, and/or I will add a spoon of peanut butter within the batter right before I put in the microwave. You’re welcome.
Chef Tip #2: If you are looking for a boost of energy, you could add a teaspoon of ground coffee. Totally your call, and if you do, might I suggest using the Café Mocha Low Carb?
Dinner for one (or two) need be neither boring nor unhealthy. So next time you’re tempted to have a bowl of cereal or TV dinner in front of the TV, I encourage you to head to the kitchen, turn on your favorite tunes or podcast, and treat yourself to one of these delicious, nutritious, easy meals. And go ahead… you might as well enjoy that dessert too. You’re worth it!