Let’s get real for a minute: there are instances when you’re likely to find yourself cooking only for yours truly. Because we wholeheartedly believe there is absolutely nothing imperfect about dining solo, and it shouldn’t be a complicated undertaking, we pared down a handful of recipes to keep you, and only you, well fed.
Blueberry Granola Pudding
If your mornings are harried, this make-ahead berry good pudding is your ticket to enjoying a lightning-fast meal without sacrificing sound nutrition. When soaked in liquid, chia seeds (found in the natural section of grocery stores) form a gel and provides a pudding-like texture.
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries, plus more for topping
1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) almond extract
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chia seeds (optional)
1/3 cup (80 mL) low-sugar granola
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut flakes
Place milk, yogurt, blueberries, maple syrup, cinnamon, almond extract and salt (if using) in blender and blend until smooth. Place mixture in wide-mouth jar, add chia seeds (if using) and stir to combine. Top with granola, coconut flakes and fresh blueberries. Seal shut again and chill overnight.
Each serving contains: 452 calories; 19 g protein; 12 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 71 g total carbohydrates (38 g sugars, 14 g fiber); 79 mg sodium
Marinated Beans on Toast
Here’s proof that the simplest dishes can be ready to impress. Enjoy for a fiber-packed dinner or an elegant lunch. Go one step further and top with good quality canned sardines or a poached egg.
1/3 cup (80 mL) cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) cannellini or navy beans
1/3 cup (80 mL) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped parsley
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped shallot
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) red chili flakes
1 thick slice crusty whole grain bread, toasted
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped walnuts
In bowl, stir together beans, tomatoes, parsley and shallot. In separate small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon zest, chili flakes and salt. Add marinade to bean mixture and stir to combine. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days chilled in the fridge.
To serve, place toasted bread on plate and top with marinated beans. Sprinkle on walnuts.
Each serving contains: 350 calories; 11 g protein; 20 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 10 g fiber); 449 mg sodium
Upside-Down Apple Crisp
Simply zap some classic crisp ingredients in the microwave and you have a “just for me” divine dessert in five minutes flat. A scoop of vanilla ice cream can only make it better. Or, top with a few dollops of yogurt and call it breakfast!
2 tsp (10 mL) coconut oil or unsalted butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rolled oats
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tsp (10 mL) turbinado, coconut, maple or brown sugar, divided
2 tsp (10 mL) whole wheat flour, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon, divided
1 small apple, diced
2 tsp (10 mL) dried cranberries
1 tsp (1 mL) fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt (optional)
In small microwave-safe bowl or large mug, heat oil or butter on high for 20 seconds, or until melted. Stir in oats, nuts, 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar, 1 tsp (5 mL) flour and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon until mixture is moist.
In separate bowl, stir together apple, cranberries, remaining flour, remaining sugar, remaining cinnamon, lemon juice and a pinch of salt (if using).
Add fruit mixture to microwave-safe bowl, top with oat-nut crumble, cover with paper towel and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until apples are softened and mixture is steaming. Remove carefully from microwave, as bowl will be hot.
Alternatively, prepare and bake crisp in an oven-proof, single-serve dish in a toaster oven.
Each serving contains: 290 calories; 3 g protein; 15 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 40 g total carbohydrates (23 g sugars, 6 g fiber); 4 mg sodium