Now that I cook dinner (for 2) everyday, I try to keep my brunch/lunch simple - I don't want to whip out another 1,000 pots, pans, knives and ingredients just to make a dish for one person, but at the same time, I don't want to sacrifice health (think instant noodles) and flavour. So these are the 4 things I do:
1) Cook an extra portion for dinner
Depending on what's for dinner, I will cook an additional portion and reheat it the next day for lunch. I usually do this when I'm making fried rice or porridge, as they can be kept easily. But it can get boring, if I keep eating previous night's dinner for lunch.
2) So, I reinvent leftovers
Leftovers don't have to be boring! We seldom eat bread for dinner, so if I have an extra cutlet from yesterday's dinner, it's gonna be a cutlet sandwich (perhaps with a poached egg?) for lunch. We couldn't possibly finish a 2-kg roasted chicken in a single seating, so the excess meat are shredded and divided among several bags, in which I used one for my salad yesterday (pictured above and below).
The freezer is my best friend in the kitchen. I love making food in bulk and freeze them, such that when I need them, I can simply pop them in the oven and I'll get a nice and piping hot meal. Meatballs, fries, tuna patties, cooked rice, cooked pasta, shredded roasted chicken etc. are some of the foods I made and freeze. In the future I'll try to make and freeze soups and sauces as well. I also buy bread in bulk from an awesome local baker and stash them in the freezer. Frozen vegetables may be a little steep in price, but are awesome because I can just throw in a handful while the pasta is cooking and I'll get some pretty colours and yummy vegetables.
4) Goodbye junk food
Lastly, I keep my supply of junk food extremely low, so that I will not be lazy and reach out for that bag of chips or that bar of chocolate instead of whipping up a meal.
And those are some of my tips in cooking for one. Do you have others to share? (:
Now let's come back to this recipe. I made this salad yesterday and it was incredibly easy. I boiled pasta in salted water, added the frozen mixed vegetables when the pasta's almost done, and combined it with shredded chicken (from roasted chicken), sliced ham and a salad dressing. However, I'm not sharing this salad's recipe, instead, I'm sharing this simple and delicious salad dressing.
Whenever I make salads, my salad dressing is either the oil-and-lemon dressing (Jamie Oliver's basic recipe) or the mayonnaise-and-lemon dressing (a recipe for another time) - and to be honest, I got bored of these two. So when I tried out the recipe Culinery.net (I swapped the red wine vinegar for balsamic vinegar and omitted the garlic), I was hooked - the honey and mustard thickened the dressing, giving it a light and slightly creamy texture. You get a bit of sour from the vinegar, a bit of sweetness from the honey and a slight kick from the mustard - it's a perfect harmony of flavours, if you ask me!
And step-by-step photos? I've only got one, don't think we'll need anymore! (;
Balsamic Vinegar-Mustard Salad Dressing
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons blsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk mustard, honey, vinegar and olive oil together in a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
- Adapted from Culinery.net