One of the drawbacks of mostly being by myself for most of the week is that I’m not especially motivated to cook elaborate things for myself. Part of the fun, for me, in cooking is to share what I’ve made with my husband or my friends, share the enjoyment of the meal rather than just eating it all alone. When I’m by myself most of the time, food is more fuel than anything else, and I’ve found that I tend to eat off of one or two large batches of something for most meals in the week.
On Sunday, Dan made a big pot of split pea soup and I ate split pea soup for lunch or dinner both Monday and Tuesday. Today, I went on a long and challenging bike ride (nearly 27 miles, all hills, no stops other than one brief seat adjustment) and my body just wanted something more interesting/substantial than yet another bowl of split pea and cheese toast. So I decided that for dinner tonight I’d make myself a real meal, as though I were feeding another person. Because there’s really no reason that I can’t make good food just for me.
As with most of my meals, I didn’t use any sort of recipe, and instead just threw some things together that we had in the fridge, things I knew would probably taste good together, and I managed a full and satisfying dinner and enough leftovers for two lunches or a dinner.
MLE’s Real Meal (serves 2 full dinners, or one dinner and two lunches)
2 medium yukon gold potatoes
2 large cloves garlic
1 pat butter
2 splashes milk
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed, cut halves
6 button mushrooms
1 small kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
1/3 yellow onion, diced
1 chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 glugs olive oil
other seasonings to taste
1. Chop potatoes into rough pieces and remove peel from garlic cloves. Boil together in a pot of water until squishy but not mushy. Drain, then add butter and let sit covered a few minutes.
2. While potatoes are cooking, toss chicken with teriyaki and cook in a seasoned cast iron or nonstick skillet with olive oil until nearly cooked through. Add vegetables and sautee until all veggies are cooked. Add splashes of teriyaki and rice vinegar as needed to keep pan from drying out or veggies from sticking to pan. Add seasonings (salt, pepper, specific spice mixes – I used Penzeys Singapore Seasoning) to taste.
3. When veggies/chicken is nearly done, add a few splashes of milk to the potato/garlic/butter pan and mash with a potato masher. Serve veggies/chicken over mashed potatoes.