I am not ashamed to say it.
I am SINGLE.
Now, I may not exactly be lovin’ it, but I can work with it. And that is what I’ve been doing since I’ve graduated.
I’ll admit, when it comes to cooking, I’m not exactly Julia. I do enjoy cooking – chopping vegetables can be a very zen activity – but when it’s just me, I tend to be lazy.
My favorite kind of meal is the one spent at the table for two hours, talking and eating with family and friends. The kind that I spend 2 hours making some new, crazy dessert I saw on Tastespotting that I know will make even the most persnickety dessert eater a happy diner. It’s the Italian in me, I suppose. In fact, I’m pretty Italian when it comes to most food-related things. Funny how that happens.
Ahem. Back to my point. Dinner! Yum.
Because I have seriously upped my exercise lately, I’ve been doubling my efforts to get enough protein into my diet. Eggs and lentils and tofu, oh my!
Here’s my process. It’s been working really well for me so far, and it probably will for you to.
1. Heat up a small amount of olive oil in a saute pan.
2. Crush a clove of garlic and throw it in the hot oil.
3. Wait a few seconds – then inhale. Yes, I do believe that is what heaven smells like.
4. Add whatever veggies/protein you want to. Add your leafy greens at the end – they will cook down like WHOA pretty quickly, and you want to see some of that beautiful greenness on your plate!
5. Add spices and your S+P. I’ve been in either a curry/cumin/ginger/paprika (coriander would be good too, I’m just lazy) or oregano/sage/rosemary/any other Italian spices.
One of my favorites so far has been this curried lentils + tofu bowl:
Add a chopped tomato to the pan with your cooked lentils (I used 1/4 cup – boil in 1 cup water for 20 minutes). Add tofu and greens – here I used a little red swiss chard. Throw in your curry, cumin, paprika, ginger, & S+P. I just eyeball my spices. Start small – it’s easier to add more than to eat ridiculously overspiced food. Yes, I do know this from experience.
Other renditions have included sauteing lentils, tofu, spinach and some pasta sauce together. Tonight was lentils (hey, I’m on a kick, don’t judge) in a little dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon pepper and dill with spinach and an egg scrambled in at the last minute. Yall – that was awesome. It looks crazy, but it was delicious. Especially with some sweet potato fries. (Slice, season w. rosemary/oregano/paprika/sea salt, bake for 20 min at 400F.)
No, none of my creations are necessarily restaurant-worthy. But damned if they are not delicious, super healthy and crazy easy. And that is what counts for this particular single girl. No apron required.
Follow it up with a little toast and a piece of dark chocolate and you’re good to go. Buon appetito!