Dinner for One!

After cooking for two for years I suddenly faced only cooking for myself- with the exception of all my dinner parties!  Most work nights it’s just me.  For a couple of months I lived on salads, sandwiches, and bean burritos.  That got old after a while and I realized that taking the time to actually cook for and nourish my body was just as satisfying (if not always as much fun) as cooking for someone else.  Cooking for one does pose challenges though, especially since I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  Most recipes are meant to feed at least two and often 4+ people.  Some are easily adapted but other things, like casseroles are really difficult.  I had to look outside cookbooks and get creative to come up with some new dinners for one.  I also had to invest in a small oven safe dish.

To make it a little more difficult tonight, I didn’t want to make an additional trip to the grocery store so I had to work with my pantry.  Specifically, I wanted to use a sweet potato that had been on my shelf for a while and some fresh eggs that a co-worker brought me.  I decided on a baked hash- three layers.

Layer One, Prior to Prep

Layer One, Prior to Prep

I diced all of the veggies, fairly small for a quicker cooking time.  Half a sweet potato, 1/3 cup red onion, three mini sweet peppers, and 2 cloves of garlic.

Diced!

Diced!

Prepped and ready to be mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  I put this in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

While the potato mixture baked I prepared the other layers.  I shredded 1/3 sharp cheddar cheese for the middle layer (this could be omitted if you want to avoid dairy).  I also chopped 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, four green onions, and half an avocado for the top.  I seasoned them with salt and pepper.

Toppings

Toppings

After forty minutes I removed the potatoes from the oven and cracked two eggs on top.  I also sprinkled the cheddar all around.

Ready for Final Bake

Ready for Final Bake

I baked the casserole for 15 minutes.  My eggs ended up over hard, not too hard, but harder than I like.  Next time I’ll go for closer to 12 minutes so the yoke will still be a bit runny.  I set the table with my tomato salad as well as Greek yogurt and hot sauce.

Toppings Ready

Toppings Ready

Depending on dietary restrictions, preferences, and hunger this can be served with bacon and/or toast.  I have no restrictions, like all food, and was hungry after missing a proper lunch due to a busy day at work- so I had both!

Yum

Yum

What do you eat when you’re alone?  Do you enjoy leftovers?  Favorite one serving meals?

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