Friday, August 21, 2015

New Series: Plate for One

With a husband in the military, I find a that I spend a lot of time alone between duty days and deployments. I've learned how to entertain myself but there's still the task of feeding myself. I love to cook, but I hate cooking for one because I hate seeing food go to waste. This little fact is the inspiration for my latest series and the project I'm currently undertaking.

I've decided that I want to learn how to cook for one without all the waste or leftovers that come with traditionally sized meals. Most meals are made to feed four people at the minimum. That's a lot of food when you're being careful with portion control and the only one eating on it. There has to be an easier way to get healthy, delicious food onto a plate for one. That's what I'm on a mission to create - healthy, delicious food that you can make just for one.

My plan is to share a recipe a week with you. The recipes will be geared towards one serving; however, you can always adjust (or ask me for adjustments) if you want to make them for a family instead. Some will be simple (like today's recipe), while others will be more complex. Occasionally, the recipe may produce one set of leftovers, but my goal is to have no more than one day worth of leftovers.

I'm super excited to announce that every Friday will be dedicated to my "Plate for One" series. I hope you'll continue to stop by and check out the recipes. :)

 
 
I'm excited to bring you the first recipe in this series. It's a very simple recipe that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. Since I'm currently using the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan, you'll see that I used the containers to measure things. I don't always use the containers now that I've gotten a good grasp on portion size but I thought the visual could help anyone who is just starting out with the program.
 
 
Ingredients:
Romaine lettuce
Carrots
Cucumbers
Turkey Bacon
 
Meal Prep:
Shred the lettuce.
Cut up the carrots.
Cut up the cucumbers.
Make the dressing following the recipe on The Foodie and The Fix.
Store all of these items in the fridge so that they are easy to grab.
 
 
Next, we're going to prepare the turkey bacon. I use the microwave to prepare mine, so those are the directions I'll be following. You can choose to cook it in a pan or in the oven, but I find those to be more time consuming.
 
Place two slices of turkey bacon on a microwave safe plate. Cover them with paper towels.
 
 
I always cook them for longer than the directions say because I like them crispy - especially for a salad. We'll come back to the turkey bacon in a minute though.
 
While the turkey bacon is cooking, add lettuce to your plate. I used the green container to illustrate this, but I often just cover the bottom of a small plate with lettuce. (That's what I did this time and then I double checked to make sure that it fit in the container. Having too many veggies in your life isn't going to hurt you.) 
 
 
Next, gather your other veggies for the salad. For this salad, I used carrots and cucumbers. You can always substitute other veggies into the recipe if you aren't a fan of those two. Again, I measured them into the green container and then added them to the plate. (This time I actually did put them into the container first!) This is where the meal prep steps save you a lot of time - no chopping of vegetables when you're ready to just eat!
 
 
Now it's time to check on that turkey bacon. When I checked on mine, it wasn't quite where I wanted it even though I added an extra minute onto the cooking time. So, back into the microwave it went! The picture below shows what I mean. It's cooked and edible but I like mine to be crispy like the outside - especially when I'm using it on a salad!
 
 
While I waited on the turkey bacon to finish getting crispy in the microwave, I worked on a different project. Since I already had the cucumbers out, I decided to make some cucumber water to enjoy later. I need to get another mint plant since cucumber and mint water is actually my favorite kind of infused water. Cucumbers alone will have to do until then.
 
 
After making the water and putting away some of my supplies, I checked the bacon again. It was nice and crispy so it was time to finish up the salad!
 
 
Now, it's time to crumble the bacon into small pieces that can be used on top of the salad. This will count as one red if you're following the 21 Day Fix meal plan. The dressing that you made will also count as a red. That means this salad is worth two greens and two reds! This makes me happy because I have the hardest time getting greens and reds into my daily menu. I can eat carbs (yellows) all day long but veggies (green) and protein (red) are a bigger challenge.
 
 
Add the bacon and three tablespoons of dressing to your salad and you're done! Put everything back in the fridge, grab your water, and go enjoy your yummy salad for one! This recipe makes a great lunch or dinner when you're busy and by yourself. You could even prep the bacon pieces in advance if you want to save even more time.
 
 


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