Eating For Two, Table For One

My husband’s job takes him to the far reaches of the country for weeks at a time.

Saturday, for example, he left for Florida for a few days (no braised ribs for us! waah), only to be shipped off directly to who-knows-where after that. Because this has been going on for so long, I really don’t even bother asking him anymore where in the world he is at any given time. We also never know when he’s coming home, or how long any given job will take. I gave up trying to figure it out, along with pressuring him to ask the right questions of the powers-that-be that might lead him to more knowledge about his future whereabouts.

This means that my eating habits, for sporadic and elongated periods of time, become very erratic. For example, yesterday. I awoke at 8:00 AM (on a Sunday! WTF?) and foraged for some breakfast, which turned out to be one fuji apple.At 10:30, I was hungry again, and remembered I had a leftover fajita or two in the fridge that I had brought home from a dinner at a friend’s the night before. I doused them both with wing sauce (shut up, I’m pregnant) and ate ‘em up.

At 1:30, my newfound sweet tooth (is it because of pregnancy, or is it because I no longer have a daily IV drip of Jack and Coke?) reared its ugly head and I had two bowls of vanilla bean ice cream and homemade chocolate syrup.

3:00 meant it was time for a decaf chai latte.

At 5:30 I was starting to panic that I’d have to find my own dinner. My kitchen floor is too dirty. I don’t want to cook (or mop) in there. I don’t cook for myself when I’m alone anyway. Which meant at 6:30 I was at Johnny’s having a slice of pizza.

I mean, this is not okay. This is no way for a grown woman – nevermind a pregnant one – to feed herself.

In light of yesterday’s eating debacle, I found myself searching out food items that I can quickly and easily prepare and that won’t make me feel quite as guilty about what my little Sprog is eating. And I found that there are, at first blush (or, a ten minute search via google) no good “cooking for one” websites. Everyone suggests making casseroles and freezing them, and portioning out enough for one meal at a time. That doesn’t appeal to me. Who has the freezer space for more than one at a time? And who wants to eat the same lasagna for every meal for a week? I can always throw together a “lazy bitch” salad – I usually have a bag of salad or fresh spinach in the fridge, but, uhm, salad. I have a few tried and true easy – peasy items, like hot roast beef sandwiches made with deli meat, and chicken tortilla rollups made with chicken I precooked and froze. But all that planning in advance, cooking and freezing… let’s face it – we can’t always be that prepared.

What do you eat when you’re on your own? I obviously need some fresh inspiration. If you have great (and quickie) recipes for one that don’t result in a lot of leftover throw aways or extra produce you'll have to later use yellow rubber gloves to remove from your refrigerator, email them to me at theflyingfork@gmail.com and I’ll feature you and your dish here.

If you don’t help me, you’ll be able to find me from here on out at Johnny’s Tavern, chained to a barstool. Please don’t make me do it.

Comments

leslie 12 years, 2 months ago

Everyday Food always has a feature called Everyday Food for One:http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/everyday-food-for-one?lnc=daa8289c2d2ee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=lpg_col2_food&lpgStart=1&currentslide=1&currentChapter=1The URL is cumbersome, but the magazine is really pretty great. I'm surprised how much I like it.

amyglester 12 years, 2 months ago

Anything on a whole-wheat English muffin. They stay fresh FOREVER (who knows why?), and taste great topped with hummus and veggies after toasting. Make it pizza-style, broiled ham and cheese, tuna salad (if you're into that), or top with a piece of ham and an over-easy egg. Also, soup is easy to make a big batch and freeze in smaller containers for one. Black bean and tomato soups both freeze well. I just made mushroom and barley and it was delish. And healthy.

chocolata37 12 years, 2 months ago

If you find the answer to your question let me know. I am in the same boat. Eating a lot of soup, salad and lean cuisine. Love the blog, it made me laugh!

DOTDOT 12 years, 2 months ago

While I was single, I worked with a Frenchman who cooked himself a gourmet dinner every single day. He talked me out of my cooking and freezing groove, which, since I have no taste, I was completely content with.I whittled it down to a few basic strategies:1) A bag of frozen shrimp goes a long way if you only use a few at a time.2) Pasta, rice, potatoes. Easy to prep any one to a single meal portion.3) Frozen vegetables. I never was in the mood for the daily trek to the grocery store. Frozen veggies are the next best taste to fresh, and you can fix a few at a time.4) Steam or Sautee. I would use the steam water to cook the pasta. Sautee when called for. In any case, 20 minutes after I turned the burners on was chow time.Can't speak to the kitchen floor issue except to say that Pizza Hut and Jason's Deli deliver.For a treat, don't forget Terrebonne.

Aufbrezeln Eschaton 12 years, 2 months ago

You have a toaster oven, right? Of course you do. I can't conceive of how a pregnant lady could have survived thus far without one. It's ridiculously easy to make leftover-casserole-for-one using this kick-ass appliance. For instance, this morning I'm chowing on one I made using frozen hash browns, an omelette left over from dinner last night, also-leftover bacon, jalapenos from a jar, shredded cheese, tomatoes, and wing sauce. (Yes, it is a pregnancy thing.) Sure, I could have made the same thing in the microwave, but ew.Aside from combining leftovers into new deliciousness, cooking single-sized portions just doesn't seem as depressing when you're doing it in a toaster oven. Broil a single steak or salmon fillet. Bake six cookies. Whatever, it feels less like work and more like playing with an Easy-Bake.

TheEleventhStephanie 12 years, 2 months ago

Steak, potato and salad. Grill up some onions and mushrooms to top it, if you want. The company's paying for his food anyway, so eat the steak!

alm77 12 years, 2 months ago

Lebonese Tabouli Salad!! Fast and SOOOOO yummy: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1950,145169-232202,00.htmlAlso, I second the hummus and whole grain english muffin. ALSO, a package of tortillas and a fridge full of veggies plus black beans is good for a quick-and-easy (and you can add wing sauce if you want).

rikkiends 12 years, 2 months ago

when I was pregnant, I ate catalope (just cut it open and ate it like it was a bowl of fruit) with a side of smoked cheese on crackers. It took 1 minute to prepare, and was delicious for every meal. No, really.

Megan Green Stuke 12 years, 2 months ago

This is THE BEST. I love these answers. I'm going grocery shopping tonight, to get all this stuff. I'll letcha know how it turns out. Last night I ate four honey and peanut butter sandwiches, and a banana. Surely I can do better than that. Trouble is, I sleep a lot.

bloozman 12 years, 2 months ago

What, no Spam and eggs? Great on a whole-wheat English muffin, with cheese.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.