A family gathering. A dinner party with friends. Sometimes you cook for a crowd, and that can be fun. But a lot of us are much more likely to eat alone — and there’s no reason why we should be stuck with a single-serve frozen dinner, takeout or a meal of grazing on snack foods.
Joe Yonan’s Serve Yourself offers up a plethora of easy, affordable, gourmet meals for one that keep nutritional needs in mind. We’ve supplemented his recipes with a few healthy breakfast and lunch ideas from the Cookstr library, so you’ll be set to eat well without worrying about other mouths to feed!
1. Pancakes for one by Hannah Kaminsky: Even breakfast can be an occasion worth savoring, and these fluffy vegan pancakes are a healthy start. Applesauce, mashed bananas or pumpkin puree add a kick of fruity flavor. Per serving: 392 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein
2. Tomato basil sandwich with feta aioli by Julie Sullivan: In-season tomatoes are key for this Mediterranean-inspired sandwich, which is best served on crusty peasant bread. The feta aioli is made with yogurt, feta and low-fat mayonnaise, plus a little lemon and garlic. It’s a refreshing, creamy spread likely to become part of your repertoire. Per serving: 473 calories, 11 g fat, 4 g fiber, 18 g protein
3. Egg, tofu and tomato sandwich by Steve and Elena Kapelonis: A hit with vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike, this sandwich packs a protein punch from both the egg whites and the tofu, scrambled with a handful of veggies for plenty of colorful nutrition. The filling can be eaten plain or stuffed in a whole-wheat pita pocket. Per serving: 340 calories, 9 g fat, 8 g fiber, 35 g protein
4. Home-cooked beans by Joe Yonan: Beans are a protein-filled basis for myriad meals. If you’re trying to cut down on your sodium intake, avoid canned varieties with added salt and try cooking your own. Aromatics like carrot, celery and onion are added to the beans along with garlic, creating the traditional flavor base called mirepoix that forms a base for all sorts of dishes, from a French cassoulet to Italian meat sauce or Latin American chili. These beans can be made in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, or simply in a medium pot, until tender. Don’t be afraid to make more than you’ll use right away: These beans can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for several months. Per serving: 280 calories, 3 g fat, 12 g fiber, 18 g protein