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With the summer season closing, days are getting shorter. You might be spending more time indoors and seeing other people less often. If you live alone, you might be the only person you’re cooking for, and if you feel lonely, you might be tempted to splurge on something luxurious and unhealthy. To resist this temptation, read on to learn how to make cheap, healthy meals for one.
1. Nopales Tacos
Sturdy, filling, with a pleasant texture, cactus is a Mexican staple highlighted in nopales tacos. This dish is a corn tortilla filled with peeled and cubed cactus, shredded cheese, onion, jalapeño, crumbled cotija cheese, cilantro, avocado, a sprinkle of lime crema, and a splash of fresh lime juice.
Heat a spoon of oil in a skillet on medium-high heat while you peel and cube your cactus “meat.” Dice your jalapeno and onion and throw everything in the hot pan together.
Next, start preparing the salsa. Dice your avocado and cilantro, and put both in a small bowl together. Half your lime and squeeze it out into the avocado-cilantro mix, then add spices. Layer the cooked cactus, peppers, and onions, cheese, and salsa neatly onto the tortilla, add your lime crema, and enjoy!
2. Grilled cheese with sautéed mushrooms
High in protein, mushrooms are a filling staple for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. Start this grilled cheese recipe by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add two cups of cremini mushrooms and half a sliced onion and cook them until they’ve caramelized. Season the caramelizing mushrooms and onions with salt, pepper, and other spices of your choosing while they cook.
Next, place four slices of bread on a cutting board. You can try a health-conscious choice with whole wheat or rye. Spread softened butter on one side of every piece of bread. Then, add the bread, buttered-side down, to a skillet on medium heat. Next, cover the slices evenly with the shredded cheese of your choice, and add the caramelized onions and mushrooms. Cook two sandwiches at a time until golden brown.
3. Baked Chicken
For this recipe, you need a whole chicken, marinade, and spices. Two common marinades are soy sauce and buttermilk. Marinate your chicken frontside-down for about half an hour while you preheat the oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven is ready, place the chicken frontside-down on a buttered, flat oven-safe pan or in a shallow casserole dish. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes for every pound it weighs. Make room in the fridge for leftovers! You should be able to nibble on this for a few days or use it for another recipe.
4. Green Goddess Bowl
For this recipe, you’ll need trimmed snap peas, asparagus spears with the tough ends removed, half a cup of plain whole-milk yogurt, chopped fresh dill, a tablespoon of lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, half a cup of cooked farro, cubed baked tofu, sliced radishes, and two tablespoons of toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then add the snap peas and asparagus. Cook them for just under three minutes, until they’re just a bit tender (your veggies will continue to cook after being removed from your heat source). Take them from the pot and into a clean bowl, then rinse them with cold water to prevent overcooking. While your greens cool down, whisk oil, yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and salt together in a small bowl.
Place the farro in a shallow serving bowl and top it with your asparagus, tofu, peas, and radishes. Drizzle two tablespoons of the dressing and pumpkin seeds on top.
What are your favorite party-of-one recipes? Sound off in the comments!