Spring break is here! That usually means one thing–I actually get to read a book that is not a textbook :). I am such a party animal.

With the above in mind I headed to the library a couple days ago and picked out way to many books to read in a week. One of the books really sparked my interest so I decided to read it first.

It’s called “What We Eat When We Eat Alone” by Deborah Madison. Being the most adventurous eater in my family I am always looking for new ideas or recipes to try that make smaller servings.  The premise of this book is that various people have different approaches to making themselves a meal for one. Some will eat comfort food, some make microwave dinners and some like to take a little extra time to make something fancy.

One of my favorite ideas so far was to fry thin slices of potato in olive oil until crunchy and eat them with a sauce of yogurt, crumbled feta and mustard. Definitely, a must if you have a salt craving.

I was surprised how much people’s meals ranged from very simple (baked potato with salt and butter) to complex (risotto) and I wondered what I would make if I had the luxury of cooking dinner for one? Usually, I am trying to please the palates of four different people so I rarely indulge in making dinner with the sole purpose of my own personal cravings.

Then, in very unusual occurrence, I found myself alone for dinner on Monday night. I was excited! What was I going to make? I took stock of the ingredients we had on hand (this was around mid-afternoon) and decided to start by soaking some fava beans (What was I thinking?). Four hours later. . . I drained the fava beans and blanched them for 10 minutes in boiling water before peeling off their tough brown skins. Then I simmered them for an hour.  I honestly have never made fava beans before and didn’t realize they took so much effort.

Fava Bean

The difference between the unpeeled fava bean, the peeled fava bean and a cooked fava bean:

Fava Bean 3

It was now 7 pm. I was getting very hungry and I had nothing to eat but some mushy fava beans (I overcooked them because I got distracted by a new Cooking Light magazine). I looked in the fridge and found a leftover salmon fillet we bought on sale at Whole Foods on Sunday and some leftover roasted butternut squash. So I made a salad. I laid down arugula and sprinkled the butternut squash and fava beans over top which I topped with simple roasted salmon and a drizzle of smoky maple bbq sauce. Weird? Probably. . . but delicious!

Salmon Salad

Now maybe this isn’t my ideal cooking for one meal since it was dictated by the ingredients I had on hand, but it was pretty delicious. Maybe next time I should try the potatoes with feta yogurt sauce? They shouldn’t take me any longer this dinner to make (seriously, who spends 5 hours making a dinner for one even on spring break?).

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