I have found that there are certain things in life that I only eat alone. Take the dinner I made myself tonight when I got home from class. I sauteed a very small onion with a few roughly chopped cloves of garlic (that by itself keeps the non-garlic lovers away). When they were starting to get some color, I squeezed in the juice of half a lemon and then tossed in two bags of baby spinach from Trader Joe’s (I really like spinach and I’m always dissatisfied with what results from a single cooked down bag). I scoot the mess around with a wooden spatula, until the leaves are all wilted. I turn it out into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and give it another squeeze of lemon juice.
Now, here’s where it gets magical. I drop in several chunks of soft goat cheese while the spinach is hot, so that it sort of melts and the dissolving cheese and caramelized onions turns into a sauce that is best eaten with the aid of some toasted rustic bread.
When my mom is all alone for dinner, she will often make her “white” dinner. I’m not entirely sure what inspired this combination, although I think it’s mostly the ease and the softness. She brings two small pots of water to a boil. Half an hour before she wants to eat, she pops a chicken leg into one. Ten minutes later, she puts a peeled and roughly chopped potato into the other. They are ready within moments of each other and she eats them sprinkled with salt, a glass of milk on the side. Not exactly well balanced, but very comforting.
Other nights, when the idea of even chopping an onion seems overwhelming, I go for my stash of frozen veggies (typically spinach or asparagus) and defrost something in the microwave. I poach an egg on the stovetop (boil water, crack egg in, wait 3-4 minutes, remove with slotted spoon) and drop it on top of whatever veggie I went for. A sprinkle of salt, maybe a drizzle of olive oil and I’m eating. Yummy, fairly healthy and protein-y.
What do you make when you only have to worry about feeding yourself?