When you cook for one, it can be a challenge to buy only what you need and to use all that you buy.
Craving something sweet, cool and refreshing? Try this lime and coconut tart recipe for one.
Clever shopping is the key to not wasting money or food. One key to smart shopping is to buy ingredients by weight rather than pre-packaged which makes you buy their idea of what you need, not yours.
Shopping at small, independent markets is one of the best ways to achieve this and you’ll also be able to get advice on the best cuts of meat and freshest produce from the experts who run the store.
It’s also a good idea to buy a little less than you think you need, especially when it comes to leafy greens. A tip to make them last longer is to put a piece of paper towel in the bag to absorb excess moisture which causes greens to get slimy.
Using the same ingredients in several recipes is another way to avoid food waste, so plan a few dishes using similar ingredients.
Here are two recipes, one for a hot Thai chicken curry and another for a cooling dessert to follow. They both use coconut milk and limes.
Green Curry Chicken
1 chicken thigh fillet
¼ cup long grain rice
1 green onion (shallot)
2 tsp. green Thai curry paste
¼ red bell pepper
½ cup broccoli florets
1 cup of coconut milk
¼ cup chicken stock or water
Pinch of salt
½ tbsp. cooking oil
½ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 tsp. lime juice
Yogurt to serve
Cut the green onion into fine pieces, separating the white end from the green. Cut the chicken and red pepper into bite size pieces. Heat the oil in a fry pan over a medium heat until it begins to ripple. Add the white spring onions and cook for thirty seconds. Add the curry paste and cook for a further ten seconds. Pour in the coconut milk then add the chicken, broccoli, and red bell pepper. Add the rice and the chicken stock (or water) then bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Check the rice to see that it is tender then stir in the spinach, coriander and lime juice.
Serve topped with yoghurt and the green part of the onion.
Lime and coconut tart
1 tbsp. rolled oats
2 tsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. cream cheese
3 tbsp. coconut cream
1 tsp. finely grated lime rind
1 tsp. honey
To make the crust, crush the almonds and oats in a food processor to form a coarse flour. Melt the coconut oil over a low heat and mix in the nut and oat flour.
Line the base of an individual serve springform tin with baking paper then spread the mixture evenly over the base, pressing it down firmly to form a crust. Place the base in the fridge for ten minutes.
Whisk the remaining ingredients together until they are smooth and creamy, then pour them over the crust mixture.
Refrigerate for a further twenty to thirty minutes until firm then serve.
Copyright © Louise Harper/2017 Singular Communications, LLC.
Louise Harper is a sculptor turned cook who specializes in recipes for one. She lives in Melbourne Australia (in a house for one, of course) and loves cooking “just for her.” For more information on her “single” series of cook books, visit www.singleserve.net.au