Dinner for one is a common theme in my home. I can say that’s probably the most challenging aspect of a life with a travelling husband.
There are some perks to him being gone though. I can watch as many girlie movies on Netflix as I want. It makes pedicures with my best friend easier to schedule. I can sprawl out in the middle of the bed without repercussions. See? It’s not so bad. And then there’s the anticipation of him coming home. It’s great to catch up on each other’s weeks and make special date night plans. I think we appreciate each other much more when we only have a few days together each week. It makes those petty arguments few and far between. We have time to miss each other. It certainly keeps the spark alive after almost 9 years!
Back to the challenge: what’s for dinner when I’m flying solo? I could swing through any number of drive thrus on my way home from work but I would just feel gross and guilty after that and have to put in some extra miles at the gym. I could make a big pot or casserole of something and eat it for three meals a day for a week but why torture myself?! Then there’s the old standbys: scrambled eggs and toast or a bowl of cereal. Yeah that’s boring but it will suffice in a pinch. But why do I have to sacrifice my foodie cravings just because I’m cooking for one? I don’t and I try really hard not to.
Over the years I’ve become a master at creating one serving pasta dishes. You pretty much can’t go wrong with a big bowl of pasta, a salad, and some crusty bread for a solo meal. The great thing is, if it’s good enough, I can easily double the recipe and share it with my hubby when he gets home. If it fails horribly, he never has to know!
Here is my latest creation. I don’t do a lot of measuring when I cook for one. Feel free to adjust any of the ingredients to your taste. Tonight it’s all about YOU!
Lemony Shrimp Florentine Linguine with Roasted Garlic
For roasted garlic:
- 1 head garlic, peeled, cloves separated
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Place garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil. Coat with olive oil, S&P. Wrap foil around to make a package. Bake for 20-25 minutes until fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool.
- 10 shrimp, peeled & deveined, tails removed
- 3-4 roasted garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Handful chopped frozen loose leaf spinach, thawed
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Splash of white wine, whatever you have on hand (I used Pinot Grigio)
- Splash of cream to finish
- Small handful parmesan cheese
- Linguine, cooked according to package directions
In a medium non-stick skillet, heat olive oil. Add shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Remove from pan. Deglaze with wine and add garlic cloves and mash. Add the lemon juice and cream and reduce to a simmer. Add the shrimp back in along with the spinach. Cook for about 2 minutes more or until shrimp are cooked through. Finish with parmesan cheese. Toss in the pasta and serve.
How easy was that?! I like to cook but I’m all about quick and easy when I’m on my own. It makes for fewer dishes to wash too! Oh and don’t feel guilty about finishing off that bottle of wine either. There’s no one home to catch you! 😉