I’ve heard anecdotally from my friends who live alone that they are often unmotivated to cook for just themselves on a regular basis. Sure a night with a significant other or a great dinner party might draw these individuals into the kitchen to try ambitious recipes, but day-to-day, they are looking for a quick easy fix for dinner (aren’t we all?).
Even though I enjoy my time in the kitchen, I can understand the sentiment of those cooking just for one. When my dear husbanders is on travel for work, my own culinary creativity and motivation takes a nose dive. Despite this, I still strive to make dinners for myself and can proudly write that I have never, in the last 11 years, purchased a frozen dinner. Cooking for one demands meals that are simple and speedy.
This means cooking dinner for one brings out my creativity in simplicity. Some of my go-to recipes for cooking solo are my Miso Noodle Soup and Watercress and Tofu Salad. Since Omar is on travel again, I am on another simple and speedy recipe kick and this soba noodle dish fits the bill. This recipe took me 17 minutes to put together, start to finish. You can easily use other veggies you have on hand, carrots, snap peas, and even edamame would all work well and interchangeably for the veggies in this dish.
Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, and they are typically thin noodles that resemble the thickness of thin spaghetti. Soba noodles are ready in about 4 minutes, making this an easy ingredient to rely on for a quick meal. These noodles can be served hot or cold. In fact, I enjoyed this dish warm for dinner and cold as a noodle salad for lunch the next day. You can often find soba noodles in the international section of better grocery stores or in Asian supermarkets. I use the soba noodles by Hakubaku available at my local grocery store.
What is your favorite dish for cooking and eating solo?
SOBA NOODLES WITH WATERCRESS (AND OTHER VEGETABLES)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce (I love the rooster)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ cup baby bella or button mushrooms sliced
½ bell pepper (preferably, red or yellow) chopped
½ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about 10-12 small sprouts)
1 cup fresh watercress
approx. 3 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 scallion, chopped
Whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sriracha in a small bowl, then set aside.
In a large frying pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook for another minute, then add the mushrooms, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. Stirring occasionally, cook covered, for about 4-6 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are tender. Add the soy sauce mixture and simmer on low until the sauce thickens slightly.
Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. When the noodles are done drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Toss the noodles with the cooked vegetables and fresh watercress, then top with scallion and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!