Being single often means cooking for just one. One of the more challenging aspects of cooking for one is planning meals for yourself. A lot of people resign themselves to going through a drive-thru or microwaving pre-cooked TV dinners. But wandering through your meager existence by your lonesome does not mean you can’t have delicious and healthy eating habits. In fact, there are plenty of ways to eat delicious food take minimal effort, and allow flexible leftover options.
Beef brisket is delicious and is the perfect food. If it was up to me, and cardiologists didn’t exist, beef brisket would make up exactly 100-percent of my diet. Making a brisket doesn’t require that much work up-front unless you’re counting the urge to eat it halfway cooked as its rich aroma slowly fills your barren apartment to be work.
First things first, obtain a beef brisket. They seem a little pricey, but you’re going to be completely and utterly alone to eat the leftovers for the next 4 or 5 days, so it more than pays for itself. I usually get a 6 or 7-pound brisket. I also get one of those disposable aluminum pans to hold it all because I don’t own cookware. Next, get some vegetables. Carrots, celery, an onion. It doesn’t matter. Heck, get a butternut squash if you are really feeling up to it.
Cut them up and put them in a large baking pan and set aside. You’re going to want to make a rub for the brisket, so use some combination of chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and maybe sugar. You’re not an expert on cooking, you’re a hungry man. When you start questioning yourself about ingredient amounts and ratios, just shrug your shoulders and realize that cooked beef will always be delicious.
With your oven preheated to 350 degrees, heat that brisket for 3 or 4 hours. When you remove it from the oven, it’ll be tender and delicious. Try to repress the feelings of loneliness that there’s no one else in your empty apartment there to share the brisket with. Remind yourself that you’ve cooked a week’s worth of meals with about 10 minutes of actual work. The brisket reheats in a toaster oven very well, and can be repurposed for sandwiches, tacos, with noodles, among many other dishes you will quietly eat alone.
The roasted chicken is the staple of the American Family Dinner. You, however, do not have a family or anyone to enjoy a meal with for that matter.
You’re going to need to obtain a whole chicken and pat that bad boy dry. A lot of recipes will tell you to wash off the chicken, as if that does anything but spread those nasty chicken germs all over your depressing kitchen. A dry chicken has a better, more crispy texture than a wet one. Remove the giblets, a fancy word for organs, from the chicken’s body. Now, the chicken is empty inside, just like you. Replace those once-essential organs with more flavorful things, herbs and garlic, maybe the zest of a lemon or what-have-you. You can also rub some herbs and spices that you have on hand on the outside of the chicken.
In an oven preheated to 450 degrees, throw that bad boy in there and wait for an hour or so. After you’ve successfully let another hour of your life pass you by, remove the chicken and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. At this point, a lot of people section the chicken. Fortunately, there’s no one around to judge you for standing there and silently picking at it with a fork at the kitchen counter. Between your quiet sobs, you can hear the howl of a far-off train.
Chili is one of those classic excuses people have been using to get together for decades. Super Bowls, parties, heck, people have big get-togethers with complete strangers all in the name of cooking and enjoying this wonderful dish together. You are not one of those people.
For this chili, you’re going to need a crock-pot or “slow cooker” as some lunatics refer to it. Ingredients you’ll need include a pound of ground beef, an onion, celery, garlic, green pepper, a can of kidney beans, a can of cannellini beans, chili powder, dried parsley, salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and Tabasco.
Brown your hamburger and throw it in the crock pot. Sigh heavily to yourself. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Set the heat to Low, and return in eight hours.
So there you have it, three easy rib-stickin’ meals that will keep your tastebuds happy.