Tag Archives: cooking for one

Trout Diaries: Foil-Packet-Grilled


Welcome back to the Tuesday Trout Diaries! It’s a series of emails I sent my dad after our Charter Fishing Trip to Duluth last summer. I was trying out approximately one new recipe each week since I’m not in the habit of cooking fish and I wanted to make sure none of our haul went to waste.

Each week, after the diary entry, you’ll see how I adapted the recipe to make it my own and to cook just for me.

In case you missed them, here are the past installments:

And my next email:


Date: 8/2/17
From: Carrie
To: Dad
Subject: Trout Recipe of the Week!

This was probably my favorite preparation so far, but for three reasons – 1) It was so EASY, 2) it was light and refreshing, 3) I lucked out with this fillet: I didn’t have/notice any bones! 

I guess I wanted to try out this basic Foil Packet Grilled Fish Recipe in case I can’t figure out how I want to prepare my salmon when I have the girls over next week. Of course, I quartered the recipe to account for my one 6-oz filet. I used rosemary, oregano and thyme from my herb pot. I served it with a side of Roasted Radishes. I had no idea you could roast them! I got some from the farmer’s market last week, but they started getting soft and I knew I wanted to save them. I cut of the ends, put them in an ice water bath yesterday. Then today, I used the recipe below to roast them!

I’m attaching a photo of my lunch to the end of this email as well. (I only needed about a 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil for the # of radishes you see in the photo. They lose their bite, but are so good and so easy!!)



Here is my adaptation of Grilled Fish Fillet in Foil Packets from Skinnytaste.com:

Foil-Packet-Grilled Lake Trout for One

  • 6 oz fillet lake trout (skin on the bottom)
  • drizzle olive oil
  • approximately 3 sprigs of fresh herbs (I used rosemary, oregano, thyme)
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat half the grill on high heat, leave the burner off on the other side.
  • Place the trout on a piece of aluminum foil, skin side down.
  • Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and paper.
  • Put a couple of slices of lemon on the seasoned fish.
  • Top with herbs of your choice.
  • Fold up edges of foil to create a seal so that no steam will escape, but leave a bit of room for the steam to circulate within the packet.
  • Place the packet on the the the other half of the grill (that half with the burner off) so that the fish gets indirect heat.
  • Close the grill.
  • Cook for approximately 12 to 13 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  • Be careful when opening your foil packet, as steam will escape.

~ I served these with roasted radishes using this method from The Kitchn.

How do you grill fish?


Cooking for One: Salmon 3 Ways


You may or may not know that when my husband goes out of town, this is when I love to cook up storm! It’s also when I try as much as I can to only use what I have in the fridge, freezer and pantry. I’m trying to get rid of anything that’s still hanging out there.

I had {I thought} a single-serving of wild-caught salmon that I purchased from Trader Joe’s months ago that I was dying to cook up. When I took it out, I found that there were three portions in there! I guess I’d be making salmon all weekend!

I cooked salmon three ways, but all of my dishes look very similar.



Microwave Sriracha Salmon with Sauteed Spinach and Quinoa with Kale

I tried out this Microwave Sriracha Salmon recipe which worked pretty decently. {I’ve never cooked salmon in the microwave before!} Plus the flavor was good. If you like it hot, add a little more sriracha! I sauteed the spinach in some garlic olive oil, loosely based on this recipe, and added some toasted slivered almonds for crunch. And finally, I pulled out a bag of Organic Quinoa & Kale from the freezer and popped that in the microwave, too. It’s something that I’d be more inclined to think I’d purchased from Trader Joe’s or Target, but that I’m thinking I really got at Wal-mart of all places.

Saturday Lunch:

Grilled Spicy Salmon, Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli and Quinoa with Kale

Grilled Spicy Salmon, Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli and Quinoa with Kale

I ended up making this Spicy Grilled Salmon in my grill pan, only I didn’t find it spicy at all. I only had it marinating for the minimum 20 minutes, though. I had a bag of frozen broccoli in the freezer that I could have just steamed in the bag. But I really do prefer roasted broccoli. Did you know that you can make Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli? It totally works! I love the addition of the Montreal Steak Seasoning, too. I have that in my pantry and hardly ever use it! I threw in some leftover Quinoa with Kale for good measure. This meal came in at 471 calories, but it felt like sooooo much food. I was quite full before I even finished it.

Saturday Dinner:


I had a reprieve from salmon. Instead, those^^ are all of the ingredients I used from my freezer and pantry for dinner: chicken breasts, diced tomatoes with green chiles, black beans, and fire-roasted garlic tomatoes.

I didn’t get a photo of my dinner because after I made the No-Cook Black Bean Soup, I realized that my chicken was not ready. {It wasn’t 100% thawed when I stuck it in the oven.} Therefore, I ate the soup first and the chicken when it finished cooking.

I made the chicken based on this Baked Chicken with Tomato Sauce recipe, substituting the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles for the homemade tomato sauce. I wanted it to taste a bit more Mexican to go with my Black Bean Soup. I also added a bit of Mexican-blend shredded cheese during the last five minutes of cooking. It didn’t turn out too bad!

Because each recipe made four servings, I shredded the leftover chicken and put in each of my containers of leftover soup to make a nice black bean and chicken soup for lunches this week.



Salmon, Quinoa & Broccoli Bowl

Because I was mostly dealing with leftovers here {Quinoa with Kale & Roasted Frozen Broccoli}, I decided to make a bowl to make it a little more appealing to me. {I just love bowls!} I used one of the easiest salmon methods ever – Simple Baked Salmon. Then I cut it up and through it in the bowl of warmed up veggies and quinoa. I think some roasted grape tomatoes or a nice sauce would have brightened it up a bit more.

By the time I was three-quarters of the way done with this bowl, I was sick of it.

All of these dinners were super easy. I needed them to be because I was purging my closet over the weekend! BUT, remind me next time I buy salmon, to get single serving packages so that I don’t have to thaw out three portions all at once!

What is your favorite way to eat salmon or another fish?


This Week: Cooking with What’s on Hand


So, I didn’t get my usual Monday Food & Fitness post up that I link to Running with Racheal.


I guess that weekend out of town ended with a lack of planning for the week. Now it’s time get creative and use up what we have in fridge and  pantry!

What do I know?


  • I have bread in the freezer and peanut butter in the fridge. Looks like it’s going to be a week of PB Toast breakfasts!
  • I put together some Quick and Easy Bowls for lunch this week based on what I had on hand. The rest will be leftovers
  • I have three days to cook dinner this week.
  • One of those days is just for me – I was considering this Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad. Then I realized, we don’t have strawberries. So I may just make some Tilapia Topped with Tomatoes with this Zucchini and Onion Saute that always reminds me of Provence.
  • I have pork chops, green beans and ground beef in the freezer.
  • Worst case scenario, if I don’t get to the grocery store, we’ll be eating pork chops and green beans one night and Chocolate Chili another. Although, Rob has given me the go ahead on this One Pot Cheeseburger Skillet {I can’t call it a casserole or he won’t eat it!}

How’s that for last-minute planning?!


I had some trouble with my back this weekend. Sleeping and getting out of bed has not been easy. So I’ve decided to take the doc’s advice for the next couple of days.

  • Tuesday – PT Exercises & Walk
  • Wednesday – PT Exercises & Walk
  • Thursday – PT Exercises & Run (if feeling okay, otherwise, walk)
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – PT Exercises & Run
  • Sunday – PT Exercises & Walk

What are your favorite go-to meals when you don’t get to the store and can only use what you have on hand?

What’s the best and most creative dish you’ve come up with doing that?



Local D’Lish Cooking Class: Healthy Cooking for One


I loved the last cooking class I took at Local D’Lish so much that I wanted to do another one! In fact, when the opportunity came up to take a class from the same instructor, Kate Moore, I suggested the Healthy Cooking for One class to my single friends.

We all know that it’s hard to cook for one, or even two, without having a ton of leftovers. My husband hates leftovers (except for a couple of dishes), so I wanted to learn how to pare things down, too.

I was surprised that Kate recognized my friend Jared and I from our previous class! She told us that she didn’t know which class it was that we attended, but that we would recognize a few things she likes to do in all classes. But truly, I believe that the more you hear something or see something done, the more you really understand and remember it.

Kate in action

Kate was her usual fun, quirky relaxed self. Her main goal is to empower people in the kitchen. I love that! I am becoming more and more comfortable with whipping up my own dishes and not having to follow a recipe exactly as written, or even use one at all! From experience, as with anything else, the more you do this, the easier it becomes.

Her handouts always include extensive information. While she doesn’t follow her packet from start to finish in class, it’s excellent to bring home and use as a reference.

Kate’s life experiences make her more than qualified to teach a class such as Healthy Cooking for One. She lost over 50 pounds just by cutting portions by half, eating twice as slowly and enjoying real food!

Her formula for a meal for one:

vegetable + starch + protein


1 to 1.5 cup veggie + .5 to 1 cup starch + 2 to 4 ounces of protein


I thought that in the past year, I’d come to learn true serving sizes. For the most part, I have. However, this class made me realize how little I really need to buy when I shop. Some examples:

  • 1/2 of a small potato is a good portion size for one person
  • 1 egg = 2 ounces protein
  • pasta or rice for one person = about a half cup

Kate is great at showing how to make one dish with a particular ingredient and then take anything leftover of that ingredient or reuse it in a different way later in the week.

“It really doesn’t take very much product to cook a meal for one person! Minimize leftovers so each meal is fresh and different to keep your palate interested,” she said.

In both classes I’ve been in, Kate has made a Bean Dip to start. She knows her students are hungry and wants to tide them over in class! Her handout gives a list of flavor profiles, so that you can make this bean dip at home with a variety of beans and spices depending on your your mood or what you have on hand. Which dip she makes is dependent on what fresh ingredients Local d’Lish has that day! As students, we get to taste it every step of the way, so we can understand the importance of seasoning.

Kate asked me something I liked about the last class and I told her that she made the best dressing I’ve ever had! She then inquired if I made it at home after class. I told her I did, but that, although good, it didn’t turn out as yummy as hers. She said, “Well, let’s take this opportunity to practice!” She had me come up in front of the class and put the herbs in the food processor and taste and adjust!

She also taught me (er, the class) to start learning how much a measurement is… to just count. Pour olive oil into a quarter cup and count while it’s coming out. That way, you’ll have an idea about how long the stream takes when you are pouring the oil into a food processor. She said you can do that for anything when learning measurements and becoming more comfortable with winging those.

In this class, she also made her own Herbed Boursin. I totally fell in love with this store-bought cheese spread when I studied in France. My host family would serve it after almost every meal. But the one that Kate made one is even better! Everyone in class went crazy over it. The dish was empty before dinner was served.

Just like the dressing I posted from the last class, you make the herbed cheese by using a base and adding directional herbs:

Herbed Boursin as taught by Kate Moore

  • 1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (50% parsley and scallions/garlic, 50% directional herb)
    • directional herb = the herb you want as the dominant flavor. I think Kate used sage in this class.
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional: citrus zest or juice to taste

Put everything into a food processor and mix. {Kate suggests that if you don’t have one you can finely mince all the herbs by hand and fold them into the softened cream cheese.} As always, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper or more herbs. *Option: Swap cream cheese for butter to make a compound butter. It will freeze beautifully!

Now that I’m writing this post, I’m realizing how extensive this class was! She made a bunch of different kinds of dishes to demonstrate the speed and ease of putting something healthy together. The Toasty Garlic Tomato Kale made us drool! My friend Jen said, “Wow, now I know what to do with kale besides make kale chips!” Kate recommended serving the Toasty Garlic Tomato Kale over rice with a fried egg on top. Oh yeah, baby.

Speaking of eggs, she told us we all needed to practice flipping an egg in the frying pan. Jared was up to the challenge:

Kate showing Jared how to flip an egg (uh hem, without a spatula)

During our break, Kate kept encouraging us to give it a try, that we had nothing to lose. Only one other gal was brave enough. I just wanted to try it at home. My fear? That I’d flip it on myself , burning myself in the process and ending up covered in egg yolk. Yeah, didn’t want an audience for that!

Jared’s attempt to flip! SUCCESS!

Kate made cabbage two ways. One was an Asian Slaw and the other was just sautéed with butter, sage and apple. That cabbage in my CSA box always sits in the fridge too long before I end up using it or throwing it out. I never thought to sauté it. The flavors were soooooo good!

At the end of class, Kate served up everything she made Family Style for us to eat:

Salad greens with the dressing I made!

Leftover Bean Dip, Toasty Garlic Tomato Kale, Kale with Potatoes & Herbs

Asian Slaw, Sauteed Cabbage, Sauteed Veggies, Ginger-infused Rice, Chopped Fried Eggs

My beautiful plate: A little bit of everything

If you haven’t taken a cooking class yet, I highly recommend it. I also recommend taking one with Kate. You’ll learn so many tips and walk away with not only with a pleased palate, but also with a new sense of, “Hey, I can make that, too!”

Please share your favorite, easy go-to recipe for one or two people!