Ginger Sesame Chicken Wrap …For One

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As soon as I started doing research on the Marzetti Simply Dressed product line, I knew that I wanted to create a recipe with the ginger-sesame dressing. As I read the ingredient list and saw that it included ginger puree, my mouth immediately started watering. (Yes, I’ve clearly been a little obsessed with ginger lately.)

When I opened the bottle and took a sniff, I knew that I had made the right choice – this stuff sounds, looks, smells, and tastes amazing! It was so good that I actually went back and tweaked my recipe to include more of the dressing than I had originally planned for. Even after that, I was tempted to dunk my wrap in even more dressing. (I didn’t though. The dressing is good, but I didn’t want to put on so much that it would overpower the fresh and delicate flavor of the vegetables.) This one is definitely a keeper!

Spicy Ginger Noodles {with Shrimp}

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I love having a bog. Really, I do. I love cooking, thinking up ideas and perfecting recipes, and taking photographs. I even enjoy typing my recipes up, despite all of the annoying code that Google likes. But once all that is done, I’m left staring at a big, blank space that needs to be filled with words.

And I kind of hate it.

Having to come up with those words is the single biggest reason that I don’t post more often. Sometimes it’s not too bad – I can share a story about how I was inspired to make the recipe or about how I tried a new ingredient or technique – but a lot of times there’s just nothing. to. say. I mean, there are only so many ways you can say “This is delicious, make it!”

Ground Chicken and Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

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This recipe for ground chicken and eggplant lettuce wraps was inspired by the menu at P.F. Changs. They have a similar chicken and eggplant dish that’s one of the best things I’ve ever ordered at a Chinese restaurant. My recipe is pretty different from theirs, but it captures my favorite components of the original — especially the contrast of sweet, spicy, and salty flavors and the way the tender eggplant practically melts in your mouth. Adjust the amount of chili paste to suit your desired level of spiciness, or leave it out and allow each diner to add it directly to their own portion to accommodate a variety of tastes.

Zero Calorie “Nooodles” with Spicy Peanut Sauce… For One

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Shawn got a new job earlier this year. Its great, but his schedule kind of stinks and I’m on my own for dinner a few nights each week. At first it was kind of nice. Those nights give me the chance to make all of my favorites that he doesn’t really like. But it can also get kind of old. Cooking just isn’t as much fun when there’s no one to share the completed meal with, and a lot of nights I end up eating something fast and simple like pasta or eggs.

In an effort to motivate myself to cook real meals even on nights where I’m alone, I’m going to try something new: a “Cooking for One” series here on Healthy. Delicious. featuring the meals that I cook for myself. These pared-down recipes will be super simple, quick to make, and full of the bold flavors that you expect to find in my recipes. Some of the recipes might make enough for leftovers, but none will be more than a single person can eat in a 24 hour period. (Of course, you can always double or triple these recipes if you want to feed a larger group with minimal effort!) For now, I’m planning on dedicating the first Sunday of each month to this series. We’ll see how it goes!   

Warm Soba Noodle Salad with Grilled Shrimp

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Because I plan my meals for the week ahead of time and buy groceries as I need them, the available ingredients in my kitchen can vary greatly from week to week. Of course, there are certain items that I always have on hand — either because they’re staples that come together into a quick meal when I haven’t planned ahead or because they’re things that I use all the time. Pasta, lemons, goat cheese. Canned tomatoes. Black beans. Gin.

Lately, an increasing number of Asian ingredients have secured a dedicated spot in my cabinet. Especially seasoned rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Both of these are easy to find in most grocery stores and add a ton of flavor to all sorts of foods. They make it super easy to prepare quick Asian-inspired dishes like Edamame Salad and these Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp.

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These noodles are my idea of the perfect summertime meal. They’re fast and easy to make and require minimal effort. They also make great leftovers and don’t even need to be heated up – I think I actually liked them even more the next day, after the flavors had a chance to meld. Unlike other similar dishes that have a tendency to be flat, the combination of rice wine vinegar and lime juice gives these noodles have a nice acidity and a bright flavor that plays really well off the earthy buckwheat noodles and nutty sesame oil. Watery vegetables keep the whole dish light and fresh. Topped with a few grilled shrimp (another ingredient that I’m always sure to keep in my freezer), this salad makes a great light meal for a hot summer night.

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Steak and Asparagus Salad with Hoisin Dressing

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Every year, I end up with a new go-to salad recipe. A salad that I turn to when I don’t know what else to make for dinner, or to fall back on if I need a quick meal for entertaining. Two years ago it was a salad with sliced strawberries and cinnamon pecans. Last year it was an herb salad with lemon-poppy vinaigrette and fried goat cheese. This year… you’re looking at it. (As an aside, I just noticed that my favorite salads always seem to involve fruit. Interesting!)

Topped with steak, onions, and asparagus, this salad is loaded with traditional steakhouse flavors; fresh fruit and a hoisin vinaigrette give it an Asian twist. It’s hearty enough to please the most ardent meat-and-potato lovers but light enough to keep dieters happy. But most importantly, it’s outrageously good. It has a sweet and salty thing going on that’s simply amazing and there are so many interesting textures. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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While the original recipe from Fine Cooking was pretty healthy as-is, I made a few changes to cut down on some of the fat. I also added more fruit to keep things interesting and bulk the salad up enough to ensure it fit square in the “entree” category. (Play around with the fruit to suit your own tastes but if you like pineapple, I highly recommend using it — it pairs incredibly well with the dressing.)

A few months ago, I bought a non-aerosol oil mister similar to this one. I love it!! I never really liked to use cooking sprays (like Pam) because I don’t know what’s in them and they kind of creep me out. But with my mister, I know it’s just the oil that I use normally. It’s helped me cut down a lot on how much oil I use in my pan, and it’s also helpful in recipes like this one. Instead of trying to coat the steak with oil from a spoon or a brush, I just spritz it with my mister – I end up using less oil, and it ends up with a more even coat. Win-Win!

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Click to get the recipe for Steak and Asparagus Salad with Hoisin Dressing –>