Single Servings: Italian Style - Single Servings Blog at - 121059

Single Servings

Single Servings: Italian Style 
Aug. 27, 2009 2:14 pm 
Updated: Sep. 21, 2009 11:40 am
You might be wondering why you’re getting a Single Servings a few days before September. Or you may not be wondering at all—either not aware I do this at the beginning of each month, or not even totally sure what the date is today. Normally, I’d be right there with you, but I have been hyper-aware of the date for about the past three weeks because tomorrow (August 28th, August 298th, August 28th) I am off to Italy for two weeks! It’s my first time back to Europe since a six week trip nearly eight years, and considering I’d vowed to go back within a year, you could say I’m more than a little excited.

I decided it was going to be impossible to get Italy off my mind (I’ve been changing my computer’s background every few days to a different picture of Italy—I’m a little obsessed), so I didn’t even try. This month I put together an Italian-inspired Single Servings meal plan for you (dilizioso!). I realize that’s not quite the same thing as going to Italy, but hopefully it’ll tide you over…at least until I come back with lots of pretty pictures.

Ciao!—And buon appetito!

Prep and Freeze
Lasagna Roll Ups: I loved the idea of these because each roll-up creates a little individual lasagna—very Single Servings-friendly.

Cook Once, Eat Twice
Italian Wedding Soup I: In reading the reviews for this recipe, I saw that many suggested cooking the meatballs and orzo ahead of time, then add both just before eating. You’ll see I’ve adapted the recipe directions accordingly in the Sunday Prep below.

NOTE: Change number of servings to two.

Two Easy Meals—No Leftovers!
Baby Greens and Goat Cheese Wrap: For this recipe, I recommend roasting your own red pepper (this suggestion is reflected in the shopping list)—I have a short-cut method: Slice a small red pepper into half inch strips, toss with a teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, the bake on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 minutes. I don’t bother taking off the skins.

Chicken Piccata I: Make this recipe healthier by skipping the flour and just dipping in bread crumbs—also, instead of frying in oil, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

NOTE: Change number of servings to one.

Go to printable Shopping List
And, for Dessert...
Ricotta Cookies III: Family friends used to make these every Christmas, but they’ll satisfy your sweet tooth any time of year.

Sunday Prep
Give yourself two hours to get all your meals prepped for the week.
  • Make Lasagna Roll Ups completely, allow to cool (I usually put stuff in the fridge for a couple hours, then divvy it up into smaller servings later in the day), then freeze in one or two serving portions. (Defrost overnight and reheat to serve.)
  • Form meat balls for Italian Wedding Soup I and bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. (Bake in muffin tins or baking dish). Refrigerate (if storing longer than 2-3 days, freeze).
  • Make orzo for Italian Wedding Soup I; after draining, add half of a teaspoon of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking.
  • Slice escarole and chop carrot for Italian Wedding Soup I; refrigerate.
  • Roast pepper for Baby Greens and Goat Cheese Wrap—refrigerate in resealable plastic bag.
  • Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness between plastic wrap or waxed paper for Chicken Piccata I; refrigerate.
  • Mix bread crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic powder for Chicken Piccata I; store in resealable plastic bag.

Extra Groceries
You will likely have some parsley left over—here are a handful of recipes that will put it to good use:

Lasagna Roll Ups -- photo by CookinBug aka JL86
Photo Detail
Italian Wedding Soup I -- photo by { Heidi }
Photo Detail
Chicken Picata I -- photo by Chris Lamia
Photo Detail
Ricotta Cookies III -- Photo by mis7up.jpg
Photo Detail
Aug. 28, 2009 4:46 am
Thanks Mackenzie. I only cook for myself most of the time, so these single serving ideas are great.
Aug. 28, 2009 8:43 am
Love your ideas! These are great in our household, as we are in and out at all hours and take lunches for work and school. Plan to try the Ricotta Cookies (protein in cookies!) as soon as the weather cools.
Sep. 14, 2009 11:50 am
So glad I could be of help--hope the recipes worked out for you two!
Sep. 19, 2009 10:09 am
so i made the chicken picata for my husband and he has declared it his fave dish! i tossed angel hair in the sauce with the chicken and it was SO good - the roll ups were a great make-ahead too
Sep. 21, 2009 11:40 am
Awesome! Thanks for coming back here to let me know--makes my day!
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About Me
I am a 32-year old woman (I still stumble over the word "woman," but I don't think I can get away with "girl" anymore) living in Seattle, WA, writing for the very website you are browsing right now! I am originally from Bellingham (about 80 miles north of Seattle), where I went to Western Washington University, and then just kinda hung out for several more years until I moved south in September of 2006. I've always loved cooking and even had my own little spiral recipe notebook when I was in middle school to collect my star dishes in. (Apple pizza and scones were always a hit with the family—thanks Home Ec.!) I seriously considered going to culinary school when I was twenty, but then decided I didn't want to cook for a living. I’m definitely more of an entertaining cook, as opposed to a professional cook.
My favorite things to cook
I prefer cooking over baking, but I've been branching out more in the past couple years--I made a pie from scratch for the very first time for Thanksgiving 2006 and it was delicious. But, I made a cake from scratch for the first time recently, and it did not go as well. It looked great, but I would not use the word "great" to describe how it tasted. I've resolved to go back to boxed cake mix, and put my efforts into the decoration where I can actually do some good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
People are always surprised when I say that my dad does most of the cooking for holiday meals. "Does your mom get stressed out for Thanksgiving?" people will ask. Are you kidding me? No way! She, my sister, and I are all watching movies while my dad is basting the turkey and making mashed potatoes and gravy. Thanksgiving is probably the most relaxing day of the year for my mom!
My cooking triumphs
Ah, I remember it well ... I was twelve years old; I believe it was a Thursday and there was a chill in the air that night ... I pulled that seafood pasta bake out of the oven oh-so-carefully, and when we sat down to enjoy it ... so cheesy, creamy and seafoody (and I mean that in the very best way)... so very, very, delicious ... though I lost track of the recipe, each bite will live on in my memory forever ... ;)
My cooking tragedies
On my 30th birthday, I set fire to a cookie sheet full of French bread that I had only intended to toast. I had just finished cooking something else when I turned the oven to broil and underestimated how hot the top element already was. Chatting away with a friend, I was completely confused when I saw smoke coming through the burners and it wasn't until my friend yelled, "It's on fire!" pointing to the partially open oven door, that I realized what was happening. I swiftly yanked the baking sheet from the oven, dropped it into the sink, and cranked the faucet. Disaster averted. Moral of the story? Let other people cook for you on your birthday.
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