It was around two years ago that I started to post publically about what I was having for supper and the fact that I was usually dining alone. With a husband in the forces and living away during the week (and the occasional weekend), I usually spend my evenings on my own, which means that I eat on my own.
A classic example of a #solosupper made up of whatever was in the house!
Now, before we get too far into this – please don’t feel sorry for me! I actually quite enjoy the peace and quiet, no arguing over the TV and I can eat whatever I fancy, with as much chilli as I fancy! I don’t live far from my parents and often go to them with the girls after school pick-up, before heading home in time for the girls to settle before their bed time at around 7pm. So when it reaches 7:30pm, the evening is my own and the menu is usually whatever I fancy – within the limitations of my fridge, freezer and cupboards. Then there’s the occasional evening with friends at mine where I’ll offer to cook, or create gin cocktails…those are fun nights!!
Even before I met my husband, over 10 years ago I would happily dine alone of an evening, enjoying spending time in the kitchen creating something to eat, before plating it up and devouring every mouthful whilst watching, more often than not a cookery programme on TV. But, it was 2 years ago that I thought that there are probably quite a lot of people who eat alone of an evening, for different reasons and that it would be nice to share what I was cooking.
So where do I begin? Well, it all depends on what had been going on that day and how tired I am, as well as what I have in the house. I try and plan ahead a little, just in case I need to grab an ingredient during the day, but I try not to do top-up shops in the week and make what I can from what I have. I often look at recipes in books or online to get inspiration, but will usually use the recipe as a start to create something of my own.
There are always staples in the house, meaning I can make something delicious at short notice. And here’s a list of things that I usually have to hand: eggs, spices and herbs, stock cubes, tinned tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger (which I keep in the freezer as it last longer and is easier to grate), other condiments like soy sauce, mustard, honey, Worcestershire sauce, vinegars, oils, I have a good selection of carbs – my favourite food group: basmati rice, brown rice, quinoa, pasta, rice noodles and sometimes potatoes, I usually have pulses too, like black beans, chickpeas, lentils that are either dry or tinned and ready to use.
As far as the fridge and freezer is concerned, well there’s usually parmesan or cheddar, milk, bread, butter, yogurt, spring onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli…veg changes each week, but the girls love raw carrots and peppers so I seem to always have a good supply of these. Smoked streaky bacon or chorizo can often be located somewhere in the fridge, as well as other proteins in the freezer like chicken, mince, cod or prawns, sausages and sometimes burgers! There’s always a bag of frozen peas in there too as well as other veg and frozen fruit.
Basically – I have a very well stocked kitchen, which makes creating and cooking supper a pleasure. From these ingredients I can make all manner of things from a simple tomato sauce or soup to a prawn curry and dal. I will often do big batches of things like Bolognese, chilli, casserole, fish pie, curry sauce, etc, meaning that on the nights when I can’t be bothered to cook something, I have a meal in the freezer that just needs veg and something added to it. And then on the nights when I fancy using every pan in the kitchen, I see what I have and get cooking.
You may find some solo supper recipes on the blog already, but I will try and update more often as and when people request recipes. Please feel free to ask any questions if you have any, or request recipes via the blog or through instagram/twitter/facebook.