Be a Food Network Star in Your Apartment Kitchen – Cooking for One

oh-no-tomorrow-is-monday

Hypothetically, it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon.  You’re sitting on your sofa and getting lost in your thoughts. One thought that rears its ugly head is that tomorrow is Monday and you just know that your upcoming week is going to be cuh-raze-y and even if it’s not, you just know you’re not going to want to cook every night…or are you? I say you are. It’s not because I’m telling you that you will (although I think it’s reason enough and I like to believe I have that much of a hold over you) but because I’m about to throw a challenge your way. And let’s be honest shall we? Who can resist a challenge? I know I can’t. So here it is…become a Food Network Star…in your own kitchen.

Cook yourself an inexpensive yet entirely scrumptious meal each night. Let me explain how you can do this. 

If you’re anything like me, you can lose hours of your life watching shows on the Food Network like Chopped, Cupcake Wars (yay, cupcakes!) and Pioneer Woman. I love to cook. L-O-V-E. Mostly for other people but there is nothing wrong with going all out for yourself either.  For me cooking is tremendously cathartic and allows me creative abandon. But here is the beautiful thing. I’m about to do all of the work for you. Cooking for one can seem like a daunting task and some people may even find it not the least bit worth it to just cook for themselves. Well move over microwave meal for one.  Everyone is entitled to a good, home-cooked meal and truth be told there are wicked benefits to cooking your dinners. Here are a few of those benefits:

  • Leftovers for a night you may not want to cook
  • Lunch for the next day
  • A feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction
  • Controlling the ingredients for healthier eating
  • Easy on the wallet (rather than eating out all the time)

And guess what? Whether you are at a Camden or at another apartment community, you have the perfect foundation already. A kitchen. A lot of the kitchens at Camden communities look as though they stepped out of a showcase home. No lie. Check these out.

Camden Asbury Village : Raleigh, NC

Camden Asbury Village : Raleigh, NC

Camden Belmont : Dallas, TX

Camden Belmont : Dallas, TX

See what I mean?

Okay. I am about to embarrass myself to the nth degree here, but when I cook and no one is around, I will seriously act like I am on a Food Network show by explaining what I am doing as I do it. Throwing in tips and tricks and so forth. It’s hilarious. Don’t judge me.

Now let’s get this challenge started. I’m going to give you the tools you need.

  • The menu for the work week
  • The recipes
  • The grocery list
  • Variety (because no one likes to eat the same thing every night)

(Please note that I’m a carnivore so there is meat in this menu. If you are a vegetarian, I’m truly sorry. Comment on my blog and I’ll seriously come up with a vegetarian meal plan for you. Promise.)

Here is your 5 Day Menu (Link to Recipes)

Monday: Crispy Southwestern Chicken Wrap
Tuesday: Honey Broiled Salmon with Parmesan Roasted Green Beans & Twice Baked Red Potatoes
Wednesday: Personal Pizza (My favorite is with Caramelized Onions,  Fresh Mozzarella, Pesto and Steak. You can of course go nuts and get your own toppings. Just follow directions for whichever dough you choose to use from your grocery list.)
Thursday: Stuffed Red Peppers w/ Side of Spanish Rice
Friday: Baked Stuffed Shells

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GROCERY LIST (printable link)

So there you have it. Your 5-day-work-week-meal for one-menu-list-recipe concoction. Hopefully you find the recipes appetizing. You can certainly adjust the recipes to your taste as well as to how much you wish to cook. All of these translate very well into cooking for one since you can control the ingredient amount at each step. I hope it inspires you to cook and cook often. You can always go to Pinterest for awesome ideas on what to cook. Even create yourself a board specifically for the purpose of cooking for one.

Have fun cooking your little hearts out, everyone. Now grab your apron and get to it!

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