Table for One?

Some people are alone by circumstance―they’ve lost a loved one, or are enduring a breakup, and others, like me, are alone by choice. I don’t mind being alone. Being a single girl in a loner city leaves a lot of time to be alone.  So I’m alone and that’s okay.

I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. It gives them an opportunity to discover who they are and to figure out why they are always alone.

I do truly look on an evening alone with excitement. Usually I’ll cook one of my simple yet tasty 15-Minute Meals in 20 Minutes such as rack of tofu with a side salad. If I want to treat myself, I’ll put an hour and 15 minutes into it and make a rack of tofu with a side salad and toss a baked potato in the oven. But I really love to make single serving dishes in little ramekins, so cute and simple, baked especially for me!

TABLE FOR ONE
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Individual Servings: 6

KITCHEN UTENSILS
6 single serving size oven-safe ramekins
1 food processor (or blender)
1 sheet tray
2 pans
INGREDIENTS
1 ½ pieces of whole wheat lasagna pasta per serving
Butternut puree:
1 butternut squash: peeled, seeded, and cut cubed
2 cups water
¾ tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground clove
1 tsp raw honey (optional)
1 tsp of butter alternative
Basil Sauce:
1 bunch of fresh basil, minced
1 clove fresh peeled garlic, minced
1 ½ cups almond milk (or other fave)
1 tbsp unbleached flour (optional)
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
Ricotta Mix:
1 cup tofu ricotta (at Whole Foods)
1 egg (or replacer)
Extra:
1 cup shredded Soy Station Mozzarella

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium size pan add the butternut squash and water, bringing to medium high / high temp. (While water is beginning to heat… begin basil sauce) Sustain heat until squash obtains a “mash-able” texture (you can check this by removing a piece of squash from pan and smashing with spoon). Add remaining water and squash to food processor. Add spices and honey to food processor.

Process squash until a smooth puree is achieved. Stir in butter. Adjust flavor with spices to liking. (I like extra nutmeg) Set aside.

In another medium size pan add extra virgin olive oil and garlic and bring to medium heat until garlic becomes aromatic. When garlic is ready, add almond milk then basil to the pan, blending constantly with whisk. Simmer sauce until it has reduced to a texture that can coat a spoon… medium thickness. If this is not happening, whisk in flour and slightly turn up heat until desired texture is achieved. When texture is achieved, set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine ‘tofu ricotta’ and egg (or replacer). Set aside. Take cooked pasta noodles and lay flat on clean service. Using the top edge of ramekin as “cookie cutter”, begin to cut circular shapes out of pasta. Each serving needs approximately 3 circular pieces each.

Layer:
Each ramekin starts with a circular piece of lasagna noodle as base.
Add a scoop of squash puree.
Add spoon full of basil sauce.
Add tbsp of ‘ricotta.’
Top with another piece of pasta.
Repeat until ramekin is full.
Top with mozzarella.

Put ramekins on sheet tray and pop in oven. Cook at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

After eating and doing the dishes, I might whip up some cupcakes for delivery. I’ll flip on the fake fireplace, and listen to the phone ring. I might put on some slow jams and take in a short story. I’ll spend time massaging my one and only heartbeat in the loft, Coltrane (until I get some Quentin Tarantino plants to spread around). Perhaps get involved with a project I won’t finish but will keep me up all night.

Live Alone?

  • Change the décor of your apartment with every season so it seems like you have more homes.
  • For single servings of veggie lasagna use a mini loaf pans (5¾” x3”). Normal size lasagna noodles fit snugly in the pan when cut in half. You can cover the pans with foil and freeze. Bake one when you want. (see my single serving lasagna recipe) This is also a good gift idea for the single-dweller.
  • If you can’t live without meatballs on hand, freeze them as you make them. I make turkey meatballs, salmon and tuna meatballs, and vegan meatballs with Boca crumbles. Place them on a cookie sheet and put them in your freezer until frozen. Then toss them in a plastic bag, they will stay separated. Heat and serve when desired. This also works well with manicotti.
  • Make half a cake. Bake an eight inch one-layer cake. Cut in half, frost one side, top with the other and frost. Now you’ve got yourself a 2-layer half cake. Knock yourself out.

Sometimes it sucks being alone for holidays like Thanksgiving, but you know what? If you have a little imagination to create some excitement you can overcome it and make it memorable. You can create a family of your own! The friends that you have, the people that you give your love to, are so lucky because you are special. That’s all you need to know.

I am so grateful and thankful that I have all of you, the love and the support that I’ve found in each one of you. I have never been in an environment where there are so many people who are supportive and care so much, so I just want to thank you.

I can celebrate Thanksgiving knowing that there are people I have wonderful loving friends who care and who are inspire me, and it’s definitely a good feeling.

Let the Sunshine in 😉 xoxo, ~vie

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~ by thetotaleffect on November 23, 2010.

One Response to “Table for One?”

  1. Vie, what a great recipe, thanks for sharing. Your hints work for those of usonly cooking for 2 also. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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