This weeks menu brought to you by my own laziness and the fact that I started my college classes.  Yes, back into school and taking Web Design.  Ish.  It is very strange to be re-attending college at this age. Lucky for me the classes are all online even though it is the local University.  I'm not sure how I would feel having to get up everyday and stare at all those young fresh faces!  No, just joshing.  I actually wish the classes were on campus as it is very distracting to take these at home.  I know, I've even written a blog about how not to get distracted and I've started using my own advice.  The only thing is , I still want to do this site and record videos.  I haven't been able to record lately and that makes me feel bad and sad.  I'm hoping to get back to recording next week.  
Ok, over the little sidetrack there.  This weeks recipes are going to be dealing with cooking for one or cooking in a dorm room.  I have some friends that are in college and dealing with not wanting to spend what little money they have going out to eat and not wanting to eat in the schools cafe.  I've actually found this more challenging then I had thought it would be.  First, the dorms only have the little fridges, so everything that I put here has to fit and dorm rooms have no sink.  Second, this recipe you are going to have to run to the bathroom or think outside the box to drain the water.  If you have a plastic tub that you can drain it into and then take that to the bathroom it would be better, as the water is going to be hot.  If you are just making this at home, no worries.  
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Some of the items you will need. A larger soup bowl, a measuring cup OR if you don't have a measuring cup, use a mug and just do a 1:1 measurement of pasta and vegetables.
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This item really is a must so that you don't burn yourself. You can pick it up at the 99¢ store.
Recipe:

Serves 1


1 cup GF Penne Pasta (or regular)
1 cup fresh or frozen Vegetables, I used a frozen stir fry mix 
1/4 cup  fresh Cherry Tomatoes, optional
1/2 cup Cooked Chicken*, optional
Butter or margarine
Salt and Pepper

Large Soup Bowl
1 Cup to measure with
Strainer

Put enough water in the bowl that it fills just about 1/2.  Heat in the microwave on full for 3 minutes.
Remove CAREFULLY.  It will be very hot.
Add the Penne Pasta and let sit for 5 minutes.  After the 5 minutes stir to break it up
Place Back into microwave for 3 minutes on full
Stir
Heat another 2 minutes
Add Vegetables
Cook another 4 minutes
This is where you need to be extra careful as this is extremely hot.
Pour into a strainer to get rid of all the liquid
Place pasta and vegetables back into bowl and add butter or margarine to coat all
Throw in the chicken and tomatoes if using
You can also add cheese (I added Parmesan in the above picture)

If you don't want to use frozen vegetables, you can:

Instead of adding the vegetables at the 5 minute mark, continue to cook the pasta for another 4 minutes (8 minutes total but never let it go more then 3 minutes without stirring or it will bubble over.)  Take it out CAREFULLY and drain out the water.  Add butter, salt and pepper and your fresh vegetables and stir.  You can cook the vegi's if you like but the time will depend on the type of vegetable chosen.  Carrots would need to cook from the beginning, Spinach can go in at the last minute and everything else is in between.

You can also make this into a soup.  After draining the water:

Mix together 1 cup of fresh water with chicken or vegetable bouillon.  Microwave for 1 minute and add to the pasta.  Soup. 

You can also add other seasoning such as:
Garlic
Ginger
Powered onion
Basil
Sage
Lemon Pepper

*If you buy a whole cooked chicken but don't finish it, strip off all the meat.  Devide the meat into portion sizes and place each portion into a sandwich bag.  Once all meat is portioned and in baggies, place all into one larger freezer bag and evac all the air.  Place the date on the one larger bag.  This way you have chicken for soup, pasta, or to roll into a tortilla.
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I used a StirFry frozen mix for this and left over chicken from the night before.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  If you did, leave a comment below.  I also have a YouTube channel where I feature many of my recipes.  If you would like to check it out, click on this link:  Bristlee One

Thank you for stopping by and remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,
Tammie
 
 
One of the items that I missed when I had to go gluten free was Ramen Noodles.  I love ramen noodles and the versatility they could offer in a simple lunch or dinner.  Soon however I discovered that rice noodles, like ramen noodles, could be found.  They are also cheap to buy, not as cheap as the ramen but still $0.79 is not bad at all.  I tend not to use the "flavor" packet, I didn't with the ramen either as they usually have MSG or simply made up of 90% salt (yes I know MSG is a sodium but not all of the packets have MSG just other salts).  Now, if you are living in a dorm room and just have a refrigerator and a microwave, you can still make this dish.  Instead of the fresh vegi's, you can use frozen of your choice.  You can still  have the hard boiled egg and I will show you how below.
I love how simple and clean this meal is and to go vegan by just omitting the egg.  For this lunch, I used spinach, avocado, radish, green onion and cilantro.  Really you can use just about anything.  I don't cook the fresh vegi's.  Once the noodles and egg are done, I just add them to the bowl, push them down and wait maybe 2-5 minutes, depending on how hungry I am.  If you wanted a little more protein, add some cooked chicken or tofu.
Recipe:
Feeds: 1


1 Packet Rice noodles of your choice
2-3 Radishes
2 Green Onions
1/4-1/2 Avocado
1 cup rough chopped Spinach
2 TBSP rough chopped Cilantro
1/4 cup small Cherry Tomatoes 
2 TBSP GF Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 TBSP Hoisin Sauce
1/2 TBSP Sesame Oil
1/2 TBSP Chili Oil
1 1/2 cup Water
1 Egg
Pepper to taste

OR instead of the fresh use (everything else is the same)

1 Cup mixed Frozen Veggi's 

Start by adding the water to a microwavable bowl.
Using the tine of a fork, firmly hold the egg in your hand but do not rest the egg on the hard surface, just in your hand.  Gently poke a hole in the top of the egg.  Not too small, about the width of the tine.  Place in the water and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Take the bowl out, BE CAREFUL it will be hot.
Add the noodles and Frozen Vegi's (if you are using them)
Cook on high another 2 minutes
Using a large spoon, remove the egg and place into a glass of water
Cook noodles for another minute
Crack open egg and place in bowl
Add Hoisin, Sesame and Chili Oils and Soy sauce.  You can also add garlic (minced) and ginger (minced) about a 1/4 teaspoon each.  You can adjust the seasonings for your own taste.

*Word of caution:  While it is easy to microwave the egg to hardboil it, you must poke a hole large enough to relieve pressure but not big enough for all the whites to seep out. Also, do not microwave for the 4 minutes straight, I find that it will still blow up.  It seems to need the short stop in the middle.
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Don't do this, the egg will just break
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Holding it firmly in your hand, poke the hole. The size hole above is perfect
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Place it into the bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, remove and add the noodles and microwave for another 2 minutes. Remove the egg and place into a glass of water or peel it under running cold water.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  If you did, leave a comment below.  I also have a YouTube channel where I feature this and many of my other recipes.  If you would like to check it out, click on this link:  Bristlee One
You can also watch the video above just by clicking on it.  If you like what you see, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.  You won't be disappointed.

Thank you for stopping by and remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,
Tammie
 
 
Don't say "yuck" until you try these bad boys.  I said the same thing when my niece challenged me to make a recipe from  her new favorite food.  I thought "Well, I do like eggplant but what to do with it".  It seemed like such a limited vegetable.  It took me a bit to come up with ideas but now I have several.  I even came up with an appetizer using the Chinese  variety and along the same lines as this recipe.  I also have a "stir fry" that you can add Tofu or meat to.  Her other challenge though was to make it vegetarian as she recently converted.  Hmmmm, that was a bit harder as I am a meatetarian.  I love meat but should be looking at more meatless meals.  Which leads to a whole different problem because I know my son is NOT, in any way shape or form, going to eat a meatless meal.  I've said before that he is a plain meat and taters kid.  He is trying though, he tastes all of the stuff I make.  Some he has loved, some he has liked and a few he wouldn't touch again with a ten foot pole.  Guess you can't win them all.  

Back to eggplant.  I finally had to look up why it's called eggplant and it seems that it was first white and well, shaped like an egg.  Also according to Wikipedia:  "It is known in South AsiaSoutheast Asia and South Africa as brinjal.[1][2][3][4] While "eggplant" is the common name in American, Canadian, and Australian English, "aubergine" is much more common in British English. Other common names are melongene,[5] garden egg,[6]or guinea squash.[7]".  Educational part over.

With all that said, it can be very tasty but if not cooked all the way through, bitter.  The bitterness is due to the seeds, they have the same alkaloid as Tobacco (being somewhat related).  The other nice thing about eggplant, it soaks up flavors while adding it's own subtle delicate flavor.  While the dipping and dunking can take a few more minutes then my normal recipes, it is well worth the work and if you have help, no time at all.  I also know that many others have used the eggplant rounds as pizza's.  I did make them that way without the breading but if cooked all the way through, they tend to fall apart or you have to make them very thick.  I wanted something thinner, like a thin crust pizza.  Yeah, that's why.
Recipe:


1 Large Eggplant (depending on how many people you will feed, One will feed 3-5 people)
3/4 cup Seasoned Bread crumbs (I used a gluten free brand)
3/4 cup AP Flour (I used a gluten free brand)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
15-20 Fresh Basil leafs  rough chopped (optional)
1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes (optional)
(toppings of your choice, cook any meat first if making these none vegetarian)

Sauce:

1 cup Tomato sauce
2 TBSP Ketchup
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Onions, minced
1/4 tsp Chili powder (or less or none at all, depending on your preference) 

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Make the sauce first as you do not want the eggplant rounds to be sitting around while you make the sauce.

In 3 bowls or saucers (salad plates), have your beaten eggs in one, AP flour with Salt and Pepper in another, and the Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese in another.

Have all ingredients ready.

Cut the Eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds
Dip them in the egg
Then flour
Then egg
Then the breadcrumb/cheese mixture
Lay out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
Do this for all the rounds.  One eggplant for me usually is 1 1/2 trays.  I put them all in the oven at the same time.

Place the trays in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Remove from oven and flip over, they should be slightly browned on the bottom.
Sauce the top, then cheddar cheese, then topping of your choice and then mozzarella cheese
Place back in oven for 10 minutes

If you like, after the last 10  minutes, place under the broiler to brown up the cheese a bit.  I know some people don't like this but I do.  It is just an option as they are completely done after the last 10 minutes.

You can also make these vegan by using an egg substitute or lightly spraying with coconut oil between dredging and using vegan cheeses.
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Cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Dip into the egg, then flour, then egg and last the breadcrumb/cheese mixture.
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All ready for the first 10 minute baking
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Flipped over and ready to be sauced, cheesed and topped! Pop back in the oven for 10 minutes and then as an option into the broiler for 2 minutes.
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Sauced, about 1 TBSP per round
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Almost ready for the oven!
Here is a video explaining all the steps.  Enjoy!  If you like it, hit the like button ( the thumbs up) and subscribe to my channel.  
Thanks for stopping by.  If you liked this recipe, leave a comment below!

Always remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,
Tammie