In October of 2011, when I found myself single again after several years of cohabitation with another Sagittarius (one day I’ll learn…) cooking for one again was kind of challenging. I’d gotten used to making huge batches of stuff or at least not scrambling to come up with different ways to use up leftovers. Though I’d like to tell you I eventually changed my ways, I would be totally full of s*** if I said that. It’s hard to go back after living with a well-stocked fridge. Gone are the days of a fridge consisting only of cheese, white wine, and guava preserves (don’t ask).
One advantage to cooking for one is that it’s easier to anticipate how much you’ll need to buy, since you’re the only one who’s going to be eating xyz. There are some items that are easy to buy in smaller quantities, but for certain things like whole fruits and veggies or certain cuts of meal or fish, it’s not always doable. Take, for example, the much-loved kabocha squash. I like to think of kabocha as pumpkin’s sweet yet sassy little cousin. The Hip One at the (adult) Kids’ Tablee very Thanksgiving.
If pumpkin is
Anyway. There’s really no getting around a whole squash. Sometimes a single gal will luck out and find a cute little one that’s good for a couple servings, but more often than not, when you buy one of these, you’re looking at a five-day commitment. And orange palms when it’s all over, thanks to the mega beta-carotene load. Some things are totally worth it, though, such as kabocha.
I like to start off with a simple steamed kabocha squash. I just prick the outside with a fork a few times and cook in the microwave for ~10 minutes at a time until it’s soft enough to slice open and scoop the seeds from. Then I just peel and cut the flesh (insides/squash-meat) into cubes for later use. You can totally do slices or chunks instead of cubes—I just hate the word “chunks.”
So now you’re got all this f***ing squash to use up. Awesome. Let’s chat on Day 3. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1.) As is, with roasted Brussels sprouts & pork chops (or tofu or fish or whatever)
2.) Cut up and tossed into salad. I highly recommend warm kale salad for this one, but it’s also fantastic with arugula and goat cheese.
3.) In a smoothie. Add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and a date or 1 tsp maple syrup to milk and yogurt. Blend with ice.
4.) In risotto. The kabocha sort of melts in as you cook it—nice!
5.) In oatmeal. Similar to the risotto, the squash blends right in. Add some spices, top with your favorite nut butter, and you’re good to go!
How do you deal with leftovers?