I don’t know about you all, but I’m not a big fan of cooking—like, really cooking—a single meal for myself. And my husband travels quite a bit for work, so that can be problematic. Most evenings, I come up with something easy that only requires a single pot or a couple of dishes, or I cook something that will give me a few days of leftovers. I just can’t bring myself to dirty a whole stack of dishes for one little meal, you know?
A couple of weeks ago, I was on my own, and my refrigerator and pantry had reached a pathetic state. It’s not that I didn’t have anything—I just didn’t have enough of anything to really create a meal. And so, like all great chefs, I improvised. I took the remnants of three boxes of whole-wheat pasta and put it all together, and steamed up a big bag of broccoli and a tomato.
I had the tiniest little amount of alfredo sauce in a jar in the fridge—not nearly enough to cover a bowl of pasta and broccoli, and, you know, alfredo isn’t the most diet-friendly option, anyway, so I poured half a container of low-fat cottage cheese in a pot with the alfredo sauce and boom. Magic. It slashed the fat and calories, bumped up the protein, and was delicious enough that, when I made it a week later for my husband, he wolfed it down. And this is a man who loves his creamy alfredo sauce.
Some of my favorite recipes are the ones that are created out of necessity, and this is no exception. That is, if you can call mixing cottage cheese with alfredo sauce and pouring it on pasta and veggies a recipe. But, there are ways to mix it up—I like dousing mine with a generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, and you could easily add lemon, cracked black pepper, chicken…whatever rocks your boat.
Have you ever come up with a go-to recipe because there was nothing left in your fridge and you didn’t feel like hitting the supermarket? —Kristen