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Romantic Meals for One: 5 Quick Toaster Oven Recipes

Romantic Meals for One: 5 Quick Toaster Oven Recipes

    Are you facing a Valentine’s Day alone? Feeling left out because the most romantic meals for the day are geared for, well…two?

    Well, if you are dining solo for the day and you have a toaster oven…never fear, we have some delicious treats you can cook up in flash. These are guaranteed tasty treats, and the bonus is there’s no leftovers to taunt you from the dark corners of the fridge the next day!

    1. Panko Crusted Salmon Fillet

    •  1 salmon fillet, approx 6 ounces
    • 2-3 Tablespoons panko crumbs
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
    • Finely grated lemon zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
    • salt and pepper

    Toaster oven setting: 425 degrees

    Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon fillet. Lightly grease the baking sheet for your toaster oven.

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    Place the salmon fillet on the baking sheet and brush with the mayonnaise, so the entire fillet is lightly coated.

    Mix the panko crumbs, chives, parsley, lemon and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well and pat the crumbs evenly over the top of the salmon fillet.

    Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes until the salmon is medium-rare.

    Serve with a tossed green salad.

    2. Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Frittata

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup finely julienned zucchini (about 1/2 small zucchini)
    • 2 Tablespoons finely sliced roasted red pepper
    • 1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (or 1 tablespoon grated)
    • 1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence (or thyme)
    • Pinch of salt and pepper

    Toaster oven setting: 400 degrees

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    Crack the eggs into a small bowl, mix well with a small whisk or a fork.

    Pour the mixture into an oiled small cast iron skillet (6” across), or a creme brulee dish.

    Bake for 8-10 minutes until the frittata is just set in the centre.

    3. Garlic Prawns

    • 1 dozen large prawns
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon

    Toaster oven setting: 450 degrees

    Peel and devein the prawns, if not done already.

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    Toss the prawns in a small bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest and garlic. Let sit 30 minutes to allow the garlic to absorb the flavours. Place the prawns on the toaster oven baking sheet. Roast until pink and just beginning to firm up, about 5-6 minutes.

    Serve with roasted sweet potato and a tossed green salad.

    4. Roasted Sweet Potato

    • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2” dice (approximately 1 cup)
    • 1/2 small onion, cut into 1/2” dice (approx 1/4 cup)
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Toaster oven setting: 400 degrees

    In a small bowl, toss the sweet potato with the onion, salt and pepper and olive oil.

    Place the sweet potato on the toaster oven baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the sweet potato is soft.

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    5. Fresh Berry Marscapone Gratinee

    • 1/2 cup fresh berries – slice strawberries, raspberries or
    • 1/4 cup marscapone cheese
    • 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1 Tablespoon Marsala wine (or brandy)
    • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (or light brown sugar)

    Toaster oven setting: Broil

    Arrange the fresh berries in a gratinee dish (or a shallow heat-proof bowl).

    In a small bowl, mix together the marscapone cheese with the heavy cream and Marsala until smooth and spoonable. Spoon the marscapone cheese mixture over the fresh berries, and sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the top.

    Broil until lightly browned and bubbling on the top, about 2 minutes.

    Conclusion

    I suggest whipping a couple of these up, and enjoying over a good movie. My picks? Something along the lines of “Snatch”. Or if you are looking for a love story with a twist, try “Delicatessen”. (Just wait until after you’ve eaten to hit “play” on this one…)

    (Photo credit: A frozen pizza heats in the oven via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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