Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs

December 8, 2017
Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs - Soft, creamy risotto filled with veggies and topped with poached eggs is a complete (and delicious) meal

Mid Week Inspiration No. 7:  What do you eat when you're home alone?

Spring Veggie Risotto 17-650x

Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo

With my husband traveling a lot lately .. I'm often reminded of what it's like to cook for one

Certainly, carry-out is an option, although it's something I rarely do. Finding there can be a lot of pleasure in the act of cooking, if only for myself.

Meals like stir-fries or risotto .. that feel too extravagant or stressful to make for a bigger group .. can be perfect for one. Since I love to experiment in the kitchen, nights like this make it easier to try out trickier dishes or techniques. It's nice not to worry about a sweet husband coming home to the smell of something that's gone .. well, terribly awry

They're also the best occasions to make some of the things he isn't quite fond of. Rules? Out the window .. eat breakfast for dinner .. overdress my salad .. dessert is always best when served first (just a few bites though).

Without anyone to witness .. some of life's messier indulgences can also be enjoyed without worry. Like slurping ripe mangos .. sliced summer tomatoes .. or corn on the cob without a constant toothpick

Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs - Soft, creamy risotto filled with veggies and topped with poached eggs is a complete (and delicious) mealBaked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs - Soft, creamy risotto filled with veggies and topped with poached eggs is a complete (and delicious) meal

The first time I remember cooking for myself was probably in high school

Our family had made the move from our farm in northwest Iowa to a college town.   My parents were both full-time students, and my brother and I filled our days with school, sports, and friends (not necessarily in that order)

While the four of us shared a house, because of our schedules, single-serving dinners were the norm all year long. The Schwan's Man was a friend. Sometimes we'd eat together, but unless my Granny was visiting, I can remember only a handful of times we coordinated a meal

And so .. well into the years of having a family of my own, my food knowledge and stovetop creativity were often limited to the handful of dished I could nail in my sleep. Here's lookin' at you, spaghetti with butter and Parmesan cheese

Nonetheless, I picked up a few new kitchen habits during that happy season, when there was always a fresh batch of rice or noodles in the fridge. I fell in love with the starchy, warm goodness of white rice coated in melty cheese (best eaten with ketchup). Or ring noodles, again covered in cheddar (and French dressing)

I bet I've made those two meals hundreds of times

Sometimes now, when I'm home alone, I think about how much I'd love one of those bowls of sweet, cheesy, goodness. I feel the hints of nostalgia and remember peering into the fridge .. coveting someone else's treasure labeled with a post-it: “Do not eat”

But more likely the pleasure is equally the youthful bit about not having to really have or plan a or a proper meal at all .. a chunk of cheese and a box of crackers, or an apple and a jar of almond butter

Or sometimes I’ll just skip dinner and go directly to dessert. Anything from a giant bowl of cherries to a late summer peach. Perhaps a quick batch of date brownies. Biting off a triangle of dark chocolate whilst standing in front of the pantry. A cold glass of Prosecco

Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs - Soft, creamy risotto filled with veggies and topped with poached eggs is a complete (and delicious) meal

And so I've started an unscientific poll of sorts and have been asking everyone I know “What do you eat when you're all by yourself?” A few of my favorites?

“I tend to graze. I love roasted beets with goat cheese. I'll put the beets in the oven, but find myself hungry before they're ready. So I'll snack on olives or crackers, maybe some cured meats or cheese. Or pasta, there's always pasta”

“Arby's sliders. Once a month I stock up on their dollar sliders and keep them in the freezer. Warm one up, along with a veggie side and it's the perfect meal for just me”

“The few times I'm left alone, I generally make a bee-line for the local pizza joint”

“A big plate of taco dip. Layers of refried beans, sour cream + taco seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheddar, and chips for dipping. So, so good!”

“Once the kids are in bed, you'll find me eating an entire bowl of popcorn. I always add olive oil, cracked pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan. If it's summertime, I could eat watermelon and be totally content (with a Bud Light)”

“Hormel chili from the can. My health conscious wife and I have come to an understanding .. some things are best left unsaid”

“Cinnamon-sugar toast. It sounds simple, but it's my favorite. My mom used to make it for me when I was little.

Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs - Soft, creamy risotto filled with veggies and topped with poached eggs is a complete (and delicious) meal

While I don't eat rice with handfuls of melted cheddar melted anymore, this risotto is a pretty close second. It's soft, creamy, filled with veggies and topped with a poached egg.

Making risotto is all about ceremony. The simmering broth, the toasting of the rice, the spooning and stirring, spooning and stirring. The end result is always a dream.

But then there are the times when the idea of standing at the stove and stirring to the perfect consistency is, admittedly daunting. Thus, the baked method. Twenty minutes in the oven, and the rice was cooked to perfection.

It's baked, starchy, savory, bright, and cheesy. Most of all? Completely comforting

Here, I used a combination of peas, edamame, mushrooms, spinach, and leeks. As a liquid? Water, vegetable or chicken broth all will work

It's a wonderful base recipe that you can trick out, depending upon what looks good at the grocery. If you're feeling creative, there are lots of cool things to do with the leftovers as well. Fashion the day-after cold risotto into arancini and either pan-fry or bake them. I've even thinned leftovers out with broth, added beans, and more veggies to make a soup

No matter what you're having to eat at your dinner party for one .. like a favorite sweater or a camera requiring film .. pleasure, not practicality should be the goal. When it's time to eat .. take a break from the usual, pick your favorite plate, light a candle, choose a pretty flower arrangement, beautiful bread .. and pour your bubbly into a wine glass instead of a mason jar.

Play music .. eat slowly .. and

Enjoy every bite!

xoxo

We've discussed signature dishes and ideas for easy weeknight cooking .. but this eating alone business means you get to break all of the rules. What do you eat when you're sure no one else is watching?

 

ps:  For more Midweek Inspiration:  In need of some healthy snacking ideas? .. Advice about weight loss and loving yourself right where you are? .. Inspiration from other readers to help you through the week?

 

Pin For Later

 

~ Idea from Bon Appetit .. here

~ Method for baking risotto from The Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland

5.0 from 23 reviews
Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (fresh or frozen, thawed and cooked)
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen, thawed and cooked)
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • ½ pound chanterelles or crimini (baby Bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter, divided (** or coconut oil)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large leeks .. whites and pale greens only, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 4.5 cups chicken broth (** or vegetable broth or hot water)
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, trimmed and leaves torn (or any green of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + more for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives + more for serving
Instructions
  1. Risotto
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F
  3. In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbsp clarified butter
  4. Add the leeks and garlic
  5. Cook, stirring frequently until the leeks are soft and translucent (~3 minutes)
  6. Add the rice and stir to coat with the clarified butter
  7. Add the wine and cook until most of it has evaporated (~ 1 or 2 minutes more)
  8. Stir in 4 cups of the chicken stock, a healthy pinch sea salt, and a grind or two of pepper
  9. Bring to a boil
  10. Cover and transfer to the oven.
  11. Bake on the bottom rack for 25 minutes.
  12. After 25 minutes, check the risotto (most of the liquid should be absorbed and the rice just cooked)

  13. Prepare Mushrooms
  14. While the risotto is baking, saute the mushrooms
  15. Over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp clarified butter in a large skillet.
  16. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender (~ 5 minutes)
  17. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, along with edamame and peas

  18. Poach Eggs - (10 or 15 minutes before the risotto is done)
  19. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat.
  20. Add vinegar.
  21. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water.
  22. Repeat with 2 more eggs.
  23. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny (~ 3-4 minutes)
  24. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water.
  25. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

  26. Finish and Serve
  27. Remove the risotto from the oven and stir in another ½ cup chicken broth, butter, spinach, greek yogurt, parmesan, ¼ cup chives, and the reserved edamame, peas, and mushrooms.
  28. Stir until the greens are wilted and the cheese has melted (~ 2 minutes)
  29. Divide risotto among bowls and top with poached eggs, and chives
  30. Enjoy!
Notes
Nutritional Data by %
% Protein: 19
% Carbs: 56
% Fat: 5
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ Total Recipe Calories: 359 Fat: 7.12 Carbohydrates: 50.94 Sugar: 3.14 Protein: 17.38

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96 Comments

  • Reply ALISHA December 7, 2017 at 6:25 am

    I love hearing about people’s “solo food” (seems to be something that’s especially prevalent among women). Mine is usually avocado toast (Smitten Kitchen style) maybe with a fried egg, cacio e pepe pasta, or if I’m feeling too lazy for either of those, cereal with blueberries and almond milk. Definitely done bread/cheese or popcorn too!

  • Reply Jhoan December 7, 2017 at 6:50 am

    When I am home alone I tend to forgo complete meals and find myself snacking in front of the refrigerator. (Awful, I know) Rolling turkey slices around my boyfriend’s big martini olives. Dipping crunchy pickles in blue cheese dressing. Spooning horseradish on pretzels. Scooping up chocolate pudding with potato chips. Wrapping slices of rare roast beef around mustard dipped string cheese …

  • Reply Beth December 7, 2017 at 9:52 am

    A great brie with a crusty loaf of bread and fresh fruit. Pop in a movie, turn on the tree lights and let it sparkle!

  • Reply Mama Writes Reviews December 7, 2017 at 10:40 am

    My husband isn’t a vegetable eater, so when I am home alone, I like to eat healthy. I’ll roast a butternut squash with some cinnamon and maple syrup or roast a selection of veggies: fennel, shiitakes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, red peppers, eggplant (whatever is seasonal) tossed with olive oil and balsamic. They caramelize so nicely. I also like the tomato soup and grilled cheese combo (so comforting), but “update” it with some prosciutto and grainy mustard on the sandwich.

  • Reply Agness of Run Agness Run December 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    This might sound crazy, but I also have a whole variety of appetizers I pick up at Costco and horde just for myself. Petite quiches, scallops wrapped in bacon, spring rolls, spanakopita, crab cakes. What can I say? Although every once in a while, when I’m overcome with longing for childhood, I’ll make porridge so thick you’d have to wrestle it from the pan by holding the pan down. Spread a thick layer over the bottom of a generous soup plate, top that with a layer of Kellog’s All-Bran cereal, top that with a generous layer of brown sugar, then float whole milk over the top. Do not stir! Just eat it like pudding. It’s the stuff dreams are made of!

  • Reply Vishal Vashisht December 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I usually pray there are some forgotten leftovers in the fridge, but barring that: a can of tuna with some cut up veggies and a big blob of mayo and Grey Poupon. Wasa crackers with very sharp cheddar and an avocado quarter (olive oil drizzle or Grey Poupon). Scrambled eggs; apple slices and peanut butter. To any and all, add wine or cocktail that suits. 🙂

  • Reply Katie December 8, 2017 at 3:29 am

    I’ll be honest, if it is just me eating I tend to be very lazy! I’ll either grab a takeout (usually something that no one else likes so wouldnt normally get otherwise!) Else I end up snacking on junk – doh! Or I go to the other extreme and make myself a healthy smoothie to have instead of cooking!!!

  • Reply Fritha Strickland December 8, 2017 at 6:41 am

    If I’m alone I don’t really tend to make the effort to make a proper meal, I usually just go for some simple comfort food or things my husband doesn’t like like Pesto! x

  • Reply Alli Smith December 8, 2017 at 6:55 am

    When I’m home alone, I usually eat a rice and veggie bowl. It’s easy to throw together and there’s not much cleanup. Sometimes I’ll make Black Bean Chili because I like it way more than my husband does. He’s all about the meat.

  • Reply Amber Myers December 8, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Usually, I’ll make a veggie omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and honey goat cheese because no one else in my family would come within ten feet of them in their eggs. Other options include a bowl of cereal, avocado toast, or a box of Triscuits with roasted red pepper hummus from the Co-op. Yum!

  • Reply Carissa December 8, 2017 at 8:50 am

    What is it about a beautiful picture of a poached egg that makes my mouth water?! This is exactly the meal I’m going to make for myself next time my husband is away on a trip. I want to be on my couch, wrapped in a cozy blanket, watching Netflix with a big bowl of this deliciousness. Heaven.

  • Reply Sabrina December 8, 2017 at 9:32 am

    My go to is a slice of sourdough, toasted, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, and topped with roasted garlic hummus, diced red bell peppers, sunflower seeds and spicy sprouts and finished with a sprinkle of Hot Shot (ground black and red pepper). So very satisfying!

  • Reply Tomi C December 8, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I hate to confess my foodie sin but I love to indulge in a thick juicy homemade cheeseburger piled high with pickles, onions and ketchup. I don’t indulge as much as I am watching my weight and trying to lead a healthier lifestyle but a homemade cheeseburger is my guilty foodie pleasure.

  • Reply Aileen Adalid December 8, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I started cooking more when I started living with my ex. I always went all out when cooking for the both of us so when I am home alone, I tend to indulge in all those junk food I like HAHAHA. Guilty pleasures. It’s great to learn how you eat too when you’re home alone!

    Speaking of which, this risotto is to die for!

  • Reply Emma December 8, 2017 at 10:22 am

    This was the perfect time to read this post . I am on my own tonight and that means I am normally rubbsish about cooking myself something. I see it as a faff. However, like you say, I need to see it as a time to experiment and be indulgent with my cooking. Instead of eating straight out of a sweetcorn tin I feel inspired to try this. I love Risotto and will cook it for all of us but never just for me. This one sounds so delicious and I really like the fact that it goes in the oven. Means I can watch an episode of The Crown as it cooks

  • Reply chagazoulou chagazetvous December 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

    My husband is sometimes also on the move … but I’m never really alone because I have my 2 young children and I am “obliged” to cook for them.
    But I admit … for me … I make myself a little dish “special” …
    As a French girl, it’s often a TV-set with cheese and good bread (sometimes homemade by my husband before leaving). Or a big jar of yogurt.
    I do not think to make me risottos but these photos have made me want too !!
    I confess that now, I will pay more attention to what I eat when my husband is away, but as always, if I eat the dessert (and the dessert in several portions), I will not feel guilty 😀

  • Reply Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh December 8, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I love poaching eggs. It makes me feel all chef-like. Hehe. With that being said, when I’m home alone, I’ll cut up a potato, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, olive oil, rosemary, and a half of a shallot. A little while in the toaster oven until it’s done. The ultimate comfort food for winter.

  • Reply Rhian Westbury December 8, 2017 at 11:12 am

    When I am home alone I like to do big bakes and hearty food, and anything with cheese in as my boyfriend doesn’t like cheese (i know strange boy!) x

  • Reply candy December 8, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I try not keep junk food when I am by myself because that is what I will always turn to. Keeping a supply of freshly fruits and vegetables on hand works for me.

  • Reply Lisa Favre December 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    I keep a batch of homemade tomato sauce in the freezer. It’s quick and easy to thaw and perfect on pasta. Also toast and all its toppings (avocado forever!). Also canned, drained chickpeas, semi-mashed with lemon juice, Parmesan, s+p, and maybe some minced parsley. It’s best eaten with crackers. Yum!

  • Reply Samantha Donnelly December 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I am terrible at cooking for myself which luckily is not very often, I usually have meals that I have frozen down so that I can have an easy home cooked meal

  • Reply tara pittman December 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I seldom get the house to myself but when I do I enjoy cooking for one. I love poached eggs on oatmeal.

  • Reply John F December 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Toast with two fried eggs on top, possibly with hot sauce and ketchup. To make it, I toast the bread, fry eggs in butter (I have one pan that fits them perfectly), and top them with a squiggle of ketchup and a pop of hot sauce. So, so good!

  • Reply aly mashrah December 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I tend to eat things my husband doesn’t like and I love. If I’m cooking for myself after a long day, I’ll make things like omelets, a “big” salad filled with stuff like beets, goat cheese, etc. pasta with vegies, or have a little “appetizers” party all by myself. If I have more time, I’ll cook up a proper meal with fish as the main dish–he is not a fan. When I just don’t feel like cooking, I get sushi or Indian food (he won’t eat either).

  • Reply Melanie December 8, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I eat like a college student when my husband isn’t home. I’ll eat the kids’ leftovers or leftovers from dinners nights ago or something out of the freezer. I would be unbelievably unhealthy if I lived by myself!

  • Reply Monica Parlee December 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I make Ramen noodles & then throw in an egg to poach it. Decadent & easy peasy. 🙂 My husband? Pork n beans right out of the can.

  • Reply Janet December 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Cottage cheese with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of nuts. Cottage cheese with my homemade applesauce, nuts, and raisins. Pasta with my homemade marinara sauce or pesto, both of which are always in the freezer. And, of course, bacon and eggs. Truly, is there anything better than bacon and eggs?

  • Reply Sarah Bailey December 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    I struggle with things to eat alone and often even when it is the two of us, so these are some good ideas.

  • Reply Monica Parlee December 8, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I make variations on corn chowder. Start with a can of creamed corn, a small can of corn and milk or half-and-half. From there, choose your add-in – canned tuna or salmon, cooked sausage, kosher hot dogs, spinach, shrimp, chicken – pretty much anything you want. Heat it up and sprinkle something crunchy on top – croutons, chips, fried onions. Quick, easy, and seriously bliss.

  • Reply five little doves December 8, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Oh wow this looks amazing! My husband was away earlier this week and I didn’t have the energy to cook, I had cheese on toast and a big bar of chocolate. I enjoyed it too!

  • Reply Ericka December 8, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Always eggs. Shirred, poached, scrambled. Best for dinner after vodka! xx

  • Reply Chrissy Faery December 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Whenever I’m home alone I always make the spiciest curry imaginable! Nobody else in my family enjoys food as hot and spicy as I like it, so it’s always a real treat for me to have some when they’re not around! 🙂 xx

  • Reply Jenn @ EngineerMommy December 8, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    When I’m home alone, I do make really easy platters for myself. I include my favorite things: some sliced grilled chicken, some cheese, olives, artichokes,… kind of like a deconstructed salad, I guess.

  • Reply jhilmil December 8, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Situation goes the same for me, from past one month, my hubby has been travelling a lot and I’m home alone but with my 3year old son. SO I really need to make meals nutritious for him. This Risotto idea looks great and I can experiment the next week, he goes to Shanghai. I usually involve myself with a bowl of salad or fruits and date cookies are my fav these days.

  • Reply Censie Sawyer December 8, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Oh man cooking for one is so hard!! Now that I am working from home, I am “cooking” for one for my lunch. I dont know why, but it is really hard for me to do even for lunch. This bowl you made looks amazing and I could totally enjoy this for my lunches.

  • Reply valmg @ Mom Knows It All December 9, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Popcorn, wine, chocolate while watching a good movie is my go-to dinner comfort ‘meal.’ I love that Judith Jones cookbook “Cooking for One.” Definite dinner goals if I were eating alone regularly. Love Deborah Madison as well-I own all of her cookbooks. Have a great weekend, Ali! xo

  • Reply Melanie December 9, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Ooo I love a nice pizza or a winter warmer chilli. Also sweet treats like brownies x

  • Reply Elizabeth December 9, 2017 at 1:42 am

    I am such a big fan of poached eggs. I like mine in a spicy shakshuka with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the juices. 🙂

  • Reply Emman Damian December 9, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Cacio e pepe! Cheap, delicious, soothing. We usually have all of the ingredients around.

  • Reply Jenni December 9, 2017 at 2:38 am

    I tend to make a super buttery egg-in-a-hole and use the little cut-out piece of toast as a vehicle for my mom’s homemade strawberry jam. I also make scrambled egg tacos a lot. But by far, my favorite thing is roasted chickpeas with olive oil and lots of red pepper flakes + and a cold beer!

  • Reply Kara December 9, 2017 at 3:44 am

    That looks delicious and so easy to do. I must admit I am a lazy cook when I am home alone

  • Reply kirsty December 9, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I used to hate cooking for one when my husband was working away so I never really had dinner but grabbed cereal instead. Now he’s home I love being in the kitchen making meals from scratch! My favourite to make is a roast dinner. I love the sound of the risotto as it’s something I’ve never tried. Maybe I should give it a go.

  • Reply Aziel Morte December 9, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Love this topic so much! Some of my faves are a small white fish filet cooked with brown butter, warm granola out of the oven, and soft cheese on oatcakes.

  • Reply Joanna December 9, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I’m pretty much alone most of the dinner times so I cook just for myself. I sometimes just throw whatever is in the fridge in a pan and make a stir fry or a sauce for some pasta. I always keep pizza in my freezer, for those nights when I don’t have the energy to cook. From time to time though I like to seek recipes and cook a fancy meal, even if it’s just for myself. My latest was slow cooked pork in apple and cider sauce.

  • Reply Nikki December 9, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Oh my goodness, that looks delicious! I don’t eat anything quite so fancy when it’s just me. I usually just make personal pizzas out of English muffins or something super simple. Sometimes I eat cheese tortellini with butter and Parmesan cheese. That’s one of my favorite quick meals and I’m really the only one who eats it.

  • Reply Sue Reddel December 9, 2017 at 9:52 am

    When I’m alone I usually like to make an old-school grilled cheese and tomato basil soup. American cheese just like the ones my Mom used to make. Although I have to admit that I don’t use white bread anymore! I love your photo of the veggie risotto makes me want to make it tonight.

  • Reply Akamatra December 9, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Eggs and Dakos salad every time. My husband says I could live on that alone. I like to tell him his always right!

  • Reply fashionandstylepolice December 9, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I love hearing about people’s “solo food” Mine is usually avocado toast (Smitten Kitchen style) maybe with a fried egg, cacio e pepe pasta, or if I’m feeling too lazy for either of those, cereal with blueberries and almond milk. Definitely done bread/cheese or popcorn too!

  • Reply Ruth I. December 9, 2017 at 11:57 am

    When I’m at home alone, I feel so lazy to cook I always end up eating whatever is available like cereal, bread or egg. I always love egg on my meal. This looks so delicious!

  • Reply soonjoo December 9, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    To cook for one person is challenging to me. When my husband travels or come late at home, I do make myself quick noodle soup or simple salad or if I’m really really lazy to cook I’ll grab bite on the way home from work. But it doesn’t taste the same when you cook for yourself and eat alone. Never thought of risotto! That’s a treat! I’ll try to remember when I need to cook for myself:) thank you for inspiration!

  • Reply Kita Bryant December 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    A night home alone for dinner happens so very rarely that I even plan ahead (because I’m so excited!). I love making any sort of veggie hash/scramble on top of a turmeric and chickpea flour “pancake.” Or any excuse to eat raw salmon!! Poke bowls make frequent appearances. Pretty much always followed by some really good chocolate and tea;)

  • Reply Sheena Tatum December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Sounds wonderful. Looking around today for a good, comforting dish to bring to a friend who’s just had a big loss. I think this will be perfect for her. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply Fatima Torres December 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Ali, have you read the book “Alone in the Kitchen With an Eggplant?” I absolutely adore it! It was published by my company during my first summer working for them and I read it this great season of self-discovery: my first apartment, job, grown-up life. I can still remember reading it with great joy and on my first evening in my new “adult” (read: super tiny, Brooklyn, three roommates, plus mice) apartment I made beans and rice for dinner. It was inspired by the essay by Steve Almond (I think it was him) because beans and rice felt like the quintessential thrifty twenty-something dinner.

  • Reply Surekha December 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    You sounded like my mom here (sorry if that offended you anyway) my brother and me were experiment rats for my mom whenever my dad was out of town. Those days meals were always one serving and it would be something fancy and recipe from one of her favorite cooking channel episode. I love every single vegetarian recipe you put on the blog. I pinned it for later. I am going to try this in one of my free weekends since I always have the ingredients that you mentioned on your recipe. Can I replace mushroom with anything?

  • Reply eliza December 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Yeah , I agree – when its time to eat, we should savor rather than just taste. Enjoy, what we have on table and always be thankful with people who you dine with.

  • Reply corinne & kirsty December 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I rarely have a night where I eat alone, but when my boyfriend is out of town, I either order in sushi or make an omelet with cheese, onions, and mushrooms (All of which he’s not a big fan of!).

  • Reply Nichola - Globalmouse December 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Yum, looks lovely! My go-to when I’m home alone is always mac and cheese, I love it but always feel a bit guilty eating it!

  • Reply Jen December 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Sadly it is all too often that I find myself eating by myself. I tend to feed the children around 5, but it isn’t the right time for me, and the husband is out, so I find I often skip dinner. However, if I am eating, I tend to make fairly simple dishes like pasta or a rice dish. Usually involving stir frying vegetables and quorn. I think if other people saw my diet, they would think it to be very boring.

  • Reply Bonnie G December 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Love your blog, my online friend! My go-to for eating solo is a Trader Joe’s Cowboy Burger (spicy black bean + quinoa patty) with slices of avocado, sometimes an egg over-easy, and spicy salsa. It’s super quick, packed with flavor and really good for you. I love having the night off of cooking though, so usually, our local sushi restaurant gets a call when my husband is out of town. xo

  • Reply Nikka Shae December 9, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    If I can remember the first meal I cooked for myself was scrambled eggs. Boy, how does time changes as popcorn is now my first choice. Oh and maybe some cheese and don’t forget a glass of wine!

  • Reply Britney December 9, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    My husband and I don’t have kids yet, so eating alone isn’t as rare a thing. That being said, my husband does all of our cooking, so when it’s just me, I’ll probably make an almond butter/banana/greek yogurt smoothie (dinner + dessert all in one!) or scramble some eggs with sauteed spinach or whatever greens we have in the crisper. Fun conversation and I’m loving all of the ideas! x

  • Reply The Blonde Diary December 9, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    This looks delish! I’m a lazy eater, which means I rarely cook for myself. My boyfriend travels a lot and that doesn’t help my eating habits at all. I tend to go for easy meals when he is not home. I eat a lot of salads with veggie patties. I’ve been trying forever to step up my eating habits but no luck so far.

  • Reply Ankit December 10, 2017 at 12:39 am

    I always rely on my old stand-by: pasta. My home alone routine goes something like this: I stop at the market on my way home, make a bee-line for the cherry tomatoes and basil. (I’d like to say I use organic tomatoes from my garden that I canned in the summer, but since I’m confessing, I’d feel wrong telling a lie) One I make it home and feed the cat, I start orzo I keep stock-piled in the pantry, stir in the tomatoes (cut in half if I’m feeling fancy, but I’m usually not) into the still-warm pasta, toss in some torn basil and a bit of olive oil. It’s best eaten with a spoon out of a huge bowl (and by bowl I mean the pot I cooked it in). A little piece of heaven, if you ask me!

  • Reply Elinor hill aka Beach Hut Cook December 10, 2017 at 3:02 am

    I love cooking for people and I’m a real feeder but when it’s just me I am shocking. I am quite happy with a bowl of porridge. Is that bad for a food writer to admit?

  • Reply Bobbi December 10, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Instant ramen with a couple of fried eggs. Fried Spam. Scallions. Frozen peas. It’s budget-conscious, takes only ten minutes, and is incredibly good!

  • Reply Rachel December 10, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I find when eating alone I tend to make worse food choices. When my other halves around I find it easier to behave, and I love cooking together ^^ Risotto is one of my favourite meals though, this sounds delicious!

  • Reply Eloise December 10, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Egg in a hole! Between my roommates and myself, one of us always has eggs, and bread can always be found somewhere within the depths of the freezer. I’m I’m lucky, there might be some left-over herbs in the fridge that I can sprinkle on top to feel better about myself. x

  • Reply Razena December 10, 2017 at 10:03 am

    I’ve been cooking for one for around 11 yrs now and over the years it’s gone from quick Thai curries to Grilled salmon and salad to Grilled cheese sandwiches. More often than not though I get home and don’t feel inclined to cook if I’ve had a big lunch, and end up having some fruit or a handful of nuts. When I’m having PMS I usually opt for vanilla ice cream with salt and vinegar crisps.

  • Reply Hannah December 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    I’m one of those who loves to graze from the pantry and the refrigerator. If there are leftovers, I’ll start with those. Then move on to on cheese, nuts, popcorn, cereal and graham crackers. And once I’m done with those, I’ve gotta have something sweet – anything. xx

  • Reply Sarmistha Goswami December 10, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I am not the type who would ever cook just for myself! When my husband travels (which is not very frequently) I take resort to takeaways or convenient packaged food! I love this recipe but no, am never going to make it when am home alone…ha…ha!

  • Reply Adrienne December 10, 2017 at 11:32 am

    This looks absolutely delicious. I am trying so hard to master cooking poached eggs but they never seem to come out right. I guess practice makes perfect. My husband would love this recipe!

  • Reply Charlotte December 10, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Eggs are one of my favourite things to cook because they are so diverse, I think a poached egg is a bit tricky but delicious if you can get it right. I don’t think I have ever considered it with risotto before!

  • Reply Jazmin Williams December 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I make a really brothy shrimp scampi type dish with butter, lots of garlic, wine, and olive oil and some feta cheese thrown in for good measure. The shrimp serve as a sort of delicious vehicle everything else. I eat the whole thing with a spoon like you would soup. I smell like garlic for days, but it’s totally worth it.

  • Reply Cyn Gagen December 10, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    That sounds really delicious and is the perfect kind of meal for me. I live in the downstairs apartment of a house that I own – my daughter and son in law live upstairs. Some meals are bigger communal ones but often I just fend for myself (I tend to prefer less processed foods than they do). I often make up batches of gnocchi and keep some in the freezer for later – I can pull out enough for myself and top it with a wee bit of melted butter, a little lemon juice and rind, and lots of freshly cracked pepper. Yum. Or I’ll put together a quesadilla with leftovers from the fridge. Or sometimes, I just poach an egg and eat it with a piece of fruit and a slice of toast. Simple but tasty.

  • Reply Claudia Krusch December 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs looks so delicious. I am excited to give it a try. I will have to get the ingredients I need to make some this week. I am sure it will be a big hit.

  • Reply Sarah December 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Another great book on this topic is Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin’s “What We Eat When We Eat Alone” When cooking just for myself, I’ll gravitate towards pasta with veggies and chicken. I’ll add more greens (spinach, kale, etc) than I normally would since my husband doesn’t *love* a ton of greens. I’m so excited to reading through these comments to inspire me to branch out!

  • Reply Dogvills December 10, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    When I am alone in the house, I do not cook. I either reach for a bowl of instant spicy beef ramen or get a burger and fries. If there are left overs in the fridge, then I reheat them and that would be another meal option for me. Thanks for the risotto recipe. That looks so good!

  • Reply Aditi December 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    So agree with bending the rules while your partner is traveling! I love eating cereal for dinner on rushed nights.

  • Reply Sheri December 11, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Before getting married and still today I hate to cook for one. I make a nice meal then ask myself why go through all the trouble. Now when I am alone, which is almost never, I make simple and quick meals.

  • Reply Ut Minh December 11, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I usually prepare my breakfast with pasta, tomato sauce, a fried egg and a few vegetables. I have not thought of combining Baked Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs. I really need this dish to change my breakfast taste.
    I keep track of your recipes, it’s great for me!

  • Reply London Mumma December 11, 2017 at 5:18 am

    When I am home alone, I too always reach for that tub of ice cream, I think heck with it, why cook when I can order in. Which I should not really do, but this risotto does look quite tempting.

  • Reply Irena December 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

    I also cook every day for my family. I have 3 kids and I try to cook healthy food for them. So when I’m alone(which is rare), I usually cook something that I really love, but it’s not healthy.? It’s sort of like my comfort food:-)

  • Reply Farrah Less December 11, 2017 at 8:32 am

    MY husband and I works full time but despite of our busy schedule I make sure I cook meal for us. Since eating out is pricey its hard to keep up of the calories your taking. Indeed a lot of work but its a matter of time management. Veggies and fruits are the most grocery shopping money we spend for.

  • Reply Katie December 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I love cooking for myself. I’ll often whip something up then store the leftovers in the freezer. Tonight my boyfriend is out at band practice so I’ve made myself a curry with all the trimmings. Leftovers will keep me fed for a few days now.

    Katie xoxo

  • Reply Jazmin Williams December 11, 2017 at 9:11 am

    This sounds so good! I’m usually lazy when I’m on my own and make pasta, but this has inspired me.

  • Reply Anosa Malanga December 11, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I don’t know yet how it feels like when you have a husband, however, I can still relate to this. Shall I say, when, my parents or family is out or whenever I am at my flat. Most of the time I get so lazy and tend to order food or eat outside than to cook. But now, I am trying to cook more often.

  • Reply Super Busy Mum December 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    This sounds amazing, and two things I have never tried together before!

  • Reply Ada December 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I’ll grab a bag of frozen veggies out of the freezer, toss them in the microwave, and sprinkle some cider vinegar and garlic powder on them when they’re done. While waiting, I’m eating slices of cheese or, yes, peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon.

    • Reply Ana De- Jesus December 20, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      That actually sounds rather delicious Ada! I love the sound of veggies with vinegar and garlic powder it sounds like a quick and easy meal to have!Oh and I adore eating slices of cheese randomly at night! Haha I am such a cheese fiend x

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus December 11, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I am definitely guilty of having these ‘meal for one’ type dishes and yes I can confirm that spaghetti with butter and Parmesan cheese and sometimes with ketchup is indeed a thing! I have not actually had it in a while but I am trying to have food that has more nutritional value so this baked vegetable risotto with poached eggs is a fab idea. I love poached eggs too x

  • Reply Sharon Koenig December 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I actually am not a fan of cooking. I love eating healthy but it’s the clean up that I abhor. So when I’m alone, which is almost never since I’m a single mom, I would probably whip up a green smoothy followed by sweet potato fries and finish off with some noshing of nuts and fruit. The clean up is super easy and that is what this mama needs more of. 😉

  • Reply Jana Carrero December 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    This risotto looks amazing, Alison! I am not a huge fan of cooking, so I tend to go for quick salads, or ordering comfort foods when I’m alone. I must say that this looks like something I’ll try making though, especially now that I’m going through a hard break-up and will be spending a lot more time alone. So anything to keep the mind busy and the tummy happy 🙂

  • Reply Kristina December 12, 2017 at 3:48 am

    I can’t cook to save my life so my solo food is very simple like rice and chicken but it’s my fave any time of the year!

  • Reply Mjchristine December 12, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Cacio e pepe is my go-to no matter if I’m home alone or just too busy to cook much of anything else. If I’m not feeling the best, I’ll grate an entire clove of garlic into the situation. If I’m feeling fancy, a few cherry tomatoes and some basil. But the basic ingredients are always in my house and very quick and easy to whip up: capellini, Pecorino Romano and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano, black pepper, and olive oil. Plus, clean-up is minimal. What’s not to love? x

  • Reply Daria December 14, 2017 at 9:48 am

    This looks delicious!!! I usually just snack? I know horrible… Your page has some yummie and healthy recipes!! Love that

  • Reply Nina December 17, 2017 at 6:09 am

    If I don’t have at least one bag of dumplings in my freezer at home, I move through the world burdened by a lingering low-level anxiety. Between those and a bag of my boyfriend’s Trader Joe’s potstickers, I have a never-fail insurance policy against got-home-late hunger and got-home-later drunkenness!

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