Biz Velatini's new cookbook is full of recipes for single diners with zero leftovers

  • "Cooking for One" is the newest cookbook from columnist and blogger Biz Velatini.

    "Cooking for One" is the newest cookbook from columnist and blogger Biz Velatini. Courtesy of Robbye Jepsen Photography

 
 
Posted9/14/2022 6:00 AM

Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to cook for oneself without having to eat the same meal for a week?

That's the impetus for the new cookbook "Cooking for One" written by My Bizzy Kitchen columnist and blogger Biz Velatini of Cary.

 

"Cooking for One" is Velatini's second cookbook in a series co-authored by her daughter Hannah Edinger. Written especially for Weight Watchers members, the easy recipes use readily available ingredients and are for anyone cooking for one.

"Well, it's geared to one person, but you know not everyone lives alone, or you might have a spouse that travels, or you're making lunch for yourself, or you cook for yourself and do something else for the family," Velatini said. "And it's designed to have no leftovers."

There are recipes that serve two, four or six, but all these either freeze well or keep well for reheating.

"Not every recipe is made for just one person, but for instance, the recipe for French Dip Beef can feed a crowd, but then I give you five more recipes showing what you can do with 3 ounces of that leftover beef," she said.

Each recipe in "Cooking for One" is accompanied by tips and insights from Velatini and a QR code that takes the reader to the Weight Watchers app, showing how each recipe fits into your customized meal plan. While the cookbook isn't affiliated with Weight Watchers, if you have a paid subscription to the WW app, the QR code can help track your meals.

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Longtime followers of Velatini's blog shouldn't despair. She includes the recipes for her famous Skinny Pizza Dough and Gluten-Free Skinny Pizza Dough for convenience.

The recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup calls for optional parsley and bacon bits for garnish.
The recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup calls for optional parsley and bacon bits for garnish. - Courtesy of Biz Velatini

"All of the recipes are easy and with limited numbers of ingredients, so there is no excuse for not eating healthful and fast dinners, even on a weeknight," Velatini said.

The book's categories include: Eggs, Poultry, Pork, Seafood, Cheese, Vegetables, Tofu and Beef. It has a handy table of contents and a detailed index to reference recipes as they become favorites quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Long a thrifty shopper, Velatini says that her menus depend on what happens to be on sale at the supermarket.

"I grocery shop by what's on sale that week. So if chicken is on sale, you can go to the chicken section of the book or if you defrosted ground beef and don't know what to do with it, you could go to that section of the book," Velatini said.

If you end up making recipes from the cookbook regularly, you'll find your pantry expanding with some new items. But don't worry: You'll use them again.

"There are some ingredients like sambal oelek or even tofu recipes" that may be unfamiliar, Velatini said. "It's about trying something out of your wheelhouse. Try something you've never before tried."

These recipes will put a healthy meal on the table for busy weeknights in just minutes.

"I'd say 95% of the recipes don't take more than 30 minutes and a percentage of those not even 20 minutes," Velatini said. "I realize not everyone wants to stand for an hour cooking in the kitchen, and you deserve good food."

Her first e-book was "Skinny Pizza Recipes," published in 2020, and her third book, "Soups and Stews," will be available in September 2023.

Published by Lockshire Press, "Cooking for One" is available on Amazon in paperback for $24.95 or on Kindle for $19.95.

• • •

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

When I first started recipe developing, I would try to make the recipe as low in calories and Weight Watchers points as possible. This meant cutting corners everywhere possible.

But today, I feel that full-fat cheddar cheese has its place in a healthy diet, and it's so much more satisfying.

Side note: If you don't want to buy a whole head of broccoli, just get broccoli from the salad bar at your local grocery store.

-- Biz Velatini

¼ pound broccoli, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 tablespoon light butter (I use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)

1 tablespoon flour

¼ cup light creamer (or unsweetened oat, cashew or almond milk)

2 cups chicken broth (can substitute veggie broth)

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons cheddar cheese

Parsley and bacon bits for garnish, optional

Heat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 360 degrees.

Spray broccoli and carrots with avocado oil spray and roast for 15 minutes at 360 degrees. They should be fork tender.

While that cooks, melt the butter in a stock pot. Add the flour. Slowly add the creamer and broth, while continuing to stir. The soup should start to thicken. Add cooked veggies, Italian seasoning and pepper. Remove from heat.

Puree with a stick blender, or blend in a blender. Pour into bowl and stir in the cheese. Garnish with a bit more cheese, parsley and bacon bits.

Serves 1

Biz Velatini

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