A Five-Course Meal Made Up Of Two-Ingredient Dishes

Cooking for one is always difficult, especially when you only have groceries for one, and if you’re anything like to me that means you’re usually limited to frozen things, canned things and random fruit. If you feel like treating yourself to some fine homemade dining but are tired of struggling with the scraps you have in your kitchen, look no further: I created recipes for a fancy, healthy-ish, delicious five-course meal you can make tonight, with each course only requiring TWO INGREDIENTS! I also did you the favor of recording the calories in each dish because, well, it’s that time of the year.

Course 1: Soup

The Dusty Can in the Back

Calories: About 130

Serves: 1


  • 1 can condensed “vegetarian vegetable” soup
  • Cinnamon sugar (to taste)


Pour can of soup into microwave-safe bowl. Refill can three-quarters way with water (do not follow the instructions and use a full can) and pour into bowl. Add lots of cinnamon sugar. Stir. Microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Stir again. Pour half into a soup bowl and serve. Refrigerate the other half for tomorrow. Note: using less water makes the soup seem chunkier and more filling. The cinnamon sugar makes it interesting and helps to distract you from the discovery that CANNED SOUP IS SO SALTY WHEN YOU DON’T USE ALL THE WATER!

Course 2: Salad

Oily lettuce

Calories: 130

Serves: 1


  • 3 full leaves of whatever lettuce you have
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Wash lettuce and tear with hands. Place into a salad-like bowl. Drizzle olive oil over lettuce and stir around with your fork. Grimace as you eat and wonder why you are doing this to yourself.

Course 3: Appetizer

Antipasto Tomato

Calories: 75

Serves: 1


  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry blush vinegar


Wash tomato and cut into ¼-inch slices. Arrange flat on a large plate so none of the slices overlap. Drench each slice with vinegar. Enjoy with a fork and knife.

Course 4: Main dish

Brown Mush Salad

Calories: 150

Serves: 1


  • ⅓ can refried black beans
  • 4 full leaves of whatever lettuce you have


Scrape ⅓ can refried beans into microwave-safe container. Loosely cover and microwave for 38 seconds. While the beans are warming, wash then shred your lettuce by tightly rolling it then making multiple slices across the roll. Fluff it around to make it look better.

Remove bean container from microwave and stir thoroughly. Replace cover and return to microwave for another 38 seconds.

Place half of the shredded lettuce in a large cereal bowl. Dollop ¼ cup warm beans on lettuce. Cover with remaining lettuce and remaining warm beans. Stir and enjoy.

Course 5: Dessert

Almond Dreamboat

Calories: 140

Serves: 1


  • 12 oz sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 ripe pear

Instructions: Wash pear and slice using apple slicer. Immediately eat at all but two slices. Chop one slice into cubes and dump in drinking glass. Fill glass with almond milk. Garnish with slice of pear and enjoy.

Optional: Add 3 oz of whatever clear liquor you happen to have. I opted for (my only choice) Wolfberry Bacardi. Note: Adds calories—3 oz plain vodka contains 192 and it goes up from there. TC mark


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