I am trying everyday to adapt to cooking for a small amount of people. Usually it is just me plus one and I generally "prefer" to cook for me plus anywhere from 3 to 5. For my budget and the earth it is uneconomical and wasteful. While shopping around Home Depot I grabbed a "Cuisine For Two" magazine. A complete impulse by and mostly just meat and fish recipes but a couple of vegetarian and definitely ways to change the meat with different veggies.
The recipe that stood out the most to me was a Zucchini cake with Diavalo sauce. I thought why not and modified the recipe to what I had. I grated two zucchinis, half of an onion, one clove of garlic, and a sweet potato. I twirled those around in the salad grater to get all the extra water out. I added some egg and panko and baking soda, also nothing is complete without a little bit of salt and pepper.
Diavalo Sauce is typically a spicy tomato sauce. You take a yellow onion and red bell pepper and saute those. I also added some red chile flakes to the oil that I was sauteing the Garlic is something that I never skimp out on. I have learned that it is best to add the garlic in once the other "mirepoix" like vegetables are almost completely finished. The recipe I had called for white wine vinegar and white wine to deglaze the pan with. I did not have the white versions in my sauce so I used red wine vinegar and some Merlot I had leftover from visitors. You then add some tomato paste and diced tomatoes. After everything has been added you cook it down on low temp for about a half an hour.
When the sauce was done I was good and ready to fry up the cakes. I heated olive oil in a non stick pan. A non stick pan is important in this case because when frying wet, gooey things you want to be sure they will not stick on the pan. I put a very large overfilled 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture into the pan smashed it down and fried each side for about 5 minutes. I prefer crispy fairly dark brown for color when I'm frying any sort of vegetable. These included.
I dished dinner up and brought it out to my "dinner guest." WOW! i thought it was so freaking good. Sweet fried veggie cakes complemented with a spicy tomato sauce. Healthy, cheap, and quick; A winning combination in my book. My "dinner guest" on the other hand liked the cake but didn't know why there was hot salsa on it. They suggested to make the veggie cakes again, but use it as a side dish to a piece of fish. Not filling enough and the "hot salsa" did not make it a big hit. But if I was cooking for 1, I would eat a version of this once a week!