Cooking for One: Three Easy Sauces to Keep Things Interesting

Mix-and-match bowls with tons of flavor

Kristin Collins, owner of Fluff Meringues & More, offers three easy sauces that pair wonderfully with all sorts of proteins, veggies, and pantry staples to make cooking for one, particularly during a pandemic, a little more interesting.

She writes, “Being single can be difficult enough, but during a pandemic it poses quite a few more issues – namely, cooking efficiently and economically for one and not getting absolutely, disgustingly sick of eating the same thing for every single meal for five days straight because you literally can’t leave to get more groceries or order in for every single meal. To avoid all this, I started making batches of various meats, rice/pasta, and veggies/salads; then I make mix-and-match bowls and add a different sauce to mix it up. Hopefully these recipes for my three favorite sauces can help some other people not despise pandemic eating, too. All the sauces below – grapefruit jalapeño shallot vinaigrette, mango ginger marinade/chutney, and spicy ginger sauce – have a decent overlap in some of the ingredients, and that makes it easier even though none of them taste remotely similar. Promise!”

Trollie (sous chef for Kristin Collins) (Photo by Kristin Collins)

Grapefruit Vinaigrette


1 1/4 cup grapefruit juice

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup shallots

3 jalapeños (with seeds)

3/4 cup olive oil


Combine juice, vinegar, mustard, and olive oil in a bowl. Lightly stir together and set aside. Chop shallots and jalapeños, then put in a food processor for a few seconds (depending on how small/large you want the bits). Add combined liquid from bowl into processor and process for 10 seconds (or until emulsified). Serve and/or store in a jar.

Note: Makes approximately one 12 oz. jar.

Spicy Ginger Sauce


3 Tbsp grated ginger

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 Tbsp honey

1/4 cup Sriracha

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

1/2 cup peanut oil

3 Tbsp soy sauce (or to salty taste)


Put in a saucepan, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Chill and serve.

Note: Always shake before use to emulsify.

Ginger Mango Chutney/Marinade/Sauce


2 mangos

1 white onion

1 Tbsp fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp molasses (or brown sugar)

2 hot fresh jalapeños (or 2 Tbsp Sriracha or some sort of pepper sauce/paste)

2 Tbsp lime juice (lemon works as well)


Chop mangos and onion. Put mango, onion, garlic, and jalapeños in a food processor/blender and process until well-blended and no longer chunky. Toss compote in a saucepan with the remaining liquid ingredients. Depending on how large your mangoes and onion are, you may need to add a bit more water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Note: Good hot or cold!

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