Cooking for One Can Be Fun – 5 Simple Tips and Tricks

27 Mar, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

So you live alone; you enjoy the freedom, independence and solitude, yet you hate the fact that you have dine out by yourself or make do with crappy frozen dinners that taste worse by the day. You don’t mind cooking your meals – in fact, you would prefer to do so because it’s the healthier and cheaper option – but you have no clue as to how to dish up dishes that are just enough for one person? Set your doubts aside, and use these tips and tricks to whip up delicious dishes, not just for yourself, but also for a significant other you wish to impress:

  • Learn how to freeze food: If your recipe serves four people, make the dish, and freeze the remaining three portions in separate containers. This way, you not only avoid wasting food, you also don’t have to cook every single day. You can use the frozen food in creative ways – either for dinner the following day or as a sandwich-filler for lunch if it’s conducive to do so. If you’re opening a can or jar, transfer the remaining contents to an airtight container and store in your fridge. The key here is to know how to freeze food so it doesn’t get spoilt and retains all its natural flavors and nutrients. Also, don’t store frozen food for too long, especially if it’s already cooked or if it has come from a can.
  • Salads and sandwiches make full meals too: When you cook for one and want to save time yet make nutritious meals, nothing beats salads and sandwiches. You can either buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables or cut up fresh produce to make your salads. Garnish with nuts and parsley and use organic and/or low-fat dressings from the store. Go for wholegrain bread for your sandwiches, and use fillings that make great salads too – for example, chicken salad makes a great sandwich when placed between two slices along with some onions and tomatoes. No food is wasted, and none has to be frozen for the morrow when you make salads and sandwiches.
  • Stock your fridge and pantry: When you’re cooking for one, you don’t see the importance of a full kitchen. However, you must have the right utensils and the right ingredients if you’re going to cook regularly. Stock up your pantry (or fridge) with the basic ingredients for meals, like rice, bread and pasta, pick up pre-packaged sauces and gravies that you can use with your salads and meat dishes, invest in herbs and spices that make your food delicious and more nutritious, and always keep some fruits, veggies and nuts around to munch on when you feel like a snack.
  • Invest in a crock pot or slow cooker: If you love hot meals yet find yourself too tired to make one when you get home every evening, the slow cooker is your best friend. Just throw in all the ingredients for your soup or broth or chilli when you leave home in the morning and find a hot meal waiting for you when you get home 10 hours later. Again, if the meal is too large for you, freeze the remaining portions after letting it cool down to room temperature.
  • Share with friends and neighbors: If you live close to friends and family members who also live alone, rope them in for some pot luck. Cook meals that you can share with each other so you don’t have to freeze the remaining portions. This way, you don’t have to cook every day, you don’t get tired of your own cooking, and you get to eat home-cooked food every single day.