Wondering how to cook…for one?
There’s no need to fall in that lonely rut of Lean Cuisines or canned soup. Takeout, fast food, or prepackaged dinners may be the easy option when you’re dining alone, but eating this way on a regular basis can lead to many health problems.
Even if you’re not a great cook or live in a dorm room, bachelor apartment, or other accommodation without a full kitchen, you can learn to cook tasty, healthy, and inexpensive meals.
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We know that it takes a little extra creativity and motivation sometimes to create a tasty dinner just for yourself. These tips for the solo cook will help you create the perfect dinner for one.
Meal Planning For One
Creating a meal plan for the week will make it easier for you to prepare healthy meals. It will also help ensure that you have all the right ingredients on hand when you’re ready to cook. As you make a meal plan, think about ways that you can:
- Cook once and eat twice (or more) by cooking larger meals and freezing single portions to eat another time.
- Get creative with leftovers, by using them for additional meals.
- Use the ingredients you already have in your cupboard.
Shop Smart When You’re Cooking For One
Shop with a friend; split perishables into individual amounts, divide large cuts of meats and freeze into single-size portions, and buy fresh and frozen produce. It’s easier to use in smaller portions than canned fruits and veggies. Also, stock up on staples like dried pasta, beans, and rice.
Stock your pantry. Keep canned vegetables, beans and fruits on hand for quick and healthy additions to meals. Rinse canned vegetables and beans under cold running water to lower their salt content. Consider whole grains, such as quinoa, barley, and pastas. Dried foods are easily portioned for one.
Take advantage of your freezer. Buy in bulk and freeze in smaller quantities that you can thaw and cook for one or two meals. You may be surprised to learn that you can also freeze foods, including breads, meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Freezing keeps food fresh longer and helps prevent waste. For the best quality, freeze food while it’s fresh.