My wife took a job out of town. She’s going to be gone for several months. As she left me behind, and I faced my first meal of cooking for one, I realized that I don’t know how to cook for just me. Complicated by the fact that I hate eating the same thing over and over again.
Who has tips for cooking for one that isn’t just “make a lot of the same thing and eat it for several meals.” -Jon
I’ve lived alone most of my adult life, and I absolutely detest eating the same meal more than twice in a row! So I have a few pointers for cooking for one:
1. Cook for two!
Okay, I know you said that you don’t like to eat the same thing twice, and neither do I! But every time you cook, make enough for two servings anyway, and refrigerate or freeze that one extra serving. That way you have dinner one day, and then eat that portion whenever you decide to want to eat that meal again.
2. Bulk cook a few starchy side items
For example, I make brown rice by the pound. And once it cools I freeze it into single-serving batches. It reheats well in the microwave. I’ve done the same with couscous. Then you can throw your ready-made starches into other recipes and not have to make entire batches each time.
3. If you eat meat or fish
Buy packages of pre-cut chops or fish fillets, then freeze them in single-serving packets. I’ll often take a salmon fillet, a pack of rice, and a pack of some sauce I made weeks ago and froze, pan-grill the salmon, reheat the sauce and the rice, and steam or stir-fry a veggie. Healthy dinner done in 15 minutes tops!
4. Find some sauces that you can make ahead and freeze
Pesto is great for this, as well as tomato sauce. One of my favorites is this coconut curry sauce — SO good! Or Offbeat Home has this recipe for tomato AND pesto sauce…
Breakfast for dinner is perfect for cooking for one! Eggs already come in “cooking for one” sizes. And omelets are delicious, duh. And, if you’re vegan, scrambled tofu is wonderful too!
6. Go out to dinner
Don’t feel guilty about going out to dinner on your own! It’s easy to go out every day (believe me, I’ve done it, not easy on the wallet or waistline). But it’s also easy to become a hermit.
7. Make friends with people who also live alone
Or find other people that you love having over for dinner. I regularly have dinner with my good friend from childhood and her son, and I get together with a married couple pretty often. That way, if there’s something I feel like making (or eating) a lot of, I have people to share it with. (Also, see point six about how easy it is to become a hermit.)
What are your tips for cooking for two when you hate eating the same thing twice in a row?