Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cooking for One

First off, don't get me wrong.  I love living alone.  I work crazy hours and enjoy the fact that when I get home I can choose to see people, or I can choose to curl up with a book and have some peace and quiet.  I love hanging around with friends but sometimes, especially during the week.  I just want to be left alone.

That being said, the one thing that I absolutely hate about living alone for one person.

It sucks.

I like to cook and try new recipes but more often that not I find myself doing the same things over and over.

Not only do most recipes provide at least 3-4 portions but I hate cooking a meal that results in a million and one pots that need cleaning at the end.  Especially for one person.  I mean you need 1 pan for the meat, 1 pan for the veg, another if anything involves a sauce, another if you're doing a starch.  Not to mention you own plate and cutlery after you've eaten.  Then the leftovers end up in the fridge and you either eat the same thing for 3 days or you end up throwing it in the trash.

Am I right?
Mmmm Tasty
The easiest way I have found to work around this issue, while still eating remotely healthy is the the almighty omelet.  Here's why....

1. You can cook an omelet in one pan
2. You can make it as healthy or unhealthy you want with the addition/removal of veggies (healthy) or cheese (unhealthy)
3. They're tasty
4. If made properly it is a perfectly balanced meal including protein and at up to 2 servings of vegetables.

It's the perfect meal!!

And it's fast and easy to make.  I mean it's basically a stir fry held together by eggs.  But woman cannot live on omelet alone.  I am in desperate need of one of those cookbooks that either focuses on cooking for one, or one dish meals 'cause the alternative of soup in a can does not appeal to me.

Does anyone else have this challenge of cooking for one? Ideas are always welcome.




  1. I also live alone. Like you I'm not such a fan of eating the same leftovers all week long.

    My solution for the food problem is to make food that freezes well (homemade soup, spaghetti sauces, most meat). I like to make up batches of food then I put it in the freezer in individual or two serving-size containers so I can take them out as I want and still keep a little variety in my life. Plus, it's nice to be in a rush and still be able to eat something healthy.

    Bags of frozen veggies are also great so I can steam or sautee them quickly. I also try to use my weekends to cut up my fresh veggies and put them in containers that I can just grab some out of and cook up quickly on a week night after work.

    Also - if you're a meat-eater - one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I've found is Salsa Chicken: Take a chicken breast, sprinkle some taco seasoning on each side, put it in a casserole dish, put 2-3 spoonfuls of salsa over top and bake at 350(F) for about 30 minutes or until the chicken looks done. You can eat it like that or make it unhealthy and put some cheese on top and bake it for another 5-10 minutes. It's delicious and just as easy to make 1 as it is to make 5 :-)

    Or, if you have any other friends in your area who live alone, it's always nice to have rotating "family" dinner nights! One person buys all the food then you cook it together and do the clean-up together and the host keeps the leftovers (which there hopefully will not be as much of since you shared)

    Those are just a few of the ways I've learned to eat well while living alone without all the headaches!

    1. I am a huge fan of freezing soups and stews in the winter. Problem I have with doing a dish with meat is I never bloody remember to take it out of the freezer the night before or the morning of. So I get home and everything is frozen. Frozen veggies save me some days as it's hard to buy a wide variety of veggies for one person without something going rotten in your fridge.

      I will try the salsa chicken for sure. I'm in search of cookbooks that focus on 1 dish meals and stuff like that.

  2. I have the same problem. Many people are happy making one thing to eat all week and i hate leftovers. I find myself doing a lot of pastas now.

    1. I think it's an issue for all single people. I find when I do pasta I end up with a huge amount of leftovers and am eating it for days.

      Problem is that most nights, by the time I get home I'm too tired to even think about cooking and end up having cheese and crackers with a chopped up apple and some cucumber slices instead of a REAL meal.

  3. Yep. I have ice cream for dinner. A lot.

    1. I think the worst I've had is a bowl of fruit loops with a glass of white wine. Classy.