Cooking for one has never been as convenient as it is now with packaged foods and fish and meat counters in supermarkets, where you can buy everything in one spot. There are many healthy options available and so there is no need to opt for greasy, unhealthy fast food.
Cooking for one will take time to get used to. As humans, we associate eating with socializing, and being motivated enough to prepare a delicious meal alone for yourself will take some time. Creating it into an event to look forward to after a hard day at work might make it easier for you. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on some great music, and enjoy cooking all for yourself!
Getting your portion size right will also be a challenge. You want to be careful when cooking for one, that you do not make your portions too big. If you have cooked something and see there is too much food left over, instead of cramming it all onto your plate, rather divide up the meal and freeze the left overs for another dinner.
If you eat chicken, steak and fish, buy two packets of chicken and steak, and as soon as you arrive home, open these packets, and wrap each piece of chicken or steak individually in plastic before you put them in the freezer. This way you can take out a meat portion in the morning before you leave for work and it is ready to be cooked when you get home. Another suggestion is to marinate one or two portions of filleted chicken breasts in yoghurt and spices, which is even better as it can immediately be put in a skillet to fry. This can be served with salad, couscous or rice.
Have the fish the same day as you buy it as fish always tastes better when it is fresh. While you can buy your protein all at once, don’t do the same with vegetables. Onions and potatoes are fine, but buy just enough lettuce and fresh coriander for two or three days. The same goes for fruit. Bananas ripen quickly. Apples kept in the fridge lasts much longer.
Delicious meals for a single person
- Take one of the chicken portions and place it on a cutting board. Take a sharp knife and make several deep cuts in the fleshy meat. Don’t cut right through. You want it in one piece in the skillet. Take a teaspoon of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of mixed spices, pack it into the cuts you have made, sprinkle with salt. Spray the pan with olive oil. Heat the pan, Cut five or six small tomatoes and put it in the pan. When it is sizzling, place the chicken in the pan and pour one tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken. Fry three or four minutes in the hot pan. Turn the chicken over and fry another few minutes. While waiting for the chicken, cut up some butter lettuce with strips of red pepper. Drizzle some olive oil and Balsamic vinegar over the salad and you have a terrific meal. The whole process should take no more than fifteen minutes.
- Do the same with a piece of fish. The above recipe is great with angel fish or hake. Here you do the exact same thing, except that as the fish is frying you can squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish in the pan. It mixes nicely with the juices of the small tomatoes in the pan.
- On a cold day, make pumpkin or butternut with chicken. Here you cut two chicken breasts up into small squares. Put the chicken in the pot with four cut-up medium-sized leeks, Add salt, a tablespoon of crushed garlic, two teaspoons of leaf masala or curry spice. As it sizzles, stir everything in the pot. You will notice that the mixture is nice and red and a bit dry. Take a package of either cut-up pumpkin or cut-up butternut and put it in the pot with a quarter cup of water. Let it cook like that for ten minutes. Stir the pot and add just enough water so the pot doesn’t burn. Fifteen minutes later, stir again. The butternut or pumpkin will be soft now. You have a meal for two nights.
- Make split pea soup and divide it into four portions. When it is cold, seal it and put it in the freezer. Split pea or butternut soup freezes well. Here, too, you can take a portion of soup out in the morning and by the time you reach home it would have thawed. The ingredients for split pea soup are onions, leeks, split peas, salt and some flavoring. You can add chopped-up chicken to make it nice and thick. Don’t put potatoes or turnips in the soup if you are going to freeze it. You can add a feta cheese muffin or a sandwich.
- Sandwiches are not bad as a main meal if you add either a butternut or leek and potato soup, a salad, or a baked potato with it. You want to have enough protein in your meal.
- For a super quick meal where you have to run out again, put a small avocado and a half a banana with soya milk in a blender for a great smoothie. There are many health benefits from eating avocado. As well, it lowers cholesterol.
As you can see, there are many healthy options available when cooking for one. Cooking for one can easily become something to look forward to in your busy day – time for you to put on something great music and start preparing your delicious meal for one!