Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooking for One

I didn't learn to cook until I moved in with Sean because I didn't know how to cook for one. I honestly think cooking real meals for one is a bigger challenge than cooking for six, although I can't say I have a lot of experience with that, either. 

The main challenge lies in making something 1) relatively fresh, 2) relatively healthy (although I think we all fail on that sometimes) and 3) relatively low-effort. Not to say we're not worth the effort; it's just a matter of how much you're willing to do for just your lonesome. 

In our nearly three years of living together (I can't believe it's been that long!), Sean and I have gone through periods where he has been around for dinner or he's been working nights. He's back to working nights these days, so I'm back to cooking for just me. I still haven't mastered the art of using leftovers or using a lot of fresh produce. Honestly, I probably don't have much good advice about cooking for one. But I thought I'd share what works for me:

Chicken Breast, chicken breast, chicken breast
Easy to thaw one breast at a time, versatile. Let's say I'm eating at home three nights one week. One night, I can make myself chicken tacos (surprisingly easy to make for one!), the next night I can have grilled chicken salad and the next night I can have Moroccan chicken (shown above).

Here are my favorite chicken breast recipes:

O rlly? Yeah, pretty easy and obvious, so I'm not going to explain it any further. Good way to incorporate frozen veggies.

Frozen Food
I don't really do Lean Cuisines like I did in my single girl days, but I do have a few Amber-endorsed frozen meals that get me by on those days I want to put out minimal effort. My favorite is Amy's Vegetable Lasagna, and I also like frozen fish filets, especially tilapia.

What are your secrets to cooking for one? As you can see, I don't have a hugely varied diet here, so I'll take any help I can get!


Bret said...

I've never worried about "for one." I just make full batches of whatever and eat the rest for lunch or dinner the next day. Leftovers are always a good thing with me.

Tallulah Bankrobber said...

We've been getting enormous amounts of odd vegetables from our CSA. Kohlrabi, beets, Yugoslavian finger squash, kale... A great way to use leftover bits is to cook them with grains: Israeli couscous, bulgur, quinoa: Boil the grains in broth while you simmer whatever veggies. Add the veggies to the broth while you simmer the grains. When the water's absorbed, add some all spice, ginger, cardamom. Stir it up and serve. It makes for easy microwavable leftovers at home or at the office.