I am just 1 right now, but I ALWAYS cook based on 4 or even more. Most of the time instead of cooking in a 9x13, I will do 2 8x8s or even the mini loaf or personal pie size pans. Then freeze.
There are very few foods that you 100% cant freeze, you just have to know how to break it up. Sometimes that means cooking THEN freezing, other times freezing then cooking, freezing as a kit,freeze a piece then add fresh before cooking, or just freeze bits to figure out their use later (example,grilled chicken).
I ONLY really cook 1 day on a weekend and I will do a buunch of different stuff. Then decide what I want and what I want to freeze. Usually every 4-6 weeks I have a week where I dont have to cook at all, I can purely eat from my freezer and whats in the fridge. 6 days a week I can eat a hot meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes (if it is baked), most meals are less than 15.
I ONLY buy stuff on sale, so doing the freezer thing lets me keep a variety going and I NEVER have to pay full price.
I am cooking for 2 not one. Still, I think the way I cook would still work ok for just one. I get things that will last more then one meal and freeze uncooked. If you pick versatile ingredient that can be used a variety of ways, it is harder to get bored with them. I had chicken two nights. The first time the chicken was lightly breaded and then mixed with a honey barbecue sauce. Delicious and far lower calories then you would expect for what it looked like. I also served a faux-fried rice dish with this that used some mixed vegetables. I used that same chicken and mixed veggies tonight again. This time they were mixed together in a light cream sauce as a chicken divan type dish. I served this on biscuits. Both meals were very good and even though they used some of the same stuff, the two meals tasted totally different.
I still have 4 biscuits left and I have no intention of using them in exactly the same way again. Those biscuits will probably be made into breakfast sandwiches or strawberry shortcakes later. The trick here is to pick versatile stuff that you can use for many different dishes. I find the heart smart bisquick (that I used for making the biscuits) very versatile. I used it for pancakes, cobbler, biscuits, and cheeseburger pie. I have found several other recipes I haven't even tried yet, but want to.
I cook for myself and a five year old so I inevitably have leftovers. I tend to re-use leftovers in ways that I won't recognize them. Like if I have chicken and rice one night the next I'll have that same chicken in a soup, with the left over rice and frozen veggies. or I'll chop the chicken up and have it as a chicken ceaser salad. steak and fish work good baked one night and on a salad the next also. leftover fish can turn into fish cakes or "tuna" salad. leftover steak can be thrown in a wrap with veggies and salsa or turned into steak sandwiches. just a few ideas...we reuse leftovers a few times a week so I'm always trying to be creative.
I did't read all the reply's so if someone said this already my apologies, but you can freeze just about anything, and it'll keep for a good 6 weeks, there's an article on here called making your own frozen dinners (or something like that), just cook pasta and veg slightly under, and add a bit more liquid before freezing. or you could share... my address is... LOL just kidding!! Best of success!!
I would either look around for other cookbooks, or consider halving the recipes you're making, if you're determined to use the book you have. It may be a nuisance to cut them in half (it's fussy to split 1/4 tsp of something!) but it is doable - you can go through and write in the adjusted measurements so you don't have to do it every time you want to make a particular recipe.
There are cookbooks out there for one (or two) - I'm afraid I'm not familiar with them personally but maybe someone else can make a recommendation.
I have a sister and a friend here who are busy with work, lots of kids, etc. So sometimes I give half my meal to them for lunch the next day. Then they get a healthy quick meal instead of kraft dinner. LOL!
Fitness Minutes: (10,210)
1,153 3/16/07 2:45 P
I always had a hard time cooking for just me when I was single. One thing I did that helped a bunch was to have friends over as much as I could. It relieved the loneliness and we all got good food.
As for freezing and reheating meals, I have found that the trays from previous WW Smart Ones work really well. I can easily portion food into them and I use that sticky Glad wrap over the top. Then I just reheat what I put in it in the Microwave and it comes out really well.
If you don't have a microwave, get yourself some of those small aluminum loaf pans. My hubby is a truck driver and I try to freeze meals that he can reheat in his little 12 volt oven. Meat loaf, lasagna, spaghetti, turkey, chicken alfredo and encheladas have all worked out very well doing this. Think of your main course - the stuff that gets cooked and is easiest to reheat. That is going to go into your foil pan for freezing when you are portioning things out. If you have a starch, like potatos or rice, that also goes in your pan. I would keep veggies out to make fresh, because it's easy to steam a single serving of broccoli and carrots or asparagus when you are prepping your evening meal.
Make sure you have a menu plan so you can rotate what is in your freezer often.
Also, with chicken - if you bake or grill it and you got lots - it freezes well. Slice it or dice it and freeze it for future chicken salads or to put in fettucini. Same with any meat. They are easily reheated if you have a microwave. Just portion things out seperately - like rice in one zip lock, chicken in another. Again, do veggies separately and fresh so you only make as much as you will eat at one meal.
Lasagna is perfect for make ahead and freeze. If you use those foil pans I told you about, you can portion single servings and just have lasagna when ever you want. And it stores in the freezer for months :) the same goes for spaghetti and meat balls. Just be sure to add some water to the pan before you bake it for the spaghetti.
As for fish - try to get cuts that you can make single portions of, because they don't refreeze well. I can get a large filet of salmon at Walmart that is already portioned out into easy servings so I don't have to make the whole thing. I can cook it as I need it. You can find most fish packaged that way these days.
Look at what you want to plan for the week, determine the foods that you would like to have for future meals (up to a month ahead for those :) ) And then plan the cooking accordingly.
I wish I had figured this out when I was single, but I ate terribly back then :/
I have the same problem,although I still cook for two, the other half can't stand leftover anything. So I've learned how to make my favorites, and new ones too where I halve the ingrediants. Sometimes it takes a little bit of work, and lucky for you, in cooking it's not an exact science! If you can't make it easily divisable by 2 then just guess. Especially because these aren't new recipes to you. YOu know how they taste, and how they come out, so it shouldn't be to hard to figure out how to adjust them once you start in with the math =)
Kudos to the person who said to find an elderly relative or friend to pass some of the food to -- you'd be suprised how poorly some elderly people eat just because they can't manage around the kitchen as well as they used to. Most really appreciate the thought and the meal!
I also have the problem of having receipes that create too much food so I tend to purchase staples (like rice and couscous) in bulk so I can make it to my own size and needs.
I don't eat meat but I assume you do -- if you buy a package of chicken breasts it's easy to vary it from day to day. Chunk it up into a stew one day, barbeque it the next, sliver it off into a rice mix, and so on.
This is in reply to talonrmk's (sorry if I got your name wrong...) comment about giving food to their dog. Although the food you're eating might be great for you, it might not be so hot for your dog! Just like you wouldn't eat dog food they shouldn't eat human food. They have different digestive systems than us and it can make them ill. Not to mention some foods are outright dangerous, such as chocolate (which is nearly poisonous) and chicken bones (they splinter and can cause a dog to choke!).
Fitness Minutes: (275)
660 3/12/07 10:52 A
The key is to learn how to reutilize those leftovers so you don't recognize them as leftovers.
Look at it this way...
OYur paying for food...lets say 1.97 a pound for boneless/skinless breast...you buy 4 pouns and eat only 8 ounces leaving you 3.5 pounds.
thats 5.91 cents of uneaten food.
Transfer this belief of throwing away food, to anything...from oatmeal to filet mignon.
Another aspect is batch cooking.
Adjust your recipe so that you make less food more often.
Fitness Minutes: (609)
134 3/12/07 8:17 A
I always halve my recipes. I am not a left over eater. And if it's a new recipe that I really don't care for, I mix it with my dog's food. I figure if it's healthy it can't be that bad for him to eat. Saves on the money I spend on dog food too.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
154 3/12/07 5:03 A
Some ideas :)
I often make things like rice (or similar carb/potato/spaghetti), meat of some kind, and lots of veges.
A salad that contains lettuce, nuts, chicken, and other veges.
I didn't eat very healthily when I was single though.... :(
Do you have any single friends or perhaps elderly relatives or neighbours who could maybe use a home cooked meal once in a while? I know what you mean about halving recipes...sometimes it just does not turn out right. But if you make the full recipes, and dish half into a container and bring it to a neighbour or something you're not really wasting food! Or invite some friends over for dinner once a week.
Fitness Minutes: (2,914)
508 3/11/07 2:32 P
I am back to eating well to lose weight and I even have a great cookbook to do so. (It was what I used when I lost 70 or 80 pounds before.) But back then, I was married and cooking for two people out of this cookbook, which meant we would have the same meal twice a week. Once the night it was prepared and once as a left over.
Since I have been single, I have cooked out of this book and end up having the same meal four times in a week and quite frankly, I can't eat that much of the same stuff. It has totally destroyed my desire for boneless, skinless chicken.
An easy solution would be to halve the recipes or freeze the meals, but halving a recipe isn't always possible and frozen meals don't always thaw and reheat well.
I have switched to eating Lean Cuisines for lunch and grabbing snacks for dinner (tortilla chips, popcorn, peanut butter on a spoon), which is wrong, wrong, wrong.
But I know if I start using this great cookbook again, I will have lots of food that I end up throwing out.
What do you single people do?
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