Cooking for One

My son is in a new town with a new job, having graduated from college. I asked him what he was going to have for dinner, and the answer didn't make me happy. Frozen pizza, TV dinner, mushy salad in a bag destined for the trash and hot dogs were all he had in the fridge. Not nutritionally balanced.

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He was going to go to the grocery store later, but I suspect it's more of the same. Any suggestions for him? He's actually a great cook, but won't unless he has friends to cook with and for. He'll have to change that attitude pronto.

Thanks in advance for your input.
Holly

February 6, 20050 found this helpful

Make a lot of one thing and freeze leftovers, when you come home all you do is pop it into the microwave! Saves you time from having to cook a full meal again :-)

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February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I subscribe to an email newsletter called allrecipes.com and if you go to their website you can find delicious recipes and they can be changed to suit different sized servings, including for one person. Underneath the recipe is a box where you put in the number of servings you want to change it to.

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February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I agree! Cook for 4, 6 or 8! After you have eaten, and your 'leftovers' have cooled, divide into individual portions, (I use recycled takeaway containers), and freeze for later use - work lunches, when you can't be bothered cooking, unexpected visitors, etc. It takes the same amount of pots, pans and utensils to cook one meal or 8 so it saves time in preparation and cleaning up, etc., as well. I never cook a single meal for myself - I either eat the same thing 2 or 3 days running or ring the changes with my freezer meals.

Regards

Jo

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February 7, 20050 found this helpful

It doesn't seem worth cooking just one serving. I suggest freezing any leftovers. Another idea is to share your meals with family, friends, co-workers, etc.. Every time I make a pot of homemade soup, I take a container of it to my sister & brother-in-law. He is a very fussy eater, but he really loves my soup, so I always share ours with them! I also make soups, stews, etc. for my husband to take into work occassionally, to share with his co-workers and they all really enjoy it for their lunch. Perhaps you know of another single person that you can share your food with, and take turns in preparing and sharing.

Debbie from New Jersey

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February 9, 20050 found this helpful

i am also single. it gets pretty boring making 5 or 6 servings when you are the only one eating the meal. it also gets very expensive taking food to other people. you only have one income you cant feed the family and the neighborhood.

i do make soup at times. have a pot on stove now.

find recpipes you like and then halve or quarter them.

hope you find some stuff.

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February 9, 20050 found this helpful

Buy a plastic tube of pork tenderloin (not marinaded) and cut it into about 1 inch cross sections. Stand up each cross section and pound flat with a meat pounder. You will get about 8 to 12 pieces from each tenderloin. Keep out 2 or 3 pieces for one meal, and freeze the extra pounded ones between pieces of waxed paper. Again, keep 2 or 3 together, and unfreeze enough for one meal at a time in the future. They can all be frozen in one ziploc, but don't allow too many pieces to freeze together. For one meal, dip each piece into milk, then press into bread crumbs. Fry on medium high in a small amount of oil. Only takes about 2 minutes a side to get nicely browned. Serve with any veggies and/or salad. All the messy work is done at once, and you'll have 3 or 4 more easy meals in the future....and the beauty is....THEY AREN'T LEFT OVERS!!!!

Lisa

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July 9, 20050 found this helpful

Thank you Songbird100! I just checked out the allrecipes.com site and it is an excellent resource.

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July 14, 20050 found this helpful

Do thriftyfun folks have any good recipes for a single person to cook for one?

Jessie

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July 14, 20050 found this helpful

I've been single for a long time so have had to deal with this problem. Part of the problem is that the best deals on meat are often in "value pack" or "family size" packages or a 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters, etc. The only way I can take advantage of such deals is to freeze a lot, and it doesn't take long to fill a freezer. So where possible I make a lot of soups and stews in huge quantities. After they sit in the fridge for a couple of days for the flavors to blend well, I put what is left in portion sized ziplock freezer bags and freeze it like that. You can pack them together and they don't take up too much space.

One of my biggest problems is with vegatables, but they can usually be done the same way. Also I shop for deals on bagged salad greens and make a huge variety of salads, especially in the summer. I keep an assortment of pickles, olives, pickled peppers, etc. and a few fresh tomatoes and such, then build a basic salad with that stuff. Then top it off with half a can of red sockeye salmon or flaked tuna, or mushrooms or any kind of meat. Keep an assortment of dressings and choose one that complements the meat. This is a fast way to build a healthy meal, it affords a lot of variety, and doesn't heat up the kitchen.

The main thing is this: even if you are alone, keep reminding yourself that you are worth the trouble. This was the hardest thing I had to learn, but don't ever forget it. Treat yourself to things you like and enjoy the fact that you don't have to get anyone else's approval. Throw a carefully chosen ribeye on the grill, bake a potato and toss a salad, pour a glass of wine and enjoy yourself, because you are worth it!

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July 14, 20050 found this helpful

cooking for one sometimes doesn't seem "worth the effort"

one solution is to make large batches of favorite meals and then split them up for freezing

you can even put them in microwavable bags for single meals

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July 14, 20050 found this helpful

For freezing and storing foods, I bought a bunch of those plastic disposable gladware containers (e.g., 20 containers), all the same size. Then it's easy to store food and it's easy to store the washed containers.

For food I usually buy the convenience products such as boxed dinners, rice-a-roni, noodle mixes, soup/stew in a can, precooked chicken patties, frozen stirfry bags, frozen waffles, sandwich from the grocery store deli, individual canned fruit packs. For a family convenience foods are much too expensive. As one person, I find that I have to throw out a lot of food if I do fresh or scratch cooking. For example, the fresh brocolli dies before I get it all consumed. So does the pancake mix. I've opened a can of pineapple put it in the fridge and then forgot it for 3 weeks so had to throw it out. If I do convenience foods, then I have enough variety so I don't get bored. Nutritionally fresh is better, granted, but a frozen stirfry bag is better nutrition than a frozen pizza.

I also have some quickie food things which are decent in nutrition and taste -- like I'll eat breakfast cereal and toast or pancakes for supper sometimes when I don't feel like making anything. Breakfast food is usually a faster prep than regular supper foods. I also always have a few boxes of microwave frozen dinners for that reason. Those are fairly nutritious and they are good for when you just don't want to cook at all.

I always store my bread in the freezer. Then it stays fresh enough until I finish the loaf.

goodluck.

coolchinchilla

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July 15, 20050 found this helpful

May I first suggest that you ask him if he wants help with his meal planning. He's in his twenties, lived away from you for a few years and is a grown man. He may not need help planning his menu. It would be horrible for you guys to start off on the wrong foot. I sometimes disagree with how my boys eat but sometimes we need to let them make their own choices. Our grown children need their space and our respect too. I know that we go on being Moms long after college but we sometimes need to be a different kind of Mom as they age. :) If he is wants your help planning his menus then you could try cooks.com or kraft foods has wonderful online recipes. A counter top grill is always a great way to get a quick, healthy meal. That might be a great house warming gift for him. Good luck

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July 16, 20050 found this helpful

I have found the grocery store a valuable resource. I purchase roasted chickens and turkey breasts from the deli, bake a potato in the microwave for 5 minutes on each side, cut some broccoli and microwave 3 minutes and add some good bread.

You can also debone the chicken and use it in tons of other recipies from a good ole hot chicken sandwich to chicken and soup mixed and served over noodles or rice along with a bagged salad.

I got the turkey breasts yesterday and served with broccoli, boxed stuffing and canned gravy. Was a good meal.

Or how about a little stir fried shrimp with some veggies of your choice and add a little Jerk sauce - quick, easy and healthy.

My grocery deli also has prepared soup and some great salads with a meat base which, after adding some bread, would make a great meal.

Hope he survives the junk food world out there!

Mitzi

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July 24, 20050 found this helpful

I am also single and hate having to cook for one and eating leftovers for a week. I also left home when I was in my early 20's. I went through my KoolAid and Mac and Cheese phase and survived. LOL

I would suggest that he might want to check out some websites like foodnetwork.com and I'm pretty sure kraft.com has a section for cooking for one or two.

In addition to cooking up chicken and keeping it in the freezer I would also suggest doing the same thing with ground beef. I do that and when I need meat it is already cooked and ready to go. I also measure it in one cup measurements so I know exactly how much is in each container.

Also, usually in the winter, I make a huge container of chili. My neighbors love it. :) I measure it out and put into containers and freeze. After it is frozen I pop it out of the containers and put into a ziploc baggie. You can do the same thing with soup but find that it doesn't keep as well. Mushy vegetables. I then have chili to eat for several months. Chili is great over rice, with spaghetti (for real - use like spaghetti sauce), as a baked potato topper. All kinds of stuff.

Hope this helps.

(From a fairly healthy single person) :)

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December 25, 20080 found this helpful

I have been cooking for one for 20 years. What I have found that works is to have the staple seasonings, condiments and jarred vegetables from a place like Trader Joe's, Henry's, Whole Foods (Capers, Green Olives, etc), as well as some of the better seasoned veggies in the frozen section. Trader Joe's, for example, has a delish Melange mix of green, yellow and red bell-peppers, along with onions that I toss in with an omelette, or if it's evening, with some pasta and some e.v.o. All he'd have to do afterwards is add whatever meat (or no meat at all) he'd like to have as the key protein ingredient. The frozen and jarred veggies spice up a dish like nobody's business and yet, keep fresh for future use!

There are other sites and blogs--I know of a great one: www.cookingsingleinthecity.blogspot.com ;) that help with resources, as well...such as cooking classes for singles! Best wishes!

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December 25, 20080 found this helpful

I have been cooking for one for 20 years. What I have found that works is to have the staple seasonings, condiments and jarred vegetables from a place like Trader Joe's, Henry's, Whole Foods (Capers, Green Olives, etc), as well as some of the better seasoned veggies in the frozen section. Trader Joe's, for example, has a delish Melange mix of green, yellow and red bell-peppers, along with onions that I toss in with an omelette, or if it's evening, with some pasta and some e.v.o. All he'd have to do afterwards is add whatever meat (or no meat at all) he'd like to have as the key protein ingredient. The frozen and jarred veggies spice up a dish like nobody's business and yet, keep fresh for future use!

There are other sites and blogs--I know of a great one: www.cookingsingleinthecity.blogspot.com ;) that help with resources, as well...such as cooking classes for singles!

Flavorful dishes are the best. Left-overs are only taste-worthy for a day, two at best. Best wishes to your son!

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