Sometimes, cooking for one or two may seem like it’s not worth the trouble. You may worry about making too much food or having too many leftovers, or you simply may not feel like cooking and cleaning up afterwards. We all need to eat, however, and homemade meals are often healthier and less expensive than meals eaten out.
Cooking for one or two doesn’t need to be a hassle or a waste. Dietitian Julie Garden-Robinson offers the following tips to make cooking for one or two more manageable:
- Reduce your favorite recipe – Divide a recipe in half, or even quarters.
- Plan leftovers – When making a full recipe, plan how to use the leftovers in future meals. For example, the leftovers from a roast could be used to make sandwiches or tacos another day of the week.
- Stock your pantry– Keep items on hand that allow you to use only what you need, such as frozen vegetables, rice, pasta, dried beans and lentils. You can also freeze individual servings of items such as chicken breast, and then thaw on an as-needed basis.
- Equip your kitchen – If you have the space, invest in small appliances like a microwave and a toaster oven. These can be used to make quick and easy single-serving meals, such as chili-cheese baked potatoes and English muffin pizzas.
With a little creativity, you are sure to come up with a variety of quick, easy and appealing meals that are appropriate for one or two. If you need more inspiration to get started, try one of these ideas:
- Create a stir-fry or another skillet meal, reducing a recipe or using smaller quantities of each ingredient you add.
- Use a muffin-tin to make single-size portions of a recipe such as meatloaf, pot pie, frittata, or macaroni and cheese. The servings you don’t eat right away can be easily frozen for later!
- Sandwiches, salads and wraps make for light meals that will get you though the week. Start by choosing a base (sliced bread, a tortilla, a pita pocket or a bed of lettuce), then add your protein of choice (canned beans, tuna, lunchmeat, etc.) and various veggies.
Do you have a favorite meal for one or two? Share your ideas by leaving a comment in the box below!