Delicious and Economical Cooking for One


Singles, widows/widowers, and others who live alone often face a real challenge when to comes to preparing delicious, healthy, and affordable meals in portions that are just the right size to satisfy one.  Rather than cooking for just themselves, many resort to fast food, take-out, or pre-packaged grocery store cuisine that leaves them wishing for something better.  With a little thought and planning, there are better options for preparing and enjoying tasty meals especially designed for just one person.

Preparing meals for just one person can be a drag and often downright difficult.  With grocery stores touting “family packs” of meat and other staples, purchasing food in quantities that are appropriate for one person isn’t easy.  Many find themselves laying out huge amounts of money for large packages of food for their lunch or dinner, and freezing them one piece at a time, only to tire of eating the same thing over and over again before they’ve finished the package.

Buying the Correct Portions
There are a number of ways to handle this problem.  First of all, try to find items that are individually frozen.  If your local market doesn’t offer such fare, seek out the store’s butcher.  Most of the time, they are eager to offer you food in the quantity you seek if you just take the time to ask.  Be assertive!  Let them know that you only need one or two chicken breasts or pork chops and a piece of roast big enough for your dinner and perhaps one sandwich later in the week.

Seafood is often a sensible answer to finding foods that are available in small quantities.  Many stores feature seafood counters offering a selection of fish that isn’t pre-packaged.  That allows you to choose as small a quantity as you’d like.  Often, markets even offer seafood that’s pre-seasoned, like lemon pepper salmon or coconut-crusted tilapia, making it an easy but tasty meal to prepare.

Planning Ahead
If you’re unable to purchase meats and other items in smaller quantities, schedule a cooking day where you prepare several different dishes containing the same main item.  For example, you might choose three or four favorite chicken recipes, such as fried, cordon bleu, or divan, and prepare a little of each.  Eat one for dinner and take advantage of your freezer and store the others.  Pre-prepared meals such as these are perfect for evenings when you’re in a hurry and don’t have much time for preparation.

Simple One-Dish Meals
One-dish meals are also ideal for singles.  That means there’s less clean up as well as time spent preparing the dish.  Consider small casseroles that include items such as chicken, rice, and broccoli or beef, mushrooms, and noodles.  If you need more to fill you up, a small side salad is easy to prepare or you can hit the salad bar at the market on your way home.

Invite a Friend
Many singles note that they miss those meals that are often cooked in large portions, like pot roast or turkey.  If you’re one of those individuals, consider inviting a friend or two to dinner once or twice a month so you can enjoy such dishes and all the wonderful trimmings that go with them, like a big steaming pot of mashed potatoes and plenty of fresh vegetables.

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