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Practical Cooking Tips for Singles

Save Time, Money and Reduce Waste


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  • this article is a great one. i cook in large batches and freeze myself. i too live by myself and this help me with my tight food budget. i just made a small beef roast with lots of potatoes and carrots. it made five one quart containers which i froze and believe me i will be splitting that into lunch and dinner by adding more veggies or a side salad thanks again this was great as i no know i am not alone in my way of cooking.
  • I love to cook so I don't mind spending hours in kitchen even though it is just me! I do batch cooking because I know that there will be days that I will not have the time nor energy to cook, and I find it very easy to turn yesterdays roast into 3 or 4 different meals which i can freeze.
  • More information necessary for daily living that is not taught in school! Thanks!
    Taste of Home (Reiman) has a couple of cookbooks about cooking for 1 or 2 -
    I like all of the cookbooks from WW or Cooking Light that are 5 Ingredient and 15 mins. They have all of the cal/fat/protein/carb info. I really love cooking for myself! I'm not a big leftover or crockpot person but some things like lasagna or chili are really good as leftovers! I really prefer freshly cooked food and try to use what is in my garden or herbs growing in my windowsill.
  • I have done batch cooking off an on for 40 years, starting in college where I had one of those little waist high fridges. You don't have to make a finished product as a "batch." I chop several pounds of onions, some green peppers, garlic, carrots, and any other veg that looks good. I measure them into 1/2 to 1 cup zip bags for use in recipes that call for raw vegs. Some I make into italian sauce for spaghetti and other pasta dishes; some I saute for use in meat loaf, sauces, omelets, soups. That is batch cooking that fits into any tiny freezer. you can make nearly 2 weeks of meals with the vegs you store in the tiny top of a dorm freezer. spend some quality time with a stack of cookbooks from the library. pick the easiest recipes out with the flavors you like. divide them in half, then make a list of how much vegs you need. that is the most time consuming preparation part of any recipe. you can make it even easier by hitting the salad bar and buying it all pre-chopped. remove the air from the bags and they can be stacked flat (will defrost very quickly)
  • If you don't have room to store batches of food, then store half and give half to another couple in your building or neighborhood. A good way to build karma.
  • I have very little freezer space .I just find recipes that are 4-6 servings and cut in half.That way I only have one meal left over and a little for my little buddies{dogs}.Mostly though I just use my imagination and look in the pantry,cupboard and veggie darw and start putting things together.
  • @Alicotter - Just thought of another cookbook I own: "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two" by Beth Hensperger. This was a gift so I haven't tried any recipes yet, but I like her other books so I think it'll be fine. I usually check out cookbooks from the library and if I like them, I buy them. Maybe now that you have some titles/authors, you might be able to find them in your library too. {I hope my posting of book titles does not violate the Community Guideline on advertising - I have no affiliation with any of these books. I just like them.}
  • Good article. I do batch cooking of soups and chili but otherwise, my go to technique is planned leftovers. Luckily I don't mind eating leftovers a couple of times, but I prefer to turn them into something else so I'm not eating the same thing over and over. A roast made on the weekend can be sandwiches, salads, pizza, soup, frittata or stir fry later in the week. A Pad Thai recipe became a noodle soup which toned down the sauce that I didn't care for. (I made a Vietnamese style broth and called it fake Pho.)

    @Alicotter...the three cookbooks I own that have small recipes:
    - "Serves One" by Toni Lydecker
    - "Solo Suppers" by Joyce Goldstein
    - "Cooking for Two: A Healthy Exchanges Cookbook" by JoAnna M. Lund

    "Cooking for Two" has nutrition information for all the recipes so you don't have to plug them into SparkRecipes to find out. The others do not have nutrition info printed in them. I also checked out "What We Eat When We Eat Alone" from the library. It has some recipes in it as well. I know I've read others but I don't recall the titles right now.

    Taste of Home published a magazine called "Cooking for Two." I don't know if it was a special issue or if it stopped publishing but they still have a website with recipes that can be found with an easy web search.
  • Great info here...and even if you DO feed a family, there are times when I find I am at home alone for lunch, due to my work schedule and want something 'good' for lunch. I go to my freezer....where I have packed away my own 'single serving meals'.
  • Pleasures-Cooking-One-Judith-Jones this is a great book and a great story - if cooking for one you don't have to give up the quality.

    I like batch cooking although my batches are usually only 4-6 servings for DH and I. Still they make great lunches during the work week!
    YAAAAA is me screaming. Batch cooking is not a solution. What freezer, I have the top of my apartment size fridge. Not alot of room. Friends over, most are married, again not a great option. And lastly name those cook books. I can never find them at my library, or bookstores.
  • Was single for 50 plus years, now am single again...but even when my husband was aliive, I'd make my 'mom's recipes sized dishes.. at least once a week. I'd always f reeze things in small containers to take with me to work, and now, even though semi-retired, I continue to do the same thing. Just made a huge pot of soup..enough for two meals right away, and froze enough for four. Have ribs in the oven right now..enough for three meals; one I'll freeze for one of those nights I know I'll be working late. I love have homemade meals to pull out of the freezer when I know I have busy days/nights ahead..Oh, I bought a small chest freezer about four years ago and keep a list of what's in it,. and even have room for frozen veggies from my garden.
    thanks for the tips..I always forget about freeziing bananas!
  • I cook for myself almost every night and I love it! The one thing that I rely on constantly is cutting down recipes I want to try. I frequently cut them in half, in thirds, even in fourths to get the 1-2 servings I want. Once you do it a lot, it almost becomes second nature. (And if you do screw up a measurement -- like I did the other day with a zucchini lasagna recipe -- it still usually comes out okay!)

    One thing that has totally saved me is a modified version of batch cooking, which is being bashed in the comments. But i don't make a vat of soup and eat it for two weeks until I'm so sick of soup I want to kill myself! Ha. My version of "batch" cooking is to make things like homemade marinara sauce and freeze in 1 cup sized portions. Then it's ready to take out and defrost at a moment's notice for pizza, pasta, ratattouille, etc. Also, frequently at the beginning of the week I'll make a big batch of roasted vegetables as a side dish for some chicken and fish, and throughout the week throw the leftover veggies into various other things, like pasta, a burrito, a quesadilla, a pizza, anything! It really makes it easy to get more vegetables into my diet.

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