Cooking For One

Being single, like just about everything in life, has its pros and cons. (No, this is not going to be a Valentine’s Day posting so just hold your horses.) I love to cook, but most recipes make anywhere from 4-8 servings. I love having leftovers for those days when I just don’t have the time or desire to be in the kitchen for very long. I don’t love eating the same thing for a whole week. It gets boring. And, even if the food is healthy and filled with greens, it doesn’t promote great nutrition to leave out day-to-day variety. I often half recipes and have friends over for meals, which helps cut down on monotony and unwanted leftovers. I also gain inspiration from recipes then create individual sized versions as opposed to following them to a tee. I have several tricks up my sleeve, which I will share in the hopes of helping all you singletons find a little more ease in the kitchen.

When I have time and want to be in the kitchen I spend lots of time prepping so I will be able to eat well even when I don’t have time or don’t want to be in the kitchen. I chop up veggies and store them in containers in the fridge. I make large batches of brown rice, quinoa, lentils, and beans. I make salad dressings and hummus. These things allow me to throw together quick meals and give me enough variety so I don’t get bored.

In winter I make lots of soups. I freeze half of each batch, forget about it for a few weeks, then get excited when I defrost it and have something delicious on my table that seems new all over again.

Salads are this girl’s best friend. I make a huge salad that will last several days twice a week. I have a variety of toppings that keep things interesting: nuts, lentils, beans, homemade salad dressings, the possibilities are endless here.

Smoothies are also a daily go-to for me (well, less so in the cold). They are an easy way to get fruits and veggies in.

I’m a big fan of stir fry. Whether I have 10 minutes (grab pre-chopped veggies) or a half hour I can sauté some veggies and toss them over rice or noodles…voila!

Things you will find in my kitchen even if I haven’t done a major grocery shopping in awhile:

  • kale – kale chips, kale salad, smoothies, kale bread sticks
  • spinach – smoothies, salads, stir fry
  • frozen fruits – smoothies, baking
  • bananas – smoothies, quick breakfast, baking
  • squash and/or sweet potato (in autumn and winter) – salads, soups
  • almond butter – smoothies, baking, on toast, straight out of the jar
  • almond or rice milk – smoothies, baking
  • lentils – salads, soups
  • beans – salads, soups
  • brown rice – stir fry, salads, soups
  • quinoa – salads
  • noodles – stir fry, tossed with a veggie and some sauce
  • nuts – snacks, baking, salads
  • baking supplies (flours, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, etc.) – being able to whip up cookies, pancakes, muffins, pizza dough, or bread is  super important to me

This post also gives great tips on cooking for one: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-essentials-for-solo-cooks-from-joe-yonan-expert-essentials-193458

If you have tips or tricks that make cooking for one easy, fun, and filled with variety I would love to hear them.

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About djunapassman

I teach yoga, write, and edit. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is changing faster than I can, or care to, keep up with. Manhattan still beckons me to her island a few subways stops away, reminding me of when I lived amongst her daily hustle and bustle.
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