Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Cooking for one!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    SO. CA
    Posts
    2,227

    Cooking for one!

    My husband is in a board and care and I now have to learn to cook for one (he is 91!). It used to be a family of 4!
    Any good suggestions? I don't want to have too many leftovers in the freezer!
    Curleytop

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    1,452
    Oh, what a tough situation that is. These life changes are difficult! I got this book from the library the other day: Cooks Illustrated Cooking for Two. You could have a nice meal and then leftovers for one day (or could you bring a serving to your husband?)

    "It is not a book for bachelors, nor is it simply our foolproof recipes halved or quartered to serve two. It is a collection of recipes that have been specifically tailored, tested, and tweaked to work perfectly for just two serving."
    http://www.cooksillustrated.com/book...il.asp?PID=494

    I haven't made anything from it, but it looks like it would be a good resource.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NashVegas, baby!
    Posts
    5,889
    Everyday Food magazine also has a cooking-for-one feature. I believe all of their recipes are on their web site.

    I'm a singleton household and here are a few general things I do:

    First, I do a fair amount of meal "assembly." Things like salads and sandwiches are easy to pull together if you have the basics on hand, and they don't have to be the same every time. I also do a fair amount of stir-fry.

    Second, I don't think about "leftovers" so much as "cooking ahead." For example, if I make a stir fry and rice, I might only have enough of the stir fry for one meal, but I'll make enough rice for 2 to 4 meals. The rest gets portioned and put in the fridge or freezer. Same with any kind of soup, stew, casserole, pasta sauce, etc. etc. I know what you mean about not wanting to load up the freezer, because I have a small freezer myself. But by doing a little extra and putting it away, I don't have to eat up the same dish several days in a row, and have some handy quick meals ready to just heat up.

    I know this must be a difficult transition for you in many ways! Hang in there.
    The Blog is open again!
    http://singlegrrlkitchen.blogspot.com/

    "If God had meant for corn bread to have sugar in it, he'd have called it cake." -- Mark Twain

  4. #4
    That is a hard transition in many ways beside cooking.

    I do think that realistically most people don't have as strong a desire to do traditional meals when they live alone which doesn't mean that you can't eat well or never cook.

    However, it's not always necessary to feel like one has to have the meat and two sides.

    As others have posted, I actually deliberately opt for recipes that have built in leftovers so I don't have to cook every day. I don't have the largest freezer but I do have room for a rotating bunch of single serving containers.

    I am also doing more of stuff like roast chicken and poached salmon which I can then make a good simple meal with with a bagged salad from Trader Joe.

    There is also NOTHING wrong with a sandwich and a salad or some Progresso soup. Eggs/omelets for dinner are simple. I know that stir fries are simple but I have kind of given them up for myself because I don't like the leftovers at all and don't want to prep that much just for one meal.

    However, unless cooking is really a passion/hobby I do think that most people living alone cook differently than when they need to get a meal on the table at a certain time for the family.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,829
    You have gotten some very good tips, here -- I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your situation. I know that can't be easy! (((((Curleytop)))))
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    718
    Curleytop, your attitude about a challenging life situation is truly an inspiration! While we are still a couple at home, we do struggle with re-purposing leftovers and have found it helps to think outside the breakfast/lunch/dinner box. Steamed aspargus is just as yummy next to a scrambled egg or two at breakfast as it was alongside a steak for dinner. And a poached egg is really good over a smoked salmon sandwich for dinner.

  7. #7

    You can do it!

    You deserve good homecooked meals. I cook for myself 2-3 nights a week & usually end up with 2-3 servings. I don't mind leftovers & never freeze them. Individually frozen chicken breasts & fish filets make it easier to cook one serving. You can microwave a chicken breast for about 8 min. - sprinkled with different spice blends, or when almost cooked thru, pour on a little BBQ sauce. I cook about 2 ounces of pasta for a meal. You might invest in an inexpensive food scale.

    Best wishes on this next phase in your life.
    Dorothy aka Martha

    Somewhere over the rainbow...

  8. #8

    Cooking for one

    I'm sorry to read about your situtuion. My husband past away almost 4 years ago and since I love to cook I adjusted of still doing it. As some of us allready said, cooking 2 or 3 portions of certain food is very good, I always make more rice than I need and freeze the leftover. There are so many ways of incorporating leftovers in new dishes that you be amazed what you can come up with. I for instance put rice on top of salad, and make lots of stir fries and soups. I did give up baking, except for baking muffins. I hope you find a way of still eating healthy and keep up those exciting recipes which yoy will make.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    SO. CA
    Posts
    2,227
    Thanks for all the good suggestions! Tonite I made a cheese omlet, a mixed salad and some whole wheat toast.
    I often do tacos with a side of refried beans (from a can)

    Yes chicken is always a good alternative and there are lots of ways of doing just a 1/2 breast!
    Curleytop

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boca Raton, Florida
    Posts
    11,513
    Hi Curlytop, sorry about your husband. May I suggest you check out the recipes on the cooking game posted by Ohioan (Phoebe) Most of them are 1 serving.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Kitsap Peninsula, WA
    Posts
    2,219
    Curleytop, I'm so sorry to hear about your dh. We had to do the same thing with my mom. She had a stroke and is paralyzed on her left side. Her mind is fine, but she is unable to physically take care of herself.

    I haven't been on the CL board for several months as I've had to drastically change my diet. I am now eating very low carb/high fat. But, there is one meal I make that you might enjoy. It's called Crack Slaw. Basically you brown whatever ground meat you want to use. I use ground turkey just because I'm not ready to start eating ground beef again. To increase the fat, I brown it in butter or if I'm doing Asian flavors, coconut oil. Season the meat however you like and remove from the pan. Add coleslaw mix to the pan and saute until it is as done as you like. Add the meat back and whatever additional flavorings you like.

    This is a very quick and easy meal. I know that it sounds quite weird, but it's actually very good.
    Oh, I do cut back the amounts to make just one serving, unless my family decides that they want to have it, too. I keep 1/4-1/3 pound packages of ground turkey in the freezer so I can just take out what I need.

    Here's the recipe with variations on how I make it:

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Crack Slaw

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Ground Turkey Low Carb

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    1 bag Dole Cole Slaw Mix (try to pick out the carrots) or Shredded Cabbage.
    2 tablespoons oil or butter
    1 1/2 lbs ground beef
    *Red Pepper Flakes.

    Brown meat till it's cooked. Remove from pan. Heat up oil in the pan, then add in shredded cabbage. Cook to desired tenderness then you sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top and even can add soy sauce. Only carbs are the cabbage which is very little.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    NOTES : This is the basic recipe. I use ground turkey and brown it in butter. I then remove it from the pan, add more butter to the pan and saute the cole slaw mix.
    If I'm doing Asian style, I add garlic, ginger and green onions along with some soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of Truvia.
    For Mexican, I add chili powder or taco seasoning and garlic to the meat. I brown it all together and add some water and let it simmer a bit until the water evaporates. I remove the meat, saute the cabbage, add the meat back and serve it with avodaco, sour cream, and cheese.
    Pesto Crack Slaw - just add pesto at the end and combine all. I sometimes add additional cheese.
    Baked Spaghetti Crack Slaw - after adding the meat back to the cole slaw mix, I add oregano, tomato sauce, sour cream, and mozzarella. Combine until cheese is melted.
    "Let food be thy medicine" ~ Hippocrates

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    SO. CA
    Posts
    2,227
    Thank you all for the good suggestions! It will give me a good variety of things to try!
    I buy something called CHICKEN TENDERS which are strips of chicken breast (get them in Sprouts). I often cut them up into little chunks and make stirfry with veggies. Tonite, I grilled them in the grill pan and had mixed veggies on the side.
    For all the "young ones" I am 87 going on 88 (hahah) Yes, I still drive and garden and vacuum!
    (I also dress in jeans and sweats)
    Curleytop

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,829
    Quote Originally Posted by Curleytop View Post
    Thank you all for the good suggestions! It will give me a good variety of things to try!
    I buy something called CHICKEN TENDERS which are strips of chicken breast (get them in Sprouts). I often cut them up into little chunks and make stirfry with veggies. Tonite, I grilled them in the grill pan and had mixed veggies on the side.
    For all the "young ones" I am 87 going on 88 (hahah) Yes, I still drive and garden and vacuum!
    (I also dress in jeans and sweats)
    And, you are an inspiration to us all!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •