Last week I talked about deployment and how living alone can have its pluses. One of the major downsides though: cooking for one person. The absence of one person who eats a bit more than me is a big deal, I think it took me months to get used to cooking for both of us, and having leftovers galore for lunch for both of us. And then boom, back to cooking for one! Here are my tried and true tricks:
Have a go-to recipe for one. For me this is egg salad, I am a bit obsessed, but it’s a simple recipe and I know just how much to make for one meal. (2-3 hard boiled eggs + mayo + salt + pepper)
Think about how much you want after the meal. I will admit that when I’m cooking for two of us I sometimes double the recipe for more leftovers, since there are two people they go quickly, but for myself: I get tired of the same meal pretty quickly. So if you make a large amount, make something you can freeze, or be okay with cutting the recipe. Sure you’ll get some funky measurements, but think about if you want to eat the same thing for every meal for a week.
Buy only what you need. I’m sometimes tempted to buy a big bag of apples or onions or potatoes, but then I realize that I’m just getting food for the week, where I may not cook every night. The food will most likely go bad before I even cook or eat it. Sure sometimes bulk buying is cheaper, but can you really eat that much? Probably not.
Have dinner parties. My friends and I did this a lot, partly as a way to get together, but also to swap recipes, cook for more people, and have some new new leftovers. It kept me sane. Sometimes it was just one friend and myself, cooking dinner for each other, it was nice to break up the nights of cooking for just me.
Trader Joe’s is your friend. I seriously love their pre-made frozen meals. A lot are either small portions, or can be broken into smaller portions. I’d suggest finding your favorites and stocking up so if you don’t have time to cook, you’ve got something ready to go in minutes.
Those are my tricks. Any suggestions when you cook for yourself?