Cooking for one doesn’t have to mean bland meals or “rabbit food.” No matter why you’re cooking for only yourself—whether it’s a deployment, a break up, or a weekend on your own—there’s a way to whip up a delicious and nutritious meal and get your money’s worth. Here’s a girl’s guide to cooking for one:
The freezer is your friend
Meat products often don’t come in a singles package, so use what you need for a meal and freeze the rest in single-meal packages. For instance, if you buy a package of chicken breast with four breasts, use one or two to make your meal (depending if you want leftovers—see number 4) and freeze the rest. Meats can stay in the freezer up to 3 months. (We love these freezer-safe glass containers!)
Don’t be afraid to adjust recipes
Many recipes make enough for two or even four. If you’re just trying out the recipe or you just want a smaller portion, don’t be afraid to cut back on the amount required for each ingredient or to cut out ingredients. Does your recipe call for hot sauce, but you don’t like it? Then leave it out!
Look at other recipes for inspiration
Pinterest and Delish are great resources if you’ve never cooked on your own before or if you’re looking for new recipes. They provide a great starting point. You can follow a recipe exactly or just see what it is and be inspired to make a related dish. For instance, I was looking into ways to make healthier meals less boring and came across Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch Lettuce Wraps. I didn’t make the recipe exactly, but seeing the image and the meal inspired me to make my own version.
Make enough for leftovers
If you know you love a meal, make enough for two or three servings so you have lunches and dinners for the week.
Make two recipes over the weekend
Buy your groceries on a Friday or Saturday, and dedicate an afternoon to creating recipes you’ll want to eat. This means less work during the week. Bonus: you’ll feel super accomplished and ready to take on the week.
Don’t be afraid of store bought
Some healthier recipes want you to make all of the dressings at home. Nobody who works 40 hours (or more) a week has the energy for that. So, opt for healthier store-bought choices. Look for low sugar and saturated fat content, “lite” labels, and lower calories per serving.
No matter what meals you choose to make, you’ll feel accomplished when you make them yourself at home. The only question left is: what will you make this weekend?
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