Cooking for one or two can be more challenging that most people think. Most recipes and packaged grocery store items are geared toward families of four. Sure, frozen meals and takeout are simple solutions, but they will affect your waistline and wallet.
Trying to cook healthy food can also be challenging. From having a busy lifestyle to wanting meal variety, it can be tough to keep things fresh.
“Meal time in a one- or two-member household can sometimes feel like re-runs of an old television show. You cook one dish and there is so much left over that you feel like you are eating the same thing day after day,” says registered dietician Lilisha Burris on Silver Times.
Here are four ways to simplify cooking for one or two:
- Plan your week in advance: Planning meals in advance is important for a family of any size. Go to the grocery store with a plan, and know what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner each night. This ensures you don’t buy too much food, helps you reduce waste and keeps your food budget intact, and you won’t have to think about what to make for dinner on your way home from work.
- Make large amounts: Finding the time to cook healthy meals everyday can be a challenge. There may also be nights when you simply don’t feel like cooking. If you have a few meals in the freezer, you can quickly warm them up instead of opting for fast food. Making large amounts of food at a time is the key. Rather than cooking a small meal, make enough so that you have leftovers.
- Freshen up leftovers: Leftovers can make a quick and easy meal. Instead of warming up last night’s meal, consider how you could freshen it up by adding some extra ingredients or make your leftovers into a new meal. For example, use leftover rice to make a stir fry or rice dish. Use leftover veggies for tacos, sandwiches or wraps, or even in pasta. There are countless ways you can freshen up leftovers. Just use your imagination.
- Look for new recipes: It’s easy to get stuck in a cooking rut. When this happens, people tend to go out to eat instead of cooking at home. There are many great cookbooks dedicated to cooking for one, and there are countless recipes on the Internet. Try to add something new to your meal lineup each week to keep things fresh.
These cooking strategies will help you save time, money and the hassle of figuring out what to eat. Cooking for one or two can be simple with the right approach and some planning. Bon appetit!