When my daughter moved out at age 18 I faced a big problem in the kitchen. I could not figure out how to cook for one. No matter how hard I tried I either wound up eating the same thing for a week or living on frozen dinners.
As one who loves to cook I slowly figured out how to handle the leftovers. I bought a small freezer and made my usual recipes I then divide the recipes into portions and after enjoying my meal placed the remaining portions in the freezer
This gives me a chance to enjoy the same recipe again when I want it not for 4 or 6 days in a row. Below are a few suggestions to make cooking for one more enjoyable and interesting.
Buy Chicken breasts in the family sized package and freeze separately on a cookie sheet. You can then store them in a larger bag without having to fight to separate one breast for dinner. This also works with pork chops and small steaks. Just toss one of these frozen breasts chops or steaks in the fridge when you leave for work and it will be thawed and ready for the broiler when you get home. Add a few fresh veggies and you’ve got a great meal for one.
Do you love the taste of fresh baked cookies? Try freezing cookie dough in cookie sized pieces. Simply place spoonfuls of your favorite cookie dough on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Then place the frozen dough into a freezer bag and when you are craving that hot cookie simply bake as usual adding a minute or so for defrosting.
Do you love pie but don’t want to eat apple pie all week? Slice the pie into wedges and freeze separately on a cookie sheet. Then wrap them in foil for later. You can toss one of these foil packets into the oven alongside your chicken breast to heat up for dessert with ice cream or simply leave it in the fridge after lunch to enjoy with dinner.
Note: don’t try the oven heating trick with cream pie you will have a sticky mess).
Try using canned diced potatoes to make a small amount of potato salad. This is one way to enjoy something that doesn’t freeze well.
When you order take out pizza get an extra one and pop it in the freezer this is a quick meal for another night. Just reheat it in the oven on 350 Degrees until nice and crisp.
Making your own frozen meals is easy just be sure to choose foods that freeze well and invest in a few freezer safe plates with lids. Being able to stack is a must. Then pile on the roast beef, mashed potatoes green beans and in a few nights or weeks you will have a lovely meal.
Make double batches of your favorite soup. I make vegetable soup once a year and freeze it. I do leave out the potatoes ad they tend to become grainy in the freezer. Simply add a few frozen hash brown potatoes when heating the soup and you are ready to enjoy a warm homemade lunch.
If you get sick of the same old sandwich for lunch every day try picking up a quarter of a pound of two or three different varieties of sliced meat in the deli section of your supermarket. Then rotate them throughout the week.
Buy fresh pastries for breakfast by the dozen and freeze them in an airtight bag. Pop in the microwave for a fast tasty breakfast.
If you are tired of finding spoiled milk in your fridge try buying a gallon and freezing either quarts or pints. When you are near the bottom of the first pint simply place the next one in the fridge before bed. No more dumping milk down the drain.
I hope this article is helpful to those of you who are cooking for one. Plus if a friend joins you for dinner there is always something in the freezer to heat up for a guest or two.