In many ways, cooking for one can be harder than cooking for a crowd. After all, most recipes and portion sizes just are not scaled well for one person. If you are cooking for one, you are faced with not-so-great options, which include balancing the time and effort and potential for waste with giving up freshness and flavor.
It doesn’t need to be that way, though, if you just put some thought into it and take some advice from some people in the know.
Tips for Cooking for One
For a start, here are some tips for cooking for one that will allow you to get all that you want out of your cooking, and still enjoy great flavor and great food.
- Learn you measurement equivalents. If you learn equivalents (like one tablespoon equals three teaspoons), you will be able to quickly cut down recipes to single-serving size. A good cooking measurement equivalent chart is a handy tool to have in the kitchen.
- Prepare ahead and freeze. Go ahead and cook that big, great-tasting casserole. Then freeze it in single-serve portions. It’ll save you time on busy nights and you can always take out two if you have company.
- From one dish, make multiple dishes. You don’t have to forego buying sizable cuts of meat or foods. You always have the option of freezing portions that are not yet used, or making a few different but varied dishes with the same base ingredient (for example, beef stew, kabobs, stir fry, stroganoff, and teriyaki.. all from the same package of stew beef or leftovers from a roast).
- Cook with friends. Get together with a friend – even a friend who is not single, or is cooking with a family, and plan a fun cooking night. Prepare a dish or two and split the outcome. You can do this to help vary your menu without having to contend with freezing and leftovers.
- Do a swap. Find another single friend and arrange a swap for dishes that you want to make, but that you know will leave you in abundance.
- Dine together. For that matter, rather than cooking for one plan to cook for two or a few and rotate dinner at each others homes. Save time, eat well, and enjoy the company, too.
- One-skillet wonders. One skillet meals are convenient for anyone, but can really make life easier for cooking for one, as there is limited clean-up and the scalability up or down is typically pretty simple.
- Play dress-up. One other easy way of cooking for one, especially in a hurry, is to dress up a quick or plain meal like pasta. Keep your pantry stocked with healthy canned vegetables, or your freezer full with small-portioned diced lean meats and bagged frozen vegetables that can quickly be pulled together to liven up a plain dish.
- Surf for dinner. Finally, take advantage of the many web resources that are out there for cooking for one. You’ll find with a little surfing that there are some great sites devoted especially to you, with even more tips and great recipes for cooking for one, too.