Cooking for one person – 14 Questions Answered

When starting down a new path in life, there are always questions.  The problem, at least for me, is I feel dumb when I ask them. I feel like people who would have the answers, those “In The Know” are looking down at me and wondering why I would attempt this when it’s obvious that I don’t even have the most rudimentary skills to make it happen.

Is this the truth?  Probably not but all it takes is that one person to make us feel like we would never be able to pull this off, right?

I’m here to tell you that you can do it and I’m here to help!  I’ve got some answers to 14 common questions about how to get started on this journey to eat healthier and be successful cooking for one.

What Should I Eat When Living Alone?

 

What do single people eat?

Generally speaking, people who live alone tend to have poorer eating habits than those who don’t, men to a greater degree than women.  I’m not throwing shade here, it’s just a fact.

Why?  Theories abound but it seems most singles agree that it’s harder to keep fruits and vegetables fresh until they can be used and it’s harder to purchase portions of fresh food sized for a single person. And let’s not forget accountability…it’s easier to eat cake for dinner when there’s no one there to see you do it.

What should you eat when you’re single?

I’m not crazy about the wording of this question because it seems to indicate that there are things we are “allowed” to eat and things we are “not allowed” to eat.  We should be striving to add more whole foods to our diets and cutting back on empty calories as well as processed foods but let’s face facts: There will absolutely be (the very occasional) times when you’re going to eat cake for dinner.  And that’s ok.

What can I cook that’s healthy?

 

What is a healthy dinner?

There’s no one-size-fits-all healthy meal.  People have different likes, different eating habits and different beliefs on what is ethical food.  Based on what our bodies need to thrive, a meal should consist of protein, fruits and/or veggies, complex carbs and calcium.  And don’t forget that a tad bit of fat helps your body absorb all those nutrients!

How do single people eat healthy?

It’s easier to eat healthy when you have the healthy foods you need right on hand. Whether you like to shop for groceries daily, weekly or monthly, make sure you go with a  meal plan in mind and a list in hand.

Take advantage of the butcher, seafood and deli counters to get the exact amount of product you’ll want to eat.  Shop for loose fruits and veggies in produce and don’t hesitate to ask the clerks in produce and meat if you can get portions smaller than the packages that are on the shelf.  Lastly, check in the frozen aisle for healthy foods that will keep for a while in your freezer!

How do you cook when living alone?

What are the easiest things to cook?

There are plenty of simple recipes out there that just take just a few minutes to prepare such as spinach feta pizza and pan seared scallops.  You could also just Google “simple meals to make” to get some great ideas as well!

How do you simplify cooking?

One of the easiest ways to simplify cooking, in my opinion, is to make something once and use it (at least) twice.  Make creamed spinach for a side to your steak and use the leftovers for eggs florentine. Dill Greek yogurt dip is great for dipping some veggies while watching your favorite movie but it’s also great as a chicken marinade or in egg salad!

You’d be surprised how easy it is to whip up something delightful when you have a good selection of condiments and spices.  Szechuan style shrimp? Nothing but shrimp, rice and condiments. You can pick these up as you go along so don’t hesitate to invest in a new spice or additional type of mustard. These things have a long shelf life and come in handy when you’re on a mission to “throw something together”!

What should I cook for one person?

 

What should I make for dinner for one person?

I think too many people feel like cooking for one person is somehow different than cooking for an entire family.  It’s exactly the same. Oh, the proportions may need to be adjusted but that’s it. Spaghetti and meatballs? Just cook 2 ounces of spaghetti (the end of the bundle should equal the diameter of a quarter), top with a quarter cup of sauce and a few meatballs.  Viola! Spaghetti for one.

What should I make for lunch for one person?

My favorite lunch for one is a repeat of what was for dinner.  It was good then, right? Well, it’s good now, too!

What about breakfast?

What I make for breakfast is varied depending on whether I have to work or not.  If I have to be up and out in a hurry (because, let’s face it. We’re always in a hurry in the morning, right?) I will go for something very quick like a smoothie or something that I’ve pre-made on my day off, like a breakfast cookie or overnight oats.

If I have the time, I like to make eggs with…well…something.  It depends on my mood.

Sometimes, (I’ll admit it!) I just grab whatever leftover comes to hand, even if it isn’t technically considered to be “breakfast food”.

I guess what I’m saying here is just have something.  While we can’t always make time for breakfast, we can always grab something healthy and eat it on the way. Not hungry? Grab something anyway because I guarantee that you will be. Your body hasn’t had food in 12 hours or more and if you’re famished by lunch, I also guarantee that take out is going to look much better than that salad you packed.

What should I cook tonight?

So, it’s happened.  You were busy, you didn’t take the time to plan, you didn’t take anything out of the freezer.  There’s nothing for dinner.

Really? Nothing?

This penne pasta dish comes together in no time flat.  So do scrambled eggs, peanut butter toast or a hummus tabouli wrap.  Just take a deep breath, open your cupboard and your mind.  I promise there’s something to eat!

What can I cook when I run out of ideas?

This is actually one of my favorite things.  Why? Because I get to try something new. First of all, what do you have for ingredients?  Let’s say you have a chicken breast, a potato and some frozen peas. Just Google it! Seriously.  “Chicken potato frozen peas. Enter.” This method has never failed me.

Still got questions?  Ask away in the comments below and I’ll get you the answer.

All my best

Cynthia

cynthia@cynthiaeats.com

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