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cooking for one
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I would like some new ideas for cooking for one, with no leftovers.  Most recipes are for at least four servings, and call for ingredients that are not easy to divide or save for later use. 
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Forums  »  Baking Forums  »  Healthy Cooking and Baking  »  cooking for one

cooking for one

posted at 11/7/2010 8:50 AM EST
Posts: 5
First: 4/8/2009
Last: 11/13/2010
I would like some new ideas for cooking for one, with no leftovers.  Most recipes are for at least four servings, and call for ingredients that are not easy to divide or save for later use.  How do others handle this sort of problem?  I like to cook and eat healthy, but do not like to waste food or have leftovers.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 11/7/2010 8:59 AM EST
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
That can be a challenge.  I try to divide as much as possible.  If I am making something that does not lend itself to making only a portion of the recipe I will make it as called for then pack it in a container to freeze.  I freeze prior to cooking or baking if I can, if that is not possible then I will freeze after and write instructions for heating on the container.  This saves me from having to make another meal in the future.
But you are right it is hard to cook for 1. (My husband and I eat entirely differently and that is also a challenge.)

Re: cooking for one

posted at 11/7/2010 9:02 AM EST
Posts: 7310
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/23/2014

Hi Hope -- I'm no help.  I try to cook for one too and find it very difficult.  I hope you get some good suggestions I can copy too.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 11/7/2010 9:45 AM EST
Posts: 483
First: 10/5/2008
Last: 12/5/2011
Since my wife died 10 years ago I haven't found a better way than Nikki has written above. Sorry I am of no use but I have been trying.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 11/23/2010 7:08 AM EST
Posts: 2523
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/23/2014
Most of the time I cook for me because my roommate is not home.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 9:30 AM EST
Posts: 3556
First: 1/16/2009
Last: 4/24/2014
This is difficult to do.  When it comes to cooking for at times I settle for a Lean Cusine or a Smart Ones.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 10:24 AM EST
Posts: 2174
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/23/2014
You could make thing that you could pkg for one and then put them in the freezer like Spac .chili, etc.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 10:29 AM EST
Posts: 528
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 6/11/2011
As was mentioned above, I cut ingredients in half or thirds and also freeze portions. I like to freeze, these are what I take to lunch for the week. I don't think I was any help, sorry

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 11:06 AM EST
Posts: 69
First: 1/5/2009
Last: 2/26/2012
I always have leftovers. I cook for two even when I'm alone and save the second serving for the next day.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 8:35 PM EST
Posts: 7310
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/23/2014
Cooking for one ..... it's difficult.   I do try to "save" things such as chili or soup, a mix of mashed potatoes and sauerkraut -- anything I can spoon into a freezer ZipLock bag, flatten out and freeze for later use.
Sometimes it's a real treat to have something home-made ready for thawing in the microwave ...
sometimes it's easier to swing by a fast food joint Undecided

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 9:44 PM EST
Posts: 40
First: 12/18/2010
Last: 7/28/2013

Not only do I cook for one, but I cook for one on a very tight budget.  I love the grocery chains that actually have a meat counter so I get $2 in ground beef, or $2 chicken tenders, or 1 boneless pork chop.  They also have a section in the produce dept where you can buy a handful of brocolli florettes, baby carrots etc instead of the whole bunch etc.  Rather than trying to cut down a recipe to fit one, I end up creating my own recipes.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 9:51 PM EST
Posts: 7310
First: 6/23/2010
Last: 4/23/2014
Hi Mark K --- tight budget?  I would REALLY appreciate any hints you have for living on a tight budget. 
Why don't you start a new thread (please) about that.
Thanks

Re: cooking for one

posted at 1/22/2011 10:37 PM EST
Posts: 1400
First: 8/9/2008
Last: 6/2/2013
There are two of us, my husband and I.  If I do cook extra, I either save it for the next day or put it in containers in the freezer and label it with he dish and the date.  Makes a quick meal if you need one.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 2/16/2011 7:52 PM EST
Posts: 1828
First: 9/9/2008
Last: 4/23/2014
Short of buying one steak, one porkchop or one chicken breast along with very small quantities of veggies or one potato I can't imagine not having left-overs.  My kids are grown and have been gone for quite a while and I still haven't figured out how to cook for two LOL. 

To make the leftovers not seem so onerous, I usually try to prepare them a different way the second time around.  Mashed potatoes become potato pancakes, cooked broccoli pairs up with fettucine alfredo, leftover chicken goes in a pasta salad or a green salad, etc.  Wish I could be of more help.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 2/18/2011 8:00 AM EST
Posts: 959
First: 1/30/2010
Last: 1/22/2013
I actually like having leftovers.  It means I have something ready to heat up to eat the next day (or week - if I put it in the freezer).  When I go out to dinner, I actually try to pick a dish that will give me leftovers for another meal.  If I don't want any leftovers I do like Mary Ann and eat a frozen dinner.  Many of them are very good now.  It is not like the original dinners that were not very tasty or healthy.  Now, you can pick from a wide range of tastes and types.  I think I like Stouffers the best.

Re: cooking for one

posted at 3/19/2012 3:37 PM EDT
Posts: 3737
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/23/2014
Hi HOPE S & NANCY; etc.
GRANA 
here;
 I think thesolution to yourproblem is calling them  them plan-overs & they'll taste better. A planover meaiis made from extra servings  you  save to use in another meal on another  day.
  This willmake life easier on another day: I deliberately make extra chili; pkg & freeze in qty right for another meal to beused to flll taco shells OR an omelett w/cheese shreds  OR pureed  for  refried beans for  use in nachos OR or enchilladas.
I pkg extra chili in one cup amts  for future use.
To onepkg( onecup);I  add  1-2 to 1 cup (canned)  beef broth  &  1/4-1/2cup  cooked  beans,  kernel corn & diced tomatoes ( extra spices to taste & get a hearty bowl of chili bean soup to enjoy on a busy cold day.
Leftover roast chicken is used to top salads or turn into chicken salad  OR to  augment chicken soup making it  a heartier meal.
Make chicken dumplings forONE / canned chicken broth; leftover coooked chicken pieces dumplings0( biscuit mix) or extra wide noodles; carrots& celery ifyou like.
Then there is the optionof inviting a lonely friend or neighbor to join you .There won'tbea ny leftovers &  the mealshould  e moreenjoyable for both ofyou  w/ the company .
Iuse 1/4# groundmeat & makeasmallmeatlosf  w/1/4 ofother ingredients
 1 slice of bread= 1/4 cup breadcrumbs,  yu can mix rightinto an eggw/ seasonings y u prefer (in  small amounts) in proportrtion to your lesser amount  of meat, etc.
I pkg my raw  ground meat by 1/2 cup( 4 oz) in thin patties.This thaws aster than a one # block of ground  meat as it is usually sold.
 There's takeout,often in a qty for one person; no leftovers that way.
Salads tppped as you wish; luxuries like shrimp ; steak. lamb chop ,fresh fish for one , cooked asyou like; adding more variety & choices to your menus
A  small baked potato, topped  w/ Greek yogurt[plain]& dried chives is another choice for you or  a favorite cold cereal w/pieces of fresh fruit or berries& milk.
Most dry pastas can be cooked in a qty to serve just  one( 1/2 cup dry)  &  topped as you like w/ pasta sauce, EVOO & /or grated cheese.
Ifyou want;I can taylor suggestionst to fit your fave types of food( w/ recipes ifyou like .My husband spent a few weeks in thehospital I had to quickly learn  to cook for one when I really wasn't hungry...Friends & family around the country in their concern for me  ept nagging me to eat; hubby did too. I came up w/ quite  a few meals for one that were nutritous  &varied ..I never  got  bored  ue to all my choices.
Thereare many NEw frozen meals now;lower fatl; lower sodium; wholegrains; International choices,  or small steak; one (lamb or pork) chop; pasta; all  can be made in a just right( for one) size.


ket than ever  before..
 This is av goodtimeto indulgeyourselfw/ anicetender small steak& a salad,orlamb orpork chop; maybetoo expensivefr afamilybutaffordable? fo onlyone. person






n Response to cooking for one:
I would like some new ideas for cooking for one, with no leftovers.  Most recipes are for at least four servings, and call for ingredients that are not easy to divide or save for later use.  How do others handle this sort of problem?  I like to cook and eat healthy, but do not like to waste food or have leftovers.
Posted by Hope S

Re: cooking for one

posted at 3/19/2012 6:51 PM EDT
Posts: 3737
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/23/2014

 GRANA  here;
Hi
JOHN H;
ere;So nice to have ou back here onVBB!So manyof us have been shut out due to site problems.Last I heard from you, you recovering from surgery& trying o decide if not to undergo  a dreaded  repeat  proceedure?   What did you decide?How did that turn out?
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 In response  to Re: cooking for one:
Since my wife died 10 years ago I haven't found a better way than Nikki has written above. Sorry I am of no use but I have been trying.
Posted by JOHN H

Re: cooking for one

posted at 3/19/2012 7:19 PM EDT
Posts: 3737
First: 9/13/2011
Last: 4/23/2014
GRANA  here;
 Hi SUSAN H
;    *P*L*A*N*O*V*E*R*S* IS what you do & it's my fave way of dealing with  this difficult &  all too common  problem .............If you think of leftovers as a useful thing &
plan to use them to improve your daily  life they might not be as dis-tasteful to you.
I have  a few divided  freezer  storage containers that I use to pkg these planover meals, cooled  foods may  be pkg in airtightcontainers; frozen up to one  month  & enjoyed as a convenient t  meal on a busy or lonely day 

I cook for two even when I'm alone and save the second serving for the next day.
Posted by Susan H[/QUOTE]