It sounds easy enough, but cooking for just one or two people can challenge
I've already gotten a taste of this with my college-aged son's comings and
goings. When he arrives home each summer, it becomes a challenge to keep the
pantry and refrigerator stocked. Then, come fall, it takes me a few weeks to
regain the balance of having enough food without waste. I'm sure it will be
even more of an adjustment when my daughter leaves next fall and it's just the
two of us.
It's so easy to eat out, or just hit the drive-through and pick up a meal.
In the long run, though, that will cost you a lot more money -- and a lot more
calories. Cooking for one or two requires a little more thought. But if you
plan ahead, you can enjoy home-cooked meals without a lot of extra fuss.
The first step is to pull out your favorite healthy recipes and cookbooks,
print out your eating plan, and draw up a weekly menu plan. To make the most of
your time at the grocery store and in the kitchen, be creative in planning your
meals. Your aim should be to cook once to generate at least two meals
For example, think of all the things you can do with one cut of meat, fish,
or a whole chicken. The first night, prepare it simply roast, grill, or bake.
The next night, chop, slice, or mince the leftovers and use them on pizza or in
a soup, stew, casserole, salad, sandwich or pasta dish.
One of my favorite shortcuts is to buy a family pack of chicken breasts,
marinate them overnight in light salad dressing, then grill them. I slice the
grilled chicken, and portion it into airtight freezer bags. Then, I use the
chicken portions to make pasta, tacos, barbeque chicken sandwiches, chicken
salad, chicken Caesar salad, etc. Preparing dinner is a cinch when the chicken
is already cooked!
Another tactic is to cook enough food so that you can freeze portions for
another meal. Foods like lasagna, chili, soup, and casseroles freeze well
because they contain sauce. (Be sure to label and date your frozen leftovers so
that you don't forget about them.)