Young Widow Forum

Specific Situations => Young Widow/ers with No Children => Topic started by: MrsT85 on April 03, 2015, 07:02:18 AM

Title: Cooking for one?
Post by: MrsT85 on April 03, 2015, 07:02:18 AM
Back at the old place, I remember we used to have a "cooking for one" thread in the "wids without kids" section.  I see our friends over in the "with kids" section started a busy parent cooking thread, so I thought I'd revive our old cooking thread as well.  All wids gotta eat, after all!  And as much as I tried in those early months, I can safely say one cannot subsist on wine and potato chips alone :)

My favorite meal for one is a quick breakfast for dinner.  Omelets are fantastic for this - throw in whatever meat, cheese and/or veggies you may have sitting in the fridge, make a couple pieces of toast (or if you're feeling fancy, maybe a waffle!) and it's actually a relatively balanced meal.  Especially if you use an egg substitute (I love the little cartons with the screw-on tops) and load up on the vegetables.

What are some of your favorite things to cook for yourselves?
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: BrokenHeart2 on April 03, 2015, 08:28:00 AM
I love to cook only not so much anymore because it's hard to cook only for myself. When I do, I like to make chilli or stews but always make too much :). I have small glass bowls with lids so I freeze single servings for when I'm not in the mood to cook or too tired to cook. I did like that cooking for one thread in YWBB
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: swilson on April 03, 2015, 09:17:21 AM
Thank you MrsTim85 for kick starting this. I don't know if this recipe would work for those who prefer Egg beaters. It's kind of nice to have these made ahead and in the morning stumble into kitchen for a reheat.

Egg muffins
Ingredients
Spring onion as required
Chopped tomatoes as required
Onion as required
Cheese as required
Green chillies
Fresh coriander
You can add chicken or other lean meats, spinach, ricotta cheese, bell peppers, and lots more as per your taste.
Eggs 6 beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste
Instructions
-Preheat oven at 200C
-Grease your muffin tin
-Add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose), pour beaten egg mixture on it.
-Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.
-Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer.
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Jess on April 03, 2015, 09:43:04 AM
I love mac and cheese and I have used this recipe many times when I'm craving it:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-mac-and-cheese-for-one/

It really is the perfect amount for one person- no leftovers which is huge for me as well because I don't do leftovers.
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: sdarrah1130 on April 03, 2015, 10:22:03 AM
I have a small food saver and it is fantastic for one.  A few coworkers and friends have made me food and a bit more than I could eat.  The food saver allowed me to freeze the extra in single serving portions.  BTW, single serving portions SUCK. 

I was so excited one day when I opened the freezer and thought I had a whole container of chili frozen.  Well I defrosted it, went to stir it and .................. Fricken pasta sauce!   OOOOOoooo I was so mad!  I was looking forward to the meat after 3 weeks of nothing but carbs (first few weeks after E died).  The following week I made a huge crock pot of chili, had some for dinner one night, waited until it cooled and food saved the rest.  I have plenty of chili now. 

Sandy - E's wife
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: sphoc on April 03, 2015, 11:56:34 AM
I also have a food saver - I got the mason jar attachment so I don't use as many plastic bags, and it works great.

I got this book, "Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You): Low-Fat Recipes with Half the Fuss and Double the Taste" and found it has a lot of good and easy recipes.
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: MrsT85 on April 03, 2015, 12:41:19 PM
swilson, those egg muffins sounds so yummy!  Like tiny little quiches, almost.  I wonder if one I could maybe pull apart some uncooked canned "flaky layer" biscuits and put a few layers in the bottom of each section before you placed the ingredients in the muffin pan and make little crusts for them.   Or maybe cut out tiny crusts from a can of croissant dough and do the same.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for carbs...

The idea of tiny quiches made me think of these - "Impossibly Easy Mini-Pies."  They're small versions of the Bisquick impossibly easy pies (I'd make the cheeseburger pie for Tim and I sometimes) that you make in muffin pans instead of a pie pan, the site says they're good for freezing:  http://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/mhplibrary/everyday-meals/impossibly-easy-mini-pies

Thank you all for contributing to this thread!  It's so nice to see our little section of the boards get some action :)
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Karin on November 09, 2015, 10:23:42 PM
I was never very adept at cooking for two. . . . . how do I cook for one?  Cereal is always a popular choice in my book.  Or a sandwich or scrambled eggs.  That's the extent of the energy I'm willing to exert, especially if it's just for me alone.  Any better ideas??

I haven't tried this myself yet, but my mom insists that this soup recipe is tasty.  Makes more than just one serving but not so much that you'll be tired of it before you finish the leftovers.

Baked Potato Soup        4 servings
 
2 lg or 3 med baked potatoes
 
Melt 1/4 cup butter
Add 1/4 cup chopped onion
Cook 1-2 min
Stir in 1/4 cup flour
 
Gradually add: 1 can chicken broth
                         1 12oz can evap milk
                          scoop out & mash pulp from 1 potato
Cook over med heat, stir occas, until mix comes to boil
 
Dice remaining potatoes, skin and all, and add to soup.
Heat through.
Season with salt & pepper to taste
 
Toppings, crisp, crumbled bacon, cheese, chopped green onion
 
Variations, Omit toppings.  Cook 2Tblsp shred carrot with the onion.  Add 1/4 tsp dill weed when adding broth.
 
 
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: donswife on November 09, 2015, 10:26:53 PM
That sounds really good
Yup it's so hard to get motivated to cook for one
I try and cook a soup on the weekend and eat it all week
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Quixote on November 10, 2015, 09:13:36 AM
I was the cook out of the two of us.  My wife liked to say her favorite food was other people's cooking.  It was a part of our courtship, actually--  I'd make her dinner or the odd cake/loaf of bread.  So cooking is kind of hard for me now, like a lot of special things we did together.  I rely way too much on eating out these days, but have tried to simplify things so I don't find myself aimlessly staring at the cupboard in despair.

I try to keep precooked protein (chicken, sausages and occasionally beef) in the fridge, with a stack of those prepackage veggie things from Trader Joes (baby broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc)

Breakfast--  we've got chickens, so I usually grab a couple of eggs and heat up a pan while I wash the eggs. Toss veg in microwave if there's not some precooked.  Toss oil in pan (landlady keeps olive oil with garlic in the house),  Stir fry a bit.  Toss eggs in.  Wrap in tortilla or just eat.  Season with salt, pepper and Tapatio.  Coffee.

Lunch-- fry random protein in oil until browning, add veg.  Heat.  Pour out of pan.  Toast tortilla, wrap and eat  Season with salt, pepper and Tapatio.  Coffee

Dinner--  same as above, more protein, skip tortilla.  Mint tea.

Yeah, it's pretty much bachelor food,  And I've been known to eat right out of the pan over the sink.  But it keeps me away from the taco stand.
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Jess on November 10, 2015, 09:49:29 AM
Glad to see this thread getting some love. I have been living on pb+j lately and the insanity must stop!
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Guaruj on November 10, 2015, 05:10:54 PM
It's November, and it should be cold outside here in Massachusetts. I always enjoy soups and stews in the cold weather. This year, I'm in the habit of making a large pot of soup on the weekend. I have a bowl of soup and a small sandwich for dinner each week.

Here's what I've made so far:


I do my best to make soups that contain primarily vegetables, since I don't ordinarily eat enough of them. I made the beef stew when I had friends coming over. It made an excellent poutine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poutine) sauce...

Quote
This article is about the fast-food dish (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poutine). For the Russian President, see Vladimir Putin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin). For the Acadian dish, see Poutine r?p?e (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poutine_r%C3%A2p%C3%A9e).

I want to visit Canada again soon.

|+|  M a r k  |+|
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: ManutesGirl on November 10, 2015, 07:20:41 PM
Four years later and I am still challenged to cook regularly.  Part is I miss cooking with DH and sharing the meal with him and part is my days are just too long and I don't have the energy.  I try to cook on the weekends and then use that as the base for the week or freeze it, some in single servings so I have something to bring to work for lunch.  If that doesn't happen it is takeout for lunch and cheese & crackers for dinner.

Summer my staples are grilling a bunch of meat & veggies on the weekend and then using that during the week as is or in a salad or sandwich.

Winter tends to be making soup & stews & stuff like that to eat & to freeze.

But the one thing I think that has helped is buying a rotisserie chicken.  Can eat as is, make quesadillas, sandwiches, etc.  Tonight I used it to make a quick chicken chili.
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Quixote on November 10, 2015, 08:52:34 PM
Like the rotisserie chicken idea. Good intermediate between take out and cooking. Healthy, too
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: TooSoon on November 12, 2015, 07:44:03 PM
Though I have a child, she wants nothing but carb + tomato sauce + cheese combinations, so if I'm to eat anything else, I'm cooking for one.  I also committed to packing my lunch every day for work and that takes some premeditation since I'm vegan and have some limitations.

Anyway, I make batches of things and freeze them in small containers or ice trays.  If I make a pesto or similar, I freeze it in ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to zip locks in the freezer so I can take out small quantities as needed.  I also like recipes for things that make multiples,  like stuffed grape leaves.  I make 100 of them and divide them into meal sized portions and freeze.  I also cook big batches of rice and freeze small, individual portions which can be easily defrosted and to which I can add beans or dahl or whatever.  And soup.  Tons of soup frozen in flat zip lock bags stacked in the freeze.   

Cooking became my elixir to grief, my therapy in so many ways.  I have passed many many lonely nights cooking meals for imaginary armies of people who will come eat with me.  I've tried to scale it back but somehow my Mediterranean impulse to feed anyone and everyone always prevails.   

I don't eat meat but my husband did.  When he was alive, I cooked a whole turkey or a chicken every other Sunday during the school year and used it for multiple meals and lunches and finally a soup during the week.  Can also be frozen. 

Also, I don't eat much in a day so had a problem with food spoiling, something that made me insane (the waste).  Soy products last forever by comparison with dairy.  Yes, it is an adjustment but if it takes 2 months to go through a container of cream cheese or a carton of milk, the soy version doesn't spoil. 

Everybody needs a hobby, right? 
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: KrypticKat on April 01, 2017, 08:24:34 AM
Cooking was my passion and obsession and one of the things my husband loved about me. For the first few months I lived on milkshakes, takeout sushi and toast. I've recently found cooking enjoyable again. It is hard to cook for yourself but I've found a few tricks:

Freezing leftovers for ready made dinners on bad days
Inviting people over and making them dinner. It's not the same as my hubby but it beats the company of the cat. Plus it's motivating having your cooking appreciated again.

Breakfast is sometimes the hardest mood wise for me. My current fav solution is over night oats:

1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup dairy
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1tsp cinnamon
1tbsp flax seed
1/4 fruit (frozen or dried- personally I like dates or peaches)
1 pinch of salt

Throw it all in a jar in the evening. Shake and put in the fridge overnight. Ready to go breakfast in the morning.


Hope this can help someone else.
Title: Re: Cooking for one?
Post by: Milojka on April 01, 2017, 02:23:15 PM
Great thread. Interesting.

I never liked cooking much, he was the cook, and a good one too.

I discovered that when you throw raw potatoes (cut in pieces) and Brussels sprouts (or any veg) and frozen sausages in a baking tin (add some oil and salt ), and bake that for half an hour in a preheated oven (200 degrees), you actually  get  a good and balanced meal with few dishes to wash.
It tastes better than it sounds :-)

Lunch is usually omelet and/or bread and/or soup.

Breakfast is usually milk with muesli and a banana. Which make me think of the addiction I have developed after his death, and which I still have: apples. I eat too many of them.

Now and then I do a cooking day. I cook 2 meals, each about 3 portions, and freeze that.
On my cooking day I also make 2 loafs of bread, which I freeze as well. No bakery around, so I just have to make my own bread, which I enjoy more than cooking.
And on my cooking day I also make a large quantity of soup.

I have a cooking day about once every two weeks.  After a while my freezer is filled with different dishes and soups, lots of choice. Every night at bedtime I take out what I am going to heat in the oven the next evening. (I have no microwave). I do enjoy the cooking days but I would hate to cook every day.