At some point in our lives, we are faced with the challenge of cooking for one or two people. Whether you are single or married, an empty nester, a widow or widower, you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking for just yourself. You may be tempted to run thru the drive-through, eat only a bowl of cereal or just not eat, rather than cooking and planning a meal.
Meal Planning Tips For One Or Two People
1. Make a plan
Just when you were cooking for a family or a group of people, you probably looked thru recipes and made a meal plan. Write out a week’s worth of meals and make a grocery list.
Most recipes can successfully be halved. Use some of your favorites!
Batches of soups and stews and can cooked and frozen in smaller containers.
3. Cook once, eat twice
Make shredded chicken that can be used in various recipes: chicken and noodles, soups and stews. A beef roast and can be served with vegetables and then shredded to make sandwiches. Be creative.
Make use of leftovers. Don’t let them go to waste. Plan to make a dish one day and eat it for lunch or dinner the next.
4. Host a weekly potluck
Part of the eating experience is being social and having great conversation. Invite your family or neighbors over once a week. You can each make an item to share.
5. Shop smaller
Use the salad bar at the grocery to buy smaller amounts of fresh produce.
Individual servings of fruit can be purchased, rather than a whole bag.
Eating For Two
Here are two recipes that are perfectly portioned to serve to one or two: Egg Breakfast Muffins and Mug Cake.
Egg Breakfast Muffins
- 1 cup ham, cooked
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup mushrooms, fresh
- 2 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 12 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray (the better you spray, the less it will stick!) or use thick muffin liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add in remaining ingredients and mix together.Scoop 1/3 cup of mixture into each muffin liner.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the muffin is completely cooked.
- Feel free to use whatever meats and veggies you have on hand. One tip is to store veggies in the freezer. Bell peppers, onions and spinach can all be frozen and used as needed. I like to stick them in the freezer after they have cooled (I just put them in a freezer bag) and then pull them out as needed for breakfast or even lunch!
- 1 (16 oz). box angel food cake mix
- 1 (15.25) oz. box any flavor cake mix (my favorites are devil's food cake and spice cake)
- Pour both cake mixes into a gallon Zip Loc bag. Shake well.
- When ready to make a cake, in a large coffee mug, mix 3 tablespoon of mix, 2 tablespoon of water and stir well.
- Pop in the microwave for 1 minute on high.
By Allison Stetler, RD, CDE
Franciscan Healthy Living Center, Lafayette