Ugh. Cooking for one. For us busy guys, it’s overloading. For us take-out guys, it’s intimidating. For us single guys, it’s depressing. And who in the world wants to deal with that, right?
But cooking for one doesn’t have to be time consuming, hard, or even a downer. Not only are there plenty of recipes out there geared toward the single man, there are also just a few helpful tips you need to effectively master feeding yourself like an adult who doesn’t want to break their wallet. Take a look at our guide to cooking for one to finally be in charge of your own kitchen!
Mind Your Cupboards
Stock up on the basics, especially when there’s a sale. Have canned goods and other items with a long shelf life such as beans, rice, frozen veggies, onions, pasta, peanut butter, tomato sauce, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and even seasoning packets. In the end, you’ll find yourself only taking quick trips to the store for your fresh produce and protein for the week. After all, if you were going to go to restock your Cheetos anyway, why not make the trip really count?
Make Your Quantities Stretch
Cooking for one can be a chore purely because you feel like you’re doing it all the time. But instead of making singular meals or so much food that you won’t know what to do with, find recipes that have that happy medium in providing just a few servings. (A quick, basic way to do this is to simply cut a common recipe in half.) You’ll have your dinner for that night, lunch the next day, and perhaps dinner again for the evening following. This method will cut down on your cook time for the week while also giving you something other than peanut butter and jelly to eat at work.
When cooking for one, having a weekly meal plan can be the most effective use of your time. Chart out your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day in the upcoming week and give them similar themes. (A great example of this is having a main protein such as chicken or ground beef being your primary focus for a given week’s meals.) Also, do as much prep work as you can in your free time so the cooking process won’t feel so rushed and hectic later. Many steps to preparing meals can be done anywhere from earlier in the week to the night before.
Cook Your Main Protein All At Once
Decide on one main protein each week and then designate a specific evening to cook it all up in bulk. It’ll cut down in time overall when it comes to cooking various meals in the following days and will help keep the protein from spoiling faster in its raw state. With something as essential and time consuming as cooking a protein can be, preparing a meal when it’s already been done can feel far less daunting.
Have Fun With It
Nobody says you have to be chopping vegetables by an overhead light in silence. Put on your iPod or watch a movie on your laptop while making your meal. There’s plenty of entertainment to be had during cooking, not to mention the satisfaction of feeling like you’re not really wasting time by doing so. After all, you have to get through that latest and greatest television series, don’t you? Having fun while cooking can not only be an effective form of multitasking, but is also a great way to relieve stress.
Have any other tips for cooking for one? Give us your own guide in the comments!