As a single mother you’re possibly more focused on baking for a brood, than cooking for one. Yet, if the kids are with dad, it could be just you that needs feeding.
Do you ever find yourself standing flummoxed in your kitchen thinking ‘what the hell shall I cook’?
Having mastered the skill of feeding many mouths, it requires a different, possibly daunting, dexterity to create a balanced meal for one. All too often, the effort outweighs the end result, and it’s easier not to bother.
This is a real shame. Look at the opportunity you’re missing? Instead of cooking food based on the likes and dislikes of your children, you can cook for YOU. What do you love eating? Think about it, because now is your chance to enjoy it.
So put on your ‘all about me’ chef hat, pour a glass of wine and stick on some music. Cooking for one is super-easy when you get the hang of it.
6 Tips to make cooking for one easy and enjoyable
1. COOK, FREEZE AND ENJOY AGAIN AND AGAIN
So your recipe is for six people? No need to recalculate and cook less. Make the whole dish and freeze in separate portions so you can enjoy them another time. Utilising your freezer is the first rule when cooking for one.
2. BE IMAGINATIVE WITH YOUR INGREDIENTS
Some dishes may call for a small amount of a fresh ingredient meaning you have some left over. Think about other dishes you can use it in. For example, use half a capsicum in a stir-fry and chop the rest into your salad the following day.
3. DON’T DISMISS THE DELI WHEN COOKING FOR ONE
Delis are fabulous if you’re shopping for small amounts of ingredients. Don’t be shy to ask for 50g of ham or one chicken breast, if that’s all you need. Local delis are great, but use the supermarket ones if you’re short on time.
6 Tips to make cooking for one easy and enjoyable (cont.)
4. IT’S OK TO HAVE A BOWL OF BRAN FLAKES
Of course, a long-term diet of just cereal is not great, but every now and then, why not? There’s a great deal of pleasure from such simple sustenance. Chop up some fruit for the top and it can even pass for healthy.
5. REMEMBER YOU ARE WORTH IT
If you find yourself thinking ‘it’s not worth making the effort when it’s just me’ then think again. You don’t need to justify the time spent cooking for yourself. You are the engine that runs the family home. A nutritious meal provides the energy you need to keep ticking over.
6. BUILD A REPERTOIRE OF RECIPES FOR ONE
Some dishes are super easy when cooking for one. Things like stir-fries, omelettes and mini roasts. Get inspired and have easy recipes ready to whip-up when you’re dining solo. There’s heaps of resources online, including a good range from Taste.