Cooking for one can be a challenge as most recipes are written for four to ten servings. On the upside, when cooking for one, you can adjust the flavors and foods to your preferences!
Most recipes are created to serve four to six people. If you have a smaller household that doesn't mean you need to resort to take out or frozen meals. Cooking for one allows you the flexibility of not having to please everyone's pallet, the ability to cook once and eat twice, and many dishes can be created in minutes.
Here are some helpful tips for cooking for one:
Utilize the Freezer!
- Frozen fruits and veggies are great for those cooking for one or two as you can take what you need, preventing spoilage. Try throwing an extra handful of frozen veggies into your next bowl of soup or into an omelet!
- Have large packages of tortillas, bread, or English muffins? Take what you need and freeze the rest, these items thaw very easily.
- It will save the single cook money to buy larger packages or meat and poultry, especially when they are on sale, and freeze. At Fareway, just ask your meat expert to cut or portion the cuts as desired and have them wrapped individually. Once you get home, toss in your freezer.
Cook Once, Eat Twice. or Three. or Four Times
- Making larger dishes such as soups, casseroles, or pasta dishes can be eaten once and frozen for future meals or portioned into containers to eat throughout the week.
- Rotisserie chickens can be a great item for single chefs as you can make multiple dishes to eat throughout the week: wraps, salads, single serving pizzas, etc.
Reduce the Recipe
- This doesn't work for all recipes, but in many cases you can simply cut the recipe in half or more if desired. Keep in mind you do not automatically reduce every ingredient. For example, if you are sauteing veggies and the recipe calls for 2 Tbsp. oil, you will still need to coat the bottom of the pan. If a recipe calls for one egg, still include the entire egg.
- If you are reducing a recipe, cook times will more often than not stay the same as long as you make sure the cooking vessel is reduced as well.
- Below you will find some measurement conversions that can assist you when reducing your recipes.
|1 Tbsp||3 tsp|
|1 cup||16 Tbsp|
|3/4 cup||12 Tbsp|
|1/2 cup||8 Tbsp|
|1/4 cup||4 Tbsp|
|1/8 cup||2 Tbsp|
|1 cup||8 oz|
|1 pint||2 cups|