When you are single or living alone cooking can often be uninspiring. I used to think to myself, what’s the damn point? “Why cook a big meal for just me, I always end up wasting so much food”. Well guess what buttercup; you deserve to eat good food. So buck up and put away the PB and J’s. Have some pride and take care of your beautiful body. Cooking for one doesn’t have to be a depressing chore, turn it into a form of self love and pampering. Your skin and hair isn’t going to look beautiful after eating nothing but toast 5 nights a week. Your kitchen can mimic the romantic atmosphere of a restaurant, dim the lights, turn on music that inspires, and sing and dance along while you cook. You can be smart and sexy AND domestic, just follow these easy steps…
Know your personal portions: Pay attention when you eat, and get to know your personal portion size. Stop eating when you are full, and stick to that portion size from now on. Size matters, yes even with healthy vegan meals. Leftovers are great, but use them as leftovers, don’t feel like you have to eat for two or three just to make the food disappear.
Keep it simple sweetheart: You are cooking for one. This means that you don’t have to impress anyone, so keep it simple. Use easy to read/do recipes and switch up ones you know with different ingredients. Love that potato soup recipe but feel like you’ve used and abused it; awesome, switch it up with sweet potato or squash for a totally different dish! Stick to simple recipes and ingredients and just focus on balancing your plate with protein and/or grains and nutritious vegetables.
Embrace your freezer: The freezer is the singletons best friend. A great way to prevent food from spoiling and of course, it adds convenience to your life. Buying frozen fruits and veggies can help you keep it simple when you’re feeling particularly unmotivated to cook. Need breakfast in 5 minutes… No problem! You have a frozen berries and a blender to whip up a quick and delicious smoothie. Stock your freezer with leftovers and plenty of homemade soups and chili, and don’t ever feel guilty about having that frozen dinner again.
Buy smaller portion sizes: Buy single serving quantities as well as small veggies. Pick the medium size onion, and peppers instead of the humungous ones ;and rather than buying a bag of buns or bread, find a great artisan baker and pick up one bun and half a loaf. Depending on the item it may cost a tiny bit more than buying in a larger quantity, but this way you’re reducing your risk of waste.
Love your leftovers: Leftovers are going to happen when you live alone, and they are fantastic! Leftovers are like the Fast Pass at an amusement park, the golden ticket, the key to cooking and eating within a 15 minute time frame! Get creative with them, had pancakes for breakfast, awesome make pancake soup for dinner! Have some leftover seitan or tempeh; fantastic, mix with some fresh veg and you have a protein rich salad. Ah the joys of the leftover, eat it as it, create something new, or freeze for a later date when you’re too lazy to cook!
Order a weekly or bi-weekly produce box: I am lucky to live in a city with many co-op and organic produce box options. You never know what you are going to get and your fridge is always stocked with fresh, in-season fruit and vegetables. These prices are less expensive than a supermarket and you don’t have to walk to that superstore of evil food hell every week.
Stock your pantry: Think bulk. Stocking your kitchen with staples like pasta, beans, and rice means that you always have something delicious on hand. These items don’t go bad and can be used to cook multiple meals of various flavourings. Just add some onions, garlic and Braggs and voila, delicious brown rice.
Half your recipes: Most recipes serve 4, this is an easy number to half. Just half your recipes and you will end up with one serving for lunch or dinner, and the other as a leftover. It really is that simple. Half your recipe to reduce waste, as well as your cost per meal!
And last but not least…
Cooking should be enjoyable, have fun and be creative: Make cooking an activity and not a chore. Put on some music, grab a glass of wine and dance around the kitchen while you prepare your meals. Put love into your food and your put love into your body.
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