Category Archives: Cooking for one

Cooking for one – Part II

Possibly the two most important skills when cooking for one are imagination and division.

Let’s look at the second of those first, division. It’s a fairly basic skill and this will allow you to take a recipe meant to serve 4 and allow you to cook a single portion of it. Of course it can help if you have a handy way to convert measurements.

Thankfully Google does this and it’s really easy to use. Say you see a recipe that serves 4 and calls for 1 cup of wine. You could try to measure a quarter cup or you could go to google.ie and type “convert 1 cup to ml” hit search and here’s the result, now you continue dividing :)This doesn’t just work for cups either, you can convert almost any measurement just type “Convert xxx to yyy” and google does the rest, very handy.

It’s not always that simple of course and this is where imagination comes in, how could you roast a quarter of a chicken, for instance. In this case I can think of two options.

  1. Use a piece or two of cut chicken, say a chicken breast on the bone, or a few wings and a leg (you get the idea)
  2. Cook a whole small chicken and use the leftovers for sandwiches or salads or even an omelette.

And I’m only using the roast chicken as an example here, of course I’m not suggesting that you live on chicken, but it is a great example for imagination. When you roast a piece of chicken (or roast anything) you can rest it on some veg (peppers, carrot, parsnip and onion spring to mind) and you have your roast veg along with the chicken.

So cooking for one doesn’t have to be all about things you can make in advance and freeze in portions :)

Cooking for one – Part I

Is a cookery skill in itself. Most recipes, including a lot of the ones on this site are aimed at making meals for at least 2 or more people. Cooking for one can seem a bit bleak, so what can you do if you are only cooking for one? Starve? Stuff yourself?

Alone

Well neither is a good idea, obviously. If I were cooking for myself and no one else these days I would most likely not cook for one. Confused? Well allow me to explain…

So long as you have a reasonable sized freezer, soups, sauces, curries and stews can all be made up in bulk and then frozen in portions. We do this regularly anyway and we’re cooking for 2 people most of the time.

When I was working full time, I’d spend a few hours most weekends making up tomato sauce, soups, stews, meatballs and pizza bases. Anything that wasn’t eaten over the weekend would be frozen so that they can be pulled out of the freezer on the way out the door to work and they would be defrosted by that evening. This meant that all that was needed in the evening was a reheat. So even when tired coming in after a long day, it wasn’t a chore/hassle to reheat some stew or soup or put together a quick pasta and meatballs.

And for those days when you forget to pull something out of the freezer, there was always frozen Pizza bases. Put the oven on to heat up with the pizza stone in it, once it’s up to temp, lift out the pizza stone, put a frozen pizza base on it and in the length of time it takes to add some sauce and toppings, the base will have mostly defrosted. Into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, slice it, eat it, delicious.

We keep a jar in our fridge with some of our tomato sauce in it at all times for exactly this reason (and for quick bolognese, pasta and meatballs etc.). When it gets empty we simply take some more out of the freezer and refill it.

The best way to cook for one is actually not to a lot of the time. But there are other options as well and I’m going to expand on these a bit more in future posts as well as some tips for freezing different types of meals.