Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Do You Have Any Cooking for One Ideas


I can use some ideas for cooking dinner for one. This is new to me after 45 years of marriage and raising a family and cooking for four.
I had a good idea a few days ago; I bought a game hen from Trader Joes. I rubbed it with melted butter, stuffed it with a few lemon slices and fresh rosemary and a couple grapes, and put it in the oven on a baking sheet. It was done in about an hour. Actually I went out and took Bounce on a walk, and overcooked it a bit. The directions said done when temperature reaches 165 degree F, but it was 200 degree F. when I returned from our walk and took the game hen out of the oven. Still, it was moist and tasty.
I had the game hen that evening and the next night too, with asparagus. Bounce had plenty of hen tidbits to nibble on too.
I would appreciate if you have any other good ideas for cooking for one you would share here in the comments.
P.S. 12/12/18 Starting Over mentioned in her comment Hello Fresh. My son comes over after work once a month with either Hello Fresh or Blue Apron and he cooks us gourmet meals for three days. I like these services, but it would be too much food for one person, I think. I like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron a lot. The choices are fantastic, twice now we chose the grilling cheese meal with sweet potato, red onion, tomato and avocado.

30 comments:

donna baker said...

Here's one Terra. In a glass measuring cup I add a package of instant cheese grits. I cook them partially then drop an egg into the mixture and finish cooking it. Of course you can doctor it up with a tad of garlic and more cheese. I add a few drops of Louisiana hot sauce at the end. It is really good.

sandy said...

No idea from me, I don't cook much anymore. However, I forgot all about Cornish Game Hens - we use to buy them often when we were first married. Haven't even thought of that in years. Yours sounds good the way you cooked it.

Lin said...

I think the hardest part about cooking for one is the motivation. You may want to cook some things that you can freeze the rest for later--like chili or soup. Even making a meatloaf and using those individual meatloaf tins help--you can freeze them for later.

I like the individually packaged chicken breasts because you can defrost just one. I like to bread mine...or spread dijon mustard on the top with a sprig of rosemary.

How about pasta with a salad and a garlic roll? Rueben sandwiches can be made individually--I used packaged lunch meat corned beef for mine.

Does that inspire at all? If not, I'm sure there are websites for this to get ideas too.

Lin said...

check out www.allrecipes.com and search for "recipes for one." I use that website all the time and they have a TON of recipes for one that look easy and delicious!

Retired Knitter said...

I sort of cook for one now - even though my husband and I sit down to the table together. I am eating a lower calorie diet now on Weight Watchers and am moving forward on a more plant based diet - just because that is what I am more comfortable with. My husband is still a meat and potatoes man. So I never make for just one but usually two different meals. However, because I hate cooking, I always make enough to have another night or two and or to freeze of whatever I make. I would probably still cook that way of I was alone.

So I guess I can't help you much! :-)

Betsy said...

The only thing I know about cooking for one is maybe making bigger batches and freezing them for later. The game hen idea was wonderful. I know I would just have a hard time cooking for just myself, so if I made several meals at once where I could just defrost them it would make it much easier. Blessings always, Betsy

Carole said...

My best tip is to cook for 2 and pop half straight into the freezer for a lovely simple meal another night. Or just keep it for the next day. All the best. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I have a wonderful book of 'Cooking for Two' recipes by Southern Living. Lots of good recipes that I've made. I have one or two other cookbooks for two also. Recently I made a homemade pizza, ate some the first night and froze the rest in two slice portions. I make mine in a 11x15x1/2 inch pan, or roughly that measurement and cut the slices into rectangles. You can always make bigger portion meals and freeze them for later. That's what I've done lately and it is nice to pull something out of the freezer when I don't feel like cooking.

It definitely is harder and not as much fun doing for one. I so miss cooking for my husband.

Using a crockpot is great too.

Love you sweet friend ~ FlowerLady

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

When I've been by myself for a few weeks at a time, I like to get a Rotisserie chicken at Earth Fare of Fresh Market. Then I can have a couple of nice hot dinners and also enough to make chicken salad for lunch. If you wrap a sweet potato in a damp paper towel, you can microwave it for a couple of minutes, turn it over and cook a couple more minutes. When it feels soft, wrap it in foil for a few minutes and it will be just like oven baked. I was looking at some yeast rolls on Jenny Jones can cook and the recipe makes 8 rolls. I thought that sounded good too! Holiday hugs!

Jennifer said...

I would probably cook plenty of big batches of soup and stews and chili that could be frozen in individual portions. When I was much younger and lived alone, scrambled eggs and toast was my go-to dinner!

Karen said...

I ordered a book called Mug It that should be delivered tomorrow. Meals for one in the microwave. I'll have to let you know if there are some good ideas in it.

Joyful said...

Lots of ideas for cooking for one but most of them will involve leftovers: sausages, sauerkraut & rice, pork chop and veggies, breast of chicken which can be roasted and eaten with veggie and salad or sliced to put on top of salad, homemade sandwiches with filling of your choice, spinach or other vegetable soups, purchase a roast and slice part of it for stir fry and the other part for roasting in the traditional manner with side potato and veg, burgers and so on. If you're wondering what to do for Christmas dinner for one you can buy a portion of a turkey and roast that to have with your favourite side dishes. If you are not up to making big dinner you could simply roast a a potato or two and buy a box of stove top stuffing. All the best with learning new ways of cooking for one. I also want to wish you a blessed Christmas as you learn to navigate the holidays without your dear husband.

Olga said...

I was also going to suggest allrecipes.com, recipes for one. It does take some getting used to, I know that for sure.. My son tends to make a big pot of something and eat that all week but I have to admit that I sometimes get sick of the same leftovers heated up day after day. I love when I can add something leftover to something new though.

Lady Jane said...

Wow, lots of inspiration from bloggers. I had the same prob when hubby couldn't eat from all the radiation he had and it is difficult I can sympathize with you. I too have not had Cornish game hens for a long time. Guess what is on the grocery list for this week. hugs, lj

Barbara - said...

Terra, we are cooking for two retirees and gigantor the college student on occasion, but Ihave collected a bunch of cook in bulk and then separate for one in single servings packages recipes that include lasagnia (in small loaf pans, making a pile at a time) chicken pot pies, and even casseroles-you just need to get some small foil pans. I may have to share these withthe world ingeneral. Try searching single freezer meals!

Michelle said...

Omelets are a favorite of mine. Grilled cheese/tomato soup, chicken breast/baked potato, and chicken breast/broccoli and cheese.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

For a time I had a lovely little cookbook about cooking for one. the recipes were fun. She even suggested getting all very small pots and pans. But I realized I don't like cooking for one, unless it is some sort of omelet or a stir fry with "ready rice". I like to make soups, vegetable soups, and roasts, and I like to cook about three times a week and freeze the rest, or just eat it until finished which could be three or four meals. I'm in my mid 70s and cooked for 5 for decades, and usually three meals a day. I can cook but don't really do that much of it anymore. I also saw a book on amazon called budget cooking for one.....That may be what I do!

Dee Kissinger said...

Looks like you got some good ideas --- including ALL of the ones I would have suggested. Hope you find something there that you would like to have.

Tanza Erlambang - Every Day Issues said...

I love to cook soup...chicken soup.
have a great day

WILLIE........! =^..^= said...

Braised Venison Haunch in Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce
Slow cooked venison in a delicious, seasonal sauce......

Venison is a meat which may turn some people off at Christmas, given its association with Rudolph, et al. I promise, however, that this delicious recipe includes not one ounce of reindeer meat and is therefore entirely Christmas safe.

There are two principal ways in which I prepare this recipe, both very similar. In the bulk of the recipe below, I will describe it as it is pictured to the right. I will then give details of the slight variation on the theme at the end. Please note also that I always use good quality, plain chocolate with a high cocoa content but milk chocolate may be substituted if desired.

Ingredients...
1/2 lb diced venison haunch
3/4 pint fresh beef stock
3/4 pint cheap red wine
1 medium onion (quartered)
1 medium carrot (roughly chopped)
1oz chocolate
1 tbsp olive oil
2oz basmati rice
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1 tsp freshly chopped parsley plus small sprig for garnish...

Method...
Put the olive oil in to a large pot and bring up to a medium heat. Add the venison, carrot and onion and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the venison is browned. Add the beef stock and the red wine and bring up to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for two and a half hours, or until the venison is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if required.

When the venison is almost ready, wash the rice in a fine sieve and add it to a pan of salted, boiling water, to simmer for around twelve minutes. Drain it well and stir in the chopped parsley and the garlic. Line a small ramekin with clingfilm and pack the rice tightly inside before turning the ramekin upside down on to the centre of the plate. Hold the edges of the clingfilm down firmly and gently lift off the ramekin before peeling away and discarding the clingfilm. Garnish with the small sprig of parsley.

Add the chocolate to the venison and cook for another couple of minutes only until it is fully melted, stirring frequently. Carefully spoon the venison and sauce around the plated rice....
(AND..It's not to 'deer'..). Enjoy...! 🎄✨🎄

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

As Lin said, it is about motivation. I cooked for six and as each of them left, I had to change my way of cooking. Finally, when it was just the two of us and we both worked, we started eating out more. Now we are both retired and I still enjoy cooking but the motivation is not there. We joined a food service a year ago , Hello Fresh, and once a month we are sent a box of ingredients of three meals for two that we have chosen from a menu on line (about 12 choices). We are given a card with pictures and instructions on how to prepare and cook the food and it usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes to have a restaurant quality dinner. What I especially like is that I am given just the measured ingredients needed instead of having to buy a jar of something when I only need a spoonful. There is no waste. I talked my sister, who lives alone, into trying it and she also likes it. She cooks a meal for two and has the other half the next day and she has three different gourmet meals for 6 days. The ingredients that I get are always fresh and the meats are excellent. You can get the meals every week, but we don’t want that commitment, so we do every four weeks and look forward to our special meals that I really enjoy cooking. The cost is about $10 a meal and I do enjoy making and eating meals that I would never had thought of myself.

Marion said...

A cooked chicken from the grocery store is my favorite. I divide the meat & freeze it, then take it out as needed for meals. There are a zillion recipes online, although I like the chicken, a salad & broccoli or an omelet. Much cheaper than cooking a chicken if you consider the gas saved. Happy cooking! xo

Arkansas Patti said...

I am enjoying your readers comments. I have lost interest in cooking and am looking for ideas.

Kay G. said...

I am the worst cook in the world but I found this at Kroger: a bag of frozen vegetables, it is Mexican vegetables...cook as directed in the microwave. Have some cooked chicken with a bit rice or potato with it. This is very simple but hey, I don't like to cook! :-)

kath001 said...

After my dad passed, my mom had these same issues. I can still hear her say, "You can't make decent gravy when you only cook one pork chop." She had a ton of 'plates' with their lids in her pantry that were from purchased frozen dinners. During one visit, I sneaked probably 20 or more of them out to my car. We still had kids at home at the time, so I always cooked in quantity. After dinner, I would arrange servings on one or two of the 'plates', cover them well, and freeze. We lived about three hours apart, but every time I visited, I would take a cooler full of meals. She got home-cooked meals with lots of variety, and I got lots of phone calls telling me 'how good tonight's dinner was!' :) It is a happy memory for me.

At another time, a friend and I went together and bought a large quantity of oven/freezer safe dishes. Whenever we made a casserole, stew, etc recipe for our families, we doubled it and put one in the freezer. Then we would get together occasionally and do a one-for-one exchange of our frozen treasure. We got the treat of enjoying each other's cooking (and got a night off of cooking duty) whenever we wanted. Over the years we have both lamented the fact that we live too far apart (1000 miles) to still be doing that.

If you have a friend who is in the same circumstance, I would definitely encourage cooking to share with each other. It was so much fun, and it adds variety, both nutritional and fun, to your menus. Just make sure to partner with a friend whose cooking you like! :)

Cynthia said...

A Buddha bowl, which is just bits and pieces of anything you like, microwaved. I cook dried beans with spices, to have on hand, and also brown rice. Microwave a bowl of vegetables to just crisp, add layers of cooked rice, beans, cheese, leftover meat. Another thing for one is a microwaved or baked potato topped with meat (sausage crumbles, hamburger, shredded pork or chicken) and sprinkled with cheese. Add a salad on the side and it's a meal.
I'm enjoying all the ideas in the comments.

Mona McGinnis said...

I agree with Lin and others who commented on motivation or lack of. That has never been a problem for me as I like to cook & eat. I'm not sure which I enjoy more! Planning is key for me. I usually plan for 3 meals/week. Food will get repurposed or packaged for the freezer. I've never minded leftovers; I think many leftovers just become more flavorful. I'm also motivated by frugality; I abhor food waste. So often a menu item arises from something in the fridge that needs using up, like the partially full jar of alfredo sauce that was added to the penne noodles with roasted red peppers, greens & butternut squash. I want to make a pot of tortilla soup, calling for chicken, so now there's a roasted chicken in the oven. Soup is also a way to use up leftovers & provide great nutrition & a meal-in-a-bowl.

Terra said...

Thank you friends for these great ideas for easy cooking for one person. My husband, Will, was the talented chef in our family and he was very good at looking at what was in the refrigerator and creating a feast with what was there. I relied on him and now it is my turn to be chef. Cynthia's idea of a Buddha bowl is appealing to me, along with all of your suggestions. We are a supportive group aren't we?

Joyful said...

Hi Terra, I was watching this You Tube channel by 2 Christian ladies from USA tonight and came across this video which you might like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T60VNrDYCFI

someone who cares said...

Depending on the space on your freezer, you can cook as you used to and freeze extra portions for later on.Soon enough you will have days when you won't need to cook and a rotating menu.