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Overcoming cooking challenges for single people

Single people who do not have other people relying on them for meal preparation face barriers to cooking at home. If you are like most single people, then numerous reasons send you to the fast food drive-through or make you decide to have a bowl of cereal for dinner.

Common cooking difficulties faced by single people:
  • Recipes yield too much food for one person.
  • The single person does not think the effort of cooking is worthwhile for just one person.
  • The single person does not know how to cook.
  • Many take-out food options seem better suited to the needs of single people.

To alleviate some of the issues that keep single people from cooking, first accept that cooking does not have to be just about dinner. If you are always resorting to take-out food for lunch or buying pricey treats for breakfast, then you are wasting money and probably destroying your health.

Your transition to home cooking starts with the concept of home preparation. This means that instead of always picking up something to eat from a bakery, restaurant, or coffee shop for breakfast and lunch, you prepare food at home to take with you on work days. Packing your food will save you a great deal of money and likely improve your nutrition.

Food ideas for work days:

For convenient breakfast snacks you can bake some muffins, which taste good for two to three days. They make great snacks too and are easily eaten on the run.

Bake bread and use it to make sandwiches to pack for lunch. Homemade bread is much more satisfying and filling than store-bought bread. A little effort when you’re home on a Tuesday night could pay off until Friday. For the sandwiches buy whatever you like for sandwiches, like cold cuts, cheese, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, and there’s nothing wrong with peanut butter and jam.

Now that you get the idea about taking care of small daytime meals, start to consider dinner. Although you don’t have a hungry family nagging you for chow, you should cook yourself a decent dinner two or three times a week. To overcome problems like too many leftovers, you can plan to use some of the leftovers as your lunches the next day or two and freeze the leftover food. For example, if you like lasagna, you could make a pan of lasagna, enjoy it for dinner and then freeze the rest of it into smaller portions to have for convenient microwave dinners and lunches later. The same concept applies to other casserole style foods.

For dishes that you are not able to freeze like stir fry or taco salad, you should plan to eat the leftovers the next day. Whether your cooking creations are suited to freezing or not does not matter. The main concept is to gain two or three meals from each main dish cooking effort.

A fun way for singles to cook and learn cooking is to regularly throw dinner parties. This way you can try cooking larger scale dishes like roasts and turkeys and not be overwhelmed with leftovers. That your friends would love to come over for dinner is beyond doubt.

The benefits of cooking more and eating out less are numerous. You will gain better nutrition, greater value for your food dollars, save money, reduce trash from take-out food packaging, and enjoy the independence of being able to whip up something in the kitchen instead of relying on some underpaid stranger to drop the fries for you.

© Falbe Publishing.

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