Cooking for one or two people can be challenging. Let’s talk about it.
Many recipes are designed for four to six servings. It’s tempting to skip over any recipe that seems like it will leave you with leftovers that will likely sit in your fridge until you throw them out. However, this is an opportunity for meal prepping! After the food is prepared, package it up into individual servings that you can use as lunches or freeze for an easy meal in the future. Remember, leftovers only stay good in the fridge for about five to seven days so don’t be afraid of freezing them before they go bad.
Some ingredients come packaged in larger portions than you need. Craving pot roast but don’t know what to do with all 10 pounds of it? Don’t give up on meals like this! One way to go about it is to divide up raw ingredients and store them for other meals. This is especially helpful if you shop at stores like Costco where the portions are HUGE. Another method is to get creative with leftovers. Take the pot roast for example, after you enjoy your roast with potatoes and carrots you can turn the leftovers into a stew. This is a big time and money saver.
Do your groceries go bad before you have a chance to use them because you find yourself working late or going out often? Don’t give up and stop buying food for the house! My best advice is to make a meal plan ahead of time so you only buy what you need and then prep your groceries when you get home to help them last longer. This means washing produce and storing it properly, whether that’s in the fridge or freezer. Produce is at its most nutritious when its fresh so you’ll be maximizing health benefits by freezing what you don’t need in the next few days (this looks different for different foods - some need blanching before freezing).
Downsizing your cooking can be especially difficult if you are used to cooking for crowds. So if your teenagers have left the nest and you find yourself automatically making 2 pounds of spaghetti, it’s okay! Be patient with yourself, this is a chance to experiment and get used to cooking for YOU again! Take leftovers over to a neighbor, donate a prepared meal to a local shelter (always check their policies first), or if you want to treat your kids in college - you can freeze a meal and overnight it to them. It will be thawed by the time it gets there, just in time to cure their homesickness.
Whatever your specific situation is, there are so many reasons to cook homemade meals even when it’s only for yourself or a couple people. Keep trying until you find your rhythm and system that works for you. And in the meantime, our chefs can help you with meal prepping so you can enjoy a fresh homemade meal everyday.
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A personal chef