forum: Food & Drink

#1 Mon 05 Feb 07 5:30am


Member since Mon 05 Feb 07

Cooking for one - how exciting

Hey folks. Silver76 from sydney here, just moved out of home at 30 hehehe and though wow better learn to cook on a budget. Hmmmm been out two weeks now and cheese on toast is getting a little bit boring. So i am now having a look on the internet to see about cooking for one person on a budget - there doesnt seem to be much out there but did come across you guys so i would really appreciate any recipes that you know of when cooking for one. Obviously i am looking for something fairly simple.

Love ya's


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#2 Mon 05 Feb 07 7:45am


Forum champ
Occupation Registered Nurse
From Adelaide, OZ
Member since Tue 03 Aug 04

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

What sort of food do you like?

Try looking here for a start.

And here

Most of the salad recipes can be halved and then you have leftovers for your lunch the nextday or whatever.

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#3 Mon 05 Feb 07 9:15pm


Member since Sun 07 Jan 07

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

ah - the joys of cooking for one - i know it well!!

i write a menu each week so i buy only what i need from the supermarket.  as i used to go on the way home from work, i'd be hungry and end up back home with biscuits, chocolate, crisps and other nonsense i didn't go in for!!  I don't stick rigidly to the menu in that monday = egg and chips, tuesday = pasta, repeat to fade...... but i have 4-5 meals a week set.

so enough on the budgeting - recipes for one - i tend to make things which will do more than one night - for example, i'l make a bolognaise sauce to have spag bol one night and then use the other half to make a lasagne the next night; or roast chicken one night and a stir fry with the leftover the next.  Or, i've started making batches of stuff like chilli, bolognaise, and freezing it - so when i come home from a day of work i can just defrost it and cook some pasta or rice.

before i end up sounding like a total spinster, i'll sign off!!

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#4 Tue 06 Feb 07 4:02pm


Forum champ
Occupation Save a tree, eat a Beaver
From the boonies
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

lol  Femurs you don't sound like a spinster------but just out of curiousity---do you own any cats and if so how many  wink ----------i'm just kidding!

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#5 Tue 06 Feb 07 5:32pm


Occupation mothering my toddler
From The Netherlands
Member since Thu 20 Jan 05

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

I usually make soup with bread or pasta when cooking just for 1. Soup is soo easy, most vegetables make great soups, just boil them in stock with some 'flavorours' like leeks, onion, bay leaf and carrot. Take out the bay leaf and serve right away or puree with a (hand) blender. A lentil soup is easily made with these ingredients (cook for 45 minutes), or pumpkin soup (cook for 30 minutes), or vegetable soup with tiny meatballs...

As for pasta recipes: a basic tomato sauce is a good start, you can add vegetables or meat to taste.

Tomato sauce for 1

2 large tomatoes, or 1/2 can peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp oregano
olive oil
some water

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Simmer on low fire for about 5 minutes, add the other ingredients except water. Simmer for aprox 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water to keep it moist and leave for 10 minutes to cool (still covered)
You can also make this in larger quantities and freeze.

You can add bacon right in the beginning for extra flavour, or add some canned tuna 5 minutes before it's done. You can also start (after the onion)by lightly frying up 100 grs of ground beef seasoned with s&p, then adding the other ingredients. Or top it off with panfried and sliced chicken fillet (season with s&p, paprika and maybe even a little balsamic vinegar)
Some vegetables are great with this sauce, like steamed green beans (steam for 7 minutes), sliced and pan fried zucchini, sliced and pan fried eggplant (use lots of olive oil and s&p and fry until lightly browned) or grilled fennel with red onion.

I hope I could help a little, I think it might be a good investment to buy a 'beginners' cook book, to help you understand certain logics in preparing food.

Good luck!

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#6 Mon 12 Feb 07 3:55am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

Avocado Cream Soup

2 large ripe avocados, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup half and half
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the chopped avocados in an electric blender or food processor and puree. Add the half and half and blend well. Combine the chicken stock with the avocado puree in a bowl, stirring well. Pass the mixture through a sieve, then stir in the hot pepper sauce, and add salt and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Sour Cream and Capers

2 lamb shanks, each cracked into 3 pieces
2 Tbsp meat drippings or cooking oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup liquid (water, dry white or red wine, beer, cider, or beef consomme)
1 bay leaf and 1 sprig each of parsley and thyme, tied in cheesecloth (bouquet garni)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp capers
Brown lamb shanks well in drippings in a heavy kettle over moderate heat; pour off drippings, add remaining salt, liquid, and bouquet garni.
Cover and simmer about 1-1/2 hours, turning lamb shanks once or twice, until tender. Or cover and bake about 1-1/2 hours at 325 degrees F.

Lift lamb shanks to a deep platter. Skim fat from broth, mix in sour cream and capers. Spoon a little sauce over lamb shanks and pass the rest.

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#7 Tue 13 Feb 07 8:25pm


From ell's kitchen
Member since Mon 11 Apr 05

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

i like the idea of recycling the leftovers the next day.

i lived alone for three yrs and never cooked for one, make enough curry or bolognaise sauce etc for 2 or 3 days then freeze the unused stuff in portions, next time round just nuke it and PRESTO!!! job done.

otherwise do rice or pasta for 2 days, have chicken with it one day and steak the next.


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#8 Thu 15 Feb 07 4:33pm


Occupation Consultant Engineer
From Curitiba - Brazil
Member since Fri 26 Nov 04

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

we recently had a discussion about prices for cooking only for one.
I was trying to explain my colleagues about the unused stuff and everything.

THey just complain that the price you pay is the same that you will pay for trash food around the corner. I was trying to explain about the quality of the ingredients... well... , a discussion never ending.... THey really lack of interest... they are not interested in food or even eating decently... hehe !

pitty of me, trying to suggest them to eat decently known stuff made by thyself...
sad  sad  sad  sad   roll

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#9 Thu 15 Feb 07 9:20pm


Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

Cooking batches and freezing is one thing.

Another thing is to see to that you don't have to throw so much away. I you need only half of a thing make sure you can use it up in another dish or freeze it separetly (eg. cream can be frozen and then used in sauces later, wine can be frozen in ice cube trays and used for cooking etc. ).

In many ways cooking for one is not the hard part. Eating by yourself is often the worst part. (Been there after I moved out from home. Inviting someone every now and then can help - either take turns or cook together.) And when you do eat alone all the time make sure you don't let yourself go too much. Treat yourself to the food. (I noticed that when I started eating only to not be hungry anymore I started hating it. If I tried to make the thing enjoyable by e.g. lighting a candle for myself or just laying the table properly it tasted a lot better wink )

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#10 Thu 15 Feb 07 9:59pm


From ell's kitchen
Member since Mon 11 Apr 05

Re: Cooking for one - how exciting

having leftover ingredients can be a pain, but every couple of days just look in the fridge, see what absolutely positively has to be eaten today and challenge yourself to create something with what is available, if you find that certain things are getting leftover all the time then stop buying them, look for alternatives or smaller packets.


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