Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cooking for One

Cooking for one is probably one of the biggest things I hate about being single. (Okay not the BIGGEST, but it ranks right up there with having to do all the lawn work and remembering to buy toilet paper.) Do you know how hard it is to take a recipe and divide it into 8ths? How the heck to you use an 8th of a can of something anyways. It's such a waste of money. Can you say IRRITATING?!

So here are a few tips I've collected that seem to work for me:

  • When you want to make a casserole, split the recipe into two pans, one being one of those disposable foil pans. When you're done making it, throw some foil on that bad boy and stick it in the freezer. I know I can't go through a whole casserole before it either A) goes bad or B) I'm burned out on it. Say this with me everyone, "THE FREEZER IS MY FRIEND"
  • While on the subject of freezing food, it is really hard to make a single serving of soup. I take my leftovers and put individual servings in ziplock bags and then freeze the bags. When I want to eat some soup, all I do is boil a pot of water, throw in a bag of soup, let it thaw, and then I dump it in a bowl and heat it up in the microwave.
  • On Sunday, I write out my whole plan for the week and I only buy what I need, especially when it comes to produce and dairy. If I plan on eating 3 apples, then I buy 3 apples, not a whole bag. A coworker and I have started sharing bags of cuties because I'd rather give her half my bag than throw them away when I don't eat them in time.
  • Find recipes that use many of the same ingredients  The other day I made a black bean and chicken enchilada casserole. I saved half a cup of the black beans and 1/2 a cup of the corn and threw them in some lock n lock containers and put them in the fridge. Today for lunch, I'm going to bust those out to use for some healthy BBQ chicken nachos. 
  • If you're anything like me, I hate milk. The only time I use it is for cereal or recipes. I've found that organic milk, though more expensive, lasts FOREVER. I hate when I end up collecting 3 half used half gallons of milk in my fridge with an expiration date a month ago.
  • Get creative! I like throwing stuff together and seeing what comes up. If it fails, there is always PB&J.
Below are three things I came up with and are now staples in my dinner plans. Please feel free to share with anymore you might have!

Chicken and Hummus Tortilla

  • Heat up a whole wheat tortilla in a skillet, flipping from side to side until crispy. Place on plate.
  • Throw some grilled chicken strips (Tyson Grilled and Ready are my favorite) in the skillet to heat up.
  • On the tortilla, spread 2 Tbsp. of supremely spicy hummus (or whatever kind you like). 
  • Top with romaine lettuce, chicken strips, 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, a sprinkle of feta cheese, some salad dressing, and croutons.
  • Cut like a pizza into wedges.
  • Calories: 493

Mediterranean Chicken Pita
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place a whole wheat pita on cookie sheet.
  • Cover with 1 Tbsp. pesto, grilled chicken strips, roasted red peppers, and cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Calories: 517

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