I love reading cookbooks, food blogs, and getting inspired to try new recipes. The only catch with this love affair has been: it can be kind of expensive (and let’s be honest, disappointing if something doesn’t work out) especially when you are only cooking for yourself.
I realized I have come to find a routine on how to cook meals for one, and while this routine is now habit it’s something that took a while to develop. And it is continuously developing. So I wanted to share some tips for those of you who may be just starting out, or who may want to shake up your current routine.
My biggest secret: I try and make day-to-day cooking as easy as possible. While I do love the feeling of putting in time and effort to create a beautiful meal, I just can’t do that three times a day, every day.
I have three tips to help demystify personal cooking.
Tips to Simplify Cooking for One
1). Build up your spice rack.
This was the biggest hang-up I had when I first really committed to cooking. I found there to be so many spices required for recipes, I would get super intimidated just to go grocery shopping. One solution is to use bulk spice bins (if a nearby grocery store has them), so you only have to purchase a tiny amount of the spices you need. As you grow more comfortable in what spices you like, make an effort to slowly build up your spice rack. Start by buying one spice that you can use on lots of meals and recipes. For me, this has been turmeric. Maybe for you it’s cinnamon or curry or whatever. Next, try and add one new spice every few weeks, and eventually you’ll have the spices you use on a regular basis on hand for whenever you want to make a recipe. This not only makes the recipe a whole lot less intimidating and expensive, but you are also adding nutritional value to your meals.
2). Make grains in larger quantities when you have time
I love to make a big pot of quinoa, and then just save the rest in the fridge so I have grains ready on hand for any meal. Not having to cook the grain makes the meal feel like a lot less work, and is super helpful for packing lunches to-go. Grains can help bulk up a meal and make it more filling, as well as provide an array nutritional benefits.
3). Try one-pot meals
I realized recently most of my meals start out the same way: I sauté some garlic in coconut oil, add a bunch of veggies, and then incorporate some sort of protein. For example, I might sauté garlic and kale, and then add eggs and scramble everything up for breakfast. Or I might sauté garlic, asparagus, bell peppers, and spinach, add black beans and (pre-cooked) quinoa and then serve in a bowl with some salsa. Both of these are pretty standard meals for me, they each take about 15 minutes (or less), and both only require one pot. The simplicity of only using one pot makes cooking feel like a breeze.
Do you have any secrets or routines to make cooking for one a littler easier? I’d love to here:
P.S. How’s the finding beauty in the every day challenge going? I’d love to see pictures of the things that light you up! Share them with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and let’s add a little more beauty to the world together.