Cooking for one.

My husbamd is working away a lot these days, & I never seem to feel like putting so much effort into my cooking when it's only for me!

What's some meals/recipes that are easy to cook for one, I love nutritious meals/actually enjoy cooking. I'm just struggling for any inspiration at the moment! Am happy to make enough quantities for say, two nights in a row, but get sick of things quickly so anything more quantity-wise than that, I'm not keen!

I wouldn't class toasted sandwiches (& the likes) as meals either, I like to put a bit more effort in!

Many thanks!

Chef_chikbiskuit, Jul 14, 7:21 pm

Yea, I hear you. I cook a lot for myself and it is really easy to be lazy. In Winter I make things like Rendang, chicken casseroles, red curries, soups etc and freeze them down so I have 2 or three things to choose from if I don't want to cook from scratch. In Summer I eat a heap of different and yummy salads - esp Thai and Vietnamese based dishes (Annabel Langbein has a great book called Savor the Pacific and its my go to for really fresh, zingy and tasty dishes full of lemongrass, coriander, mint, kaffir etc).

Chef_awoftam, Jul 14, 8:43 pm

Gosh, When I'm on my own I go for nice treats that is so costly if for more than 1 or 2.

Ideal times to experiment with other special treats that you haven't tried yet or frighten to try because of presence of others.
Yep, ideal time just to sample different ones even if you go to say different stores like New World, Farros, Nosh's, any other top notch specialist stores and simply buy samples of various salads, dishes etc.

Even in other parts of store for all those different soups, pasta sauces, whatever and get an indication first hand if you like or not and think further if doing it all yourself in cooking or putting it together yourself via recipes or self tasting methods etc.

Yep, love these moments.

Hopes this Helps, or at least gives another perspective on things, LOL.


Chef_valentino, Jul 15, 10:49 am

Oh, Another place for ideas, the local central Library.

Great to have a bit of time simply perusing cookbooks for ideas, recipes that may suit yourself and Partner.

Use to go to Borders in Auckland and spend a great time lounging there with a nice coffee (or a nice drink - being courteous to the shop) and peruse a great selection of books, (just like that Fox's Bookstore in the Movie "You've Got Mail").

Damn, this was great - does not exist now.


Chef_valentino, Jul 15, 10:59 am

I was thinking along the same lines as valentino . good time to branch out and try new stuff / treat the taste buds a bit. Have fun. :)

Chef_sampa, Jul 15, 2:31 pm

If I'm on my own for a few days I make a vegetable stew similar to ratatouille (eggplant, red capsicum, onion, garlic, tomato) using whatever is in season, and keep it in the fridge. I use it either as a side dish with steak, meatballs, chicken thighs or lamb cutlets, or I add eggs to make a delicious one-pan meal. Add whatever herbs you have in the garden, green beans or zucchini, pumpkin, kumara - whatever you feel like - and it makes a balanced and nutritious meal.

Chef_davidt4, Jul 15, 2:54 pm

I cook on the weekends. In winter especially my slow cooker gets a beating. I usually do one soup, a stew/casserole, sometimes a roast chicken etc. Then make up a few portions which are frozen for use.
I use a lot of short cuts - stock bases from the supermarket, a sauce or soup mix that becomes the base of the casserole. Savoury mince etc. About every two/three weeks I make fridge soup. As long as I have an onion I can make it - saute onion then chuck in the odds and ends of veges (the last half carrot) etc in a stock.
I also keep a number of things in the freezer - lemongrass stalks, edamame, lime leaf, all of which can be thrown into a soup or stew for bite. I also always have dried pasta, canned tomates, and fresh noodles.
I don't remember the last time I cooked during the week.
And then - once in a while - I have heaps of choice and I still just want toast and a cup of tea.

Chef_fey, Jul 15, 2:55 pm

supermarkets often do meals for one that cost in levin roast veg and gravy is $5 a full meal is about $10 or under and the local old peoples home does a full roast on a thursday for $12 . if im feeling really lazy and wont to treat my self thats what i do . its hard cooking just for one

Chef_whitehead., Jul 15, 4:35 pm

After a lifetime of cooking for groups, I will never get used to cooking for one!
I sometimes freeze portions for later but my freezer is small. More often make up a family size meal, invite others to share it, then pack up leftovers for them to take home. I find if I keep remainders in fridge i get sick of it and end up throwing it out.

Chef_coverdrive, Jul 15, 10:23 pm

my daughter is vegetarian and flats. i would make her a veggie bake. i would boil cup of pasta. steam some veggies:cauli, broccoli, pumpkin, kumara, potato, i would slightly steam and veggies still crunchy. i then put in rectangular dish in following order -pasta first, then brocolli and cauli mix next third of dish would be pumpkin and kumara and last third kumara and potato. would then crumble some feta over the veggies.

mix 4/5 eggs with a cup of cream; add salt pepper/mustard - cook and then cool chopped onion and mushroom in a dot of oil in pan until onion glazed, then add all to dish. sprinkle a little cheese and bake. this gives her three meals and she loves it as its three different veggie dishes all baked in one. 1 for dinner, 1 for lunch next day and the other the night after for dinner, etc. she makes similar all the time. use oven once and then heat in microwave.

Chef_tich50, Jul 15, 10:43 pm

Chef_awoftam, Jul 16, 11:49 am

Yes, done that omelette one but added a wee bit of chopped "Ham of Bone" plus plum sauce. (Editing to add that most times would do a pancake but as similar to Jamie's Picture shown with Omelette).
Yep, time to play around . that is with the taste buds, lol.

Chef_valentino, Jul 16, 1:38 pm

Editing to add this line for poster 1, noted your comment re Toasted Sandwiches but read this. Cheers

Toasted Sandwiches. another one noted with Jamie.
Love these especially all on your own and let's play a little with them.
One like Ham and Cheese is using Fresh Ham off the boe (cheaper than good bacon) with chunks of blue cheese (not to much but enough to know its there) and toasted normally.

When done, add some nice mayo or dressing spread over the top of toasted sandwich then whatever leftover there is (could be Spaghetti Bolognaise, mash, greens etc, obvious that mash and extra cheese can be grilled a little under the oven griller) then top with some grated cheese or feta then finally topped with a sprinkle.

Serve on a normal plate and use a knife and fork and enjoy.

P.S. Sprinkle is a made up thing I used a lot like a Sasame sprinkle or a Almond Sprinkle. These are already made up and store and kept in pantry ready to use all the time.

Now here is another just noted via NZ Herald recently, interesting :
How to make the best ham and cheese toastie ever

Guillaume Nicoli's Croque Monsieur fresh out of the oven.
We love a gorgeous croque monsieur, or as we're more likely to say here in New Zealand, a ham and cheese toastie. Golden and crunchy on the edges, bursting with lashings of creamy cheese, slices of thick ham wedged between the bits of fluffy toasted bread - our mouths are watering, bellies rumbling. So, to celebrate Bastille Day today, we asked charming French pastry chef, Guillaume Nicoli to tell us how to make the best croque monsieur ever. He was making these back home with his mum in the north-east of France since the age of 7and has been baking them professionally for over 20 years - he knows his stuff.
Guillaume Nicoli in his Ponsonby cafe, Ma Cherie. Photo / Greg Bowker
Guillaume, the master behind the Ma Cherie baked goods and the recently opened Ponsonby cafe of the same name, said the popular sandwich is simple, with just a handful of ingredients, so dedicate the time to seeking top quality of each. After pulling a fresh batch out of the oven for today's lunch time rush, he shares his secrets with us.
1. Get yourself some freshly baked fluffy white bread from the bakery for maximum softness.
2. Thickly sliced ham off the bone is best.
3. The most important component is the creamy, thick white, bechamel sauce. Here's how Guillaume makes his (this is enough for a couple of sandwiches, but can also be stored in the fridge for up to a week).
Bring 500ml of full cream milk to the boil, with two pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Pour in to a bowl. In the same pot, melt 50g of butter, add 80g flour. Using a spatula, stir into a roux for about a minute on medium heat. Gradually add the milk back in to the roux, whisking to make a smooth, creamy sauce. Remove from the heat.
4. Assemble. "For some people maybe I am too generous on the sauce," Guillaume admits, but we beg to differ, there's no such thing.
Here's how he builds the best croque monsieur.
On your bottom slice of bread spread a generous dessertspoon of sauce. Add a couple of slices of ham. On top, grated emmental cheese, then another half a dessertspoon of sauce before the top slice of bread and another spoonful of sauce on top. Finish with emmental before grilling in the oven for perfect colour and texture.



Chef_valentino, Jul 16, 3:04 pm

In the above Guillaume recipe, I imagine toasting the bread first perhaps and the then grill the cheese a little on the first sandwich toasted slice only before adding the rest but noted his comment re béchamel sauce, hmmm needs to be experimented with like a wee try first his version, and it means as an example of trying out things when on your own like heaps of other different ideas and recipes. Hmmm does this sound right, hope so.


Chef_valentino, Mar 10, 8:59 pm

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