But children growing up and leaving home, divorce or the death of a spouse are all reasons someone in the habit of cooking for two or more would suddenly need to learn how to adjust their cooking habits they've developed over the years to suit cooking for one or two.
The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make cooking for one or two a challenge rather than a trial. Use this opportunity to try new and exciting cuisines. Perhaps one of the greatest things about cooking for one is the fact that it isn't quite as expensive as cooking for two and cooking for two is a lot cheaper than cooking for four or more. And this means that you might have a little more money in the grocery budget with which to plan and prepare your meals.
One thing you may want to keep in mind when cooking for one or two, if you prepare foods that are freezer friendly is that it may save more time (and in the end money) if you cook the full 4 - 6 servings that most recipes call for and freeze the leftovers in single serving portions for a later point in time. This leaves you with a freezer full of foods for those nights when the thought of cooking just seems beyond your capabilities. It also leaves you with doing the work once and enjoying the fruits of your efforts many times over. This is a great position to be in if you ask me.
No matter what situation placed you in the position of cooking for one or two, there is no reason that you shouldn't enjoy great food that is exciting and pleasant simply because you are dining alone. There is no harm in enjoying a fabulous meal with a nice drink and great music whether you are cooking for one, two or one hundred.
Remember you are what you eat and if you relegate yourself to boring meals that lack excitement and spice that is what you will become. However if you decide to reach out and try new and exciting dishes with every meal you prepare when cooking for one, it will show in the way you embrace life in other areas as well. While we should not live to eat, we should also not limit ourselves to eating to live. Enjoy the foods you prepare whether the portions are large or small in size.
A Pantry Designed for Cooking for One or TwoWhether you are cooking or one or two or four or six or twelve, you need some basic pantry items. The only difference between pantries will be the quantities you have stored.
Jarred pasta sauce
Canned beans (such as chickpeas, cannellinis, kidneys)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Dried herbs and spices
Cheeses (such as cheddar, Parmesan, and mozzarella)
Condiments (such as Dijon mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, and soy sauce)
Jams (such as strawberry, raspberry, and apricot)
Salad greens (lettuce, cucumber, capsicum)
Freezer:Bacon (divide into individual servings)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to leave some whole and cut some into strips and others cubed for easy use.)
Minced beef (divided into 500g portions)
Frozen vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli florets, peas, beans and mixed vegetables)
Pizza dough (MOO or buy the small, fresh pizza bases and freeze them)
Frozen fruits (such as strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and mango)
So what can you make with your pantry stocks?
Frozen fruit + yogurt + milk = Fruit Smoothie
Pizza dough + pasta sauce + diced onion + herbs + grated cheese = Margarita pizza
Mince + pasta sauce + grated cheese + cooked spaghetti = Spag bol
Minced beef or chicken + onion + breadcrumbs + eggs + tomato sauce + herbs = Meatloaf
Chicken breasts + eggs + breadcrumbs + Parmesan + tomato sauce + mozzarella = Chicken Parmesan
Chicken breast + onion + mixed vegetables + cheese + milk + flour + pizza dough = Chicken and Vegetable Pie
Eggs + fresh herbs + cheese + salad = Omelette with Green Salad