Tips on Solo/Single Cooking

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"As a tutor who's helping students with health and nutrition, I found this page to be a big help. Thanks for sharing the information!

If you get a chance to update, would you mind including another reference one of my students found? It's actually a really good suggestion."

Thanks, Ms. Brooke Pierce — it's a GREAT suggestion!

Check it out:

"Storage Guide: Food Safety"

JoyOfCooking is focused on expert advice to help you enjoy cooking.

Here's an excerpt from their "Cooking for One" page:

Even making a large pot of pasta sauce and freezing some for another day can pay dividends when you want to eat in a hurry. Doing this also means that you don’t absolutely have to cook meals from scratch every night. It’s always important to label any frozen foods clearly so you can keep track of what was made when. Dried and tinned goods can also play an important role in the larder of the solitary cook as they will last much longer in the cupboard. With just a few basic items in stock, a potentially huge range of dishes can be tackled.

NEW --- Super for solo peeps!

Pick Up A Lékué Steam Case & Have a Delicious Meal Ready in Minutes - $30 + Bonus Cookbook!

A removable inner tray is perforated to allow for draining. Remove the tray for “stew-type” cooking. The shape of the case provides for ideal steam circulation and faster, more even cooking. Withstands temperatures up to 428°F. 2½" x 9½" x 5½" Made in Spain. Dishwasher safe. BPA and PFOA free

Delicious steamed, oven- or microwave-prepared foods retain their nutrients and flavors. Veggies come out crisp and hot.


"Layered Veggies" --- DEVINE --- page 44

"Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms" --- THUMBS UP --- page 30

"Potato Frittata" --- ADDICTIVE --- page 40

"Chicken & Mushroom Risotto" ---- AVOID --- page 22

Chicken overcooked (little rocks) --- Rice uncooked. (Perhaps this recipe better in two stages? Maybe substitute potato for rice for better result?)

That said --- I continue to be super-sold on Lékué Steam Case

Check out an EASY "Chicken Cordon Bleu":

Slice a chicken breast in half lengthwise; drop the bottom half in the case; layer on a couple thin slices of ham and some mozzarella cheese. Then sprinkle on oregano, salt and pepper. layered on other half of the chicken and top with more cheese, oregano and S&P. Close the case, put it in the microwave on high for five minutes.


To have a Delicious Meal Ready in Minutes, click: Lékué Steam Case

"Solo dining needn't be dull dining"
— according to Kate Fraser of New Zealand's The Press — 8/28/08

Here's an excerpt:

"I am confident not too many solo diners rush home of an evening to fix themselves roasted duck breast with pomegranate sauce, but another meal of baked beans straight from the can? How sad is that.

Please, people, do your body, your taste buds, and your sense of gratification (all right, greed) a favour and make a proper meal."

Kiwi or no, you may find Fraser's tips on cooking for one just the inspiration you need to spark at home eating.. Several terrific recipes will send you out the door to the nearest super market!

Check it out: "Solo dining needn't be dull dining"

Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating at the bar
Interested in restaurants featuring communal table dining? Click: eating with others

Waste Management Tips

Vaccum-sealed leftovers can extend freshness fivefold. Stores like Target and Sears carry topselling mechanisms like FoodSaver and Seal-a-Meal; prices start at around $50.

A Days Ago digital counter will take the guesswork about the number of days leftovers have sat in your fridge. Affix it to a storage container and it will display the elapsed time. $10 per pair at The Container Store or Whole Foods Market or at

AARP Magazine, January & February 2008

Looking for books on cooking for one? Visit: cooking4one

Would you enjoy sharing recipes (for one or two) with other people?

Check out Recipe's message board: Cooking for One Or Two

Do manners "matter" when you're eating alone at home?

Judith Martin, "Miss Manners," weighs in:

Dear Miss Manners:
How much can manners be disregarded when eating alone at home? Can the soup dish be tilted, can a dish be scraped, can the fingers be used under circumstances that would be deplored in public? [ — The International Association of People Who Dine Over the Kitchen Sink — to the rescue!] Does any of these things really matter?
Gentle Reader:
No, they don't matter when you eat at home alone. Go hog wild. Use your hands. Use your feet. Smear your food over your face. Etiquette has to do with behavior that affects other people, and when there is no one around to be affected, you are, so to speak, home free. The only reason Miss Manners can imagine for your using manners under those circumstances would be self-respect.

THE How-to Booklet of Solo Dining Tips & Strategies:

The Art and Satisfaction of Dining Alone — REVEALED!

is now available for purchase in PDF format!

Richard Decker, 51, cooks almost every night — sometimes for friends but often just for himself.

His secret is his Food-Saver, a home vacuum-packaging system. He buys whole-beef tenderloins, which can be less expensive than individual steaks, and cuts them into fillets; vacuum-packs them; pops them in the freezer and uses them as the craving arises.

"There is something liberating, in cooking for yourself. It's not like you've got to feed five other people and please them. It's a chance to figure out what you like and go beyond the old standards. It's a little way to take care of yourself." Kristin Bagnato, editor in chief of Cooking Smart.

Tips for storing and using leftovers:

* Separate bacon into 2-slice portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, then store in a plastic bag in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator to use in a sandwich or . . .

* Store leftover canned tomates in plastic containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for months. Use atop pasta or in stews and soups.

* Store the unused portion of an onion tightly wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for up to three days. (They don't cause as much tearing when they're refrigerated.)

* Store other vegetable pieces (like bell peppers) tightly wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. Use on sandwiches or in salads.

The Sacramento Bee published, "Table for One: Just because you're cooking solo doesn't mean you have to skimp on fresh food"

In the body of the piece, Anita Kobuszewski, senior corporate dietitian for Albertsons, offered these shopping and meal-planning tips when cooking for one or two:

"Buying smaller sizes can cost more when you figure the price per ounce, but if you buy the larger size, you won't save money if you end up throwing things away."

"Try to find a neighbor or friend who will split bulk purchases with you. You will have fun shopping together and you'll both save some money."

"Plan ahead to freeze unused portions to eat later. Or, if you must buy larger quantities, separate them into smaller portions and freeze them in single-serving sizes."

"There is a lot of benefit to buying frozen entrées, especially if you don't enjoy cooking whole meals. Supplement your frozen entrée with a fresh salad or vegetables. It will still be less expensive and better for you than going to the drive-through."

"Research shows that people tend to eat better when they have someone to eat with. Invite a friend over. Share a meal or make it a potluck."

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