Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chloe Likes To Eat: Cooking For One

I'm not great at cooking for one- I wasn't good at it as a student, and then I stopped needing to when I started living with T. For the next couple of weeks, I'm working away, alone. And that means.... cooking for one. Sigh. For anyone else who has the need to cook for one, a few of my favourite tips to minimise the frustration that is cooking for one person when, apparently this doesn't constitute an actual meal...

Friday- thanks to @distillingine3 and @fevertreemixers
So, actual food instead of booze calories....

1. Don't Season
Batch cooking is a great way to avoid take-out temptation, because having instant food in the freezer is always a win, but if you're limited by freezer space, it's not appealing to only have one choice, try cooking out 'base' mixes that can be seasoned and easily added to for variety-
  • Minced beef with passata, tinned tomatoes & tomato puree- brown mince, add puree, stir, add tomatoes & passata and cook down on low heat. 
Obviously, bolognese- defrost, add basil, oregano, garlic and vegetables of choice
Mexican stew- add smoked paprika, sweetcorn, kidney beans, chick peas, black beans (half quantities of the beans left over make a nice salad for a couple of lunches following on)
Moroccan/North African style- add cumin, cinnamon, some dried apricots, a spoonful of harrissa paste and chilli to taste, serve with couscous & roasted vegetables or add chickpeas for bulk. 

  • A large bulk of roasted peppers, red onions, courgettes, aubergine, tomatoes, carrots and/or broccoli- or whatever else you like, and couscous. Mix together and keep refrigerated. 

Great as a lunchtime salad- add spinach leaves or lettuce with a simple dressing of lemon juice, splash of olive oil, and a small amount of crushed chilli
Add some grilled chicken and/or Halloumi for something more filling- add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to a spoon of yoghurt for a dressing.

It's all about the warm salads at present- CPUs cous flavoured with lemon, chilli, honey and stock + a spinach and red pepper. Salmon to be added...

2. Buy Smaller Quantities
Whilst larger packs of things- especially tinned food are generally cheaper, if you don't want to eat the same thing over and over and/or you end up throwing half away, it's not better value. Opt for smaller quantities of things like chickpeas, passata, sweetcorn or beans so you can mix them up, although things like meat and fish can be frozen, be wary of leaving them in original packaging or sizes- spending half an hour wrapping chicken, fish or mince into individual or small batch size portions is a good way to ensure you can have a little of what you fancy

3. Change it up
Don't be afraid to add to left overs to change them- left over pasta, pesto and veg doesn't just have to be reheated and just because you had roasted vegetable with couscous yesterday, doesn't mean you can't have them with chickpeas or on toast today. If you're in need of inspiration, I've linked some of the most popular Chloe Likes To Eat posts below, and other places I like to seek fridgsperation are Pinterest and Google (the ingredients in my fridge or 'what do with left over....). Sometimes we just need a little shove.

Today's is a pasta salad made with cream cheese and mustard, not Mayo with spinach, gammon home grown rocket #queenofsalads


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