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Old 05-30-2008, 11:47 AM   #11
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
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I've started keeping a bag of mixed frozen vegetables in the freezer. It's not ideal, but a good alternative to fresh vegetables for those evenings I'm cooking quick dinner for myself. I can just portion out the amount I want, and put the rest back in the freezer. I like pan frying them quickly in a wok, and melting a bit of feta over them at the end, for added flavor. I like eating them with pan fried potatoes and grilled chicken.

I also like adding the frozen vegetables to a Spanish tortilla (as an easy, one-pan dinner - few dishes to clean up!), or occasionally a tomato sauce.

I've started to keep a head of iceberg lettuce in the fridge as well. I'm not a huge fan of iceberg lettuce in salads, but it keeps for easily up to two weeks in the fridge, and is good to add to fajita's, pita breads and sandwiches. Last night, the boyfriend and I made a quick side dish salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumber, grilled chicken & a mustard-dill dressing, which was surprisingly delicious & summer-y.

Also, if I get a bag of mixed salad greens (which I don't use up for dinner by myself), I put the mixed salad on sandwiches the next day, to make sure I use up the bag. I've found different kinds of mixed salad greens are very nice on BLT sandwiches, or on a fresh cheese & tomato sandwich.

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Old 05-30-2008, 12:08 PM   #12
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I have found that romaine keeps very well in the fridge--better than the salad in a bag. I like to add some chopped celery, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, and some sunflower seeds.

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Old 06-01-2008, 12:16 PM   #13
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Hi Jett
I think the hardest part of cooking for one is getting used to scaling down recipes and using smaller pots. You're on the right track with freezing your meats in smaller serving size packages, I even divide my ground beef into 1/2 lb. packs.
Some things just can't be scaled down conveniently, like if you would have to use 1/2 can of something. So I suggest you stock up on small freezer containers (maybe 2 cup size) to freeze individual portions of leftovers.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:46 AM   #14
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I am single too, and hated cooking for one. I could not do it - I just did not know how to reduce proportions and still get the taste I was looking for. That all changed when I finally broke down and bought a food saver. Its one of those handy-dandy things where you use special plastic bags, and it sucks out the air from the bag before sealing it. I now cook over the weekend (I have 3-day weekends!) with 3 or 4 servings per dish. I eat a fresh portion immediately after cooking and then use the food saver to seal and freeze the remaining in individual portions. I then eat the frozen stuff during the week. So I am still eating "frozen meals", but they are meals that I prepared, as opposed to buying a pre-packaged frozen meal from the grocery store!
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #15
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Consider pre-cooking ground beef and freezing it until you are in the mode for a hamburger helper or similar casserole that calls for ground beef, which you have already cooked. Makes things move along faster and easier, especially after a hard day.

Make pasta ahead of time the same way, and also for rice, and then store in individual serving pouches. Reheat quickly in Microwave or boiling water. Brown rice is a good candidate for this since it takes a long time to cook otherwise.
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Old 11-29-2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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Leftovers can really turn out to be your friend. I cook many recipes in their normal quantities and then divide into individual portions. On those busy days it is nice to just be able to pull something out of the freezer, reheat, and add a salad or vegetable as a side dish.

I agree that the crockpot is a very useful tool. One of my favorite things to cook is a ham in the crockpot. Stud a ham with whole cloves. Put it in the crockpot on low. Don't add any liquid, it will make it's own. When you get home dinner is done and you can use the ham for other meals or sandwiches, etc.

One of my favorite ham meals is Cheesy Potatoes. Peel and slice 4-5 russet potatoes. Slice 1 onion into thin rings. Cut 3-4 slices of ham into 1/2 inch cubes. Spray a 9x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer half the potatoes and half the onions in dish. Sprinkle with onion powder (or salt) and pepper. Dot with a tablespoon of butter cut up. Layer half the cut up ham. Cover with a layer of cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup). Repeat layers. Cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

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Old 12-01-2008, 11:08 PM   #17
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I'm going to agree and say make lots of stuff all at once. One of my favorite meals (which takes FOREVER to make, but no more time for a triple recipe) is Mojo Chicken Burritos (I'm not allowed to post urls til I have 20 posts. Google "Mikes Table" and it'll be the first result) except I just use rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. It'll take me all of a sunday afternoon to do everything including roasting all the chiles, but it's worth it. Then I assemble all of the ingredients, wrap them in foil, and freeze 4 to a gallon freezer bag. 1 hour at 400 in the oven yields a warm, toasty, tasty burrito, I just toss it in still wrapped in foil. Can't beat $40 for 25 delicious, fairly healthy meals!
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:01 AM   #18
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I have my place to myself (+pets) once again and it is really nice, While I enjoy cooking for other people I also get a certain satisfaction in cooking for myself. For one thing there is no need to worry about other peoples preferences.. previously living with vegetarians, fussy eaters and the like was sort of limiting. Now I can make things how I want them. I can also try things out without worrying about having to serve up a failure.

I dont have too much trouble with quantities but
I find my cooking is a bit simpler when I cook for myself and I don't make so much in the way of side dishes/desserts etc
leftovers usually serve as lunches to bring to work or meals for later in the week. Any ambitious cooking usually happens on weekends because after work once i deal with the dogs and any other things that need to get done cooking time is limited.... leftovers and frozen dishes come in really handy during the week.

While I usually keep a couple jars of spaghetti sauce and a few frozen dinners on hand for those times when cooking is just not an option and I dont have anything else on hand I find it difficult to eat too much processed food or take out.... a cheesesteak is great on occasion but you cant live on them

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