If you’re living alone in a PG in Navrangpura, Ahmedabad and you’re stuck making your own meals, it can be difficult to cook enough food for just one person. You might end up overthinking about the time, effort (and number of dishes to wash) that cooking will require, and then skip the entire process to order some food from Swiggy or Zomato. But this isn’t exactly healthy or sustainable in the long run. And cooking for one person isn’t actually impossible, or even as difficult as it sounds.
All it needs is a little rethinking. From your shopping choices to your preparation steps to what to do with leftovers, there are many ways that you can make cooking for one a lot more fun. That’s why we’ve brought you a list of essential tips to try and improve your culinary journey. You won’t be bothering with takeaway once you’ve given these a try. And a quick bonus: they’ll also help you minimise your food waste and save money on groceries each week. So let’s get started.
Stick and save
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Just because you’re cooking only for yourself doesn’t mean you need to move heaven and earth to find meals for one. Stick to your original recipe and cook up a larger batch of food than you may need. That way you’ll have a delicious meal you already had a recipe for, and leftovers that you can use for future meals. A quick tip here is to save those leftovers in individual portions in your freezer, so you’ll have ready made meals you can heat up any time in the future. Now that’s what we call forward thinking.
Ingredient prep is no one’s favourite part of being in the kitchen. But good preparation can actually take a meal from good to fantastic and improve your cooking experience as well. So, what if we tell you there’s a way to reduce your prep time and still whip up amazing fresh meals on a day to day basis? All you have to do is start connecting your ingredients. Buying groceries like mushrooms, bell peppers, peas, or potatoes that you can use in more than one dish is a good place to start, but what if you also prepare them in one go. For example, you could boil a large amount of chickpeas on a monday and use some for your mom’s chole recipe, save some to add to a vibrant salad on a tuesday, and mix some up into a delicious homemade hummus on wednesday. This is also a technique that you can use for your kitchen staples like onion and garlic. Peel and dice them in bulk over the weekend so that you’re just able to use without prep during the week.
Bulk buy/Scale down
Have you ever noticed that individually packaged items cost so much more than things in bulk? Well, don’t let your wallet feel that hit. Just because you live on your own doesn’t mean you can’t buy ingredients in bulk. Especially for things like legumes or pasta which have a long shelf-life, feel free to stock up. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be a great excuse to learn some simple recipes using those ingredients that you can master over the next few weeks. Simply scale your recipe down to one portion (or two, if you’re using one of our tips above) and you can enjoy your bulk-bought staples in a variety of different ways. If you’re not a natural with numbers, or if you’re struggling to figure out conversion ratios, look up a quick calculator online that will do the job of scaling down for you.
Buying basic ingredients like milk, bread or fruit which have a short shelf life can be difficult when you’re living on your own. It can be difficult to make use of the entire amount before it expires. But you can actually cut down on your food waste if you repurpose the leftover amounts into something new. Turn your extra milk into ricotta cheese or yogurt instead of just throwing it away. Use the stale pieces of bread to make croutons, bread crumbs or even French toast. Freeze up fruit that’s past its peak ripeness to add to smoothies. There’s an endless amount of ways in which you can use up extra food before it goes bad. So next time, try one of these methods instead of just chucking it in the trash.
You know the best part about cooking for yourself instead of getting food from tiffin services in Ahmedabad? You can come up with meals and tweak recipes that are exactly to your taste or try new ideas that may have caught your eye. Whether it’s the baked feta pasta that’s been all the rage on TikTok or making your meals extra spicy, you’ll have the freedom to cook what you love to eat. So you can get creative, mix and match different ingredients and experiment with flavour profiles. You never know, you might end up unlocking some culinary talents you never knew you had.
So the next time you’re looking for something to eat, don’t just order a takeaway. Cooking for one is a skill you can easily master by following our tips. And once you start this process, you’ll find nothing else tastes quite like it. So, get cooking!