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Friday, August 16, 2013

Cooking Healthy for One - 4 Helpful Tips to Keep It Simple

Cooking can be a huge challenge when it's just one person. It's so easy to rationalize frozen dinners and fast food with the belief that it is just too much work to cook a meal for only one person. But it doesn't have to be that way. With meal planning and keeping things simple, cooking for one can be not only healthy but fun, too.

Here are four ways to make cooking for one simple and easy.

#1 Plan Meals

Planning meals for the week will allow you to cook larger meals that produce leftovers. The rule of thumb is, cook once and eat twice (or more). Leftovers can either be frozen for later, or re-created into another meal. For example, leftover pot roast can be made into beef and noodles, roast beef hash or beef vegetable soup.

#2 Plan Shopping

Once you have your meals planned for the week, take the list with you to the grocery store. Sticking to a pre-planned list is one way to keep grocery bills down, too. Buying larger cuts of meat is cheaper and can easily be cut into one-size portions that can be frozen in just the right size for one person. There are pre-packaged meat servings on the market now with individually-wrapped serving sizes, but remember that anything the manufacture does is going to raise the price. Why pay more for a service that you can easily do yourself?

#3 Fill your Freezer

Whenever you prepare a tasty meal, why not save a few frozen dinner trays and fill them with your own cooking. Making your own TV dinners is an easy way to eliminate extra cooking and lets you enjoy the meal again whenever you want--without all the preservatives and sodium found in traditional TV dinners. The same can be done with fresh vegetables. Freezing vegetables while they are fresh will keep the flavor.

#4 Stock the Pantry

Meats and vegetables can often be combined with other staples like dried pasta, beans, noodles and rice. Make sure you always have plenty of these items on the shelf so you're not tempted to run to a fast food restaurant just because you don't have the right ingredients. You can even package them into individual servings to make preparation even easier. Once you get the hang of it, there is no measuring necessary--just grab a bag and cook.

The biggest complaints about cooking for one are the prep and cleanup. By following these simple tips, you will be cooking less which means eliminating cleanup time. More importantly, you will have more control over the quality of the food you are consuming and spending less at the grocery store. So, make it fun and interesting and give yourself credit for learning a new and important skill.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.