Healthy/easy dinner for one

suggestions?
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Speckla
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Pasta is fail proof. Boil, add sauce, and toss a salad. yum.
I wouldn't go the pasta route. Sorry, Speckla. I feel pasta & rice are just filler foods with little nutritional value. Yes, I know there are whole wheat versions, but I just don't feel they are needed, but that's just me.

I cook for one also & I love to use my crockpot for healthy, nutritious soups & stews. I will also cook chicken or fish & put it in the freezer then just add a vegetable with it for my meals. Salads are good, but watch out for the dressings. They can be so unhealthy. You can always make your own.
AKA lotsawaves
AKA new2curls
Yep, easy cooking for one should not automatically mean pasta.

I am a single gal cooking for one I purposely cook for more than one so I can freeze the rest for leftovers another day. So in a nutshell, I would say make anything you would for eating with a group.

I occasionally like to eat brown rice so I freeze 1/2 cup portions to reheat when I get a craving. Rice freezes well.

I eat a lot of beans (I am a vegetarian), fresh vegetables, omelets (for dinner never breakfast), non-lettuce salads, soups, stews, and small sandwiches, small homemade pizzas. Actually, I eat meze or tapas-style on instead of one item taking the main focus. It looks pretty too when I serve myself.
Speckla
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Pasta is a staple in my family but different things for different folks.

Omletes are a great way to eat veggies and get protein.
Years ago, we practically lived on pasta. Combined with a low fat cheese and tomatoes, it's a complete meal with protein. Pasta is included in an awful lot of the recipes provided in this free American Heart Association magazine that I get, so it can't be utterly evil.

This might gross people out. I've discovered that some of the artisan brands of wild-caught sardines are really good. Sometimes I'll just eat a can of sardines (protein AND calcium), and a cucumber salad (cucumber, yogurt, a little salt, sugar and vinegar). I might add a whole wheat pita.

There's a lot you can do with chicken as well, and if you have one of those grills, it doesn't take long to grill something up.

A lot of stores sell individual patties (Whole Foods sells salmon patties for instance but less pricey stores also have similar products) that are quick and nutritious.

Frozen vegetables are nice because they cook pretty quickly and you only fix what you need. There are so many good mixes too nowadays.
formerly Castella
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Speckla
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I am cooking:

tricolor pasta (made partially with really veggies), olive oil sauted yellow squash, vuccini, and onions. I'm going to sprinkle a little bit of cheddar (dairy free veggie cheese) over it with garlic salt & pepper. I usually make extra pasta and add beans, veggies, and a lot of other things to it.

Crockpot beans of any variety are great, cheap, and very healthy. You can buy chicken breast and mariate with different sauces and freeze them. It takes no time at all to defrost in a pan. Add veggies, a salad, or whatever else you like.
I do the soup and casserole route. It kills two birds with one stone - I get dinners when my son's at his dads and he gets lunches when at school or home alone.

But if I want to cook something (not leftovers) for myself, I tend to cook up veggies, some chicken or white fish and some brown rice or sweet potato. Chopping veggies is very therapeutic for me and I fnd they cook very fast when steamed or stir fried.

If I have leftover cooked things in the frig (chicken, veggies, starch), I chop em up fairly fine and throw them in the fry pan with some egg whites for a fritatta.
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Speckla
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You can buy frozen vegetables (sometimes cheaper than fresh but still better than canned) inexpensively that are already chopped and ready to be added to rice, pasta, meat. Cooked rice can be frozen. Like to throw veggies, meat, and a starch into a pan and make a good stew. I tend to overboil it just a little because the starch helps to thick it.
My husband takes annual week long fishing trips to Canada, and since he does at least 75% of the cooking and both of us pretty much only ever cook for two, making myself healthy meals while he's gone is always tough.

One of my favorite tips (though isn't a whole meal) is to buy a whole cooked rotisserie chicken and dice up all the meat. I separate it out into individual servings (I can usually get at least five, sometimes six) and add it to things: salads, quesadillas, pasta dishes, etc.

My husband's trips are also pretty much the only chance I have to eat shrimp, since he doesn't eat it and we therefore never have them.
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Speckla
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Chili. Over rice, pasta, cornchips, without anything like that, in tortillas. With meat, without meat. alone.

I also do this in a crockpot overnight. It freezes really well.
sinistral55
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Chili. Over rice, pasta, cornchips, without anything like that, in tortillas. With meat, without meat. alone.

I also do this in a crockpot overnight. It freezes really well.
Originally Posted by Speckla
Second this !!! We've been living off "quesadillas" (in quotes because I'm not sure I'm preparing them correctly) all this week.

I take the corn tortilla and heat it in a pan, then add cheese and the filling (which I guess isn't technically 'chili' but it's ground beef/chili seasoning/petite diced tomatoes/pinto beans) and fold the tortilla. Flip over and heat the other side, then drizzle chipotle salsa over the top. WE CAN'T GET ENOUGH!!!

I also love to fix a big pot of crockpot beans and eat them with cheese in tortillas. Corn tortillas in both instances. There's something about that corny flavor mixed w/the other ingredients---I can't get enough. YUM!!!

Last edited by sinistral55; 08-29-2008 at 10:36 AM.
Oh yeah. This is pathetic compared to the above, but easy. Black beans (I used canned, rinsed), with salsa and grated cheese on top. Heat in microwave. Eat with corn chips and sour cream (whatever your diet allows).

A recipe my mom gave me is a bed of cooked rice, covered with sliced sauteed eggplant, then salsa over it, and grated cheese, bake 30 minutes.
formerly Castella
(my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
Years ago, we practically lived on pasta. Combined with a low fat cheese and tomatoes, it's a complete meal with protein. Pasta is included in an awful lot of the recipes provided in this free American Heart Association magazine that I get, so it can't be utterly evil.

This might gross people out. I've discovered that some of the artisan brands of wild-caught sardines are really good. Sometimes I'll just eat a can of sardines (protein AND calcium), and a cucumber salad (cucumber, yogurt, a little salt, sugar and vinegar). I might add a whole wheat pita.

There's a lot you can do with chicken as well, and if you have one of those grills, it doesn't take long to grill something up.

A lot of stores sell individual patties (Whole Foods sells salmon patties for instance but less pricey stores also have similar products) that are quick and nutritious.

Frozen vegetables are nice because they cook pretty quickly and you only fix what you need. There are so many good mixes too nowadays.
Originally Posted by Castella

I read this week in a magazine where restaurants are now including fresh sardines in their menu. The canned ones are so disgusting & have given them a bad name. PS don't believe everything you hear from the American Heart Association. Just like the food pyramids. People have been listening to them for years & our obese rate is still going up.

Have you noticed that the frozen dinners "that are suppose to be good for you & help you lose weight" have either rice or pasta in them? This fills you up, but don't contribute to your health.
AKA lotsawaves
AKA new2curls

Last edited by g-stringranny; 08-29-2008 at 10:50 AM.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm not on a diet, I just like to cook with veggies. I'm usually cooking for two; SO and me, but he's working 2-3 evenings a week. I think it's really hard to cook for one, if there's someone else I really make an effort but when it's just me I guess it's easier to get some delivered.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
3A/B-ish BSL thick hair
Modified CG since 08/10/2007
http://public.fotki.com/Curly-Y/ (updated september 6)
pw: currrly
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm not on a diet, I just like to cook with veggies. I'm usually cooking for two; SO and me, but he's working 2-3 evenings a week. I think it's really hard to cook for one, if there's someone else I really make an effort but when it's just me I guess it's easier to get some delivered.
Originally Posted by Yom
I totally understand.

Why not occasionally cook for four and freeze the other two portions for nights he is away?
When I was 1st divorced I would still cook for 4. It was so hard for me to adjust. I've learned to freeze the left overs.
AKA lotsawaves
AKA new2curls
Here are my suggestions:

On the weekend cook up larger quantities of main dishes and side dishes that will freeze well and also keep in the fridge. Rotate these dishes all week. As someone said, rice freezes briliantly and so do many italian, mexican, thai, chinese and other dishes.

The rotisserie chicken route is incredible easy. 1 person can eat 1 chicken over the course of about 10 days for dinner, combined with pita or cooked grains, with different sauces and spreads like hummus or in sandwiches (and avocadoes are great to have around as it is easy to open a small one and use it for 1 person in 1 setting for fat and rich flavor).

Eggs, omellettes and frittata are also incredibly easy.

Roasted vegetables keep a really long time and add flavor and nutrition to almost anything.

Canned fish and canned beans are great easy add ins to dishes for 1 or 2 as well.

With huge restaurant portions, I always have left overs from when I eat out.
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I always cook more than necessary because we often eat yesterday's leftovers for today's lunch and for the occassional midnight snack. So that would mean I should cook for 6 now! Oh god, I'm turning into my mom
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
3A/B-ish BSL thick hair
Modified CG since 08/10/2007
http://public.fotki.com/Curly-Y/ (updated september 6)
pw: currrly
I love couscous for solo dinners. It's super fast to cook.

I'll cook some veggies separately, then while a kettle is heating water, add some seasoning to the couscous, maybe a little parmesan cheese or something, and end up eating them together.

You can use a small chicken breast, or half chicken breast with it or something if you want, too.
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