Weekender

The art of the single serving

Being single can have its advantages — the feeling of independence and being able to do what you want when you want. But when it comes to shopping and cooking, the challenges become a matter of health, time and money.

One can be the loneliest number in the kitchen, and the fear of leftover fatigue or doing the math to modify recipes for a single serving can drive anyone to order out or just open up a can of soup. Spending time making a dish that requires pans and utensils doesn’t seem worth it when dining alone.

While a home-cooked meal can help you feel accomplished, it’s not realistic to expect the summon the energy to create a fancy dish every night. Here are a few tips and healthy, tasty, easy tips and recipes for the solo cook.

Buy extra bread and freeze it: Buy whole-grain bread, hot dog or hamburger buns, take out what you need for the next few days and freeze the rest. Whenever you need more, just take it out of the freezer ahead of time. Bread thaws very quickly.

Whip up a quick lunch or dinner salad: Triple-washed bags of salad make turning a salad into a meal easy. Buy a bag of romaine lettuce or spinach then add any or all of the following:

• Dried fruit



• Roasted nuts



• Fresh fruit such as berries, pears or a can of mandarin oranges



• Veggies that are cleaned and ready to go, such as cherry or grape tomatoes, and shredded or baby carrots; or slice up cucumber, zucchini, or bell pepper



• Shredded, cubed or sliced cheese



• Canned beans such as kidney, black or garbanzo; 8-ounce cans are perfect for a single serving



• Canned, flaked tuna



• Cooked shrimp



• Sliced turkey, ham, roast beef or roasted chicken



Healthful bagged or boxed frozen foods come in handy: Just use part of the bag or box for your single serving, then put the rest back in the freezer for another meal.

Make breakfast for dinner: Certain breakfast items lend themselves to single servings. It’s simple to whip up one serving of French toast, scrambled eggs or an omelet, hash browns, hot or cold cereal, or a toasted bagel.

Frozen entrees can an easy alternative: If you don’t have a lot of time and need something quick, a frozen dinner is the go-to meal. The challenge is finding those that are tasty and higher in fiber and nutrients. This might require going to a nontraditional grocery.

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