Happy Herbivore Blog

August 23, 2013

HH Cooking for One (When Cereal Isn't Enough for Your Inner Foodie)

The only Herbie in your house? Live alone? Roommate/partner not on board with your plant-based lifestyle? No problemo!

Here are some of my cooking for one tips! (Because of bowl of cereal gets old as dinner!)


Meal Planning

First and foremost, you know I have to plug our individual meal plan, which is tailor-made for an individual (double if you're a couple!). No leftover ingredients, no waste, you can cook everything ahead — I love love love it! 

Cook once, eat twice. 

One practice we employ with the indi meal plans is you'll make something for dinner, and have it as leftovers for lunch later in the week. Or you'll have it for lunch twice. (Skip a day if leftovers bore ya!) 


Repurpose meals. 

(This is a really great trick if you hate leftovers). Re-invent your leftovers. For example, after I've had a soup, I'll then eat the soup over a potato or greens gravy-style. This is also a really popular practice when I don't have a ton of soup leftover — it extends my leftovers. 

I find leftovers often are delicious inside a wrap or pita for a new meal, too. (Tofu Scramble is a great example here!) or the Chili Wraps, which are super popular with our meal plan users as a way to "reinvent" chili.


Use leftovers.

Speaking of tofu scramble, it's a great blank canvas for random leftover ingredients — pizza is too! Yes, black beans do indeed make a fun topping on a Mexican-inspired pizza! Get creative!

The Minestrone Soup in EHH, which freezes beautifully, by the way, is a great base for a "everything but the kitchen sink" soup, too. 

You can also use leftover veggie scraps to make broth (video included!)

Get super simple. 

Don't forget easy meals! 

Need more ideas?

Beans + Rice + Greens + Salsa = OMGYum


Fill the freezer.

I'm not a huge fan of freezing foods (it can change the texture, and I'm super weird about textures) and I often forget they're in there (whoops) but with Scott traveling so much for work, I've been getting better about tucking a few meals away. 

A fave is the Lasagna Rolls because they freeze beautifully and it's super easy to separate out portions for the solo diner. I also keep soups like my Kale and Yam Soup

A great way to store soup is to let it freeze flat in a Ziploc bag

Not the greenest option, I admit, but I reuse my Ziplocs, at least! 

Here's a post I did about freezing foods and a Herbie-approved list of the best HH recipes that freeze perfectly.


Think cafeteria combos.

Soup + salad, Salad + wrap, soup + Wrap — boring on their own, I admit, but feels more fancy when paired together. 

Add a side. 

It's amazing how a side can add a "wow" factor. I get tired of burritos, I admit, but I find I like them a lot more when I sit down with a side dish or two! Same goes for when I make bean burgers. I'm much happier when they're on a plate with carrots or baked fries and a big pickle. (I loooove pickles!). 


Pasta 

I feel like there is a running joke about single gals and pasta. I guess it is kind of a cliche food for one, but you can keep it interesting (and still fuss free). Toss with marinara, add different vegetables, eat chilled with balsamic vinegar, with lemon and basil, Asian-style like Pad Thai. (I have several pasta and noodle recipes in EHH). 

Cook with friends.

Have a friend over for dinner! Then you're not cooking for one and you get the bonus of great company while eating healthy food — and no expensive restaurant bill. 


Tell me, Herbies, what are your tips for cooking for one?

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