Single Serving

Cooking for 1?

It has taken me a long time to realize, or at least admit, that most of my strong feelings revolve around food. For example I feel strongly that: breadcrumbs don’t belong on mac and cheese, sweet tea doesn’t need lemon, tacos should come on corn tortillas with a lot of cilantro, there are moods for different fried chicken places, and doughnuts are from Krispy Kreme (donut holes on the other hand are Dunkin’).

I really enjoy cooking and I get in cooking slumps more than eating slumps. I CAN (if I have to) eat the same thing repetitively. But with so many cultures, so many flavors, so many different ways to cook 1 ingredient WHY WOULD I. But my love for cooking also gets me in some trouble… trouble with waste. And that goes for cooked and uncooked items. I grew up cooking for a family of 4 (sometimes more when people came around or crazy amounts more when the whole family gets together). I look at a pot of spaghetti sauce and think that it won’t be enough food! But here is the catch, I am the only one eating my cooking on a regular basis right now. Previously I found it difficult to share food with my college roommates because they don’t like (or at least didn’t like the same kind of foods). One regularly ate cream based sauces, alfredo and ranch being her go to. The other preferred tomato and thinner sauces, she loved tomato sauces and the light sauce of chicken piccata was something she craved. The funny thing is that over 3 years of living with me and having my cooking just be around, they will generally just try something. They know my biggest pet peeve is when someone makes a face at food they’ve never tried. For instance, one fall I was massively craving a pot roast (growing up we always would have a pot roast and when the meat either all gone or nearly we would turn it into veggie soup). If you’ve ever made a pot roast you KNOW it is pretty hard to find a small one. I asked the roomies if they would be interested… one said she would try it (she was very accustomed to her mom’s) and the other said she HATES pot roast. Needless to say I invited reinforcements over, and got one bite with my cousin. I think “perfect, I can send some leftovers with him”. Roomie who said she would try it comes in and says it smells great and makes a plate. Roomie who I did not account for eating any then asks if she can try it and long story short there were no leftovers to send with my cousin.

Now, my issue with sharing is simply my roommates don’t want to. It is very strange living in an environment where I can’t really share my passion of food and must keep all leftovers for myself. I guess I should throw out there that allergies are a reality of my current household (and actually my previous one as well just less frequent with the allergy being eggs by themselves… which you don’t realize how much that sucks until you can’t eat them. Eggs Benedict, macarons, and quiche to name a few). But my current friendships are burdened with gluten and dairy allergies… guys do you know how many foods have gluten and dairy (or even just 1 or the other)? PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING. So I understand not wanting to share but it still hurts my hostess heart. I made a lasagna and not only do we not have room to freeze them and put away but I will have to be the only one who can eat it. I made chicken and dumplings … yeah pure gluten and dairy. I will keep you posted on how I do with the leftovers currently in my fridge.

So my long story short (and if you made it this far, bless you) is that I am going to attempt to do a mini series of shopping and cooking for a single girl/human. Pinterest thinks it knows what I am talking about when I type these things in but it has no idea. I am talking millennial, with roommates, cooking for mostly 1, trying to have variety, and storage confined to a shelf in a fridge. I think this is going to be one heck of an experiment so I figured might as well share it since there has been no research on the topic I can really find.

A little about my diet: I try to eat mostly “healthy”, I truly enjoy fruits and vegetables. I am the annoying person in the group that will order a salad, and yes I CAN go buy everything that is in that salad but that is a lot of different ingredients that I would then have to store for 1 salad. I don’t really like fish, but I do enjoy shrimp and occasionally scallops or lobster. I have had a major sweet tooth lately, I am the person who won’t eat all my halloween candy for months but then all the sudden my mouth just NEEDS chocolate. I ate Keto for about 6 months to treat a skin condition, it left me very conscious of my carbs and enjoying things with less sugar (I no longer add sweetener to my coffee with the already sweetened coffee creamer). I work weird hours, so I eat “breakfast” whenever I wake up and it often involves eggs (there are so many ways to cook them!). My go to meal used to be pasta (though it is still one of my favorites I have cut it down a lot). My current go to seems to be tacos, they are just so easy to pack up for work and they’re just delicious. I do homemade. Homemade food is an art, part of why I prefer homemade is the satisfaction I get out of doing it myself, part of it is the culinary classes I had to take in college, and the other part is knowing what goes into my food (I once made homemade marshmallows and while they were incredibly good and didn’t have the weird aftertaste that bag ones do, I won’t pretend corn syrup was definitely in them). I try to bake but I am a much better cook.

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