But of course, I only do this once a week. Things might be different if it was this way every night, like it was for poor Don Brash. I don’t think I could bear eating the same thing every night. Would I actually cook all the time? Or would the takeaway seem too alluring? I dunno. What do you guys do?
Oooh, I've got a relevant case study. I was left in Wellington for almost six months, because the house took a lot longer to sell than we expected and I got a tranche of housekeeping money direct credited every other week. It wasn't generous enough to pay for takeaways every night, so I ended up doing a lot of things you could either freeze (soups, stews) or could be palatable as bugger's muddle the next night or two. Everything is good on toast, I found.
Potato and bacon hash:
Diced potatoes, cooked for about 10 minutes in a frying pan, with frequent turning so they don't catch, then add some diced bacon and let it cook some more, while poaching an egg. Mound the potato and bacon on a plate, lay the poached egg on top, then add a good handful of rocket.
Steak sammies are always good too.
But I very rarely eat alone. And recently, when all the girls went to my parents' place for a few days during the school holidays, my husband and I went out every night. We felt very frivolous.
I relish the one night of the week its just me at home & I don't have to cook a proper meal for anyone else. Sometimes I just have toast. Yes! Sometimes with banana squashed on it and lots of butter. Or vegemite. Or sometimes its soup instead (not on the toast, beside the toast). Unless its French onion soup homemade and then cheese on toast floats in it. Seriously yum. Or I go to the fish shop and buy a wedge of smoked salmon and eat it whole out of the paper wrapping. Seating with my feet up watching trash TV of course. With a big mug of tea on the side. Now that's how to do a solo-no-fuss-meal-for- one.
Sigh. I've been having a bad run on names. I do know how to spell her name, honest.
One light meal I like is to do a Thai-style salad. I usually make enough for two salads, which means tomorrow's lunch is sorted too.
Or scrambled eggs on toast. I've been making my scrambled eggs in a frypan recently, rather than microwaving, with crushed garlic in the egg. So good.
Cooking for yourself occasionally is quite different to doing it every day, I've found. At my last flat, I did a lot of things that would do 2-3 meals and chill or freeze the extras. Now I'm sharing cooking with others again & just need to fend for myself a couple of nights a week, so I tend to do simple one-offs.
I can’t see anything in this thread worthy of the hilarious Dimly Lit Meals For One, thank goodness. (Some if my own attempts, however…)
Recently, my go-to when I’m alone is the result of the years I spent manning the grill at BurgerFuel. Enormous cheeseburgers built (mostly) from scratch, particularly since the patties keep in the freezer for a few weeks so I can make them on the go. (The patties need to be defrosted before cooking because they’re so thick, but defrosting in a microwave for 5 minutes first works fine.)
For four pretty massive patties, I’ll use about 0.8-1 kg of beef/lamb/pork mixed with an egg, about two tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, chopped parsley, half a medium onion diced, and a touch of salt and black pepper mixed together by hand. Fill up a 250 mL measuring cup with the mixture, drop it on a plate, and shape it into a 2-3 cm high, 5 cm diameter patty. You can let it rest for a while in the fridge for best results, or start frying it right away. Drop it in a frypan on a high heat with just a touch of oil (it really doesn’t need much) and let it cook for about 5 minutes until brown underneath. Flip it over, drop a slice of cheese on top, and let it cook until the slice is melted right the way through.
The rest of the burger is personal preference, but I usually toast the inside of a bun, put tomato relish, onion rings, and lettuce on the bottom, mustard, aioli, pickles, and sliced tomatoes on top, then stick the patty between and we’re done. With a premade patty, I can be done in 20 minutes.
Like many others here, I don't get to eat alone all that often and it's quite a treat to be able to suit oneself completely. For a complete meal I'd probably go for baked potato, steak, mushrooms and onions, greens. For a snack - a mushroom sandwich-for-one. Similar to a steak sammie, but with a Portobello mushroom, with generous topping of garlic/parsley butter, baked in oven until juicy, in bap or similar. Simple but wonderful.
so cottage cheese and baked beans or waties tinned soup doesn't do it for everyone else?
I fear unlike you all due to my energy levels cooking is low down on my priority list so it is very much what the supermarket provides. On occasion i'll have a good run and make soup but my days of something truly delicious like chickpea and corn chill from the atomic cafe cookbook or mr Judds best bagels EVER are beyond me. Part of it is going gluten free which sucked joy out of simple things like scones but the other parts is choosing where i spend my energy and I'l rather spend half an hour being crafty
My bestest most fun cooking, is mutton and spud in the wood stove. It takes around four hours, depending on how well I stoke the fire. Then after dinner, I get to have a nice hot outside bath with water from the wetback.
council regulations don’t allow wetbacks on wood burners in our residential zone. But wood burners with ovens are exempt.
We have got the freezer filled up with TV dinners which we prepared a little earlier, for work days and when one of us is home alone.
I very rarely get the opportunity to cook for one, but should there be one in the near future it will certainly involve Cumberland sausage (from The Traiteur) and bacon. Both of these items are off the multi-serve agenda since SWMBO encountered a robot gallbladder removal machine.
Please tell me more.
Josephine does all our cooking for she is so good at it (she used to teach Chinese cuisine) and I do all the rest (washing,ironing, cleaning, shopping, cat feeding). Cooking when she is absent is a bit of an ordeal and it has been largely reduced to a couple of staples: shepherd's pie, rice rissotto, stir fry. Sometimes, white bread beetroot sandwiches will do.
I have tried to recalled what I lived on when I was studying in the US. I think it was grilled cheese sandwiches, bagels, chillie, and burgers with 'fixings' piled high.
My favourite solo meal is the ultimate comfort food of a poached egg and stewed tomato on toast. It brings back happy childhood memories of quick Sunday evening meals after a day out adventuring. I also favour a pumpkin, olive and feta frittata (husband eschews omelettes or frittatas) or hot and sour noodle soup with fish or even spaghetti marinara (husband also weird about fish in things).
due to my energy levels
am with you on that.
love cooking, seldom get there properly
For four pretty massive patties, I’ll use about 0.8-1 kg of beef/lamb/pork mixed with an egg, about two tablespoons of olive oil, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, chopped parsley, half a medium onion diced, and a touch of salt and black pepper mixed together by hand.
That's a staunch patty, bro!
I have tried to recalled what I lived on when I was studying in the US.
I have no idea what I ate when I was living in a squat in Elephant & Castle in my 20s. Presumably something, because I didn't starve to death.
I feel lucky in that I love cooking and living by myself has given me the opportunity to really explore what I like eating, rather than having to factor in anyone else's foibles (always respectful to factor in allergies etc. when feeding guests, of course). When I lived with an ex, for example, I realised that I didn't cook pumpkin for 7 years, even though it's a staple for me now. Yet when we lived together there was always had 2 kinds of peanut butter in the pantry (I can't stand the stuff), and marmite AND vegemite.
The other side of that is that my 2 favourite foods are broccoli and sardines, both polarising on their own, and for a special treat I have an Italian recipe that combines them both in a sauce over pasta, with currants, pinenuts & parmesan. yum, but definitely solo dining- even my mother refuses to eat it to be polite.
Lewis Road creamery also do smoked butter
Oh, yes. Some days I just go for soup & toast/crackers. Cream of mushroom or good old tomato never fails.
I have no idea what I ate when I was living in a squat in Elephant & Castle in my 20s. Presumably something, because I didn’t starve to death.
That would have been kebabs, chips and the occasional greasy breakfast I would imagine, sausage ,egg, bacon fried slice and double bubble with a large mug of tea.
Not forgetting the cold pork pies with heaps of mustard washed down with several pints of beer.
Thanks! I thought I’d seen the whole range of smoked products (cheese, tomatoes, garlic, yoghurt, mushrooms in addition all the seafoods and meats) but that one had passed me by.
I like this easy default meal which doesn't require cooking, although having some products on hand helps. In a bowl put some coleslaw (ready made by Vitalvegetables is nice), light cottage cheese, chopped up hard boiled egg and top with toasted seeds, such as these you can order online from Munchy Seeds. Thin slices of crispy fried tempeh from the company which pays a living wage to the workers is nice with it.
When I am on my own, working away or just at home while my partner is off galavanting around in some hospital having operations for the fun of it, I tend to not bother about food much. But then I get hungry.
After a couple of days of toast I get creative. A Singapore noodle is always good.
First put on a large pan of water. Then, chop up onions, peppers, chillies, garlic, maybe a mushroom or two, chop real small, some bean sprouts and, if I am lucky, a handful of prawns or whatever. Stick the whole lot in a bowl and sling in some fish sauce, sesame oil, five spice (go easy on that stuff, easy to kill the flavour if you go overboard) soy sauce, the real thick stuff and let it soak.
I like to make a small omelette at this stage, eggs, a little milk, salt and pepper, let it cook and leave in the pan.
Put a wok on high heat, no oil yet, just heat and plenty of it. By now your water should be boiling, throw in the noodles (dried ones are best for this) and let it boil.
Put a little oil in the wok, it will get hot quick, throw in the bowlful of goodies prepared earlier, stir, flip and cook and flip and stir till things start to brown and the prawns go pink. Leave the wok on while you quickly strain the noodles. Flop the noodles in the wok and fold together, making sure to coat the noodles all over.
Slap it on a platter, shred the omelette over the top and garnish with coriander.
15 mins tops.
while my partner is off galavanting around in some hospital having operations for the fun of it
hospital food aint much comfort.