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Feed: Meals for Me

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  • Joanna,

    I'm lucky enough to have a standalone freezer as well as the one on my fridge, and there are few things I love as much as spending a good chunk of a weekend filling up the freezer with individual servings of slow cooked stews, bolognese or empanadas. I never dine alone though, because my cats are always watching and waiting, hoping to be thrown a metaphorical or literal bone...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 726 posts Report Reply

  • James Burnett,

    I'm not allowed to make corned beef when anyone else is home so...

    Since Jan 2013 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    The last time I regularly dined alone it was on a student's budget and I was rather more carnivorous than I am now. I seem to recall a lot of sausages.

    My partner is allergic to eggs so that's what we eat any time he's not around - mostly either fried eggs and chips or a quiche.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 705 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I don't eat alone often but when I know I won't be breathing on anyone else I take the opportunity to indulge ... things like raw onion on cheese with tomato sauce ... it's awful I know but I can't help liking it. Or intense blue cheese burgers and Alton Brown's grilled grilled cheese sandwich definitely seems like self indulgent food for one.

    Last time I was on my own for two weeks I ended up having a lot of steak and salad (complete with lots of raw onion).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    My partner and daughter don't like seafood, so if they're not around I cook up some onion, kumara, gold/red/orange capsicum, parsnip, yam (if available), and greens with some butter in the electric frypan, throwing in some frozen surimi, calamari and mushrooms once the kumara is cooked (about 8 minutes). Quick & easy meal for one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 402 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joanna,

    there are few things I love as much as spending a good chunk of a weekend filling up the freezer with individual servings of slow cooked stews, bolognese or empanadas.

    Do you serve the stews with a starch?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18712 posts Report Reply

  • Anne M,

    I have bags of smoked salmon in the freezer and can knock up a frittata in 10 min from a standing start with whatever vege are lying around looking a bit sad.

    Since Nov 2006 • 101 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Definitely, I am allllllllll about the starch. Mashed potatos made with yoghurt (as well as butter of course) or with smoked butter are amazing with stew, I've developed a bit of a thing for brown rice (which I always cook double the amount of, so I can toss the rest into leftover Foodbag salads for lunch), and it's totally worth spending an extra dollar to get Italian pasta at the supermarket now that I can no longer buy Barilla.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 726 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    On the rare occasions I get to be by myself for a while, I tend to forget to do things like eat, and go to bed. So I make a point of cooking myself something really nice so I’ll bother. I’m a ‘cooking is love’ person, and I’ve learned to be okay with some serious self-love. Steak is a favourite: taking the time to perfectly cook a single piece of steak is a fantastic sort of zen-like change from the normal family cooking I do six days a week every week all the time.

    Either, with a little side of potatoes and greens, is a delight.

    To be honest, I often ‘forget’ the sides, and it’s just steak au steak. But I’ve recently found the perfect way to cook green beans. Blanch them, and while they’re cooling fry a couple of chopped-up rashers of bacon til crispy. Lower the heat and add a T of balsamic vinegar. When the bacon has soaked up almost all of that, throw in the beans, and grind a bit of pepper over. Bloody lovely.

    The other approach I take ‘just for me’ is the ‘omelette that’s bordering on frittata’. Potatoes, eggs, whatever veggies are around, lots of parmesan. Quick and yummy. Maybe some bacon. Bacon is awesome.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    ...from the normal family cooking I do six days a week every week all the time.

    No one else in your family cooks ? That's a bit sad...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 402 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I'm startled by not being able to remember the last time I ate alone. And that's quite wonderful when I think how shit my life was when I was in my mid-30s. I'm thankful that I'm now off to make dinner in our tiny kitchen to feed two teenagers and a partner. (Before reading this piece I was grumpy that dinner had to be done; again.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2578 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    No one else in your family cooks ? That’s a bit sad…

    My partner really can't cook, and he pulls his weight around the house in other ways, so that's okay. For a while last year we'd got into a really good routine where once a week one of our teenagers would cook. It's harder this year with our son at uni and sports and stuff that means they don't get home til quite late sometimes, but we really should get back on to it.

    I complain about it, but man, when the kids leave home I will bloody miss it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • Thrash Cardiom,

    When my partner goes away I reach for a cube roll and cut a steak that verges on a mini roast. Seared in a very hot pan, finished in the oven, and rested for 10 minutes. Occasionally I'll do a baked potato to soak up the juice but not often.

    CHB • Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    About 15 years I had a weird conversation with my aunt that started with her asking "What do you eat?" when she discovered I lived by myself. Cooking for one is easy. It's like regular cooking except you either reduce the recipe or you make the lot and refrigerate or freeze the rest.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1851 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I like cooking for one, but I do tend to go for minimising dishes and cooking time when I get the chance, which is never with a couple of preschoolers in the house. Spaghetti and improvised sauce works well for small quantities. Last solo dinner I made was mussels and French bread with salad.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 791 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    For a while last year we’d got into a really good routine where once a week one of our teenagers would cook. It’s harder this year with our son at uni and sports and stuff that means they don’t get home til quite late sometimes, but we really should get back on to it.

    We're quite proud that our teens are each cooking once a week now, but I can see how that may be threatened next year when Boy is off to varsity.

    I suspect they'll be popular when they go flatting, because I'm not aware of similar skills amongst their peers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 402 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    These days, I only ever cook for one. Omelets, soups, stir-fries, stews -- all using essentially the same mix of vegetables and mushrooms, chopped to varying degrees, and with a few other additional ingredients added: meats, when present, used for flavouring rather than as a main feature. (Generally I plan things when preparing dinner so that there's a cupful of omelet filling left over for the next day's breakfast.)
    But over the years, everyone else who has ever tried my culinary attempts has very shortly thereafter moved to a different city. So, not sure I should be sharing recipes!

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 874 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Ahem. Le cassoulet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18712 posts Report Reply

  • Miche Campbell,

    I'm happy to cook for two, three, six, or sixteen, but if I'm cooking just for me I usually go for comfort food, and simple stuff at that.

    Most of the time I don't even bother making A Meal, but just graze all evening.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Aotearoan,

    Tofu and lots of greens, ginger and garlic. Delicious yet oddly unpopular. Lentils get bad press too, but they taste great, as do chickpeas done many ways.
    Simple clean food.
    Mussels are divine too, surprising how many people loathe them.

    Northland • Since Jan 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    Beautiful! Executed as intended :)

    My house is the opposite to Emma's - my husband is the cook. Not that I can't, more that I don't.

    If I'm by myself (seldom) I tend to go for something easy like omelette, or something out of the freezer like pumpkin soup or vege curry. So not much inspiration here I'm afraid !

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    My go to solo meal is fish ball soup. Frozen fish balls in a broth with pak choy, noodles etc. My partner is a big red meat eater so that's what I don't have when I'm on my own.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • WaterDragon,

    On the cooking-for-one front,I'm not worried about eating the same thing on successive days, if (as I try to ensure) it's something I like a fair bit. So the soup season gives me a great chance to indulge in kumera and blue vein cheese soup. With repeats

    Wellington • Since Jul 2011 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Solo meal for me right now: spiced wedges, bacon pieces, diced red onion, mozzarella cheese & sour cream. Even a seemingly small amount of wedges can fill you up pretty quickly once you add in the other ingredients.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4158 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Cubey,

    Ruth LAUGESEN.

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 51 posts Report Reply

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