More taste, less waste: cooking for just little old you

As I’m sure you’re more than aware of by now, I’m definitely not part of Beyonce’s single ladies squad – and gladly so I hasten to add. I have been with my partner in all manner of crime for quite a wee while now. In fact, we’ll be celebrating our fifth year of doing each other’s heads in with a trip to Reykjavik and New York next month. However with our super hectic schedules and mismatching (and very much fluctuating) dedication to the gym, we seem to have become a little bit like ships in the night of late.

I’ll come in from a sweaty workout, reluctant to snuggle on the couch smelling like an actual armpit, while Abby is sitting square-eyed at the computer chasing deadlines. Then by the time she’s wrapping up for the night, I’ll already be well away in my favourite place on earth (bed). So while we do most definitely prioritise our penchant for cocktails and dining out during the weekends, we don’t always get chance to sit down and eat dinner together during the week.

Liverpool Food and Drink Festival Sefton Park 2017

Subsequently, while I’m certifiably not single, my eating domestic eating habits quite often suggest otherwise. Catch us on a particularly busy week and you may very well even find me on the couch with a tub of ice cream and a share bag of Sensations all to myself while Abby is off nibbling canapes at some fancy shmancy networking event around the country. This pseudo-single lifestyle I sometimes find myself living calls for solo recipes that are tasty and nutritious (to balance out the crisps and ice cream) without leaving too much (or any) waste behind.

Usually whatever I make for dinner, Abby can always take to work in a Tupperware box the next day for lunch – my pesto Parmesan chicken and gnocchi for example. However for those single ladies and gentlemen amongst us who don’t have a human bin on which to offload leftovers, it’s time to think about how you can create more taste and less waste.

Chicken and parmesan pesto gnocchi recipe

Here are my top tips for making cooking for one a whole lot easier, so you don’t have to rely on jam on toast for dinner 6 nights of the week:

Fill your freezer with all that good stuff

Call me lazy but when I know I’m just cooking for little old me, I really can’t be bothered taking the time to julienne a carrot or spiralize a bloody big butternut squash. No siree. Forget hasselback potatoes, that just sounds like straight up hassle to me. I prefer to grab a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer, chuck ’em in the pan with some garlic, seasoning and browned chicken and let the wonder of one-pan cooking work its magic.

Stock up on eggs

Nope, I’m not affiliated with the country’s entire stock of eggs. I just champion them as a really great raw ingredient to have close to hand when you need to whip up something simple. They usually have impressively lengthy use-by dates so if Tinder delivers the goods and you find yourself at a table for two last minute, they’ll keep just nicely. Eggs are one helluva versatile foodstuff and often cook in a matter of minutes so send them straight to the top of that shopping list, singletons.

Preparation is key

Roll your eyes all you like but as the saying goes, you fail to prepare and you can prepare to fail. I know if I haven’t got something planned ahead or even half prepped in advance for when I get in, I’ll just hit up the biscuit tin and not stop until I’ve reached the bottom like something straight off Crumbs akimbo. So my advice to you one-man-bands is to consider your portion sizes and plan ahead for the week to fend off any unnecessary biscuit binges and reduce food waste dramatically.

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