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Small Recipes for 1-2 people? ARGH!

Is this just me, or do you get so TIRED of recipes that are for 4 or more people? Not everyone is a couple with 2.5 children.

Two years ago, I almost went insane trying to find a recipe for a little 5" cheesecake for two. I NEVER found one and had to make up one using a serves 6 recipe and cutting it down.

And I know, you can always freeze leftovers, but my freezer is already so packed with leftovers that I don't have room for ice cube trays. Is this just me?

What do you single people do?

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  1. We are a family of two and we either cut the recipes in half/thirds or we make it up as we go. We know 2 cups of raw pasta gives us enough for a meal and leftovers so we work around that. All meats can easily be for one, the same for potatoes and veggies. I think it's always good to learn techniques and flavor combinations so you can make a great meal without a recipe. It can also help to look at the appetizer or small plate cook books for ideas for smaller portions.

    1. I cook for two every day. I either cut the recipe in half or cook once and plan on eating twice. I wonder why your freezer is so full? Why not eat the leftovers for dinner once or twice a week? Or you could make soup?

      I found several sites via Google that have recipes for two.

      I like the leftovers for lunch. I seldom freeze them, because I like to eat them the next day.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo

        I rarely freeze leftovers either. A few days later I'm ready to eat it again and consider it a "free" meal - from both a time and money standpoint. The other night I fixed four fish filets for two of us. We ate two and had the other two the following day in fish sandwiches. If I like something well enough to cook it, then I like it well enough to eat it again pretty soon. And as someone mentioned, if frozen, it doesn't stay there long.

        1. re: c oliver

          It's always been the two of us and we do the same. The exception I make is, if a recipe takes a long time or is a bit more complicated than usual, I make more on purpose, vacuum freeze it and enjoy it all over again.

          1. re: bayoucook

            Yep. I just took my last two containers of Hazan's Bolognese sauce out of the freezer for a big lasagne. VERY time consuming so I make 4X and 5X at a time.

      2. I recently (as in last week) purchased "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" by Joe Yonan. I've only had the opportunity to look through the cookbook but a lot of the recipes are things I'd really want to eat. Check it out at a bookstore or library near you and take a look at the book and see if it resonnates with you or not. At worst you might get a few ideas to build on.

        I have a lot of different condiments in small sizes, I buy the smallest quantities of fresh herbs that I can. I shop locally and at farmers markets where I can get onesies and twosies on things. I shop bulk bins so I can buy small quantities. If I buy a package of meat, I'll unitize it and then freeze it. And, like you, I have a bunch of small packets of things in my freezer. I don't make large batches of anything unless it's something I really, really like and/or have room in the freezer for the end of the batch. I don't shop at Costco, I don't buy in bulk (as in stock up, not bulk bins) and when I read recipes I pay attention to how easy it would be to cut it in halves, thirds or quarters.

        Cooking for 1 or 2 is an artform and some days I've better at it than others :-)

        3 Replies
        1. re: DiningDiva

          Sueatmo, I just am not a leftovers person. After tasting something several times while cooking, the smell of it all over me and the house, I like to eat my serving, then stash it. I don't want to eat on it for a few days. Weird, I suppose. My ex never liked leftovers either unless it was cold meatloaf or pizza.

          Thanks, so much Dining Diva. I'll check that out.

          1. re: natewrites

            Then I'd check out DD's rec for a cookbook for one, and that's the approach I'd take. But I have made soup many times from leftovers. If you did this on a Saturday, you could eat some good soup over the weekend.

            If I didn't like leftovers, I wouldn't cook more than just enough for me. Or enough for me and a friend.

          2. re: DiningDiva

            There are a number of other cookbooks for the single person. Judith Jones, Deborah Madison, and Joyce Goldstein all have cookbooks for the single person (although Ms. Madison's is a bit quirky), and both Eating Well and Cook's Illustrated have published cookbooks for 2 people.

          3. I think it's a waste to cook for just two. There's usually just my husband and me at dinner, but I make a full recipe because we both love leftovers for lunch. I'll even braise a largish cut of meat, as the leftovers freeze well. (And I don't let them languish in the freezer.)

            1. This isn't a problem. Rather, it's a very cool opportunity.

              1. Well, it's just my husband and I but I cook four servings so that I don't have to cook something new for lunch I can bring to work. Most of the time I prefer my own food so it's a win-win. Will think of recipes to post...

                1. We are two, but I generally cook for four. We have the leftovers for lunch or incorporate them into a different meal. There are cookbooks for two out there, and even cookbooks for one, but I find it makes sense during the week to have extra with which to work. A cake or pie lasts much of the week. Leftover rice can become fried rice or rice pudding, chicken becomes chicken salad--That sort of arrangement works for us. Small Batch Baking is a good title I can think of off the top of my head, if you want to bake for one or two.

                  1. I cook for one, but often make portions for 2, 4 or more.
                    Sushi, carbonara, pesto (the full dish-I make and freeze the pesto itself) and any fish dish is usually a "one-off".

                    Pasta sauce/sunday gravy, meatloaf , white chicken chili, Pho broth , pot stickers, smoked pulled pork and a myriad of others are cook and hold leftovers or cook and freeze.

                    Desserts are the defacto loser in the low number diner category as cookies, brownies and the like are fine, but cakes, pies and my favorite, peach dump cake all require a crowd. LOL.

                    There is not a thing out there I lament not cooking for lack of available diners. I'll make and freeze or cut recipe down to get what I want. Any dish. Any time.

                    1. And what about if you have a large family? Or are cooking for a group? All those recipes that serve four - it's so difficult to double, triple, etc. them!

                      Seriously, you can (a) halve the recipes, (b) make extra for leftovers, or - my favorite - (c) learn to cook "on the fly." Unchain yourself from recipes; look at them as a source of inspiration rather than a set of Rules That Must Be Followed.

                      A good place to start might be Michael Ruhlman's "Ratio." It's a cooking book (not really a cookbook, although it does contain recipes) as well as a smartphone app. Here's a discussion and a review; check it out: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/din...

                      1. I pick recipes specifically for their leftover potential--things like pasta, stir-fry, etc all heat up well.

                        It is definitely sometimes a pain to halve things though. Typically recipes will call for "a can of tomatoes" or somesuch and then you have half a can of tomatoes sitting in the fridge (which I will inevitably forget about).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tazia

                          Excellent point, Tazia. LOL! I have weird things in my fridge and freezer just like that, half a can of tomatoes, quarter cup of cream. You can re-invent these odd left overs sometimes, but it's not always easy. And sometimes, I too end of forgetting about them in the fridge.

                          1. re: natewrites

                            Half can of tomatoes, quarter cup of cream, some herbs and/or vodka, and you have a vodka cream sauce. :-)

                            I *love* finding ways to use bits and bites of containers of things. I keep a list on the side of my fridge as to what I have in my freezer (and I also make sure I label all of the containers!), and then I don't forget about them. Have a half cup of raspberry puree? Use it as part of a spicy-sweet sauce for duck breast. A half cup of Savory Molasses Sauce? Use it as a topping for a grilled pork chop. Invariably I'll think to myself "OK, I'm having a pork chop for dinner tonight - do I have anything in the freezer that'll work as an improv sauce?"

                            Depending on the food item, I'll make large batches and freeze it (I also have a chest freezer in the garage where the bigger items go). One cup containers of meat sauce make for an easy spaghetti and sauce dinner after a long workday. Same with pulled pork, chicken-corn chowder, chili, lamb & barley stew, etc. I'll roast a whole chicken, Slices of the chicken will get used in a panino, chopped up for chicken salad for work lunches, or I'll make a chicken pot pie or the above-mentioned chicken-corn chowder (which then also gets frozen in smaller portions). Roast a half boneless leg of lamb; the remaining lamb gets cut up for lamb and barley stew, and then portions frozen for easy meals.

                            Just label things well, keep an updated list, and plan ahead.

                        2. We are a family of two. It took a while to adapt to the variables for "couples cooking" after the kids left home, but it was actually something of an adventure. I've even gotten my bread formulas down to that level and making fresh bread for a special meal is great fun.
                          From my bread making experience I learned to weigh ingredients, rather than use bulk measurements, and I often use that method for regular cooking assignments. Because general cooking isn't as exacting as baking, it isn't necessary to weigh ingredients but there are times when it helps. A "pizza" for two for example, or stew in a bread bowl.
                          We also use the cook two meals at once approach where a meal is prepared for about four servings, the left-overs put in the fridge and use in another dish later in the week. While we do sometimes freeze left-overs, we try not to because they are too often forgotten and just fill up freezer space with "mystery" dishes that we are less interested in as time goes by.
                          Pulling the remainders of a dinner served two nights ago and using them as part of a new creative dish is, IMO, the height of cooking enjoyment.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: todao

                            Interesting, any tips on cutting down recipes for two people? I find it very difficult as well, and due to lack of space (and, indeed, reluctance), prefer to avoid leftovers. How do you cut down, for instance, yeast or baking soda?

                            1. re: tavegyl

                              You don't actually have to cut down on yeast. I make bread all the time, and if I use a recipe, I frequently cut it in half without cutting back on the yeast. Baking soda is simple. Cut in half and as long as you don't go below 1/4 tsp, it will have the desired effect.

                              1. re: tavegyl

                                I just cut it down in proportion to the rest of the recipe. If I'm halving the recipe, I halve the yeast or baking soda. (A packet of yeast is about 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 tsp, if your recipe calls for a packet). I usually bake by weight, but by volume, if you end up needing a weird amount (2/5 of a tsp, or something), you can almost always just pick the nearest normal amount and make a note to yourself to use a "scant" whatever or a "generous" whatever. So I could use a slightly underfilled half teaspoon to approximate 2/5 of a tsp.

                            2. nate, like you, i'm typically cooking for one and have limited freezer space so cooking with the intention of having leftovers isn't really ideal. you can really tackle the issue one of two ways...

                              - develop your instinctive/improvisational cooking skills. i only follow a recipe once in a blue moon - most of the time i just wing it. when you're not tied to the proportions dictated by a formal recipe, it frees you up to adjust ingredient amounts and seasoning levels to your own needs & tastes. it takes practice, but it's really the best way to go, IMO.


                              - look into cookbooks and websites that are tailored to solo cooks. i've turned many people on to Judith Jones' "The Pleasures of Cooking for One" and it never disappoints.

                              you might want to check out some of the results here:

                              ETA: i also meant to suggest that regardless of which approach you choose, you should brush up on your basic volume & weight conversions...so that when you do follow a recipe meant to feed 2, 4 or more, you can adjust the measurements accordingly for one person without having to bust out the calculator and rewrite the entire thing ;)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Judith Jones book got good reviews. I think I'm going to have to give it a whirl. I love the idea of re-inventing a dish. I have several "re-inventions" I already know how to do. For example, tonight I'm taking leftover pork roast and am making gyros with it (why not? it's way cheaper than lamb).

                                I just need another source so I'm not always using my same tricks. Thanks goodhealthgourmet!

                              2. What kinds of food do you like to eat? Maybe you need recipes/ingredients in which you don't mind eating leftovers or ingredients remade later?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: S_K

                                  Thanks Goodhealthgourmet! S_K, unfortunately, the foods I like to eat that are leftovers are usually the fattening kind, pizza, lasagna. Lots of things are easy to make in small batches, chicken breast combos, a baked potato, salads. I'm just burned out on all those stereotypical single person foods.

                                  1. re: natewrites

                                    Pizza is a good thing to like! You can make a single serving one using pita bread. If you hate that, the grocery stores also carry fresh dough too and you can use the dough to make calzone or into foccacia. I see someone posted lasagna (todao thank you I will try that one soon!) You can even do ground meat and divide it: season one differently for a dish like tacos, and then season the other portion for use in lasagna or cannelloni later. If you still have some leftover you can sprinkle that on a pizza too (that's what I do with small amounts of leftover turkey sausage meat).

                                    I like to make vegetarian cannelloni because it doesn't take many ingredients. This makes about 12ish cannelloni (I forget the exact number because I stuff until I run out of filling) but you can scale it down smaller if you like. I have a noodle addiction so I can finish any pasta by myself even if it's in large portions.

                                    Pasta to be prepared according to directions on package. Stuff shells with a mixture of about a pound of ricotta, some spinach*, parsley and one egg and a bit of salt. Cover with your choice of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan on top and bake it according to the pasta directions. If the cheese is getting brown too early cover with a little tent of oiled foil.

                                    *You can use frozen chopped spinach. Thaw it and then squeeze it out in a sieve. OR you can saute fresh in a skillet, this gives you a chance to use shallots and/or garlic but you have to cook it until it's dry enough because it will be soggy later and it has to cool a bit.

                                    I also like to use lasagnette, those noodles that look like lasagna but they are really small so you can use them in a skillet. They give me the lasagna feel but I can use less cheese. It is satisfying enough to stave off double the calories.

                                    1. re: natewrites

                                      For pizza, get a ball of dough from the grocery, and cut it in half or quarters and make individual-sized pizzas.

                                      For lasagna, use the small foil loaf pans - good for 2 servings - and freeze some of them. I do this all the time for my mother, who likes me to make macaroni & ham and cheese for her. (I prefer her eating my mac & cheese vs. the frozen kind which is higher in sodium than she needs.) I make the elbow noodles, the cheese sauce, and dice up the ham. The par-cooked elbows and diced ham go into the individual loaf pans, the cheese sauce gets poured on, and then they're double-wrapped in foil and cooled in the fridge. Once cool, they get frozen. All Mom has to do is take one out early in the day to defrost, unwrap it, top it with Panko crumbs, and bake it for 30 minutes at 350°. She makes a salad to go along with it, and she has dinner (and lunch the next day).

                                  2. I have a cookbook that I used to cook from a lot, I have no idea if it is still in print - but it was called "Eating Well is the Best Revenge" (or something very close to that). It was all recipes for 2 if I remember correctly and had a pretty good range of recipes.

                                    I haven't used it in a long time, so I'm not 100% sure if I would still like it based on where my skills are now - but whenever anyone asks me about recipes for 1 or 2 it always comes to mind. . . .

                                    1. I am surprised how often I hear this one. I don't even think about it anymore, but I guess I mostly cook like GHG. If I'm braising a big hunk of meat, I season it pretty neutrally (maybe garlic, onion, and salt) so I can do a bunch of different things with it that week. I grow a couple herbs, because paying several dollars for a bunch and throwing most of it away was really annoying. For bread, I use the Artisan Bread in 5 master recipe (available online if you google) which has you stick the dough in the fridge and grab a hunk when you want to bake a loaf or make a pizza or hot pockets or whatever.

                                      I bake by weight too. If you do it by volume, a lot of times you end up with "1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp" or something. Most of the time, though, you can round to the nearest normal cooking unit and it comes out fine. If you decide to get a scale, I also like the book Ratio, and I think you can find a few of them online for free. Also, Allrecipes has a scaling feature and metric option, so you can often just look at the first few high-rated results to get an idea of the range of proportions that will work for that item. If you buy the smallest eggs you can find, you can weigh the egg and just scale the rest of the recipe to be one egg's worth. I do this with cookies and brownies all the time. A ceramic cereal bowl works great for me for baking brownies, and you can bake most things in the toaster oven: just preheat it until the coils turn black.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: jvanderh

                                        jvanderh - Why throw away those wonderful herbs? Some may be very successfully frozen. I love dill and parsley. A cousin who lives overseas taught me to wash the herbs very well and dry them very, very well. I dry them and then let them air dry so there is absolutely no moisture left. Then I put them in zip-loc freezer bags, getting out as much air as possible. They last seemingly forever in the freezer and come out almost as if fresh. Basil does not work well. I only freeze dill and parsley. Try others and see what happens. Enjoy those herbs!!!

                                        1. re: samsaulavi

                                          I'm afraid that's a little too much effort for most of my evenings. Being able to snip off a sprig works great for me.

                                          1. re: samsaulavi

                                            I don't even go that far. I rinse them, shake them dry, then put them in a zip-loc bag. Not my go-to, but they work fine.

                                        2. .5 children...that 1/2 child always get the shaft...or is that the family pet? (smirk)

                                          While I don't cook for one, I still cook for myself. I tend to be more adventureous than my family and I find joy and relaxation making a meal for myself. I look for recipes that are 5 ingredients or less, simple preps and if necessary I do the math and trim down the ingredient portions to accommodate one meal. I also save leftovers from the family meal to re use in single portions for myself but bump up the flavor with add'l spices and add'l fresh ingredients to create a new meal. In this age of busy couples and singles, tons of recipes exist that address specifically cooking/baking for 1-2 people.

                                          1. If you really don't want leftovers, you might find it helpful to shop frequently, and buy only what you need for the meal that's right ahead of you. On an average day, I'll buy a piece of fish, something veg, and that's that. I take it home, I cook it, eat it, and buy something else tomorrow. I don't use recipes much, and I don't think in terms of them very often.

                                            I don't cook every night. Sometimes a little antipasto is just what I want. 1/4 lb. salami, 1/4 lb. cheese, olives, nuts, a little bread. It helps not having to depend exclusively on supermarket fare. I go and get these things in a nearby Italian grocery store. I usually buy enough for leftovers, myself, but you don't have to.

                                            Some nights, a pint of Haagen-Dazs is all I need for dinner. Or a half a pound of pistachios.

                                            Instead of buying little packets of herbs, I have a windowsill pots of basil and cilantro. That makes shopping and cooking at the last minute a lot easier, a lot cheaper.

                                            I have no aversion to leftovers, but you said you don't want them, so I won't trouble you with them. Oh, just two words: cold salmon.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              I think what you said is so true. Cooking for one doesn't have to mean protein, starch, veg so you get a balanced meal. How about making it a balanced day or a balanced week? If I'm alone I might really be in the mood for cheese and bread one day but then arugula the next. Since I don't have to make anyone else happy I can suit myself. Oatmeal cookies anyone?

                                            2. Here's a starter - Chicken lasagna for two

                                              6 lasagna noodles
                                              1/2 cup milk
                                              1/4 cup cheddar cheese
                                              1/4 cup swiss cheese
                                              1/2 tsp mace
                                              1 cup marinara sauce
                                              1 cup cottage cheese
                                              1 cup chopped cooked chicken
                                              4 medium mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
                                              Freshly grated parmesan cheese
                                              2 Tbsp AP flour
                                              5x7 inch baking dish

                                              Heat milk over low heat just enough to melt the cheddar and swiss cheese. Stir cheese into the milk just long enough to melt, then ad the flour and whisk until smooth. Add mace, salt and pepper to taste, and continue whisking over low heat for about 3 minutes. Set aside; keep warm.
                                              Cook the lasagna noodles, drain but keep them wet.
                                              Butter the baking dish, cut the noodles to length (so they fit in the dish - using the shorter lengths of noodle for the bottom layer or two) and arrange a layer on bottom of the dish.
                                              Spread this layer with cheese sauce, half the chicken, layer of marinara, layer of mushrooms, layer of cottage cheese. Cover this layer with noodles and repeat the layering of the other remaining ingredients in the same order.
                                              Arrange final layer of noodles on top, spread with marinara sauce and top with shredded parmesan.
                                              Cook in 375 degree oven 45 minutes to one hour until done.

                                              1. I grew up cooking in large batches for a family of 7 (specifically aiming to have leftovers) so I'm used to cooking in QUITE large quantities, and have never really gotten over that. I don't cook for an army anymore, but I still tend to cook larger batches than just what we're eating today. I freeze the leftovers (many things freeze very well indeed).

                                                Maybe some of these will help with your cheesecake problem:


                                                1. Hi there! I'm the recipe developer for the site Dessert For Two, and I just wanted to thank y'all for mentioning my recipes here!

                                                  I have a cheesecake recipe that fits perfectly in a 5" pan. I'm currently working on developing a chocolate version. Any other desserts or baked goods you'd like to see scaled down to serve two? I love to take requests :)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. Can't remember; has anyone mentioned omelets? The skies the limit. And cheap and easy.

                                                    1. We have a older friend that we pack "meals on wheels" for. My other half drops leftovers on her porch on his way to work. Not sure what we'd do without her. Portions for two just don't look right.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: porchcat

                                                        I'm the same way. I feel that my attempts to scale down the serving size negatively affects the taste so I tend to make the full serving and then give away the leftovers to neighbors and friends. If the goal is to save money too by not making the full serving size then I would suggest starting with cookbooks already mentioned that are specifically designed to serve one or two people.

                                                        1. re: cioccolata

                                                          >>"I feel that my attempts to scale down the serving size negatively affects the taste"<<

                                                          If you're really interested in cooking smaller batches, take encouragement from the fact that the vast majority of dishes served at good and great restaurants are prepared a single serving at a time. So it can't be that bad...

                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                            Good point. I never really though about that. I guess I just assumed that all restaurants made a huge batch and then dished it out as needed. In that case maybe I should try it again... (practice makes perfect, right?)

                                                            1. re: cioccolata

                                                              What's done in individual portions v large batches varies all over the place. Somethings like hamburgers are cooked individually on the large grill, side by side with other orders. But the fries may be cooked in 10 person batches, and come precut in large frozen bags. The bun of course has been baked ahead of time, or bought baked. And the toppings have been cut ahead of time.

                                                              DDD show gives an idea of how various dishes are prepared. Braised meats are often cooked in large covered trays in the oven for several hours, and dished out as needed. But other things are quickly cooked, either in the deep fat fryer, on the grill, or in an 8" skillet. Some restaurants keep stacks of those skillets on a shelf above the short-order cook's station.

                                                              Older restaurant cooking did a lot cooking in large batches (meat loaf, stews, mashed potatoes, soups). But modern cooking in the USA has has shifted to the fast short order cooking such as burgers, fries, grilled meats, other deep fried items, and salads.

                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                Good points, but I was thinking more in terms of fine dining. The braised dishes, soups, and sauces (or at least their bases) are certainly prepared in bulk, and prep is done ahead of time (nobody is mincing individual shallots as orders come in), but the actual cooking tends to be a la minute. Whether it's a pasta dish, a duck magret, a steak, or even a roast chicken (in places that have whole roast chicken on the menu), the food doesn't feel the fire until the customer has placed an order.

                                                                Of course, commercial kitchens have certain efficiencies, so cooking similar dishes at home will take more time and effort. But there's no reason that flavor should be compromised simply because food is being prepared one serving at a time.

                                                      2. Mrs. O and I are usually alone in our house, but if I'm in the mood for a braised pork shoulder I will braise that pork shoulder and find something good to do with the leftovers, like eat them for lunch. Do I tire of leftover braised pork shoulder? Are you some kind of idiot???

                                                        I simply love good food, and try very hard never to cook anything that isn't. The only problem I do sometimes encounter is that we are trying to lose weight, and such items as braised pork shoulder do not really qualify as diet food. I have therefore enlisted the aid of a Food Saver vacuum-packing device, and am in the market for a chest freezer...

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                          I made a pork loin 2 days ago. This one time oven roasted dish (with new potatoes) has provided 3 meals of meat, and 4 with potato. I agree with you totally. I like to cook once and eat twice, or thrice.

                                                        2. There are two of us. Never had a problem halving a recipe for four. Or upscaling a recipe for one. Or making the full recipe (or more) to freeze away for another meal.

                                                          1. Nate: Your wish is my command: I created a chocolate cheesecake, just for you :)


                                                            Enjoy! Any other desserts you want scaled down to serve 2, you just let me know :
                                                            )Hope you saw my regular cheesecake topped with peaches and honey, too.

                                                            1. I was single for years, and now there are two of us. I actually find the difference between cooking for one and two to be bigger than the difference between cooking for two and four. I also find that the habit of cooking lots and eating left overs is more for cutting down the amount of work than because scaling recipes is difficult.

                                                              I do find that there are some dishes that don't cook well in small amounts - mashed potatoes for one person, for example, or a single serving of classic Bolognese, because you can't easily slow simmer a single portion for hours, but there is lots of stuff that cooks well for two people. However, I rarely use recipes, so that may help.

                                                              I tend to excess store ingredients in the freezer, rather than leftovers, particularly for canned goods. Typically, this can involve half a can of tomatoes or chicken stock or beans, all of which freeze well, or individual meal sized portions of meat, or frozen green beans. Things like adobe sauce or tomato paste can be easily frozen in plastic bags, so you can take a little bit at a time. Things like olives, capers, pre-made pesto, tom yum soup paste, cheese, butter, cream, yoghurt and the like keep well in the fridge. I also tend to cycle through things like onions and lemons in fractions. When I start cooking, I check in the fridge for any partially used onions before cutting open a new one.

                                                              It helps to have pots and pans that are suited to one person cooking. A small pot for sauces, a couple of small casserole dishes, and two single serving baking dishes (volume of about 1-2 cups) are really useful for scaling down casseroles and baked dishes. You can do a small dish of scalloped potatoes, or two servings of baked mac and cheese.

                                                              Pasta, noodles and rice can be cooked in whatever amount you want, as can baked or boiled potatoes. Grilled or baked meat can also be done in any quantity, from one steak to ten chicken legs. Fish is easily bought and prepared in single servings. Steamed, boiled or sauteed vegetables can be prepared in any quantity. I find that a single can of tomatoes is a good amount for a two person sauce or casserole, and a single can of stock good for a two person pot of soup.

                                                              It's also helpful to pre-prep salad ingredients, and always have washed lettuce and a bin with cucumber/celery/onion/tomato/mushrooms/peppers in the fridge, so you can quickly make a garden salad as a side.

                                                              So for example two person meals

                                                              - grilled salmon with lemon caper sauce, steamed rice, steamed green beans and a garden salad.

                                                              - baked chicken legs with cumin, a small dish of scalloped potatoes (one small potato each), baked tomatoes, salad.

                                                              - sliced grilled chicken breast with pasta and tomato sauce, cream of squash soup, steamed asparagus with butter and parmesan cheese.

                                                              - grilled pork chops, with pasta with steamed mixed vegetables and pesto sauce.

                                                              - curried chickpeas with tomato, cucumber and yoghurt raita, and rice pilaf.

                                                              - Three cup chicken (made in a small pot), smashed cucumber salad, and sesame noodles.