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Mastering the Art of Cooking for One: Tips and Recipes from Teller Senior Coalition

Cooking for one can present its own set of challenges. From portion sizes to ingredient waste, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when preparing meals for solo dining. However, cooking for one can be enjoyable and rewarding with a little creativity and planning. At Teller Senior Coalition, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, so we've compiled some tips and recipes to help you easily navigate the world of solo cooking.

Tip 1: Embrace Batch Cooking

One of the best ways to make cooking for one more efficient is by embracing batch cooking. Spend a day each week preparing larger quantities of your favorite meals, then portion them out into single servings and freeze them for later. This saves time during the week and ensures that you always have a delicious homemade meal on hand, ready to enjoy at a moment's notice.

Tip 2: Get Creative with Leftovers

Don't let leftovers go to waste! Instead, get creative with repurposing them into new and exciting dishes. For example, leftover roasted vegetables can be tossed into a salad or used as an omelet filling. At the same time, cooked grains like quinoa or rice can be transformed into hearty grain bowls with the addition of protein and fresh veggies.

Tip 3: Stock Up on Freezer-Friendly Ingredients

Keep your pantry and freezer stocked with versatile ingredients that can be easily incorporated into various meals. Frozen fruits and vegetables, canned beans, and grains like pasta and rice are all great options for quick and easy meals. A well-stocked kitchen will make you less tempted to order takeout and more likely to whip up a nutritious meal at home.

Tip 4: Invest in Quality Storage Containers

Invest in various quality storage containers in different sizes to help keep your leftovers fresh for longer. Look for containers that are microwave and dishwasher-safe for easy reheating and cleaning.

Tip 5: Plan Ahead with Meal Prep

Spend some time each week planning your meals and preparing ingredients ahead of time. Chop vegetables, cook grains, and marinate proteins so that assembling meals throughout the week is quick and effortless.

Tip 6: Don't Be Afraid to Experiment

Cooking for one is the perfect opportunity to experiment with new flavors and cuisines. Don't be afraid to try out different recipes and make adjustments to suit your taste preferences. You never know, you might discover a new favorite dish!

Here are some great Recipes for one person to practice these great tips and tricks! Reach out and let us know which one was your favorite!

One-Pan Baked Salmon and Vegetables


1 salmon fillet

Assorted vegetables (such as broccoli, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes)

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place salmon fillet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Arrange vegetables around the salmon, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

Mushroom and Spinach Omelet


2 eggs

Handful of spinach

Sliced mushrooms

Shredded cheese (optional)

Salt and pepper

Instructions: In a small skillet, sauté mushrooms until tender. Add spinach and cook until wilted. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour eggs into the skillet with the mushrooms and spinach, tilting the pan to spread them evenly. Cook until the edges start to set, then sprinkle with cheese if desired. Fold omelet in half and cook until eggs are cooked through.

Caprese Avocado Toast


1 slice of whole grain bread

1/2 ripe avocado

1 small tomato, sliced

Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Balsamic glaze (optional)

Salt and pepper

Instructions: Toast the bread until golden brown. Mash the avocado onto the toast and season with salt and pepper. Top with sliced tomato and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry


1 small chicken breast, sliced

Assorted vegetables (such as bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots), sliced

Soy sauce

Garlic powder

Sesame oil

Cooked rice or noodles, for serving

Instructions: In a skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add sliced chicken breast and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, add sliced vegetables and cook until tender-crisp. Return chicken to the skillet and add soy sauce and garlic powder to taste. Serve stir-fry over cooked rice or noodles.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Feta


1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Cucumber, diced

Crumbled feta cheese

Fresh parsley, chopped

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Instructions: In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, and parsley. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and serve chilled.

Cooking for one doesn't have to be daunting. With a little planning and creativity, you can enjoy delicious and satisfying meals perfectly portioned for one person. So go ahead, put on your apron, and get cooking! Your taste buds—and your wallet—will thank you.


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