People living alone

Health vs Time

Regularly eating convenience food can take a toll on your physical and mental health, as well as your waistline. Fast food and TV dinners tend to be low in nutrition and high in fat, sugar, salt and calories. Often, for less money and only a little more time, you can create healthier, better tasting meals yourself.

Takeaway, fast food, or pre- packaged dinners may be the easy option when you’re dining alone, but eating this way on a regular basis can lead to serious health problems.

Preparing your own meals can help you take charge of your health. No matter your age, living situation, or culinary skills, you can learn to cook tasty, healthy, and inexpensive meals that not only taste great but can boost your energy, stabilise your mood, and keep you as healthy as possible.

People living alone

The Basics

The key to cooking for one is to master a few basic skills, stock up on essential ingredients, and get creative in making meals that work specifically for you. After all, that’s the great thing about cooking for one: you don’t have to please anyone but yourself.

  • Make cooking fun. If chopping vegetables, boiling pasta, or washing pots doesn’t sound like your idea of a fun night in, find ways to make it more enjoyable. Try singing along to your favourite music or listening to the radio.
  • Cook once and eat twice (or more). Take a family-size recipe and freeze leftovers in single portions to eat another time. Write the date and contents on the packages, and remember to eat the food in a timely manner (for most meals, within 3 to 6 months).
  • Reinvent leftovers. If you don’t want to eat the same meal a second time, having leftovers can be a great starting place for your next meal. For example, leftover vegetables can be added to cooked pasta and a tomato sauce —and you have a whole new meal.
  • Prepare one-dish meals. For simple meal ideas with minimal clearing up, choose dishes that serve as the whole meal, combining different food groups in one pot, like a vegetarian chilli, chicken casserole, or beef and vegetable stew. Slow cookers are great for making these types of dishes.
  • Cook your main protein once a week. By roasting a chicken at the weekend you can use the leftover meat to quickly create different dishes during the week. Add the meat to a soup or salad, slice it in sandwiches, make a curry or chilli or add to cooked rice or pasta .

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