Unfortunately not every meal is an extravagant spread for a dinner party, although how cool would that be! We know what it's like to only cook for yourself on a quiet night in or a busy weekday. Our #bloomgirls have a variety of different lifestyles such as the motivated college student or the restless girl boss. Either way, there are always times where we find ourselves cooking on our own. No matter what meal of the day you're cooking for, we've compiled some tips to make this task slightly less challenging.
1. Meal Planning
Start out by organizing your meals for the week. Since you’re cooking for yourself, you can analyze your diet and take note to the fact that you’d like to incorporate more vegetables or fiber in your diet for the upcoming days ahead. Shine a spotlight on the specific foods that make you feel your best! Some people like to focus on only planning one meal throughout the work week or all three. Depending on your preference, our grey and pink Meal Planning Pad makes this task a breeze. The seven-day view helps you to lay out each meal during the week along with the ingredients necessary for it. Make sure to tear off the shopping list on the right side and bring it to the grocery store with you!
2. Grocery Shop Like a Pro!
A trip to the grocery store can either bring dread or excitement. Whether you’re whipping up a new recipe or you only have one slice of bread left on your counter, focus on what you came to shop for! Keep in mind to only go down the aisles you absolutely need items from in order to limit spending and time. Our Grocery List Planning Pad makes it easy to remember and visualize the exact target of your trip. The pad includes different sections of common items along with fill-ins for additional groceries. Hang this up on your fridge and don’t forget to grab it on your way out the door!
3. Practice Portion Control
Before emptying the whole bag of frozen rice in your pan to whip up, take your plate or bowl and visualize how much food you plan on eating. We included a portion control chart below as a good rule of thumb to see how much food you need from different food groups to stay balanced along with not eating the same thing over and over again. Carbs are only bad for you if that's the only thing you're consuming! You can even check the serving size and use a measuring cup to stay on track, especially if you’re in the process of counting calories. Foods that are packaged in a larger bag or box, such as chickpea pasta for example, make this tip easier to utilize and can be a healthier alternative to frozen personal sized meals.
4. Make the Most of Your Leftovers
Something about certain foods just taste better the next day! It’s as though all the flavors have come together and combined into the perfect pairing. It’s fun to make a meal the night before and then come up with something completely different for lunch the next day. For this trick, you can bake a meat or fish on the same pan as roasted vegetables and then cut up the leftovers and add them over a bed of lettuce for a salad for tomorrow. Incorporate other ingredients that you may find around your house to switch up the toppings and combos. Another way to try this is making a large bake, such as a casserole, and have that as a side throughout your week.
There you have it! You’re all set to cook for one. Feel free to expand on these tips when cooking for the family or hosting your friends for an intimate gathering.
the bloom team