Single-Serving Recipes
February 2, 2016 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Single-Serving Recipes [via mefi projects]. Does what it says on the tin.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering (42 comments total) 82 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh I liked this, it can be so hard to cook for one or two, if only cause the economy of scale really kicks in with cooking and then yu end up with stew for daaaaaaays
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, chef and I talk about that a lot and what we'd like to cook for ourselves at our individual homes and then "so what did you have for dinner?" "Shawarma, you?" "A&W."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:34 PM on February 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


every recipe is a single serving recipe if you try hard and believe in yourself (shamelessly stolen from a meme about personal pizza)
posted by Gymnopedist at 3:06 PM on February 2, 2016 [27 favorites]


Oof, the more ingredients a recipe has, the more I make of it and the longer it had better last, for sure. (I just bought my nth pack of faux tupperware :/ )

Some nice tweaks of simple meals that wouldn't occur to me, there. Egg & avocado bowl is going to be tomorrow's dinner, I think!
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:07 PM on February 2, 2016


foreveralone

unnecessary
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:08 PM on February 2, 2016


foreveralone

unnecessary


tongue in cheek poking fun at myself, nobody else.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:11 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Pancakes for One
posted by D.C. at 3:27 PM on February 2, 2016


Oh good. Just last night I made a big pot of black bean soup and was irritated at myself as I stored the leftovers in the freezer, because I'm tired of making enough food for multiple folks, but that's all I know how to do. This might help.
posted by angeline at 3:28 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


tongue in cheek poking fun at myself, nobody else.

aw, sorry, I know!

(unnecessary

faux outrage)
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:39 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]




Yep, this is my life living alone with no freezer.
posted by pemberkins at 4:15 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sounds good. But can I please just buy one or two eggs from the store, instead of 12? Doesn't solve the problem of perishable ingredients, which can only be bought from the store as more than one.
posted by Melismata at 4:30 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sounds good. But can I please just buy one or two eggs from the store, instead of 12? Doesn't solve the problem of perishable ingredients, which can only be bought from the store as more than one.
posted by Melismata at 4:30 PM on February 2 [+] [!]


Eggs can often be bought in 6-packs, but they also keep quite a while, especially if refrigerated. There's also a blog post about how to replace eggs. The blog is also set up with ingredients tagged in order to help find recipes which use some item like eggs or whatever you need to use up. There is also a general preference for canned/frozen ingredients for this reason, though of course we cannot get EVERYTHING out of a can.

(Yes, I'm the proud mommy of this blog.)
posted by Peregrine Pickle at 4:36 PM on February 2, 2016 [15 favorites]


Yay welcome blog person!

Also, I don't know if it would help you, Melismata, but I can pick up eggs individually at my local farmer's market. I don't know if that's unique to mine or not, but if you've access to an FM you might have a look?
posted by angeline at 4:47 PM on February 2, 2016


i think markets everywhere (?) sell eggs in arbitrary amounts - particularly if you turn up with your own eggbox.

don't know if this is widely known or not, but it made a significant improvement to my life this last few months: you can freeze cheese! (at least, the not-exactly-artesenal caciotta at my local supermarket, which is sold in a large whole rounds).
posted by andrewcooke at 5:01 PM on February 2, 2016


Wait, really? At a normal supermarket? I'm pretty sure if I tried to buy two loose eggs at my neighborhood grocery store they'd leave my head on a spike outside the door as a warning.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:22 PM on February 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't know about one or two at a time, but my local somewhat-upscale grocery sells half-dozens (somebody cuts a bunch of the standard egg boxes in half I guess) and there are extra boxes there, presumably for people to pick their own from a flat or two they keep there. If you showed up with a half-box of one or two, I imagine they'd find a way to accommodate you, as long as you didn't have loose eggs rolling around on the checkout belt or anything.

(Though really, if I'm conscientious about cooking for myself, it's easy to go through a dozen in a reasonable time. Various variations of eggs for breakfast, things like ramen or stir fry that benefit from an egg sometimes, the occasional lazy breakfast-for-dinner... it all adds up to a dozen every couple of weeks.)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 5:52 PM on February 2, 2016


Last week I made yogurt out of two gallons of milk. 4 lbs of homemade greek yogurt? I count this as a single serving recipe.
posted by nevercalm at 6:08 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


But can I please just buy one or two eggs from the store, instead of 12?

For eggs-as-mixed-ingredient, Ova Easy* is probably the best dried egg product, if you can get past the atrocious pun. It has a very long shelf life, and you can reconstitute a single egg's worth (or even less, if you want to reduce a recipe that calls for an odd number of eggs). Flavor-wise they aren't perfect, but they're pretty good for baking, meatloaf, and the like.

Another trick for eggs: once you start coming up on the expiration date, hard boil them. Refrigerated hard boiled eggs in the shell will keep for another week.
posted by jedicus at 6:10 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I haven't cooked a lot lately, but it's something I enjoy. But even when a recipe said "serves 4-6" it usually meant "6" to me and even if I cut it in half, it was still like 4 servings. So I'd eat one, have one for lunch, and still have leftovers. I froze a bunch of stuff that could be and that was great but ... still ... sometimes you end up with "emergency" food you don't really want.

It's rare anyone tells you how to just cook for yourself. It's hard -- mostly, it's as easy to cook for many as it is to cook for one, but no one tells you what to do with what's leftover.

I love this idea. It's good to have leftovers, sure, but it's also good to not have leftovers.
posted by darksong at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


but my local somewhat-upscale grocery sells half-dozens (somebody cuts a bunch of the standard egg boxes in half I guess)

yeah, this seems pretty standard.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:18 PM on February 2, 2016


There are a lot of dishes I never make because they either aren't easily made in small amounts, or they don't work well as leftovers, so this is something I am looking at with interest.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:25 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Washington Post's food editor, Joe Yonan, wrote a whole cookbook on this topic called Serve Yourself. It's really quite good, and part of the book's mandate is to not eat the same dinner twice in one week and also not lose all your free time. One really clever idea he has is to make a black bean soup base, and then use it the next couple of days but with different add-ins to totally change the flavor profile of the dish.
posted by Maecenas at 6:34 PM on February 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh, and he dedicates a whole section to single-people food maintenance issues, like storing halves of produce!
posted by Maecenas at 6:35 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


my SO, bless his heart, learned how to cook while working at a soup kitchen. He can't cook for less than 12 people.


Sp every time he wants to cook I'm like "You'll make too much" and he says "No I wont, we'll have leftovers" and I resign myself to throwing out 8 portions of frozen beef spag-bol in about eight weeks.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Looks good. One thing that really got to me when I was cooking for one was the Recipe That Is Ostensibly For One But Obviously and Impractically Cut Down.

"Take half an avocado and a tablespoon of fresh cream" YEAH SURE I'LL JUST GO TO THE FUCKING SUPERMARKET AND ASK FOR A FUCKING TABLESPOON OF CREAM OR AM I SUPPOSED TO TAKE MY OWN TABLESPOON AND SNEAK SOME OUT OF A FUCKING TUB AND CARRY IT HOME UNDER MY FUCKING COAT.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:50 PM on February 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


Dude cream is something you can expect to have at home .

I put it in my coffee.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on February 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


YEAH WHELK THANKS FOR THAT ENTRY IN THE WHELK GUIDE TO NOT BEING AT ALL FANCY REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR EXPERTISE IN THAT AREA.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:12 PM on February 2, 2016 [16 favorites]


I buy heavy cream pretty regularly for putting into soups, or making desserts, and a lot of the time whatever is left gets used for a few days of very nice cups of hot tea.

It's a nice treat!
posted by angeline at 11:30 PM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Awesome post! Awesome blog!

Buying a cup of cream for a recipe that calls for one tablespoon is problematic for those of us a) trying to keep our weight under control, and b) who will drink leftover cream straight — not all at once, but still, an ounce or two at a time — if it is available, and especially if it needs to be used up. And yes, I know, half of you are aliens who are now saying, "ew, gross, how can you do that?" and the other half are actual humans who know that drinking plain cream, ice-cold, is one of the best things ever.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:17 AM on February 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Dude cream"...
posted by Acey at 5:31 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is why I really love Nigel Slater recipes. They're often for two servings. Of course, they tread the line between stuff I will totally have in my house already and "really, Nigel, where the fuck am I supposed to get black garlic here???"
posted by Kitteh at 6:20 AM on February 3, 2016


a tablespoon of fresh cream

...

one tablespoon is problematic for those of us a) trying to keep our weight under control, and b) who will drink leftover cream straight — not all at once, but still, an ounce or two at a time — if it is available, and especially if it needs to be used up

One possible solution is individual portions of shelf-stable cream (for example). Technically it's usually half & half, but that's close enough unless you're whipping it, and less caloric anyway. One of those little pots is just shy of a tablespoon.

They're often sold in places like CostCo, Sam's, and office supply stores (for use in coffee). Check the expiration date. They're shelf stable, but the shelf life is 'only' about 15 weeks for the half & half ones. They'll keep longer if they're refrigerated, though.
posted by jedicus at 7:09 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


always make enough for 2. leftovers for next day lunch. shop every weekend. Food for the week. nothing goes bad. seeing problems where there aren't any...
posted by judson at 9:33 AM on February 3, 2016


Well. No problems for you. I'm quite pleased for you that your method and plan works out for you. For some folks - non-neurotypicals, or those with physical impairments, as an example - that plan doesn't work as well.

Hauling in a week's worth of groceries for me is exhausting, I live alone and upstairs. I don't particularly care to eat the same meal two days running a lot of the time. And that's just me, other folks have other issues where your particular setup won't work.

If this blog and the ideas behind it seem silly to you, well, then it's not FOR you and you can safely pass it by.
posted by angeline at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hauling in a week's worth of groceries for me is exhausting,

Hey, same for me. I do a once-weekly meat-only run at the butcher's (or at the grocery with the better meat). It's not too heavy a haul for me when it's just that - I have a bag distribution system (tote across one shoulder or backpack for roast or multi pack items; 2 small bags hanging on each elbow for smaller pieces). Freeze most of that. Dairy & egg run is once a week (backpack or tote). Veg and any canned stuff (because freshness / so heavy) every 1-2 days. I do have a million little groceries within a ten-minute walk of my place, though, that's a luxury. (I'm embarrassed to say how much thought has gone into this :/)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:48 AM on February 3, 2016


one small bag on each elbow, tired, sorry
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2016


Right, exactly! You've worked out a shopping system that works out for you, you've got it nailed. My objection to the previous comment (not yours!) was the implication (that I got out of it anyway) that life is a one size fits all venture with one simple system to be followed.
posted by angeline at 11:57 AM on February 3, 2016


I'm all for recipes for one but I sigh at the assumption that everyone has a microwave. I don't and won't so I either have to guess what the equivalent time/temp might be or make something else.
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:46 PM on February 3, 2016


The Whelk vs. TheophileEscargot, the Epic Gastropod Rap Battle of the Century! Don't miss it, it's mollusk-see viewing! Tickets on snail now!
posted by Sunburnt at 3:14 PM on February 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


every recipe is a single serving recipe if you try hard and believe in yourself

I have finally admitted to myself that any size package of snack chips, candy or ice cream is a single serving. I'm so full but I must finis
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:19 PM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


I accidentally clicked on the WebRing link at the bottom of the page, and was instantly transported to 1996.
posted by schmod at 2:59 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


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