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Cooking for One

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 19 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Food Cooking One Recently Separated

Getting used to cooking for one when you’re recently separated can be difficult, stressful and liberating all at the same time. If you’ve been used to cooking your partner’s favourite meals for years it can be hard to realise that this won’t happen again, but it can also be exciting to realise that you can now make exactly what you want when you want it!

Celebrate the Freedom

It’s important to see the positives in this situation. We all have our food preferences and however in tune you were as a couple, it’s unlikely that you share exactly the same tastes. If your partner always wanted bland food but you’re a chilli fiend, now is the time to indulge yourself in all the flavours you compromised on. Take pleasure in being able to make your favourites without having to make a separate meal or apologise.

Cook and Freeze

On a practical level it can be tricky to get used to the right portion control for one person when you’re used to cooking for two. A good way round this is to cook the same amount you’re used to and simply freeze the extra portion. This means you only have to cook half as often, leaving you more time to get busy with your new life! A good tip is to freeze the ‘second half’ of the meal before you eat your first half, so put half in a Tupperware container as soon as it’s ready and leave it to cool before freezing.

This may sound strange, but the reason is that many recently separated people find themselves eating more because they still cook for two, so by portioning it up before you eat your half, stops you from serving up a too large portion. This can mean that the second half doesn’t seem like enough for another meal and so either gets wasted or eaten anyway in one massive portion. After all, you don’t want to pile on the pounds, especially as bumping into your ex looking terrific is all part of getting over them.

Create New Menus

Many recently separated people can find it quite emotional to think of themselves eating alone, especially if they’re making something they used to enjoy as a couple. For a while at least, it is a good idea to try completely different things so that the emotional connection to your meal time is lessened. Try getting a random cookery book out from the library or picking up one of the free magazines from your favourite supermarket. There are always loads of new ideas to try, which can be a great way to take your mind off the situation for a little while. Be kind to yourself by picking healthy, invigorating food that will give you the boost you need – try veggie soups, exotic fruit platters and steaming noodle dishes that are packed with vitamins and low in fat.

Careful of Wastage

It can be hard to get used to shopping for one as well as cooking for one. Many supermarket products come in packs that are impractical for people living alone, so this is a great time to get to know your local greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger. If that’s not practical, at least invest in a freezer so that you are able to make the most of the products.

Meal planning is also a good way to make sure you’re not throwing any food away, which is a terrible waste of money as well as been unenvironmentally friendly. For example, a 500g packet of mince can be used for a Bolognese sauce for pasta one day (make the whole pack), a chilli the next (just add kidney beans and a fresh red chilli and serve with tortillas) with probably enough left as a filling for burritos on the third night (using up the tortillas).

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