Say good-bye to ho-hum sandwiches and create a great meal for yourself. The combinations for a great sandwich are limitless.
Consider all the bread choices: White, rye or sourdough slices, wheat rolls, hoagie or brat buns, pitas, bagels, English muffins, tortillas and even waffles. Using large lettuce or collard green leaves work great for a roll-up style sandwich. Hungry for a sandwich but happen to have just the heel left in the bread bag? Turn it into a great open-faced sandwich.
Once you’ve got the bread, the fun starts. Sure, you can make a traditional PB & J or grilled cheese. But dig a little deeper in the fridge and surprise yourself. Here are a few combinations to consider:
Check out these sites for great inspiration.
Find the recipes for 102 healthy sandwich ideas from Cooking Light Magazine!
Fifty unbelievable grilled cheese sandwiches from the Food Network.
It’s not just you. Almost half — or 46 percent — of all eating occasions in the U.S. now consist of a person eating alone, according to a recent report published by the Food Marketing Institute. Breakfast is the most common meal we eat alone — with 61 percent of us eating morning meals alone, followed by lunch (55 percent) and dinner (34 percent). Solo diners are also responsible for the jump in snack foods being consumed at meal times. Almost 48 percent of adults now replace meals with snacks at least three times a week. But empty calories and mindless eating do not help control diabetes and high blood pressure. With a little practice, you can eat solo and eat healthy.
So, how do we feed ourselves when we’re alone, when there are no one else’s needs to take into consideration? To cook only for yourself is a healthy luxury that is great for your body and budget. Make the time. Appreciate your effort. You are worth it!
Tips for solo diners at home and in restaurants:
Finding recipes and meal ideas for one person can seem like a chore, even if you know how to cook and have a full kitchen at your disposal. It can seem to be simpler to just put a frozen dinner in the microwave but regularly eating convenience food can take a toll on your physical and mental health. The act of cooking for yourself can be very empowering. Taking charge of your diet and taking the time to care for yourself can improve your mood and self-esteem.
Preparing your own healthy meals can reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. If you are trying to control your blood pressure or diabetes, it is much easier to ensure you are getting the right foods when you prepare the meals yourself. When your body feels healthier, you feel happier-inside and out. Eating well at home can make you happier!
Cooking for One recipe idea: Steam in parchment paper for a VERY simple one-person meal.
Cooking “en papillote” is a fancy term for a simple technique that involves cooking a meal in parchment paper. Pre-heat oven to 350º. Place a fish filet, skinless boneless chicken breast or firm tofu on top of thinly sliced veggies on a large piece of parchment paper. Add spices/seasoning and a dash of olive oil. Fold food into a tight package. Place on a baking sheet. After about 20 minutes you have a healthy, steamed meal for one with virtually no clean up!
Bacon and Eggs. They are the perfect pair.
And they’re perfect for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.
Can your smell the bacon already? Let’s get cooking!
Cooking for One Storage tip: Thicker cuts of bacon freeze easily. After opening the package, cut all the slices in half, put them into 3 or 4 slice-thick portions. Lay the portions side-by-side in freezer bags. When you need a serving of bacon, take out one stack and defrost.
Breakfast Idea Recipe
Pancakes for One, Eggs Your Way and Crispy Bacon
To get that local diner flavor, cook your bacon first in a heavy bottomed pan. Leave a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan to fry your pancakes and egg.
Pancakes for One
1/2 cup of pancake mix (like Bisquik)
1/3 cup water
Combine pancake mix and water. Batter will be lumpy.
Dinner Idea Recipe
Spaghetti Carbonara for One
Spaghetti Carbonara For One
2 oz (small handful) dry spaghetti pasta
1 garlic clove, minced
1 strip bacon
1 egg, slightly beaten
Parmesan cheese, about a ¼ cup grated
Cooking for One. Cooking for You!
I am Jennifer, Como Park resident and Homemaker for the Block Nurse program. Sharing food with neighbors started within hours of moving to the neighborhood. It was a hot July day and my new neighbors across the street brought over fruit salad and brownies. I knew I would love this neighborhood!
Over the years, talking about food and sharing food with neighbors has meant sharing when there is too much in the garden harvest; “borrowing” when there aren’t enough eggs in fridge to finish making those cookies; eating a casserole made for tired new parents; sending a nourishing meal to a grieving neighbor; the Block Party where cookies flow with the good conversations. Much of the time, preparing food and eating is a communal endeavor but as I have met more neighbors through the Block Nurse Program, I hear common questions about cooking for one. Cooking for You!
Cooking for one happens at different times in our lives: The 24-year old living on her own for the first time; the teenager home during the summer needing meals and snacks while his parents are at work; the married couple with different work schedules; the single parent whose kids are at their other parent’s house; the senior after their spouse has passed away or needed assisted living.
My future blogs will share recipes, tips and stories from around the neighborhood (and beyond) centered on cooking for one. The most important “one”, after all, is You!
We have several authors — our homemaker Jen, our physical wellness instructor Leann, and our director Jody.