Cooking for one

Weight Watchers New Complete CookbookWhen I cook, I have problems getting all of the separate foods ready at the same time. It’s a good thing I’m not cooking for a family who expects to have everything on the table all at once for a sit-down meal. I’ve never had that pressure and I don’t really care if I eat in stages as things happen to be done. It extends the meal and forces me to take more time eating, which gives my brain time to register that I’m getting full in ways that don’t happen so much when it’s all on one plate at one time.

Usually I start with a salad or the vegetables because they steam faster than anything else cooks. Then I have a carb, maybe a sweet potato or couscous or a potato roll, and then the meat. Sometimes I’m smart or lucky and get two things done at once and can enjoy them together. In the summer I do a bang-up job of timing things with the George Foreman grill, steamed veggies, and sliced tomatoes. But that’s not a hard meal.

I also do a lot of one-pot things in the crockpot, which is my best friend. Well, okay, maybe not my BEST friend but I do love it. I make big pots of soup (Taco Soup or Vegetable Beef or Bean Soup are my favorites) or stew or meat sauce, though the meat sauce I only make on the weekend because it doesn’t need to cook all day and my crockpot doesn’t have a “keep warm” setting. I can cook a single pot of whole wheat pasta, drain it, and divvy it up into single-serving containers that are perfect for portion-controlled pre-made meals, then divide up the sauce on top. This usually gives me six meals, one to eat while it’s hot, a few to put in the fridge for the next few days, and the rest to go in the freezer for later.

I like to cook but I’m basically pretty lazy and not terribly adventurous. There are things that I’ve tried and simply adored – steel cut oatmeal, sweet potato and apple casserole, pudding yogurt, and roasted vegetables are all staples of my food plan and I haven’t been eating them all that long. I’m on the Hungry Girl email list and try to incorporate one new food or recipe a week for variety. The problem is that if I buy or make it and it’s terrible, there is no one to help eat it and I hate “wasting” food and throwing it away after taking the time to decide to buy/make it. If it’s horrible instead of just bleh, it’s easier to make that decision.

My cookbook shelf contains almost all the new Weight Watchers cookbooks that come out and I love to read the recipes but sometimes they seem more complicated than worthwhile. Maybe we should start posting names of recipes we love and the cookbooks they came from so others can dig into the resources they already have but aren’t using (*raises her hand guiltily*). I think I’ll spend some time tonight checking out one or two and picking something new to try that won’t make pots of food. Recommendations would help so much!  Do you have one to share?