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Cheap meal making for people who live alone

(28 Posts)
StuffezLaBouche Sun 10-Mar-13 09:10:04

I've been reading some of the fantastic bidet meal threads on here because I want some fresh ideas for food without spending too much.
I've priced though that there's loads of ideas that work well with families but that wouldn't work so well for people whole alone.
I adore cooking but really get sick of eating the same pot of food for three nights running or de-frosting and re-heating.

Some thing it's easy to just make a single portion of, but I find I end up chucking quite a bit of food, which I really hate. I guess it doesn't help I learned most of my cooking from my mum who was always cooking for six! (Massive stews, pies and roasts are my speciality!)

Anyone else live on their own and like to make a list of meal ideas with me?

1 Spanish omelette with crusty bread
2 salmon/cod with home made salt and chilli wedges
3 roast chicken, of which the leftovers can make
4 chicken pie and
5 chicken soup
6 fish/rice/hard boiled egg concoction

StuffezLaBouche Sun 10-Mar-13 09:10:46

Oh god, budget, not bidet.
Noticed not priced

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 10-Mar-13 09:15:23

grin at bidet meals

Will be back later with a proper response!

StuffezLaBouche Sun 10-Mar-13 09:17:13

My fault for not proof reading!

nannynick Sun 10-Mar-13 09:30:13

Making single portions I find hard. Much easier at work where I cook for 3 or 4.

At home last night I had stir fried prawns with peppers and onions (used to get veg fresh but now get frozen, much easier and you can just use a handful of pre-cut frozen veg), with noodles (one of those sheets boiled in water for a few mins).

If I make a curry, it always makes two portions, so one gets put in fridge. Alas means curry two nights running.

Fried salmon, peppers onions mushrooms (whatever veg you have) on couscous flavoured with chilli powder/flakes.

Mum2Fergus Sun 10-Mar-13 11:24:52

Stir frys and omelettes are good for single portions...baked potatoes, pasta, I freeze sauce in the ice cube tray then defrost what I need...toasties/sandwiches with salad.

Delia Smith used to have rather a nice little book called something like, 'One Is Fun' which might be worth a look, if it's still in print.

- roasted asparagus with shaved parmesan and a rocket salad and some nice bread: dead easy, tastes like a treat and yet asparagus for one is cheap

- mushrooms fried with onion and garlic, add a slug of wine or brandy and some cream or creme fraiche or Boursin and have with toasted pitta breads and salad

- a chickpea curry would be easy to make for one using just a tin of chickpeas, some paste and some frozen spinach; that and a naan and some minty yoghurt

- baked potato with whatever

- big stuffed mushroom, maybe in a bun, or maybe with halloumi or with salad or steamed vege

StuffezLaBouche Sun 10-Mar-13 11:47:27

These are great suggestion, thanks all.
Remus - I particularly love those ideas because I do like trying new things and making something a bit special - even if it just amounts to a mushroom stuffed in a bun with cheese :-)

StuffezLaBouche Sun 10-Mar-13 11:49:42

And I have just invested 2.99 on thekindle version of One is Fun. It looks amazing!!


Just thought of another one - Qasadillas with a bowl of mango salsa and some soured cream

Oh and nachos for when you're not bothered about calories! Have a big bowl of fresh tomato salsa with them for vitamins, and maybe some fresh avocado sliced or made into guacamole.

specialsubject Sun 10-Mar-13 11:54:14

slow cooker and freezer - get suitable containers then you don't have to eat the same thing for days on end.

chilli works really well; 2lb mince, 3 tins toms, 3 tins kidney beans makes six portions (and we are big eaters)
casseroles - often taste better after reheating
fish pie -freeze the filling and just make up fresh mash for the topping.

nannynick Sun 10-Mar-13 14:29:52

One is Fun looks like ot was a BBC series, there are some clips on youtube

Selks Sun 10-Mar-13 14:46:25

Meals that I frequently make for myself:

- risotto - mushroom / leek / butternut squash etc
- roast veg (courgette, peppers, mushrooms) with couscous and feta/halloumi
- pasta with prawns, tomatoes, garlic and parmesan (with rocket salad)
- veg / chickpea / chicken curry (to last two days)
- veg laksa with noodles (can buy laksa paste)
- stir fry with rice / noodles (easy - bag of stir fry veg and some chicken / marinated quorn chunks / tofu)
- home made soups e.g. courgette pea and mint; minestrone; tomato and butterbean etc
- veg stews with pulses / lentils (lasts two days / freezes)
- egg foo young with rice (chinese style omlette with chinese veg in - mangetout, spring onion, tinned water chestnuts, peppers etc)
- pot of chilli
- terikaki salmon with noodles and green beans
- pan fried white fish fillet with new potatoes and spinach

Selks Sun 10-Mar-13 15:08:22

More -

- Kedgeree made with smoked mackerel
- Fajitas (bean / chicken)
- huevos rancheros with crusty bread
- pan fried chicken breast in a bun with salad (burger style), usually coat the chicken in piri piri sauce
- welsh rarebit
- falafels and salad in pitta bread with tahini / chilli sauce
- roast chicken joint roasted with tomatoes, olives, garlic and parsley - serve with jacket potato (this is so simple - can all just be bunged in the oven)


Greek style pizza things - get a pitta bread / mash some feta with some finely chopped red onion, some olives, a bit of lemon juice, lots of black pepper / spread over the pitta and bake.

Bake one of the tiny Camemberts and have with nice bread, celery, radishes etc.

Cook pasta. Stir in chopped camembert or brie, some chopped spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, whatever.

Showtime Wed 13-Mar-13 17:36:09

Best system is what we used to do years ago, houseful of students: have one day a week when friend cooks meal for two, you cook it next week'
Keeping this small means no arguing about costs/washing-up. and makes one meal a week a tiny bit special.

Easiest way to cook for one is forget family-type mixed meals, and have one meal basically protein (sandwich, fish, eggs, cheese & crackers etc) and the next just
vegetable/s, eg avocado, mushrooms on toast, veg. soup etc..

StuffezLaBouche Wed 13-Mar-13 19:44:53

Oh wow, some really lovely sounding options here.
I thought I bought delia's One is Fun book on Kindle. It seems I somehow downloaded the wrong thing and instead have a crappy book that basically gives recipes for four and suggests you freeze the leftovers. Grrrr!

hatgirl Wed 13-Mar-13 19:55:50

i just ate:

a slice of goats cheese (strength, slab size to your preference) baked in the oven until just starting to go brown on top.

In the meantime I slice a small red onion, fry, then add a large spoon of marmalade and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions and marmalade together to make a hot red onion marmalade.

Serve goats cheese with red onion marmalade with the salad of your choice.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 13-Mar-13 20:57:28

Oh hat girl that sounds amazing! Colleague took us out for lunch at this nice little Italian restaurant 100yards or so from our school. I had a bruschetta with Gorgonzola melted on top with caramelised red onions and rocket. Sounds similar to yours - incidentally, where do you find decent goats cheese? Supermarkets only seem to do the crap, soft rolls of it or the slightly better chèvre stuff with the rind.

hatgirl Wed 13-Mar-13 21:37:07

well I eat the stuff with the rind (the rind is the best bit!!) I live in the north so I usually get it from Booths (northern waitrose but better for those not in the know) but tonight's actually came from morrisons.

Its a ridiculously cheap and easy meal for one or an easy yet impressive starter for all those dinner parties everyone except me throws

StuffezLaBouche Wed 13-Mar-13 21:43:18

The rind is definitely the best bit! I'd like that stuff, but the stuff in restaurants just tastes much nicer, similar to stuff I've had in France. I'm going to make a bruschetta for me tea on Friday night I think. I sold an old lamp on gumtree for a tenner and tutoring tomorrow for an extra twenty... I feel rich!

StuffezLaBouche Wed 13-Mar-13 21:44:20

Oh and I'm north too (north east) but not heard of booths. Do you know if there's one in my neck of the woods..?

hatgirl Wed 13-Mar-13 21:53:37

no its a north west thing. They are rapidly expanding though!

My other treat is to buy a slightly larger steak than needed for one, chop a bit off, have steak and chips one night and use the rest in thin strips in a 'leftovers' stir fry the next night which also uses up all the extra veg and bits of garlic/ginger etc I have.

Ahhh I could talk food all night.

Toasttoppers Fri 15-Mar-13 08:23:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

apatchylass Wed 27-Mar-13 19:47:36

And frozen baby broad beans and spinach. I never buy fresh spinach any more. Such a faff to wash and trim. Frozen is great for making mini quiches, savoury muffins, eggs florentine, or adding to burgers, stews and curries. No waste, as it comes in tiny chunks and you just take a couple out whenever you need them.

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