January 15, 2013

Table for One


Today's post in this series is a tasty one from Poe at Many Waters.
I was so grateful to read this, because I got some great ideas from it. 
Cooking for a two year old Millie and a not big eater (me) always seems like it's such a chore 
and too annoying to think about. I hope these ideas inspire you, too! 
Make sure to check out her blog when you're done, including the recipes she mentioned.

While there are a few things I dislike about my husband being gone, including sleeping alone and dealing with “manly stuff” like fixing broken things, mowing the lawn and oil changes, there is one that tops the list. As simple as it seems, I HATE cooking for one and eating alone. Because of that, there is a scene that plays itself out several times during a separations:

I’m in the kitchen, holding the refrigerator door open. I’m letting all the cold air out but I can’t decide on what I want to eat. I close the door and turn around and look in the pantry. I stare for a few more minutes. Sometimes I’ll then go and look in the freezer as well. Then it’s back to the fridge. There are times it can take me 20 minutes to decide on something to eat.

There’s just something about eating alone. I don’t care if it’s at home or at a restaurant, it’s just not fun. And cooking for one? Who likes that? Not me! I know that I haven’t always eaten well when The Man is gone. Even with a weight loss goal, not eating is not the way to meet it. So I had to come with some ways to make sure I was eating and staying healthy.

One, I accept that cereal is an acceptable dinner. I try not to have it for dinner too often…once or twice a week works for me. If I add fruit, it’s even better! I mean, fruit makes everything healthy, right?!?
Secondly, I eat foods that The Man doesn't like. Somehow I managed to marry a man who doesn't like Mac N’ Cheese or BLT’s. Serious flaws, I know. I enjoy them often while he’s gone. These are a few dishes that I can eat again and again and again.

Something else I do is to make a normal size of something and than freeze it in individual portions. Take lasagna for example. I can make a full lasagna (or lasagna rolls) and freeze individual portions. I also like to make crockpot chicken and pick on it for a few days. I also tend to eat a lot of sandwiches because they are easy to make and I can change it up a bit without too much thought.

Lastly, I still meal plan just for me. I don’t assign a meal to each day but I do figure out a few things that I’d like to eat and make sure I have those ingredients on hand. I imagine this would be helpful if you have kids so they don’t end up eating chicken nuggets for a week straight (unless they want to, of course!)

I know they are little things, but they still help a lot. When he gets home I’m so excited to cook for him again. I get excited planning all his favorite meals. I also get excited because my husband likes to cook and is usually looking forward to doing it again so I get spoiled a little. Stuffed pork chops? Steak grilled to perfection? Yes, please!

Do you have any tips or tricks to help you eat healthy while your spouse is away?

5 kind comments from you:

Katie said...

I would imagine that cooking for one would be quite difficult! I'm going to be doing that a lot when I start college... :/

Jessica Lynn said...

Cooking and eating for one is definitely one of the worst parts. I've come to discover that having tortillas and cheese on hand is a lifesaver. I'll start the process of figuring out my dinner, but then 30 minutes later I'll still be staring at the fridge (like your first description). Nine times out of 10 I'll make a quesadilla. I seriously don't know what I'd do without tortillas, cheese, and chile/salsa. (And if I'm feeling really ambitious I'll add other veggies and a protein...but that only happened once or twice in the past six months.)

Jenn said...

Cereal is my go-to! It's one of the only ways I know it's time to go to the grocery store: Mama's out of cocoa pebbles!! (You know you're living the single life when...)


Kathryn B said...

Cereal and Mac n Cheese are my go-tos! My husband does not like Mac N Cheese either, so it's nice to eat those types of things when he isn't around. But yes eating alone or even with a child can be quite lonely and so not fun.

MrsMcDancer said...

I'm terrible with nutrition when it's just the little man and myself. I give in to his every whim and I live on something ridiculous like pickles. I will definitely have to remember to have options on hand to prevent that; good advice!

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