Enjoying Cooking for One

January 24, 2022 | Christine Hradek

As a single person cooking for one, my goals are straightforward: eat healthy, maintain weight, take minimal time, and create little waste. Also, enjoy my food as I do love to eat! I travel frequently for work so planning is important. Each weekend I look at my calendar and determine which days I will be home for meals. Then I make a quick trip to the grocery store for fresh food items and any staples I need to replace in the pantry. I keep the menu simple with a rotation of fish, poultry, beef, pork, and soups. Seasonings are used instead of sauces; baking and roasting instead of frying; simple preparation instead of complex recipes. I always prepare enough for two meals – one to eat immediately and one for the fridge or freezer. I grew up knowing you never waste food so I keep an eye on the refrigerator contents to easily see what needs used up before it goes bad. Or, if I’m going to be gone for several days I spend five minutes transferring items to freezer containers or making a mishmash meal. A small bowl of fruit sprinkled with cinnamon or a vegetable omelet are easy solutions. Lastly, I set the table even if it is just for myself.

Donna is the Field Operations Specialist for Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. As a single woman who travels for work, organization and efficiency is key for shopping and food preparation. Donna combines a love of travel and reading as she enjoys eating in restaurants found in her travels and reads cookbooks like novels.

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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