Have fun cooking for a
October 2 – TRAVERSE CITY – Many recipes serve two to four people, but singles may skip.
Oryana community cooperative outreach and marketing specialist Luise Bolleber said she sometimes finds it difficult to cook for herself.
“You don’t want to waste food by overdoing it,” she said. “It is always important to cook for yourself and take care of yourself.”
However, she said there are strategies singles can follow.
“The freezer is my friend,” Bolleber said. “Sometimes the texture changes a bit, but homemade is always better than buying processed foods.”
Most of the ingredients can be put in the freezer for later use. Bolleber said it works for meat like chicken, hot dogs or sausages and even hamburger patties. She suggested putting individual items in the freezer and grabbing one if needed.
“I repackage stuff,” she said. “The bacon, I take the whole slab apart and freeze the strips individually.”
As for produce, Bolleber says she often returns to the freezer. Fresh fruit can be saved for smoothies and other recipes. She does the same with kale, although she bleaches it first.
“I use it later in soups,” she said. “I like to make soup and stew. I make a normal batch but freeze the excess.”
Bolleber said freezing a whole potato isn’t a good idea, she often cooks more than one potato at a time. These can be sliced or otherwise deconstructed for easy frying later.
Batch cooking, she said, can also help reduce waste. Bolleber often roasts a whole chicken on weekends. She eats it for dinner and saves the rest for salads, quesadillas or something else the following week. Even bones can be used to make broth, she says.
She encourages people to buy products in bulk rather than prepackaged. Oryana’s bulk section allows customers to select their containers and quantities, whether it’s rice, grains or spices.
“You can buy a teaspoon of anything,” Bolleber said. “Get just what you need.”
Brooke Juday, a member of Oryana’s management team, said that unless she invites friends over, she usually cooks for herself. She takes a lot of leftover dinner to work for the next day’s lunch.
“I make a lot of food that can be stored in the refrigerator – a lot of pasta and cereal,” she said. “I don’t limit what I want to do.”
In the fall, she turns to curry and soups. For these and other dishes, Juday said she buys individual vegetables and makes sure to keep basic items in the pantry.
She suggested planning ahead. Select a recipe, then go to the store to find the right amount of ingredients.
“It’s not always super fun, but be creative,” Juday said. “You can do whatever you want and it’s a good way to try new things.”