Cooking for one can be challenging. As a single person there is a temptation to go for ready prepared meals and takeaway, but these are often not healthy options and you will have much more control over your diet if you cook for yourself. You may even surprise yourself and find it fun to try out new recipes.
There are many amazing recipes out there but they are often designed for at least four people. It isn’t always possible to modify these recipes for one person. Some ingredients are easier to reduce than others. It is easy to measure out a quarter of a tablespoon of olive oil if the recipe calls for a tablespoon of olive oil but chopping up a raw egg is not so easy.
Along with checking out the ingredients, having the right equipment can make your cooking more straightforward. This is my list of the top five pieces of kitchen equipment I recommend single cooks keep in the house:
1. Small pots and pans including a great small skillet. When you reduce down the ingredients in a sauce, if you use a big pan, the sauce will be spread too thin causing it to evaporate and cook too quickly. Make sure you have smaller pots and pans so that the cooking surface is also reduced.
2. A good stick blender with a food processor attachment. Large food processors often don’t cope well with the smaller amounts of ingredients and take up a lot of space. If you are a solo cook living in a small apartment then a stick blender with a good food processor attachment is a great substitute and won’t take up too much space in your kitchen
3. Small casserole dishes. Like the small pots and pans, you need small casserole dishes so that juices and sauces don’t dry out. Get a few different shapes and sizes to accommodate different types of dishes, thinking about what you like to cook. I recommend a rectangular one if you love lasagna. I use store bought lasagna sheets and have a great shaped dish that fits one sheet neatly. I also find ramekins useful for scaling back casseroles for one. My triple berry crumble is a classic example of using small dishes to create a similar experience to a family sized version without encouraging over eating which can easily happen if I make a family sized crumble.
4. A multi-purpose pan. Small kitchens often don’t have dishwashers, so reducing washing up is always a good goal to have if this is the case in your kitchen. Too much washing up makes cooking seem like a chore. I recommend you get a pan that you can use on the stove top and oven. Recipes often require ingredients to be browned before being popped in the oven. There are some great products out there that mean you can go straight from the stove to the oven with the one pan.
5. Measuring cups, spoons and scales. A wide range of measuring cups and spoons will make things much more straightforward when scaling down recipes. One of my favourite items that I received with a spice rack is a quarter teaspoon. Try and get very small sizes like a quarter teaspoon.