Prepping Ahead Of Time
Know that youre going to want to throw together something when you get in from class late but have time now? Get some prep done! Check what your recipe calls for and see what you can do ahead of time. Chop up vegetables or get things ready to cook later. Or prep yourself some smoothie ingredients in smaller baggies in the freezer which you can just dump into a blender in the mornings on your way out the door. A little forward planning can mean you always have access to good food.
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Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Take your grilled cheese from late-night munchie to full-on meal with this Mediterranean-inspired version. Creamy feta isnt as gooey as mozzarella or cheddar, but it sure is rich, high in muscle building protein and bone boosting calcium, and it tastes amazing paired with red onions, tomato, kale, and black olives.
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Enjoy Breakfast For Dinner
You know those nights you want a simple, satisfying supper but have zero energy to cook? Breakfast foods are the perfect solution.
Salad With Fried Egg And Couscous
2 Tbsps vinaigrette light
Spray a small non-stick pan with an oil spray, fry egg.
Cook couscous as instructed on package.
Chop the cucumber into coin shapes.
Mix all ingredients and enjoy!
Note: I like Trader Joes fat-free vinaigrette but Paul Newman, Whole Foods, etc. all have good light dressings.
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Healthy Tacos & Burritos
Kids love anything tacos, quesadillas and burritos. Just like they love anything muffins. Cant get away from cheese when making those. I try to use a bit less of quality natural or organic cheese. And load these finger foods with veggies, protein and wrap in whole wheat or corn tortillas. Easy and healthy!
If your midday meal is a struggle, check out these easy lunch ideas!
Change Up Your Spices And Marinades
Just because you’re eating chicken breast often doesn’t mean it has to taste the same. A fillet of fish or chicken breast can taste totally different depending on the spice blend or marinade you choose. There are so many spice blends and marinades available to choose from you never have to worry about getting bored.
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Cut The Recipe In Half Or Quarters
There’s no reason why you can’t make eggplant Parmesan or tuna noodle casserole in smaller quantities. Make a half or quarter of your favorite casserole.
If you’re making one-fourth of the recipe, a loaf pan might work best. Cooking time might be a bit less, though, so keep an eye on that.
How To Get Started
Dinner doesnt have to mean a traditional meal of protein, starch, and vegetables. In fact, when youre cooking just for yourself, dinner doesnt have to mean dinner at all. A breakfast of omelet, cheese, and veggies can also work as a healthy evening meal. Mix things up and cook using whatever combination of healthy ingredients you enjoy.
Cooking for one doesnt have to involve a huge investment of time, either. A microwaved baked potato, filled with cheese or canned tuna, and served with steamed vegetables or a salad, for example, makes a healthy, balanced meal thats ready in minutes.
Stock up on staples. Keeping your cupboards stocked with a small number of staple ingredients means youll always be able to whip up a healthy meal quickly and easily. These include items such as canned tomatoes, beans, and tuna, frozen fruit and vegetables, dried herbs and spices, nuts, oil, vinegar, bouillon cubes, pasta, rice, and flour.
Look for shortcuts. Buying pre-chopped and washed vegetables and salads can save time on meal preparation and cleanup.
Cook once, eat multiple times. Sure, you can take a family-size recipe and divide everything by four or six to make a meal for one person. Or you can cook larger meals and freeze leftovers in single portions to eat another time.
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Preparing Meals Without A Fridge
If you dont have a fridge, shop for food in individual servings or small packages. While these can be more expensive, youll likely have less waste from spoilage, so they can ultimately be more cost effective.
- Purchase only what you are able to prepare and eat before the food goes bad.
- To keep food fresh for longer, try filling a cooler with ice when you purchase perishable foods. Just remember to keep the foods sealed from the water as the ice melts.
- In winter, windowsills can often be cooler places to store perishables.
Shelf life of fresh food
The amount of time that food stays fresh without refrigeration varies:
- Root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, and onions are best stored in a cool dry place above floor level and can stay fresh for several weeks.
- Celery and cabbage will stay good for a few days without refrigeration, if in a cool place.
- Lettuce and other greens are very sensitive so spoil quickly. You will need to use them within a day or two of purchasing.
- Meat and dairy products dont stay fresh without refrigeration, so purchase only what you plan to cook and eat right away.
Buy Only What You Need From The Bulk Bins Meat/deli Counter And Salad Bar
Shopping from the bulk bins, meat counter, deli counter and salad bar is a great strategy for singles.
Why? You can take only as much as you need – a single chicken breast, ¼ pound of shrimp, 3 slices of cheese, 1 cup of sliced onions and peppers, a few ounces of nuts – instead of buying pre-packaged ingredients you know you won’t use up.
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Quick Stir Fry And Curries
My family loves curry and stir fry dinner recipes. Stir fries are loaded with veggies and are super healthy especially when you make homemade stir fry sauce. You can eat stir fry on its own for a low carb meal or with a complex carb side. Healthy meals made easy!
Craving Asian but not MSG? Try this Healthy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with homemade sauce that can be on your family dinner table in 30 minutes.
Roasted Veggies Potato And Chicken
5 oz chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, raw
1 cup green beans
1 white potato, 5 inches
1 dash each of salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper, spray it with an oil spray.
Chop & slice carrots and parsnips. Make sure the parsnips are sliced thin, or else they wont cook through.
Bake carrots, parsnips, and chicken for 25 minutes
Add in green beans, flip chicken over, bake for another 15 minutes
Make sure chicken gets to 165 degrees F use an instant-read thermometer.
While vegetables and chicken are cooking, poke holes in the potato with a fork.
Microwave potato for 4 minutes on both sides.
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Cooking For One Doesnt Have To Mean Eating Alone
For some single people, cooking for yourself just means having to spend more time alone. You may choose to regularly eat outeven if it just involves sitting alone in a fast food restaurantto feel a connection to other people. Eating out means youre more likely to meet new people, strike up a conversation with a stranger, or at least break the monotony of another evening alone. However, cooking for yourself doesnt have to mean eating alone. With some creativity, you can cook healthy, inexpensive meals at home, and still find that connection to others that we all need.
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Why These 65 Healthy Dinner Recipes Work
- Quick: Ready in 30 45 minutes for busy weeknights. Think one pot meals, quick stir fry and curry recipes, and everyone favorite hand held foods like tacos and quesadillas all packed with healthy ingredients and a ton of flavor.
- Easy: All these healthy recipes use simple ingredients you can find at any grocery store. Also I cut back on unnecessary steps and clean up with each single recipe. Aint nobody got time for that!
- Kid approved: Think now you are armed with 65 healthy dinner ideas your family will enjoy! These are tasty healthy meals I tested on my own children and then picked their favorites out of 250 dinner recipes we have here on iFOODreal. Dinner table will be quiet 100%!
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Cinnamon Roll Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Pancakes might seem like a cooking-for-the-masses breakfast, but with the right proportions, they can easily become a solo meal.
This sweet cinnamon stack looks decadent but is hiding healthier ingredients: Plain Greek yogurt, protein powder, egg whites, and rolled oats pack in protein to power through your day. Who needs a boxed mix?
Hearty Chili With Black Beans
2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 medium carrot
½ cup celery stalks
½ yellow onion
5 oz chicken breast, boneless, skinless, raw
½ cup cooked black beans
A dash each of cumin, chili seasoning, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes
Spray a pan with an oil spray.
Dice chicken. Chop veggies into small pieces.
Spray a pot with an oil spray. Add in veggies, chicken, and seasoning.
Let heat through for ~12 minutes on low heat, stirring.
Add in tomatoes and chicken to the pot.
Turn burner to low heat & let sit, covered, for a minimum of 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
This is a great meal to bulk up and then store in mason jars in the freezer.
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Tomato & Mozz Salad And Eggs Box
1 oz mini mozzarella balls
A dash each of basil, oregano, salt, pepper. Use fresh herbs if you have them.
Hard boil eggs. Top with salt & pepper after peeled.
Combine tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Top with basil & oregano.
Dip apple in peanut butter.
Feel free to use any other nut/seed butter you prefer.
No dairy? Use avocado.
2 cups veggie noodles/rice, zucchini noodles, raw or frozen
A dash garlic dash
Cut bacon into small pieces. Fry bacon on stove top by cooking on low heat & turning every few minutes. Alternatively, you can cook bacon in the microwave or in the oven if you prefer.
Spray a separate pan with an oil spray. Stir fry zoodles on medium heat . Once cooked through, drain any excess liquid with a sieve
Add zoodles to pan with bacon.
In a small bowl, mix egg and parm. Add to pan with zoodles and bacon, stirring until liquid has cooked through.
Top with seasonings.
No bacon? Use turkey or soy bacon.
Cooking For One Or Two
We collect information about the content you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. This is also known as Online Behavioural Advertising. You can find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-outhere. Taste may receive an affiliate commission if you buy through our links. Learn more.
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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
Sheet pan dinners are an excellent idea when you want a hot, home-cooked meal but don’t feel like going through the trouble of washing multiple pots and pans. Use one chicken breast and one bell pepper if you’re only cooking for today, or make the full recipe if you’d like to have some leftovers .
Get our recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.
Cooking Without A Real Kitchen
If you live in a dorm room, bachelor apartment, hotel room, or another location without a full kitchen, cooking for yourself can be more challengingbut its certainly not impossible. Even if you have access to a full kitchen, space-saving appliances such as a slow cooker, steamer, or toaster oven can be quick and easy to use, especially if youre a novice cook.
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Tomato Basil And Mozzarella Sandwich
Drizzle olive oil on two pieces of whole wheat bread . Top with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, and sprinkle black pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper on top. Feel free to add your favorite Italian meat, like prosciutto if youre not following a vegetarian diet.
Cook the sandwich in a pan over medium heat, flattening it with a spatula, until the cheese is totally melted. Aw yeahhh.
Find Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Leftovers
Leftovers are an inevitable part of cooking for one that I appreciate. The lazy part of me likes knowing there is always something in the fridge.
Not having to start from scratch makes life easier and keeps me from resorting to fast food or takeout when I am too tired and hungry to expend much effort in the kitchen.
But instead of eating the same meal night after night, I like to “re-purpose” my leftovers into a brand new meal, like tacos, quesadillas, a frittata or pasta.
For example, leftover chicken fajitas can be turned into a quesadilla, burrito bowl or stir-fry with brown rice.
Roasted vegetables can be the filling for an omelet or topping for a salad or pizza or stuffing for a sandwich. Use leftover chili to top a baked potato.
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Easy Healthy Dinner Ideas That Take 30 Minutes Or Less
Most of us are never not on the lookout for easy, healthy dinner ideas. After all, some delicious and headache-free nourishment is just what you need at the end of a long day.
What counts as easy dinners is kind of subjective, but for this list of recipes, we kept it to meals that come together in 30 minutes max and dont have ridiculously long ingredient lists. What counts as healthy varies from person to person toobut in the most basic sense, a healthy dinner is one that tastes good and fills you up.
For a meal that is both mentally and physically satisfying, I recommend that people strive for three to four food groups when possiblenamely fat, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables, SELF columnist Jessica Jones, M.S., R.D., certified diabetes educator and cofounder of Food Heaven, tells SELF. By doing this, you will not only get a variety of textures and flavors, but also nutrients that work together to provide you with a steady, stable stream of energy.
With that in mind, we rounded up 60 easy, healthy dinner ideas. Most of these tasty recipes make for a balanced meal on their own, while a few youll probably want to serve with some bread or rice. Add them to your list of essential healthy recipes and youll never have trouble finding a quick and satisfying weeknight meal again.
Consider Canned And Frozen Options
Keep frozen fruit and vegetables on hand that will keep much longer than fresh. Just warm up the veggies you need from the bag and the rest goes right back in the freezer.
Stock your pantry with convenient canned items including fish, beans and low calorie soups. Dress up canned soup by adding frozen vegetables or leftover meat cut into pieces.
Use cans of fish for sandwiches and a wide variety of salads from green to potato to pasta.
Image courtesy of Weight Watchers
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These Delicious Meals For One Are Easy To Make And Totally Satisfying
Cooking for one can be a challenge, but we are here to make it a little bit easier!These delicious home cooked meals for one person will leave you full and satisfied. We’ve got everything from the cheesiest sandwich you’ve ever seen to a delicious meat-and-potatoes dish that will remind you of a dinner your grandma used to make.These easy recipes are the perfect solution if you live alone but want to eat out less. They can even save you money by preventing food waste. Plus you’ll get the satisfaction of cooking a delicious meal exactly the way you want it. Relax, pour yourself a glass of ice tea or red wine, and enjoy your dinner!Get started with this easy recipe for Maple and Mustard chicken! And for more great free recipes,