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Single-serve meals

Eating well when cooking for one.

Cooking for yourself can be tedious, but it doesn’t need to be a chore with a bit of planning. Planning meals in advance can reduce the stress of looking in the fridge at 5 o’clock not knowing what to have for dinner.  If you plan for a fortnight, it will allow you to not only know what’s coming up for dinner, but you will also be able to make good use of any leftovers.  

With this in mind here are our five top tips for eating well when cooking for yourself:

1. Plan meals in advance – a fortnight at a time works well

Plan out a variety of meals for two weeks, think about including some fish, chicken, meat and plant-based meals.  Include meals that can be made in batches to save having to cook every night.


2. Cook meals in batches and freeze leftovers

Many meals can be cooked in bulk such as casseroles, curries, soups, quiches, spicy bean or meat mixes for tacos, enchiladas or nachos.  Cooking in batches can provide 3-4 extra meals. Add plenty of vegetables into the meals so that meeting your 5+ a day is easy to achieve.


3. Buy prepared salads and coleslaws

There are many fresh and frozen options available.  Storing fresh options in a plastic container will ensure they last for the week, wrap fresh herbs in a dampened paper towel to keep them fresh.  Be mindful of prepared dressing that come with salads or coleslaw as they may be high in sugar or salt, use olive oil or balsamic vinegar instead.   


4. Buy prepared fresh or frozen vegetables, grated cheese or fresh ready-made pasta

Cooking time is greatly reduced when you don’t have to prepare the vegetables, grate the cheese or cook pasta.  These items can be kept in the freezer so that they don’t go to waste in the fridge.


5. Keep looking for tasty recipes that keep you motivated

The internet is a great place for endless easy recipe ideas, keep the monotony aware by making time regularly to look for new recipes.  Keeping a list of the meals you enjoy can be helpful to look through when planning your meals out for the week or fortnight ahead.


An example meal two-week meal plan

Week 1:
  • Monday: Roast chicken with salad or roasted vegetables. 
    * keep some chicken aside for dinner the following night and freeze the remaining chicken into individual portions.
  • Tuesday: Couscous salad with leftover roast chicken and roast vegetables.
  • Wednesday: Spaghetti bolognaise.
    * freeze leftovers into individual portions.
  • Thursday: Chickpea vegetable curry.
    * freeze leftovers into individual portions.
  • Friday: Omelette with grated cheese and leftover vegetables – mushrooms, tomato, capsicum.
  • Saturday: Frozen fish fillet with coleslaw and boiled potato.
  • Sunday: Potato salad.
    * use leftover potatoes from the night before add boiled eggs, peas, corn and mayonnaise.
Week 2:
  • Monday: Chickpea vegetable curry.
    * leftovers from the previous week.
  • Tuesday: Pan-fried or baked salmon with salad or coleslaw.
    * Use any leftover salmon to add to a salad for lunch the following day.
  • Wednesday: Chicken fried rice with egg, frozen or fresh vegetables.
    * use frozen roast chicken from the previous week.
    * freeze any unused rice for a future meal.
  • Thursday: Spaghetti bolognaise.
    * leftovers from the previous week.
  • Friday: Beef or vegetarian enchiladas.
    * freeze leftover tortillas.
    * freeze leftover enchilada mix or have for lunch the following day.
  • Saturday: Ready-made ravioli or gnocchi and pasta sauce – add corn, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, capsicum.
    * freeze remaining pasta for a future meal.
  • Sunday: Homemade pizza with any leftover vegetables as toppings.
    * use ready-made pizza bases and freeze unused bases for a future meal.