Families come in all shapes, sizes and numbers! Perhaps you live alone and eat alone most days. Maybe you live with a dog and want to try cooking for your four-legged friend. If you think meal planning and having fun in the kitchen is just for large families, think again!
COOKING FOR ONE
Grocery shopping and preparing meals for one can be frustrating. Produce, especially fresh fruit and herbs don’t stay fresh for long and many packaged foods cater to large families. Add to that the fact that cooking takes time and energy and it’s easy to see why many parties for one resort to deli counters, instant noodles, and cereal instead of cooking. Where’s the fun in that, though? Not only are you limiting your food choices, you’re likely not maintaining a very healthy diet either. When it comes to cooking for one, you have to get creative and think outside the box. If you keep an open mind, you can have a fun time cooking for yourself and there’s the added bonus of making a dish to suit only your preferences! Love spice? Go crazy!
First thing’s first, the freezer is your best friend. Freezing pita, soups and even single portions of cookie dough is a convenient way to expand your food options.
First thing’s first, the freezer is your best friend. Freezing pita, soups and even single portions of cookie dough is a convenient way to expand your food options. Bananas turning brown? Pop them in the freezer and grab them the next time you’re making a smoothie or banana bread. There are also some pretty amazing frozen veggies and fruits available these days…berries and asparagus come to mind. Making large batches of pasta sauce, soups and stews is a great idea, as well, since those are all items that will freeze well.
Another great idea for solo cooking is to cut recipes in half, especially ones that won’t keep well in the fridge or freezer. If you do cook the given portion size, find ways to stretch it out. For instance, roasting a whole chicken can go far throughout the week and, if you’re really ambitious, you can make chicken stock with the carcass and freeze it. Using ice cube trays is a great way to freeze stock and herbs for single portions.
It is important to cook with an ingredient you really love and think of different recipes you can make with it throughout the week.
It is important to cook with an ingredient you really love and think of different recipes you can make with it throughout the week. If broccoli is one of your go-to veggies, use it to make broccoli soup, a stir-fry, steamed in a rice bowl, and in a curry recipe. You get the idea. By maximizing the ingredients you use, you’ll eliminate food waste and maintain variety in your diet. If you have been craving a meal that feeds a small army, like smoked brisket or paella, why not throw a dinner party? You can even base it on a theme or turn it into a potluck!
FOOD FOR YOUR FLUFFY FRIEND
Homemade dog food can be a nice treat for your pet and might even save you money. DIY dog food staples are generally proteins, grains, and fresh whole foods, but keep in mind that grains and starchy vegetables should make up no more than half the diet and different dogs will react to foods differently.
The less variety of foods you feed your animal, the more important supplements become.
Homemade dog food can be either raw or cooked but a raw diet is much higher in fat and could lead to obesity. Either way, use lean, boneless meat, when possible, and remove the skin. As for fish? A little piece each day will provide your dog with Vitamin D. Canned fish (packed in water, not oil) such as sardines and salmon are good choices. To round out your pooch’s menu, you can incorporate leafy greens, eggs, and even a little bit of dairy now and then. Just be sure to avoid grapes, chocolate, garlic and onions as these may be very toxic and dangerous for them to consume. Does your furry friend suffer from bad breath? Incorporating parsley in their diet will help with that!
Just as with the diet we feed ourselves, diversity is important. The less variety of foods you feed your animal, the more important supplements become. Calcium as well as Vitamins A & E are typically required supplements in a homemade dog food diet but it really depends on your dog’s age, breed, weight and overall health.
*Note This article is for informational purposes only. Always review your homemade dog food diet plan with a veterinarian for approval.