March 26, 2018
Healthy meals for one
When you’ve got an evening in by yourself, it can be difficult to know what to cook. Food is rarely sold in single portions, and cooking small quantities of some meals can be fiddly. There’s no point measuring out a quarter of an onion or 100g of mince, so it can be tempting to overeat.
Then there’s the allure of ready meals. When you’re eating on your own, sometimes going through the process of cooking doesn’t seem worth it. It’s tempting to either take something home that you can blast in the microwave, or just reach for the takeaway menus.
However, there are a few different options if you want to remain healthy when cooking for yourself. Here are some of the best recipes you can cook for yourself with little effort, while making sure you’re still tucking into something that’s good for you:
Eggs are a great source of protein when you’re cooking for one, as they keep much longer than meat or fish and are easy to portion out. This omelette is made up of vegetables most people will generally have in the fridge, especially if they’re trying to eat healthily, making it a great option for a quick lunch or dinner.
- Two large eggs
- Half an onion
- A red pepper
- Three to six cherry tomatoes
- A few fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Finely chop the onion and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and cook the chopped vegetables on a medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the onions are translucent, halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the pan.
While the vegetables are cooking, finely chop the basil. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the salt and pepper and beat them with a fork until fully combined. Pour them into the pan, tilting it to make sure they spread out evenly, and scatter the basil on top.
The omelette will cook on the bottom before the top. When this happens, you can either put it under the grill – checking regularly so that it doesn’t burn – or gently ease around its edges with a spatula and fold it in half, leaving it to cook for a few extra minutes.
Carrot and coriander soup
Soup is another brilliant option when cooking for one, as it is simple to make and often uses root vegetables that keep for a long time. This carrot and coriander version is sweet and spicy in equal measure, making it a natural choice on cold nights.
- 100g carrots
- Half an onion
- Half a teaspoon of ground coriander
- 300ml vegetable stock
- Splash of milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a small amount of oil in a medium saucepan. Chop the carrots and onion and add to the pan, cooking them together for about five minutes until softened. Throw in the coriander, salt and pepper and continue to cook for a minute or two, stirring so everything is mixed.
Add the stock and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and leave to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Take off the heat and add the milk, then blend until smooth. Reheat, and serve with a slice of nice crusty bread.
Spicy cod with couscous
Fish is often a good choice for a meal for one, as you can usually get a single portion from a supermarket fishmonger. This recipe uses Moroccan spices and couscous for North African flavour that will have you feeling full without piling on the pounds.
- One cod fillet, about 90g
- One teaspoon ground cumin
- Half a teaspoon ground coriander
- Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Five cherry tomatoes
- Five olives
- Half a courgette
- 40g couscous
- Juice of half a lemon
- 100ml chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to about 200 degrees. On a sheet of foil, place the cod, the cherry tomatoes and the olives. Cut the courgette into slices and add to the sheet, then drizzle everything with a small amount of olive oil and toss to coat.
Sprinkle over the spices, salt and pepper and toss again, then fold the foil to form a loose parcel with everything in. Place this on a baking tray and put it in the oven. It will need to cook for just 12 to 15 minutes.
While this is baking, add the hot stock and the lemon juice to the couscous in a bowl with a bit more salt and pepper. Stir to coat, then cover the bowl with cling film and leave for about five minutes. When everything is ready, place the couscous on a plate and add the contents of the foil parcel, before tucking in.