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Published on September 07, 2017

older man in kitchen

Cooking for one healthy heart

Single and love to cook? You have a lot of company. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are now more single than married people in the United States—and a lot of them love to cook.

Cooking for one has many perks, starting with the health benefits of eating whole versus processed foods. Plus, you can make exactly what you want, when you want it, and even take some creative license with new dishes.

Here are five smart ways to cook for one:

  1. Plan ahead: You are less likely to overbuy ingredients and waste unused food.
  2. Have fun with leftovers: Take some of last night’s dinner and reinvent it for lunch tomorrow. For example, use leftover roasted chicken and veggies to make a wrap, casserole or soup; leftover seafood is great in salads or seafood tacos; or put leftover meatloaf or turkey in a hot sandwich. 
  3. Scale down recipes: Most recipes usually yield four to six servings. If you are cooking for yourself, cut the recipe in half or even in thirds.
  4. Be a savvy shopper: Instead of buying a large package of lettuce that may spoil, bag your own loose-leaf lettuce in the produce aisle for a single portion. Instead of buying a large package of precut meat, head over to the deli counter and ask for a single portion. You can even shop in the bulk aisle and fill bags with foods like rice, beans and nuts for the exact portion you need.
  5. Use your freezer: Foods like soups or sauces are hard to scale down in quantity, but store well in a freezer. You can even shop around for healthier brands of single-serving frozen dishes to keep on hand for when cooking isn’t an option.

Copyright 2017 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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