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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
    Cooking for one 13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    ****There is now a new thread "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" which can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5680849

    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?



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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 266
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Nearly 40 years ago I went to an 18th birthday party and the girl's mum made a load of quiches. Two in particular were really scrummy and I asked for the recipes - and got them. I made quite a number of those and ate the lot (mum/dad/sibling were never interested in eating food I made).

    I have, over the years, lost those recipes, which is a shame, but they were straight forward (e.g. not involving cream, which we never had at home and I've never bought) and, being 1970s recipes, didn't have any odd ingredients in at all. I know we only had "basic food" in our cupboards and I made these with what we had, I never had to buy in anything special.

    All I remember is that one was a sweetcorn quiche and the other was tinned tomatoes and chopped onions. I've got some sweetcorn in the freezer, which, of course, needs using up, so I might give sweetcorn a bash next week.

    As a food to make, especially with pastry, quiche is something that takes longer to cook than I'd like, which is why I've tended in recent years to just buy one randomly.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 07-07-2017 at 11:06 AM.
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 7th Jul 17, 1:02 PM
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    Anne_Marie
    PN Bake looks good.
    So much for my thoughts of cooking for later, power cut for several hours, so nowt got done, other than a fruit salad, which should last a few days.
    Brunch was scrambled cheesy tomato eggs in pitta bread. Fruit salad with yoghurt just polished off now. Siesta time as it's too dashed hot to do anything else, and at least the electricity is back on now.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jul 17, 1:13 PM
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    PasturesNew
    PN Bake looks good.
    So much for my thoughts of cooking for later, power cut for several hours, so nowt got done, other than a fruit salad, which should last a few days.
    Brunch was scrambled cheesy tomato eggs in pitta bread. Fruit salad with yoghurt just polished off now. Siesta time as it's too dashed hot to do anything else, and at least the electricity is back on now.
    Originally posted by Anne_Marie
    If I lived there, with disposable income, I'd have picked up a small/portable solar oven to sit outside..... they're really advanced now and you can cook all sorts on them. It's not cost effective here as there are few days it's THAT hot.

    There are many designs, but it's just a small black box that sits in the garden. 2-3 hours and you've usually got a pizza or something cooked. £50-100 or less can get "something that does the job" nowadays. There's all sorts, from long tubes that cook burgers/BBQ food, to boxes that cook stews/pizzas. to simple bags aimed at campers to cook all sorts of saucepan foods in.
    • Fusspot
    • By Fusspot 7th Jul 17, 1:16 PM
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    Fusspot
    Thanks to those of you have allieviated my fears about ready made food, I am going to go with what suits me now and balance things out.

    Last night I had corned beef hash made with low fat corned beef and ready made mashed potato and frozen onions, fried in the pan with frylight and it was lovely.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Jul 17, 1:38 PM
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    caronc
    Re the cooking for one, I eat different meals to my Mum, and so you could say that this household is more often than not a cooking for one at different times of the day lol.

    Mum has no problem making up a little roast for herself some nights- she makes a few roast potatoes, a little yorkshire (from scratch) and puts them into a foil baking dish inside of a oven proof metal dish, and it saves on the washing up (no dreaded scrubbing!) She usually has something like a lamb or pork chop, and whatever veg she fancies (usually cabbage, cauliflower or peas - frozen or tinned).
    Other small meals I've seen her make include mini shepherd's pie and veg (she makes enough for three portions) mini cornbeef pie (pastry from scratch, again enough for three portions) and her latest is yellow haddock (easy enough to freeze) with baby new potatoes and veg.
    she's also happy with a egg on toast - poached, scrambled, boiled, or fried, with beans or bacon, or on its own. She's very much traditional english.

    I'm a little different as I mention. For me, I work evenings/nights so I have to make sure I eat somewhat properly.
    I make lasagna from scratch, the only thing I use out of a jar is the red pasta sauce, I make my own cheese sauce, and portion it accordingly, then freeze when cool enough. I do the same with pasta bakes, when I make them.
    I've also found that the lidl ready to wok noodles freeze INCREDIBLY well, so I make big stirfries, and portion and freeze those as well.
    I eat tuna salad a lot in hotter weather (homemade without dressing or mayo) or wraps with chicken, a spoonful of mayo, and salad.
    I have ready meals on standby in the freezer (in case I CBA to cook at any point) and keep both healthy and unhealthy snacks in the cupboard. I am a chocoholic, that is my one big weakness; along with bread and cheese. I take after my maternal grandmother in that I can just eat bread and butter without thinking, I just love it!

    I have to want eggs to have eggs. Drives mum nuts. lol

    edit: just seen the quiche posts. My mum taught me how to make a lovely quiche, she got the recipe from slimming world, just make an egg base for the quiche as normal and add grated cheese, ham, and onion. Cook in oven for 30-45 minutes (until golden brown on top). Serve with salad on the side.
    Originally posted by theatregirl4
    Hi theatregirl4 welcome to the thread. As you & your Mum demonstrate CFO comes in many shapes and sizes
    I liked the quiche so much yesterday I've just made another one... well, two.

    I made it, twice the size of yesterday's. But I didn't have the right sized dishes, so ended up having to split the mix across two when I wasn't happy that the mix came right to the top of the dish so would have overflowed. I've popped one in the fridge to cook later - the other one's already baked in the oven, it pinged just 2-3 minutes ago, so I'm just waiting a bit before I take that out. They're something best "left to sit and mellow", so I'll eat that in a bit... it might not get as far as lunchtime as I am one of those people who has to eat food when it's tempting

    This one's cheese, red onion, red pepper, oregano. The next one will be the same as it was all mixed up at the same time.

    Quick photo - you can see where I've filled the dish, then had to scoop some out to split it between two, so it's made a bit of a mess.

    https://s1.postimg.org/i8vxkmtdb/Quick_Quiche.jpg

    8ocaxr41c
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Oh that looks scrummy
    Thanks to those of you have allieviated my fears about ready made food, I am going to go with what suits me now and balance things out.

    Last night I had corned beef hash made with low fat corned beef and ready made mashed potato and frozen onions, fried in the pan with frylight and it was lovely.
    Originally posted by Fusspot
    Good for you, we each find what suits us best , corned beef hash - yum.

    Not very much so far in CFO, crackerbread & cheese spread for breakfast and a ham salad roll with the small portion of LO soup for lunch. I didn't eat my baked spud last night so that will be getting used tonight though with what I'm not sure just now, probably chicken thighs and some of the green beans I picked yesterday.
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • gonebust
    • By gonebust 7th Jul 17, 1:57 PM
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    gonebust
    Fusspotso glad you feel happier with your choices

    I know what you mean, when DH was working away, whilst I might have cooked for 50 or 60 in my job, when I came in, I just cba to cook for myself and quite often went to bed on a crisp sandwich and bottle of wine . To me a "healthy meal" was sardines or eggs on toast. The only time I got veg in me was if I made soup. I haven't died of malnutrition yet . Even now I still have problems around food but I do try and mix it up a bit. Like I have marmite on toast instead of jam or marmalade , I still eat tinned fish a lot, I still eat soup. To me that's me getting my vitamins and minerals. I take juice and tinned fruit and I've found I can stomach spinach in a curry and like pointed cabbage - that's my green leafy veg sorted , the rest is salads

    I don't cook for one any more but as I example there, I'm limited by what I will eat. I often cook what is deemed to be a well balanced healthy meal, and I'll go make a sandwich for me as I like nothing I've cooked or it looks horrible on the plate or the texture is wrong . I actually can get very upset about meals thinking I should make the effort to " eat healthier" but that just makes me worse so I muddle along in my own sweet way
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 7th Jul 17, 3:00 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    As I'm melting I don't feel too much like cooking or eating today.


    I had Greek yoghurt and berries for breakfast.


    A crumpet for lunch in the end because it was easy.


    I was going to have a lamb rump steak and salad for dinner, but I don't even want to put the grill on so I'm just going to open an emergency tin of corned beef and have it with some salad. That should take me about 5 minutes to throw on a plate. Quite long enough today.


    I was supposed to do some baking for a fete tomorrow but it's been too hot. I think if I dig about in the freezer there is a lemon drizzle cake and an apple and a madeira cake so they will have to do. If not, I'll have to buy something in the morning.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jul 17, 3:40 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ....
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Rule 1: Never volunteer
    Rule 2: Never get volunteered
    Rule 3: If you overhear the word 'volunteer', or suspect it's being discussed, get as much distance between that conversation and yourself as possible.

    You can always return, when the heat of the moment has gone, and offer ... but that's best left to the last minute as a "surprise" offering. Between the first discussion/volunteers being roped in ... and the event itself ... it's often also morphed into something entirely different to what you thought you were buying into when it was first mentioned... and you get given more "jobs" along the way.



    The person turning up on the day with an offering is thought far more highly of than the person who promised early ....
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jul 17, 3:48 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I just popped the second quiche in the oven, as I was at a loose end.
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 7th Jul 17, 3:51 PM
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    candygirl
    I just popped the second quiche in the oven, as I was at a loose end.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I've got quiche envy lol
    Am in a cba mood so having a cheese omelette n salad for tea 😀
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jul 17, 3:57 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ....cheese omelette....
    Originally posted by candygirl
    Well, it's practically the same thing isn't it Just slight variations, but it comes down to being "almost the same", of sorts


    I've been meaning to have cheese omelette for some weeks.... then never got round to it.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 07-07-2017 at 3:59 PM.
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 7th Jul 17, 4:06 PM
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    candygirl
    Well, it's practically the same thing isn't it Just slight variations, but it comes down to being "almost the same", of sorts


    I've been meaning to have cheese omelette for some weeks.... then never got round to it.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Yea it's very similar 😀
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 7th Jul 17, 4:18 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    Rule 1: Never volunteer
    Rule 2: Never get volunteered
    Rule 3: If you overhear the word 'volunteer', or suspect it's being discussed, get as much distance between that conversation and yourself as possible.

    You can always return, when the heat of the moment has gone, and offer ... but that's best left to the last minute as a "surprise" offering. Between the first discussion/volunteers being roped in ... and the event itself ... it's often also morphed into something entirely different to what you thought you were buying into when it was first mentioned... and you get given more "jobs" along the way.



    The person turning up on the day with an offering is thought far more highly of than the person who promised early ....
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'm learning this the hard way at the moment . I think that people are prone to try and take advantage because to them as I'm at home all day, I can't possibly 'have anything to do'. I have always baked for one fete each year for the past 10 years, that was because I was a governor at the school and when I took over as Chair it was a follow on from what my predecessor did. However, I won't be doing that one next year. I resigned from the Governing Body 4 years ago and the head teacher is retiring at the end of term so it's an ideal time for me to get away from that one.


    I don't know how I got roped into tomorrow's one, I can't remember now, but it won't happen again for sure.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 7th Jul 17, 4:39 PM
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    Farway
    Faraway I'm just sitting reading through some old cook books and I've found a great recipe for runner beans for you

    It's two beans in tomato. The other beans being broad beans but hey if you don't have them ( mine aren't ready yet) then double up on the runners

    225gr of diced runners
    450gr broad beans
    Tin of toms
    Dessert spoon of sugar
    1 teaspoon of dried thyme or oregano
    Salt and pepper

    Make the tomato sauce, bring to the boil, add the beans, boil for 5 mins
    If you use the BB, blanch them first for 2 mins then pop them out of their skins then add for a minute at the end of cooking

    That would be lovely served Luke warm or even cold either as a side dish or stirred into pasta
    Originally posted by gonebust
    Thanks to all with the runner recipes, I opted for an easy one, and seesm from your tips that using beans cold is easy. Mine was cold sliced & cooked, cool under tap, add vinegar [I used white balsamic 'cos that was what I had] and olive oil, plus fresh mint also had that in grarden. It was fine

    GB that recipe looks simlilar to one I have in old cook book, but without broad beans or sugar [seems a lot of sugar BTW], uses tinned toms & herbs. Named Italian beans, I suspect because the cook book is so old anything with herbs in it must have been "foreign"

    Boiling hot again and def too hot to cook anything requiring effort

    Nil breakfast, extra biscuits at volunteering mid morning cuppa

    Due to Plan A and eeking bread out, had part baked bagutte for lunch with rest of the corned beef in it, plus a tom and the last of my 25p bargain buy cut & come again lettuce. The roots are still there so perhaps they may give more later

    Dinner is really CBA due to heat, salad I have but had it yesterday and sort of for lunch and just fancy easy peasy. So it will be bung frozen cheapo Morries pizza in the gas oven and eat that 15 minutes later

    I keep thinking of picking the currnats but too hot at present, but will have to pick & eat before I go away next week ot they will go to waste, I will not cook & freeze, not worth my effort or freezer sapce because not tons of them, but a good bowl full I guess
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 7th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
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    Anne_Marie
    If I lived there, with disposable income, I'd have picked up a small/portable solar oven to sit outside..... they're really advanced now and you can cook all sorts on them. It's not cost effective here as there are few days it's THAT hot.

    There are many designs, but it's just a small black box that sits in the garden. 2-3 hours and you've usually got a pizza or something cooked. £50-100 or less can get "something that does the job" nowadays. There's all sorts, from long tubes that cook burgers/BBQ food, to boxes that cook stews/pizzas. to simple bags aimed at campers to cook all sorts of saucepan foods in.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I've not seen anything like that here, but in fairness have never looked....shopping is a thing that has to be done, and if I don't need it, I don't do it. Interesting though, so will look into it.
    I do have an outdoor wood fired oven, but it's no joy to be using it in this heat, and I feel it's such a waste just for me.

    Am amazed that they don't take more advantage of solar power here. Vaguely remember about 6-7 years ago, someone getting it done and cost around £23,000 back then. Only reason they went ahead was that they couldn't get connected to the mains. Would imagine that the costs would be higher now, and way over my pocket money. No such thing as grants here am afraid.

    Loved the comments on volunteering, made me laugh. So very true.

    Fusspot - Great stuff that you feel more comfortable now. At the end of the day, it's just body fuel. Life is stressful enough at times to be worrying what you are eating at every turn.

    Farway - what I would do for a bowl of currants. Yum!
    • Anne_Marie
    • By Anne_Marie 7th Jul 17, 5:10 PM
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    Anne_Marie

    I don't know how I got roped into tomorrow's one, I can't remember now, but it won't happen again for sure.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Good, just hope that you remember that for the next time.

    All my life, until I had health issues, and even then, I got roped into all sorts. I then felt really guilty if I couldn't follow through due to health issues. Now, it's a simple, straight no.

    I remember once hearing that the hardest word to say was no, and it's true. You always feel that you have to explain why, and you shouldn't have to, as then you can be persuaded. A straight no, and nothing else....means there is no ammunition to cajole/blackmail you. It is hard at first, but after the first couple of times, sorted, and people don't ask.
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 7th Jul 17, 5:25 PM
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    candygirl
    Good, just hope that you remember that for the next time.

    All my life, until I had health issues, and even then, I got roped into all sorts. I then felt really guilty if I couldn't follow through due to health issues. Now, it's a simple, straight no.

    I remember once hearing that the hardest word to say was no, and it's true. You always feel that you have to explain why, and you shouldn't have to, as then you can be persuaded. A straight no, and nothing else....means there is no ammunition to cajole/blackmail you. It is hard at first, but after the first couple of times, sorted, and people don't ask.
    Originally posted by Anne_Marie
    I always do the over explaining thing when saying NO.Still find it really hard to do
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Jul 17, 7:54 PM
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    caronc
    Good evening everyone,

    Re volunteering, apart from when the boys were small it's something I've always done. My parents were members of the "Civil Defence" and we were brought up that an element of voluntering your time was part of life. The trick for me is to pick something you enjoy and when you do that it kind of "let's you off the hook" re getting roped into other things. When I was younger my job meant I moved a lot to new places so it was great way to meet folk. For the last 16 years I've worked with an Out of School Care group which I helped set up. I look after the money side of the business which is great as I can lift and lay as my health/other commitments permit. Before that in various locations I was a cook in a soup kitchen, taught English to Refugees, a mentor to kids leaving care and an event/disaster first aider (thankfully lots of events and no disasters). I had some great times and none of them took up too much time or felt like a chore and I met some great people from many walks of life.

    Today has been a bit of a non-day, the weather was rubbish and my balance decided to behave as though I had just stepped off a fairground ride. On a positive picked my first cucumber - doubt it will still be unscoffed this time tomorrow.

    I got a nice freebie to try with my Tesco order - Rhubarb and Custard Ice Cream cones. Not tried one yet but they sound lovely.

    Tonight I'm having jerk spiced chicken thighs with a corn cob, beans from the garden and last night's LO baked spud
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Jul 17, 8:47 PM
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    meg72
    Good evening everyone,

    Re volunteering, apart from when the boys were small it's something I've always done. My parents were members of the "Civil Defence" and we were brought up that an element of voluntering your time was part of life. The trick for me is to pick something you enjoy and when you do that it kind of "let's you off the hook" re getting roped into other things. When I was younger my job meant I moved a lot to new places so it was great way to meet folk. For the last 16 years I've worked with an Out of School Care group which I helped set up. I look after the money side of the business which is great as I can lift and lay as my health/other commitments permit. Before that in various locations I was a cook in a soup kitchen, taught English to Refugees, a mentor to kids leaving care and an event/disaster first aider (thankfully lots of events and no disasters). I had some great times and none of them took up too much time or felt like a chore and I met some great people from many walks of life.

    Today has been a bit of a non-day, the weather was rubbish and my balance decided to behave as though I had just stepped off a fairground ride. On a positive picked my first cucumber - doubt it will still be unscoffed this time tomorrow.

    I got a nice freebie to try with my Tesco order - Rhubarb and Custard Ice Cream cones. Not tried one yet but they sound lovely.

    Tonight I'm having jerk spiced chicken thighs with a corn cob, beans from the garden and last night's LO baked spud
    Originally posted by caronc
    I wouldn't know how to fill the hours if it were not for my voluntary
    work I am currently organising a Christmas fair and crafting away like mad made 20 keyrings last night and today have diecut 20 Santa Sleighs. 20 stockings and 20 gingerbread mean ready to take to craft club for group to assemble. asw you say its a great way to make friends`
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 7th Jul 17, 9:27 PM
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    Hollyharvey

    Re volunteering, apart from when the boys were small it's something I've always done.
    Originally posted by caronc

    I do one day a week for a law/advice service. Although that has been half a day recently because I'm still having all sorts of tests to get to the bottom of my heart problem and I'm not up to doing a full day. Also they have been good and allowed me to be flexible in when I do go in. I'm really pleased about that, because usually we are all booked up with appointments for a few weeks in advance but what they are doing with me is giving me someone else's client and then the other volunteer is catching up on their paperwork so it is working out ok.


    At least I can still carry on this way because I do enjoy it.
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