make your stomach happy 

a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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cooking for one 
kitchen tips for the solo life 
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continued from page 1

problem #2: I always cook too much, but get bored with eating the same dish over and over again!
the solution: Planned, recycled leftovers
So you’re a creature who craves variety. Eating, you think, shouldn’t be boring (food is about so much more than getting your necessary daily intake of energy and nutrients). The best way to prevent getting bored with your foods – and having to throw out your leftovers because you just can’t face another night of the same-old same-old – is to learn to recycle your leftovers. Say you’re making spinach sauteed in garlic and oil one night, and eating it with pasta. The next night, maybe you make red beans and serve it with rice. On the third night, you’ve find you’ve got a little bit of spinach, a little bit of spicy red beans, maybe even a bit of rice left – why not throw it all together in a tortilla, grate some cheddar/jack cheese on top, then roll it up into a tasty burrito? Now you’ve gotten three nights of decidedly different dishes, with only two nights worth of actual cooking.

Some dishes, like burritos, seem tailor-made for recycling leftovers. Some of my other favorite ways to make something old into something new: sandwich roll-ups, fried rice, frittatas/omelettes.

problem #3: My veggies (fruit, bread, whatever) start to rot (over-ripen, turn stale, etc.) before I get a chance to use them – and I end up throwing out half of what I’ve bought!
the solution A: Freeze it.
Freeze for easy cooking -- when you buy your chicken, for instance, divide it up into single serving size portions before you freeze it. Buy frozen veggies that come loose in plastic bags. You can also freeze your own veggies -- ones with high water content, like tomatoes, aren’t recommended, but others such as peas, beans, corn, carrots, broccoli, and the like will all freeze quite well, especially if you blanche them before freezing. Freezing fruit is also a great idea; buy a huge crate of strawberries when they’re in season and cheap, then freeze them and use them for smoothies all year long, or slice up and freeze your bananas before they’ve turned completely black and you have to throw them out. And when you buy bread or rolls, freeze half as soon as you bring them home – don’t wait for the bread to go stale.

the solution B: Don’t buy everything that looks good when you go to the market – think about what you’ll be able to use in a given week and buy just that, no matter how cheap/yummy/irresistible everything else might look. 
Limit yourself to one or two items of fresh produce a week, rather than buying everything that looks good at the market only to have to toss half of it when all your delicious ingredients go bad before you’ve had a chance to use them.  Alternatively, make use of the salad bar at your local deli whenever you need just a small quantity of fresh veggie for whatever you happen to be cooking that night.

but wait, there's so more!

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