My favourite meal to eat when I don’t have to cook for anybody is toast with peanut butter and banana. It’s delicious, simple, contains three food groups and creates few dishes.
While this is a great meal idea for those occasions, it probably wouldn’t be the best choice to eat every night. This is especially true if breakfast is also toast and lunch, some variation of bread and cheese.
Cooking for one person seems like a waste of time and energy. It is also difficult and more expensive to shop for.
Unfortunately, whether or not you live alone, your body still requires a good variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrate to function properly.
Sadly, the vast majority of large-chain restaurant foods have more calories, sodium and fat than is recommended for the average person. Furthermore, they exceed most people’s budget for every day eating. So what are a few ideas to improve the solo diet?
• Join a community kitchen (or start your own). The idea is simple: cook as a group a variety of dishes that you can take home to eat (or store in your freezer).
This makes cooking cheaper and more fun. For more information, check out http://foodaction.ca/about/community-kitchens/
• Find someone to share your meal- a neighbour, co-worker or friend. This provides more incentive to cook a balanced meal.
• Cook one big meal on the weekend and eat it all week.
Dishes like soup, stew, chili and curry often get better with age. When you get tired of eating it, stick it in the freezer in individual portions.
• The first food to go for most solo eaters is vegetables.
Cut up a container of veggies for the week and commit to a handful a day. Throw them in an omelette, a smoothie, buy a dip or make a salad.
• Protein is also commonly lacking: peanut butter, eggs, beans, or canned tuna would be your less expensive, more shelf-stable choices. Meat and poultry can also be bought in bulk and divided into individual servings for freezing.
Eating simple meals like cereal and toast can be part of a healthy diet, but you don’t want to make them your exclusive diet.
-Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.