I couldn’t be happier or more excited, because my daughter is on a plane headed towards Los Angeles as I write this, but normally it’s dinner for one around here. I know a lot of my single friends think that means it’s not worth cooking. They always say ” why” when there is no one to appreciate all the effort?
“Why?” Because I like good food , and I deserve to eat well too, don’t you? What does being single have to do with it?
Eating out is really fun, occasionally. There are times I am so tired by the end of the day the last thing I want to think about is getting all dolled up to go back out again. In fact, back in the days of touring (living in luxury hotels and dining in Michelin star restaurants), there were times I would have given anything for a home cooked meal. When I dine out, I want it to be an event in and of itself. There’s nothing special about it when you do it night after night.
Unfortunately, I have to watch my waistline too. Fat + sugar + salt = flavor in most chef’s opinions, and they are correct to a degree, they just tend to get carried away. I believe in everything within moderation, but I’ve also found a little imagination and finesse can coax that flavor out in other, healthier ways. Then there’s my will-power, or lack there of. Sitting next to a table full of scintillating Southern fried chicken while I munch on a kale salad is tough.
What if I told you that you could get away with cooking only once or twice a month to enjoy delicious homemade dinners? Wouldn’t you be more likely to do that for yourself? With the Personal Chef Approach you can have dinner ready faster than you could go through the drive-thru on your way home from work, because all you have to do is “heat to eat” most nights. I like figure I’ll go out 1-2 times a week, so I make myself 4-5 meals in one PCA cook date, and that usually lasts me an entire month.
Here’s how it works for singles – while a family of four would need to cook weekly, or double their recipes and cook just twice a month – a single gal can get away with just once or twice a month. You simply cook the normal size recipe of 4 servings, and package each serving individually. Remember the PCA is all about cooking multiple meals all in one go, so you will still have variety. Choose a few of your meals to keep in the fridge for the week ahead, and the rest go into the freezer for a later date. When you learn how to cool, package, store, then heat correctly – those frozen dinners should taste exactly as they did when you made them, because you’re freezing them at peak freshness.
Maybe you’d rather not repeat the same menu four weeks in a row? Just use the handy dandy recipe scaler on the website to change the servings to 1 or 2, and it will automatically scale your ingredients on the grocery list as well as on the recipe! My favorite part of all of this, is the pots and pans are all already done when I do my monthly or bi-monthly cook date, so all I have to do is toss my plates in the dishwasher when I’m done eating!
One other option I like while the weather is still hot, is to marinate or rub my proteins, then freeze them before cooking them, so the messy part is already done and the entree will be flavor packed by the time I want to cook it. I pull the entree and side dish I want the next evening, out of the freezer and into the fridge to defrost. When I come home from work the next day all I have to do is grill off my entree while I heat my side dish in the microwave.
Roasted Garlic & Chili Rub
I’m feeling generous today, so here’s the Roasted Garlic & Chili Rub that Tatjana always requests when she comes home. It is absolutely delicious on just about any kind of protein. I’ve used it on tofu, chicken, shrimp, and beef!