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    Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:54 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I'm a single guy and try to do OAMC as much as I can. I hate to spend money at the restaurants but also hate the mess involved with cooking at home.

    I prefer to have as much made in advance as possible. Even fixing a box of mac-and-cheese to accompany my frozen sloppy joe is a major hassle sometimes. I have roommates who don't eat on the same schedule as me (I work nights, they work days). So all too often the sink isn't empty and so I have to do the dishes before I can put a colander in the sink.

    So I'm looking for ideas for either one dish meals or things that can be used to accompany something else (to put with meatloaf, BBQ chicken, BBQ Pork Chop, Roasted Chicken, Roasted Pork Chop etc)--and can easily be portioned individually.

    My most common one dish meal: spaghetti sauce that combines Hunt's Garlic & Herb sauce, ground beef, mild italian sausage & pepperoni then mix that with al dente penne and freeze it in individual portions. But it gets old eating it all the time.
    Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:27 am
    Forum Host
    Can you store meals in the freezer? I frequently make things like lasagna or burritos, and freeze them individually. I also have some single-sized portions of roast pork and gravy with pureed vegetables, and braised short ribs with mashed potatoes too, that are perfect as "frozen dinners." Also, chili and many soups and stews freeze well in single servings.
    Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:12 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    How do you feel about soups? I like to make big batches of soup (or stew) in the crockpot and freeze baggies of it for individual meals. The key is to omit potatoes and other freezer-unfriendly vegetables from whatever recipe you use. Potatoes get kind of grainy and... just weird.

    My favorite recipe is a super simple stew/soup; it's not quite as gravy-thick as a stew, but it's much more substantial than the average soup. I haven't put it on the website yet so I'll just plop it in here.

    2 lb beef (shoulder, chuck, whatever) trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1" cubes
    4 stalks of celery, sliced
    4 carrots, sliced
    1/2 an onion, diced (you can add more if you like onion, I just use 1/2 because my husband can't handle a lot at once)
    2 cups of beef stock/broth
    1 cup of cold water mixed with 1-2 TB flour
    worcestershire sauce
    1 TB parsley
    1/4 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp bay leaf
    ground black pepper
    2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
    any other delicious things you like; beer is a good option, as are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.

    Start by salting and peppering the beef cubes then cooking them in a pan of hot oil to brown them; you should end up with a deep golden crust on all sides. This is good, and also delicious.

    Dump the beef into a crockpot, then use some beef stock to get all the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Dump this liquid goodness into the crockpot as well.

    Put a little more oil into the pan and start cooking the veggies. I usually do them separately so I can get more color on the onions and carrots than on the celery, but altogether is fine too. Dump this in the crockpot.

    Add the rest of the beef stock to the crockpot, then stir in the flour-water mixture. Stir in whatever spices and seasonings you use, toss in the garlic, then add a few shakes of worcestershire sauce. If you want a soupier soup, add some more water or stock.

    Set the crockpot to low for at least five hours. I usually set this up in the morning, between 6 and 8am, and leave it on low until my husband and I get home.

    This is super tasty over garlic mashed potatoes, but I bet it would be good with biscuits or beer bread.
    Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:49 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I was thinking maybe a rice dish that you could pull out of the freezer and microwave or put in a pot and steam kind of like a boil in the bag.
    Hopefully you like rice...another idea would be potatoe patties...pull them out of the freezer as you need them.
    You can buy them in bulk and I have seen them come in two flavours, Original and the other is Onion and I found them both to be very good.
    Very inexpensive, quick and easy to make.
    Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:39 pm Groupie
    There are lots of things you can do for a single, most recipes are for 4 people that would give you 4 meals. The biggest question is would your roommates steal all your frozen meals?

    You can do mashed potatoes and freeze them, just leave out everything, freeze just mashed potatoes, add your butter, milk and additions later. We used to do this when I worked in a restaurant. Meatloaf slices with mashed potatoes, veggies and some gravy would make a nice freezer meal.

    Burritos, Soups, Stews, Chili, all in individual portions.

    Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice, Stir-Fries. Mini Lasagnas or baked pasta. Single Casseroles.

    Think of what you like to eat, or what you buy in the stores.

    Where I work now, I portion all leftovers into small foil pans with lids and we have a co-worker who delivers it to families/singles in-need. Many found it to be a life saver. Just the other week she delivered to a family that said they didn't have anything to eat. They were trying to figure out a way to get some food for dinner that night, as it was a couple days until the Food Bank was open.

    The foil pans I use I get from a Cash & Carry Restaurant Supply store. I get 50 pans and lids for about $20. They are 4x5 inch pans, great for a single person. The only problem with them is that if you stack them they can collapse in on each other. And not being sealed tight liquids can seep out. Here is a picture of the bigger pans (5x9 inch) I use at home. This is the only way to stack them before they are completely frozen. I go through 150-200 of these pans at home. I think this year at work I have used more than 1200. I think next year I am going to buy this size of pan so I don't have to use so many.

    Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:09 am Groupie
    Fried rice freezes really well...just stirfry some chopped onion and whatever other vegies you like, with some bacon and some chopped fried egg, add a little chilli and garlic. Add some cooked rice and fry with a little soy sauce or kecap manis. You can just reheat in the microwave and hey presto!

    You could probably make some little pasta bakes which you could pop from the freezer straight to the oven, or some vegie gratins which you could have as a side dish.... icon_biggrin.gif
    Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:54 am
    Forum Host
    This is a cookbook I've collected of recipes that are either for 1 or 2 servings or that use fillets or something similar that make it easy to cut them down into 1 or 2 servings, perhaps it will help you find recipes that work for you, Two by Two
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