Are you following a plant-based or vegan diet and are cooking for one (or two?) but find it difficult to cook for just yourself? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
In this blog post, I’ll share 10 tips that will help make vegan cooking for one a breeze.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie in the kitchen, these tips will help you create delicious and healthy vegan meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
So what are you waiting for? Read on to get started!
Here are 10 tips to make vegan cooking for one a breeze
1. Plan ahead
Meal planning not only makes vegan cooking for one easier, it will help you save money, time, and gas. Planning what you’re going to eat for the coming week let’s you figure out what products you’ll need from the store so you make one trip instead of two or three, and it allows you to batch cook, if you’re inclined to try it.
2. Embrace leftovers
There are people who despise eating the same thing again, and others who live for leftovers. No matter which camp you’re in, leftovers can be your friend!
For example, if you made a tasty vegetable soup for dinner, make enough for two or even three meals and mix up the way you serve it. You can easily add a scoop of the soup over a baked potato, or if you’re game to turn it into a gravy, blend it in a blender and use it as a gravy over mashed potatoes or even turn it into a shepard’s pie.
3. Get creative with your ingredients
Get comfortable cooking with various spices, herbs, and seasonings. The right spice can turn a simple pasta dish or salad into an gourmet delight! Here’s is a great article about cooking with fresh herbs to help get your imagination going.
Another quick and easy way to turn a simple meal into a wow experience is using sauces like my creamy vegan white wine sauce. It can be used with ravioli, on pasta, over roasted vegetables, or even over toast for breakfast.
And while you’re getting creative with your ingredients, think about getting creative with your cooking! If you’re open to learning more about cooking, try making one new recipe a week.
Getting to know your flavors and cooking methods will help you become more daring and creative with your time in the kitchen.
4. Utilize your freezer
Honestly, vegan cooking for one is tougher than non-vegan solo cooking. There is simply SO much more prep work involved!
Eating a healthy, plant-based or vegan diet usually means more dicing and chopping in the kitchen, which can be tedius. By taking advantage of your freezer space, you can chop fruits, vegetables or make sauces ahead of time and freeze them.
I make a lot of smoothies for breakfast, so will freeze some bananas, seasonal fruits, and a scoop of flax or hemp seeds in serving-sized baggies. Then all I have to do is grab a bag out of the freezer; toss the ingredients into my nifty Nutribullet blender; and add my liquid of choice. I will re-use my plastic baggies, but recently purchased this set of BPA-free freezer bags that come in various sizes and so far, they work great!
And don’t forget – a lot of leftovers can be frozen for future meals! Allow your food to cool completely before freezing to avoid freezer burn. Also, date and mark the contents on the container your food is being stored.
5. Invest in quality tools and ingredients
It’s important to invest in the right tools and ingredients when you’re a vegan cooking for one. For example, this Mac hollow edge chef knife is lightweight, stays razor sharp and literally glides through potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. It’s on the pricey side but chefs swear by it. For a more economical version, try this 12-piece colorful set of knives by Cuisanart – it has over 33,000 top ratings and is priced under $15!
Also, buy fresh and quality ingredients. I shop at the international markets for my spices because I know they turn their inventory quickly. This means fresher ingredients and they have more variety to choose from.
And look for versatility! There are so many options available today like air-fryer/toaster ovens that practically and the Instant Pot, which is just genius. Instant Pot has a 3-quart version which is their smallest size available. I use mine at least once a week, and it replaced my crock pot and rice cooker. It also steams, sautes, and sterlizes jars for canning!
6. Simplify your cooking
There’s no need to make things complicated when you’re a vegan cooking for one. In fact, simpler is usually better and easier!
Focus on using fresh, quality ingredients and keep your recipes simple. Complicated dishes using 10 or more ingredients tend to be a one-and-done deal. Look for simple recipes that don’t take a lot of prep time or cooking steps (like the ones you’ll find on my blog!).
7. Be mindful of portion sizes
Vegans cooking for one need to be mindful of their portion sizes. This helps you avoid overeating or wasting food, and keeps the waistline trim too!
Using smaller plates and cooking containers really helps. I never use full-size plates anymore unless I’m entertaining! I find the salad plates offer plenty of space for a single-serving of a main and a side. And if I’m just having a large salad, then I use a small serving bowl instead of a cereal bowl.
Also, learn how to convert your favorite recipes from serving eight down to one or two is very helpful. Find a conversion chart like this magnetic one and refer to it often until you learn the proper measurements.
Cooking for portions helps with the grocery bills too, so you don’t end up buying as much and you will likely use what you do buy.
8. Get organized
Before cooking, take a few minutes to get your kitchen organized. Try to have your ingredients washed, prep tools out, and recipe center-stage. This helps you save time and stay on track while cooking.
9. Take your time
There’s no need to rush through cooking if you don’t have to. Instead, take your time and enjoy the process.
If you wish, turn on some music, pour some wine or your favorite beverage, and turn cooking into a more enjoyable and stress-free experience.
Meal prep can be a meditative time if you allow it to be. Chopping vegetables and fruits mindfully can be soothing and satisfying.
And practice gratitude for a meal. I grew up in a family where we said a prayer before eating, and I mentally say a quick prayer of gratitude before I eat today. No matter what faith you are or if you even practice one, just knowing you’re about to eat is something to be truly thankful for today.
10. Have fun!
Vegan cooking for one can be a fun and creative experience. After all, we all have to eat sometime! And cooking for yourself is another way of showing love and respect for your Self.
Yes, vegan cooking for one can seem like more work, but if you just relax and don’t take things too seriously, you will enjoy yourself and have fun!
Please pin and share this post with your vegan and anyone you know who is cooking for one!