Saturday, October 18, 2014

Meal Planning: Cooking for One

This week my husband will be out of town Monday afternoon through Friday evening, which means I will not be as motivated to cook in the evenings.  I am a stay at home mom, so I do occasionally cook a full meal at lunch and then the meal then doubles as dinner (and frees me up to spend time with my son and husband when they get home).  I may have to apply that strategy a few times this week or I'll be eating tv dinners and canned soups.

Normally, I do my meal planning by theme (see last week's meal plan), but as I'm cooking for just me and the toddler most of this week, this week's meal plan features dinner for a full family on Sunday and Saturday, but simple meals Monday through Friday.  I should clarify that I cook a separate dinner for my picky three year old.  He used to eat what my husband and I ate, but those days are long gone.

This Week's Meal Plan

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti squash and roasted broccoli

Monday: leftovers from Sunday

Tuesday: soup (canned or from the freezer) and a salad

Wednesday: whatever I make for lunch

Thursday: sliders with sweet potato fries (I'm hoping the toddler will eat this with me)

Friday: dinner out

Saturday: grill (husband's choice of recipe)

Meal Winners from Last Week

Every week, I share one or two recipes that we loved, and if there's an online recipe I provide it.  Here are two meals we enjoyed this week.
Recipe: Spicy Beef Stir-Fry (Food Network)
Modifications: we substituted julienned carrots, red bell pepper, and broccoli 
for the baby bok choy

Recipe: Chicken Parmesan (Bon Apetit)
Modifications: we omitted the sun-dried tomato pesto 
(but it might have been yummy with the pesto)

Any readers out there who occasionally have to cook just for themselves?  What do you like to cook when you're cooking for one?


  1. I love meals than can take leftovers and repurpose them into something else.

    Lately, I'm doing a lot of cooking for one, since my Hubby is away at school. It means a lot of breakfast for dinner, soups with a side of biscuits or giant salads. I also often grab a veggie burger from the freezer and pair that with a great bun and a side of veggies and call it good.

    1. I love breakfast for dinner. And lately soups have been my favorite dinner because I'm just not hungry at dinnertime... Lunch is by far my biggest meal. Your options all sound good! I like the idea of a veggie burger with a side of veggies.

  2. Nice post, my hubby travels and it is hunting season so he is gone for 2 weeks! I need to do a better job on my meal planning for one! You have inspired me for the week :)

    1. Mary Beth - so glad I could inspire you! Don't skimp on feeding yourself just because the hubby is away! At least -- that's what I'm telling myself!

  3. I'm so unmotivated to cook when my husband is out of town, too. Hope the week goes well for you!!

  4. Since I eat so different from my hubby it's often cooking for one, so whatever I can make easy usually wins. I think i would look up placed children eat free and eat out a few more times and rest :)

    1. I had no idea that you and your husband eat so differently! I like your idea of finding a few places where kids eat free -- we do have a few places here in Colorado that feature exactly that on certain nights of the week!

  5. I'm sorry your husband is away! Even though I rarely see mine these days, I like that we are at least together at night. Hah, not much conversation is happening though unless his snoring counts -.- Anyway, I'm also not motivated to cook as much when he's away. I definitely go for convenience and quick meals then, and it looks like you've put together a tasty and pretty quick meal plan :)

    I hope you have a nice week, too!

    PS - your spicy beef stir fry looks amazing!

    1. I agree, even if my husband was away all day, I would love it if I just saw him at night. So far my meal plan is working...

      And yes, the spicy beef stir fry is as yummy as it looks. We will be making it often this winter, I think.


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