Over the festive season I was chatting to my sister-in-law about cooking-for-one. She is a university student, living on her own and headed back to campus next week.
This got me thinking about my favourite meals-for-one, as well as some of the more weird and wonderful things I ate as a student (due to time, budget, inclination to cook) – there was a time where I’d cook pasta, chop in tomatoes and cucumber, along with a teaspoon of low fat mayonnaise and leftover sausage or chicken pieces and that would be me for dinner…
Once I got settled into the routine of university, I become much better at planning ahead and began to really enjoy cooking my dinners. I also become very fond of dishes I could cook and freeze to take the pressure off during exam time. My all time favourite is savoury mince – due to cost and practicality one of the few meat options I routinely ate. It is just SO versatile. Here is my basic savoury mince recipe and ideas for way to enjoy it:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic (approx 2 cloves)
- 500 g mince
- 2 tins chopped, peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oreganum
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 cup beef stock
- salt and pepper, to season
- Heat oil and sauté onion and garlic until soft.
- Add mince and cook until browned.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oreganum, chilli (optional) and stock.
- Allow to simmer for as long as possible to infuse flavours. If the mince sauce becomes too dry, add a little water.
- Serve (or at this point: portion out and pack into freezer-proof bags/containers and freeze for another time).
Baked potatoes topped with mince, fat-free cottage cheese and assorted finely chopped salad bits and pieces.
Mince on toast - cook in some frozen mixed vegetables.
Chili con carne - add in tinned red kidney beans and a dash of chilli and serve with rice and vegetables or salad.
Cook gem squash halves, remove the seeds, fill with mince and serve.
Savoury pancakes filled with mince and mixed vegetables.
Wraps or pitas with mince, fat-free cottage cheese and assorted finely chopped salad bits and pieces for filling.