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Penny Pinching Tip #2: Cooking for Numero Uno

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Penny Pinching Epicure: Penny Pinching Tip #2: Cooking for Numero Uno

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Penny Pinching Tip #2: Cooking for Numero Uno

I find that cooking (or baking) is quite cathartic after a long day at work. For this reason, I cook dinner for myself on a regular basis, at least 2-3 times per week, if not more.

Cooking for one can be challenging. Many things don't come out well when made in small batches, but who wants to eat the same dish for a whole week? (Actually, I don't really mind, but if there are leftovers that means I don't get to cook dinner the next night :)).

Penny Pinching Tip #2: Divide & Conquer

Buying in bulk helps me save costs, but if I only want to make one chicken breast, it poses the problem of what to do with the other 8 cutlets in the family pack. My solution: Individualization. When I buy fresh or frozen meat, poultry or fish, I open the package, put each "piece" into its own zip-top bag, and then put everything in the freezer. This way, I can easily pull out a single serving without having to defrost an entire package. Throw a tuna steak on the grill(pan), make a quick pot of rice or quinoa, steam some broccoli and I am good to go. 

Note about defrosting: It's safer (i.e. you are less likely to get sick) by defrosting raw meat, poultry or fish in cold water rather than warm water. In addition, it's a good idea to defrost before you remove the packaging to avoid bacterial contamination.

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