Yesterday in a comment a reader asked whether she should get a 3 quart or a 6 quart Instant Pot since she’s only cooking for one. I use both and my answer was to get the 6 quart. You can make less in the 6 quart – it doesn’t have to be full, but there are things that don’t work as well in the 3 quart. Here the two are side by side for comparison.
Here comment also got me thinking about cooking for just one or two. I know we are all different, especially when it comes to cooking and eating out. I do not like to eat out. I’m not sure if Vince loves eating out or if he just loves leaving the house and going somewhere. Vince doesn’t like to cook and I think it’s hard for him to understand that I do like to cook so he thinks by us going out, he’s getting to leave the house AND do me a favor since I don’t have to cook. If I had my way, I would probably never eat out. LIke I said, I feel like that way of thinking is not very common.
So, if you love eating out, dislike cooking and cleaning the kitchen — there’s nothing wrong with that.
When I was here by myself for six months before Vince moved here, I think I got a fish sandwich at Wendy’s twice, picked up a burger at Babe’s once, and picked up food from a food truck once.
I tell myself often that if people would come cook with me for a week or two, they would totally change their mind about eating at home. When I cook, I rarely make enough for just one meal. Sometimes we have a day or later and it’s exactly the way it was when we had it the first time. Sometimes I change it up a bit and serve it and you wouldn’t know it’s a different meal. Sometimes I purposely cook a lot more than we’ll eat and divide it up and freeze it.
Here are some examples I left in my response to her comment:
You asked the right person! ? I have a 3 quart. I also have a couple of 6 quarts. You can cook small amounts in the 6 quart. Here’s my advice: Get the 6 quart. It doesn’t take up much more room. I happen to have them both out right now so tomorrow I’ll take a picture of them side by side. There may be a time when you want to make something larger and can’t do it in the 3 quart but anything you would cook in the 3 quart can be cooked in the 6 quart.
Here are a couple of examples of the things I do that may seem like a lot of work but in the end, it’s such a time saver:
- Rice – If you want rice and gravy tonight, cook extra rice. You can use it to make fried rice (I always start with cold, cooked rice), make chicken and rice soup, make a rice salad
1. Say you want to make rice to go with your roast and gravy. Things like rice and oatmeal tend to produce “foam” and that can make a mess with the smaller pot. Cook the rice for your dinner but cook extra and use some of the leftover rice to make fried rice (I always start with cold cooked rice for fried rice); take more of the leftovers and make chicken and rice soup or Golden Rice Salad.
2. You can cook 5 or 6 chicken breasts in water with celery, carrots, a bay leaf, seasonings, let them cool, shred the meat and freeze it in small portions with the broth. Then you could make a small amount of the chicken and rice soup linked above, dumplings, you could make chicken salad, or chicken enchiladas, or make a small pot of gumbo or chicken/spaghetti.
3. This Stuffed Pepper Casserole is so good and it freezes beautifully. Make the whole dish, freeze it in small portions.
4. If you like cabbage rolls, these are so good. I will make double batches of these and freeze them 3 or 4 per container for us. It’s all I can do not to eat them night after night til they’re gone.
Cooking “large” amounts doesn’t mean you have to make “large” meals.
There’s really so much you can do and I think you’ll find it really cuts down on your cooking time by having meals in the freezer. Just choose some dishes you like and look forward to having and try it for a week or two.