The biggest struggle I’ve had since spending more time home alone with my husbands new job has been figuring out what I should make myself for dinner. I go through moods where I like cooking and at other times, I’m totally not in the mood. Some days it’s just so easy to heat up a frozen pizza, have a bowl of cereal, or even just snack on little stuff until I’m full enough that I don’t even want a real dinner. But, I’m not always healthy about dinner when he’s gone and so I have made some changes in what I do for food.
At times, it seems like cooking for myself isn’t worth all of the effort but I’ve decided that it totally is. I can have WHATEVER I want for dinner without worrying about my, sometimes, picky husband. I love trying new recipes that I know my husband wouldn’t love to try and I love eating some of my favorite things, sometimes a couple days in a row. And honestly, it’s so much more rewarding to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal than bloating from a frozen pizza (and I do love a good pizza)!
These are just a few things that make it easier to cook for myself:
I usually plan what I’m going to eat before Preston is even gone. This makes it easier for me to be able to buy what I want from the grocery store, instead of going to the store right after Preston leaves (we usually go together so he can buy food for his trip and I buy food for when he’s gone or we decide meals that we’ll have together the days we’re both home). I’m not always the best at planning ahead, but I enjoy jumping on pintrest and finding recipes I’d like to try (even while I’m at the store) and just GOING FOR IT!
Once I get home after a long day, the last thing I want to do is go to the grocery store to buy one or two items so buying what I need beforehand has worked for me. I also like to buy enough that I can have leftovers to eat for lunch or dinner the next day (this way I’m really cooking for more than one, which is sometimes easier depending on what I’m making).
THE FREEZER IS MY FRIEND
Freezing meals allows me to eat a little healthier on those days that I would usually resort to eating that frozen pizza! For example: soup is one of my favorite things to cook and eat right now. I love soup because I can leave it in the crock pot to cook while I’m at work and I love being able to throw leftovers in the freezer for those days when I’m just not in the mood to cook for myself. There are plenty of other meals you can freeze for later, soup just happens to be at the top of my list right now!
MEALS THAT LAST A FEW DAYS
One of our favorite things to do is to make food that we can leave in the fridge. This way we aren’t scrambling to find something to take to work for lunch, running out the door starving or for me, when I’m home alone, it’s an easy go-to dinner meal.
We love to make a little “Mexi Mix.” We cook up a package of lean ground turkey, 1 onion (diced), taco seasoning, a handful of corn, a handful of black beans and mix it all together to keep in the fridge. We usually mix it with salad to make taco salad (that we eat with or without dressing) or we use it for tacos/burritos. It’s seriously so easy and we love to keep it in the fridge for easy lunches and I love it for easy dinners when my husband is gone!
We also love to do this same thing but with Salmon, SO YUM! Salmon doesn’t keep quite as long as the turkey sausage for us but it’s an easy meal that will still last us a few days.
DINNER WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS
A lot of the time when my husband is out of town, Myla and I take more time to go to our family’s houses for dinner. They usually know we are home by ourselves and so they will invite us over or make extra for us to stop by and grab. Other times, I know I’m home alone and will make enough that I can either have someone come eat with me or have enough to go drop off to family. It’s an easy (and delicious) way to spend a little extra time with family/friends.
These are just a few things that help me when I’m home alone and unsure of what to have for dinner. It makes being home alone in the evenings a little more fun when I have something to actually do AND I love having something yummy to eat instead of running out in the dark and getting something last minute!