The ultimate weekly meal planner for singles

If you find cooking for one a challenge, this meal planner was made for you.

Cooking as a single person can be a tricky. Simply because nothing is sold in a single serve, ingredients - even fresh ones - tend to be more suitable for recipes that serve two, four, six, or even eight and often it seems to be more trouble than it is worth.

But over the years Reece Carter - Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist - has mastered healthy cooking for one. Here, he shares his secrets to successfully cooking single-serve dishes and a meal plan that masters the art of utalising leftovers.

Reece's top tips:

  • Create recipes that are adaptable and can be transformed into something completely different the following day. For example, in this seven-day meal plan the vegetarian tagine can be transformed into a Thai-inspired spiced soup, with just a few secret ingredients and used as lunch for the next day.
  • Make your midweek recipes simple. It’s easy to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon when you’re busy, so I recommend midweek meals that are fast and tasty. Save your kitchen flare for the weekend.
  • Have a handful of go-to, basic recipes — like overnight oats, for example — that can be served with different toppings to create new flavours. Then rotate through your favourites.
  • Build a weekly menu that uses the same ingredients multiple times, in different ways. This way you still have your variety and don’t get bored of eating the same thing, but you limit your shopping list—and your food waste.

With some clever planning and creative cooking, eating well for one can be simple. And more importantly, it doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. Enjoy this seven day plan for healthy eating.

Monday's menu

Breakfast: Spiced Porridge - with Stewed Rhubarb and Pistachios
Lunch: Tomato, Kale, Quinoa, and Chickpea Soup 
Dinner: Healthy Chicken 'Schnitty' with Baked Wedges 

Tuesday's menu

Breakfast: Green Pea, Goat's Cheese and Dill 'Eggins'
Lunch: Crumbed Chicken Burger
Dinner: No-Fuss Baked Falafels - with Minted Tahini Yoghurt & Meze

Wednesday's menu

Breakfast: Coco-Lime Overnight Oats 
Lunch: No-Bacon BLT
Dinner: 15-Minute Fish Tacos

 

Thursday's menu

Breakfast: Golden Folded Eggs 
Lunch: Pesto Zoodles - with smoky chicken
Dinner: Honeyed Butternut Pumpkin & Chickpea Tagine

Friday's menu

Breakfast: Choc-Pomegranate Overnight Oats
Lunch: Spiced Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
Dinner: Cheat’s Laksa

Saturday's menu

Breakfast: Dark Chocolate and Coconut Oatmeal muffins
Lunch: Warm Salmon & Quinoa Salad
Dinner: One-Pot Beef & Eggplant Winter Warmer

Sunday's menu

Breakfast: Golden Cauliflower Hash with Fried Egg, Dill Yoghurt and Herbs
Lunch: No-Pastry Beef Pie
Dinner: Simple roast chicken for one

The Shopping list:

Meat and Poultry

2 skinless chicken breasts
2 skinless chicken thighs
1 skin-on chicken breast
1 fillet firm, white-fleshed fish
1 fillet salmon, skinless
100g shelled prawns
300g chuck steak, or similar cut

Dairy and Eggs

18 large, free-range eggs
1L full cream milk, or alternative
1kg plain Greek yoghurt, or alternative
1 stick unsalted butter (approx. 250g)
Block goat cheese (approx. 120g)
Block haloumi (approx. 180g)
Block romano cheese (approx. 200g)
Small pot coconut yoghurt (approx. 250g)

Fresh Fruit, Vegetables, and Herbs

1 small orange
3 lemons
2 limes
1 large pomegranate
2 small, ripe bananas
2 avocados
2 stalks rhubarb
1 large bunch kale
1 cos lettuce
120g baby spinach
1 Lebanese cucumber
2 small zucchinis
1 large eggplant
1 small butternut pumpkin
1 parsnip
1 fennel bulb
1 leek
½ head cauliflower
¼ red cabbage
2 small brown onions
1 golden shallot
2 bulbs garlic
2 spring onions
5 vine-ripened tomatoes
2 royal blue potatoes
1 red capsicum
1 cob corn
Small pack bean sprouts
1 long, red chilli
4 bird’s eye chillis
3 bunches coriander
2 bunches flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch each of basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, chives, sage, and mint

Frozen Goods

Small bag frozen peas (approx. 500g)

Tinned and Packaged Products

1kg rolled oats
500g quinoa
1kg tinned chickpeas
50g buckwheat noodles
1L good-quality, low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
500ml good-quality, low-sodium beef stock
250ml good-quality fish stock (can substitute vegetable stock)
400g tinned tomatoes
500ml coconut milk
90g tomato paste
400g almond meal
Small pack coconut flakes (approx. 200g)
Small pack flaked almonds (approx. 150g)
Small pack pistachios (approx. 80g)
Small pack pine nuts (approx. 80g)
Small jar laksa paste (approx. 230g)
Small pack dark chocolate chips (approx. 200g)
Large jar pickled purple cabbage or sauerkraut (approx. 600g)

Bakery

4 wholegrain or gluten-free buns
6 wholegrain or gluten-free tortillas

Pantry Staples

(You may already have these at home)

Extra virgin olive oil
Buckwheat or wholemeal flour
Baking powder
Fish sauce
Vanilla essence
Brown sugar
Honey
Tahini
Sea salt
Black Pepper
Dried spices: coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, chilli flakes, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, oregano, smoked paprika, allspice, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom

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