EATING WELL: Better health for older single men comes from learning single meal tips for eating and shopping well.
EATING WELL: Better health for older single men comes from learning single meal tips for eating and shopping well.

Men’s Health: Cooking help for single men

WORKING out how to cook for one is made easier with the help of the Australian Men's Shed kitchen tips and tricks.

Let's start with what you should eat. Aim for seasonal fruit, vegetables and spices which will help to keep the cost of food down.

You could take up gardening some of seasonal vegetables and herbs at home, or find your local community garden and join in its growing program.

When fresh fruit and vegetables are not available or convenient, frozen options are an inexpensive and easy alternative. But remember, fresh is always better.

What's in season In Autumn?

  • Herbs and Spices - basil, chervil, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, ginger, lime, kaffir leaves, lemongrass, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.
  • Fruit - apple, blackberries, banana, cumquat, custard apple, feijoa, fig, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, mango, mangosteen, nashi, orange, papaya, passionfruit, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate, prickly pear, quince, rambutan, raspberries, rhubarb, rockmelon, strawberries and tamarillo.
  • Vegetables - artichoke, Asian greens, avocado, beans, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, choko, corn, cucumber, daikon, eggplant, fennel, leek, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onion and spring onion, parsnip, peas, potato, pumpkin, radish, shallot, silverbeet, spinach, squash, swede, sweet potato, tomato, turnip, watercress, witlof and zucchini.

Before you go shopping

  • Work out a menu for every meal you are going to have at home during the week, from lunch to dinner. Think what you already have in the fridge, freezer and pantry which you could use to make a meal.
  • Then write down a list of what ingredients you need to buy.
  • Once this is done, go to your pantry and fridge and check what's in there against what's on the shopping list.
  • This will help you to keep to your budget and end up with lots of science experiments in the fridge.

In the supermarket

  • Make sure you take with you reusable shopping bags (as plastic bags are on the way out).
  • Take your shopping list with you, and a pen.
  • Buy no-name or house brands where possible.
  • Be wary of 'special' deal items. Take the time to check out competing brands for quantity, quality and price. 
  • Work out what is the favoured times and days at your local supermarket for special offers to be put on the shelves.
  • Buy large pack or bulk items that will last in the pantry, such as breakfast cereals, rice, pasta and baked beans.
  • Try buying block cheese and grating it yourself.
  • Add some canned beans or lentils to meat dishes to make the meal go further.
  • Avoid shopping when you are hungry. Try it once and notice the difference in what you buy compared to when you go shopping after you have eaten.
  • Pick up the supermarket catalogue and look for what is going on sale soon.
  • Before you start buying treats, check off your shopping list what you have in your basket and think about how much all of that will cost, before you head to the aisle with the sweet things in them.

Keep an eye on the website for the next month as each week we bring you a Cooking for One recipe to try out.

Food ideas and recipes are provided courtesy of Whittlesea Men's Shed.

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