Living Solo Tips with Renzie Baluyut.
Cooking is great, and so is eating out and taking out. But when you live on your own, sometimes you just don’t feel like going through all the trouble to just feed yourself. Particularly so coming home after a busy day, or just staying in on a lazy weekend.
Cooking entails so much prep work, and so much to wash for just an audience of one: yourself. Eating out means having to get dressed, finding a place to eat, and usually spending more than you should. And take out makes sense pretty much when you’re ordering a lot- but sometimes a large box of pizza is just too much, even for yourself.
Which is why, as someone living solo, you should always have some convenient food items handy in your apartment:
2. An assortment of sandwich meat.
3. An assortment of spreads and condiments.
6. Tuna and sardines.
8. Instant noodles.
9. Cookies and crackers.
Essential food for those living solo, in detail:
1. Bread. Enough said. Personally, I go for whole wheat sliced bread, but I usually also have some bagels, hotdog buns, or in the Philippines, a stash of pan de sal in the freezer. Best if you also have a toaster to heat up the bread to near-oven freshness.
2. An assortment of sandwich meat. I usually go for slabs of ham, or strips of bacon, hotdogs, some tuna breast, shredded chicken and tuna. On a particularly good day, the fridge will also have some smoked salmon, pork sausages, crabsticks and even strips of roast beef.
3. An assortment of spreads and condiments. Mayonnaise and butter are the usual staples. But there should also be some peanut butter, jam or jelly, as well as some cheez whiz and some cream cheese, even some mustard, dressings, dips and relish.
With food items 1, 2 and 3, you can already make yourself a variety of sandwiches. That should usually cover you for several days rather easily. To complement all that, you might also want to consider…
4. Veggies. Get some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and onions to add in some greens into your sandwiches. Alternately, use some of the deli meat you have to make a healthy salad- all you need is some dressing. So you also might want to keep some caesar, ranch and even some vinaigrette handy as well.
5. Fruit. A bowl of fruit makes for a good healthy choice. Have some apples and bananas at arm’s length for healthy snacking, and fill your crisper with oranges, grapes, or whatever fruits that are in season.
6. Tuna and Sardines. Canned or bottled fish always makes it to my list. Sardines are great with toast, or even crackers, and as for tuna- you can easily mix in mayo and chopped onions, etc. for a quick-and-easy sandwich spread, or mix in some dressing for a convenient salad topping.
Comes in a good number of variants as well- so you could have them in tomato sauce, corn oil or olive oil, or just plain chunks in water, flakes in brine, or local flavors like afritada or adobo.
7. Cereal. For me cereal is anytime food, particularly so when I get really lazy. Just pour yourself a heaping bowl of raisin bran (or fruit loops, wheaties or corn flakes, whatever your choice), drizzle some milk, top with some chopped fruit, and you’re all good.
8. Cookies and crackers. On the plus side, cookies and crackers have a longer shelf life than bread. Crackers go well with just about anything you can use on a sandwich- whether a tuna spread, some chicken salad, or even a generous layer of cheez whiz. As for cookies, well- I’ll do anything for cookie!
9. Instant noodles. I love the convenience of just pouring hot water into a cup for an instant hot meal. Of course, some instant noodles are better than others, so feel free to try out different brands- even those strange Japanese ones whose
labels you probably couldn’t even read.
10. Rice. Probably it’s the Asian/Filipino in me; so you could say rice has to be a staple of sorts. Rice is fairly easy to prepare, particularly so if you have one of those cookers. You can even make fancy rice by substituting, say chicken stock for water, and adding in other ingredients like tomato sauce, shredded chicken (or whatever meat) and pretty much anything else you feel like experimenting with.
Toss everything into the cooker, and come back in a half hour or so, mixing up the mixture every now and then. Enjoy hot!
So that’s pretty much what I have going on for my list.
What do you think? Are there any other food items on your list that you think should be part of this one? Please, do share.