Cooking can often be seen as a stressful and tiring experience. When we get home from a long day at work, we often don’t want to spend the time or energy to cook a whole meal. This can ring particularly true for those who are single or live alone.
As we get older, it’s more important to stay healthy while also being kind to our bank accounts! We’ve created a list of all the best DIY meals you can easily make at home. What’s more, we focus on price, health, and convenience. Pretty soon you won’t be relying on your take-out menus anymore!
Breakfast – Granola
Granola is one of the most underrated types of cereal out there. In fact, it’s so good for you that once you try it you will never go back! The oat-based breakfast meal is a great way to get your morning fibres and stabilize your blood pressure.
What’s more, you can layer your granola with additional items to spice up the taste. Why not try things like strawberries, bananas, honey, or Greek yogurt? Using Granola as your base, the possibilities are endless.
Breakfast – No-Bake Vanilla Breakfast Cookies
Just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some cookies in your morning! Better yet, since you’re making them yourself you can have complete control over the amount of sugar you include in the recipe.
When you get home from work one day, spend a little bit of time preparing these delicious treats in your evening. Then snack on a few in your morning! Make sure you make them heavy in protein and low in sugar to keep you full up until lunch.
Breakfast – Toad (Egg) In A Hole
This is one of the most simple egg recipes out there, but it doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. An Egg In A Hole is made by cutting the center out from a piece of bread and baking it with a cracked egg in the middle.
Why stop there? The best part of this breakfast dish is all the additions you can sprinkle on top. With items like cheese, chili flakes, or spinach, you can let your creative tastebuds run wild. What would you choose?
Breakfast – Blueberry Paleo Protein Waffle
When we live alone, it’s easy to have a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast. Unfortunately, this can contain high amounts of sugar. Even worse, you could end up missing it altogether. It’s time to skip the low-quality breakfasts and treat yourself to a protein-packed stack of waffles.
Use vanilla protein powder to whip up some morning waffles. These will keep you full up until lunchtime. Make sure to swap the maple syrup for something a bit more healthy, like honey or lemon.
Breakfast – Mushroom and Herb Omelet
Let’s face it: you can’t go wrong with an omelet. With only a few eggs, you can mix and match all your favorite veggies into a pan and cook something up in only a few minutes!
We would recommend slicing some mushrooms up and sprinkling some herbs on top of your morning set of eggs. The best thing about omelets is just how easy they can be prepared in the morning. Dollop a bit of hot sauce on top and you’ll have the kick your morning needs!
Breakfast – Banana Oat Baked French Toast
This is a fantastic twist on the conventional French Toast recipe. It’s particularly useful if you’re cooking breakfast for yourself and trying to hold back on bread. In a weird hybrid of French toast and oatmeal, this is the best thing since its sliced bread equivalent!
Simply bake a portion in a mug or bowl and chew it down with some almond butter or cinnamon. It’s a great twist on the classic treat and will keep you going until lunch.
Breakfast – Cinnamon Roll Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Like waffles, pancakes might seem a bit inappropriate to make for only one person. When we’re rushing in the morning, why would we make a whole stack of pancakes? Don’t let it stop you from channeling your inner chef and exploring with new breakfast options.
By preparing a small stack of pancakes in your morning, you can include a bunch of healthy ingredients like Greek yogurt, protein powder, egg whites, or oatmeal. Make sure you avoid added sugars or syrups!
Breakfast – Avocado Toast with Egg
Who doesn’t love avocado? This simple breakfast is one of the most popular choices among young people today. It’s all around a perfect balance of foods to make sure you get the best start to your day.
The toast provides the carbs, the egg offers the protein, and the avocado gives you a healthy dose of good fats to start your day. Better yet, it’s quick to prepare with minimal cleanup time. How do you like your eggs?
Breakfast – Apple Pie Oatmeal
For those who prefer a warm oat dish over hardened granola, why not try apple pie oatmeal? Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds! All you need to do is sprinkle some cinnamon or apple pie spice over your regular oatmeal.
Now, it tastes just like grandma’s apple pie. Just be mindful that you don’t pour too much brown sugar on top: this can cause a sugar crash right before lunch (as well as clog your arteries!).
Breakfast – Peach Crisp Smoothie
Peaches are a hugely underrated fruit when it comes to our mornings and how we can consume them. For some reason, it’s always berries that get all the attention! You can always start your mornings with a refreshing frozen fruit!
Try whipping up a smoothie with some peaches and yogurts and throw in some nuts or oats in the process. This mixture of natural sugars, carbs, and healthy fats can give you a great boost in the morning.
Lunch – Chicken Pasta Salad
Now that lunch approaches, there are many ways to make a meal for the middle of the day. This meal is more pasta than salad, making a bit heavier on the carbs, but perfect to keep you going until dinner.
Simply grill some chicken and place it on a bed of pasta. You can spice it up by including some herbs and salads on top. Don’t forget to sink it into an authentic Italian tomato sauce. The perfect way to get your Italian cravings in order!
Lunch – Chicken Fried Quinoa
Quinoa is the latest trend to hit our kitchens in recent years. The alternative to rice is a healthy addition to our diets and is a great way to catch up with some essential proteins and vitamins.
Next time you’re looking to cook lunch, try mix some quinoa into some vegetables and add some grilled chicken to it. What’s more, this is a great meal to cook in bulk and divide into tupperware to take into work. This way, it can save on your wallet and your waist!
Lunch – Meat, Rice, and Salad Pitas
Pitas are the new sandwiches. The middle eastern bread is a great way to hold your favorite salads, sauces, and meats all in one place. For example, why make a sandwich when you can fill a pita with chicken or steak?
Once you choose your protein, simply drizzle your favorite sauce on top and fill the rest with rice or salad. They might be a bit more delicate than sandwiches, but are a great lunch snack.
Lunch – Chicken Burritos
For those who enjoy Mexican fusions to Middle Eastern or Asian, feel free to experiment with these chicken burritos. The wrap can be bought in most supermarkets and used as a base for your favorite Mexican foods.
Why not fill a burrito with some grilled chicken, guacamole, and rice and wrap it up tight? The mixture of fats, carbs, and proteins will keep you full up until dinner and minimize your snacking. Don’t forget the salsa and chili!
Lunch – Minestrone Soup
Not many people consider soup to be a filling lunchtime meal, but these people are drinking the wrong soups! Minestrone soup is known for its amount of beans, veggies, and proteins, that can keep you full up for hours after lunch.
It’s easy to prepare a Minestrone soup: simply throw in all your leftover items and base it in a nice chicken broth. Soups are the perfect meal for cold winter days, but why wait until then?
Lunch – Avocado Caprese Salad
So, you’ve only used half your avocado from breakfast? We all know how quickly they can rot, so you’ll want to use the other half as quick as possible! What better way to make your own Caprese Salad for lunch?
These salads are easy to prepare and even add your own twist to the classic recipe. Simply throw some avocado, tomato, and cheese into a bowl and drizzle it with olive oil or balsamic vinegar. If you want more protein, feel free to include grilled chicken or a hard-boiled egg.
Lunch – Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A Mediterranean grilled cheese is slightly different from its American cousin across the pond. Whereas American sandwiches focus on the cheese, this European twist on the famous sandwich is a healthy alternative.
A Meditteranean version can include onions, kale, tomato, and other veggies. What’s more, you can swap the American cheese for things like feta to make it even healthier. Next time you want to make your own sandwich at home, consider swapping up these ingredients for a cultural twist on the classic.
Lunch – Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato
Mexican-inspired dishes include all the right foods to make a healthy dish. A stuffed sweet potato can be the perfect one-person lunch that can satisfy your needs and keep you going until dinnertime.
Simply throw some corn, spinach, or meat into a sliced sweet potato and drizzle it in some hot chipotle sauce. Baking it in the oven for only a few minutes will add some rich flavor that will be a refreshing change from the usual sandwich.
Lunch – Tart Cheery Tuna-Stuffed Avocados
If stuffed sweet potato isn’t your thing, we can always recommend a special twist on the recipe. For now, you can try sprinkling some tuna on top of a cut up avocado. This offers you all the needed fats and proteins without relying on the carbs associated with a sandwich.
And why stop there? With this unique lunch, you can always add some salads, herbs, or seasoning to truly make it your own. Try this one tomorrow!
Lunch – Falafel Nachos
Here’s a great way to combine Mediterranean tastes with Mexican dishes. Next time you want to enjoy Nachos without the guilt of the carbs, swap the tortilla chips with pita chips. Then, swap some of the beans with falafel and have yourself a Middle-Eastern twist on the classic dish.
This is a great lunch to prepare if you want to keep it light. With nachos, you can easily control how much you make and avoid overeating during the day.
Dinner – Mac and Cheese in a Mug
Dinners are often the meals we struggle with most if we’re eating alone. This is because we’re back from work and are often too tired to cook! With this Mac and Cheese in a mug, you won’t have to worry too much again.
All you need is macaroni, shredded cheese, and milk. Throw it all in a bowl and heat it up to make yourself your very own dish in a mug. Just make sure to watch your dairy intake!
Dinner – Vegetarian Burrito Bowl
Here’s a great way to make a healthy and satisfying dinner if you’re not eating any meat. It’s also a great way to fulfill your Chipotle cravings without burning a hole in your wallet. Simply throw brown rice, salsa, beans, and avocado into a bowl and cover it with your favorite hot sauce.
Now you have your very own burrito bowl! It’s easy enough to make large portions of this at once and divide them up to maintain your dietary intakes.
Dinner – Mushroom Kale Naan Flatbread
We all know how tempting it can be to order a pizza on our way home. But there’s a cheaper and healthier alternative in this naan bread.
You can make your own flatbread ‘pizza’ by spreading some goat cheese or feta and topping it off with healthy vegetables. Try mushroom, olives, pine nuts, onions for an authentic recipe. Then all you need to do is bake it for eight minutes and you have yourself a dinner!
Dinner – Egg Fried Rice
Yes, it IS possible to have egg fried rice without ordering Chinese food from your local takeaway. Here’s another ‘mug’ meal you can enjoy at the end of your busy day. All you need is prepared rice at your disposal and you’re good to go!
Put some rice in a mug and fill the rest of it with your favorite veggies or herbs. Then heat it up for 10 minutes and immediately sit down and enjoy it! Mug meals are great ways to control our calorie intake each day.
Dinner – Tadka-Topped Roasted Root Soup
On a winter evening, there’s nothing better than cuddling up with a bowl of hot soup at the end of a busy day. This root soup is the perfect blend of sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets – perfect for a solo meal at night.
Next time you prepare this type of dish, make sure to include special herbs like cumin or mustard seeds. That way it will add a nice spice to every bite you have.
Dinner – Shrimp Scampi
Of course, pasta is a great way to cook for one while at the same time preparing for multiple meals at once. This recipe mixes spaghetti with shrimp to create an authentic Asian/fusion dish. Simply cover it with garlic and butter and you’re good to go!
It’s important to consider the health drawback of eating large quantities of pasta. Make sure to stick with whole-wheat spaghetti and limit your portions! That way, you won’t feel too bloated after a while.
Dinner – Parmesan-Crusted Chicken
Getting home after a long day at work often means we’re tempted to just order a pizza or heat up a microwavable meal. But don’t panic! This quick and meal can be fully prepared in only a matter of minutes.
Simply sprinkle some cheese and tomato sauce on to a chicken fillet and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes. Then, add a side of vegetables like peppers, onions, or mushrooms. Before you know it, you’ll have a light and healthy dinner meal.
Dinner – Zucchini Noodles with Coconut Salmon
Here’s a great alternative to the conventional chicken and pasta meals that maintain protein levels while reducing your carb intake. Swap your spaghetti with shredded zucchini and replace your chicken breast with salmon fillet.
This is a great dish to prepare in only a matter of minutes that won’t leave you feeling too full up afterward. If you make too much, it’s also a great meal to save and eat for lunch as leftovers the next day.
Dessert – One-Minute Coffee Cake
We wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t include one last ‘mug meal’ for your new favorite dessert! This one-minute coffee cake is exactly how it sounds – and the perfect way to end your day!
Simply pour some oatmeal, cinnamon, and yogurt into a suitable mug and zap it in the microwave for 60 seconds. Once ready to eat, be sure to have a nice cup of decaf coffee on the side for sipping. It’s a great dish to treat your sweet tooth with a healthy dessert.
Dessert – Popcorn
You don’t want to make or buy a whole cake just for one. Popcorn is the perfect dessert to enjoy at home after a long day at home. Simply pop a small bag in the microwave for a few minutes and sit back and relax!
It’s important not to include too many toppings that might be unhealthy. Instead of butter or salt, maybe try sprinkle a few chilli flakes on top? Keeping this snack low-calorie can keep you full for hours.
Dessert – Peanut Butter Balls
Here’s a simple dish that we can cook with only a few ingredients. All you need to do is mix some peanut butter, butter, sugar, and chocolate chips together and mix them up! Not only is it a great thing to snack on at home, but it’s also a great dish for dinner parties.
Just be mindful of how many you make for yourself – they’re not the healthiest snack! It could be cheaper to make a bunch and keep them in the freezer. But only do that if you have the self-control (we don’t!).