When Marty and I first moved in together, we spent one or two evenings a week cooking dinner as a couple. We enjoyed creating meals as a team and learned quite a bit about one another through the process of meal planning and cooking. Marty is the more adventurous cook while I rely on trusted recipes to guide me. Turning meal preparation into a couple's event kept the process fun and engaging particularly after a busy day at work. Cooking was not a solitary task for one but a time for us to talk and share our day with one another while preparing a healthy meal.
If you find that you are avoiding meal preparation because there are "only" two of you at home, try engaging your spouse, roommate or kid(s) in preparing a meal together. After my father retired, he and my mother spent a good bit of time together planning meals, shopping for food and cooking. Of course my father's personality came through and he treated it like he did his job. I was amazed and truthfully amused to discover that my father was incensed over what he thought to be the high cost of bananas. He was a trucking executive during his carrier and he seemed to find the cost of bananas out of balance.
Also, if you have a parent living alone and are concerned about their diet, plan one night a week where the two of you can prepare a meal together. It will give you an insight as to how they are doing on multiple levels. You will see first hand how their home is functioning and whether they can follow the steps necessary to create a dish. I found that cooking together makes conversation easier and more fun.
I am including a basic recipe for stir-fry that I developed. Stir-fry is a simple meal because it is easy to "assign" tasks. I encourage you to experiment with ingredients to personalize this dish to your tastes. Let me know how it goes.
This recipe is very easy to prepare. I choose vegetables based on what is in season, whether or not it is reasonably priced and color. You can also switch out the beef for chicken, pork or seafood. You can also use a variety of oils. I am a big olive oil fan but if you are a traditionalist when it comes to stir-fry, you can use peanut or sesame oil.
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of top sirloin steak
2 Cloves of sliced garlic
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Red, yellow or green sweet pepper
1 Red onion
1 Large head of chopped Bok Choy
1. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a wok and heat over medium high heat.
2. Add garlic and brown.
3. Remove garlic.
4. Add beef and cook until done. Usually three or four minutes.
5. Remove beef and place in dish for later use.
6. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a wok and heat over medium high heat.
7. Add onions and heat for about 1 minute or until they start to become translucent.
8. Add pepper and heat for about 2 minutes or until they glisten.
9. Return beef to the wok.
10. Add Bok Choy and heat until leaves are wilted.
**Serve over white or brown rice. You can season with salt and pepper or soy sauce. Serves 4 to 6.