One Ingredient Four Ways

Cooking for one – one ingredient four ways

Whether it be cooking for one or wanting to make the most of the food you have with the current limitations at the supermarkets, we are all finding ourselves trying to think of new ways to reinvigorate our leftovers.

Turning leftovers into a whole new meal not only helps with budgeting and reducing food waste, but can be delicious too! Here are some of our ideas on how you can use some common everyday ingredients in multiple ways.


  • Make an omelette with your favourite vegetables, try tomato, basil and mozzarella for an Italian twist; onion or shallots with mushrooms, baby spinach and lean ham. Serve with 1-2 slices of wholegrain toast.
  • Shakshuka eggs for one – cook canned or fresh chopped tomatoes in a small frying pan with onion and garlic, add fresh or dried herbs such as oregano or parsley to taste, add chilli if you like it a bit spicy. Make a well in the sauce and crack 1-2 eggs in, cover and cook until the whites are cooked through and the yolks are to your preference. Serve with a slice of grainy toast.
  • Scramble two eggs in a non-stick fry pan and serve on a slice of wholegrain toast with your choice of veg such as sautéed mushrooms, tomato and baby spinach or smashed avocado, roasted tomatoes and fetta.
  • Make a quick veggie frittata. Roast your favourite vegetables such as eggplant, capsicum, zucchini, sweet potato and pumpkin, place them in a single layer in an oven proof frypan over medium heat. Meanwhile beat two eggs per person in a small bowl and pour them over the veg, allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until egg starts to harden, sprinkle with some grated cheese and place in the oven until golden on top and the egg is cooked through. Serve with a slice of grainy bread and some salad. If you don’t have an oven proof frypan you can put it all in a baking dish and cook in the oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes or until the egg is set. To make it even easier use leftover roast veggies.

Bolognaise mix

Use lean mince and add veg such as grated carrot, zucchini, capsicum, mushrooms and baby spinach along with a jar of passata or canned tomatoes and a diced onion to make a nutritious bolognaise base.

  • Serve with ½ - 1 cup of cooked pasta and a side salad.
  • Serve on top of a baked potato and with a side salad.
  • Top with mashed potato and bake in the oven for a shepherd’s pie.
  • Add Mexican seasoning to bolognaise mix and serve in a wholegrain tortilla with guacamole and salad.

Roast chicken

Roast your own chicken or purchase a rotisserie chicken at your local supermarket or chicken shop.

  • Have with roast veg such as a medium potato, pumpkin and broccoli or whatever veg you have on hand (aim for a mix of starchy veg like potato or corn and non-starchy veg like leafy greens, zucchini, capsicum, etc).
  • Serve with steamed baby potatoes (cooked with their skin on in the microwave), add a side salad e.g. prepackaged or homemade coleslaw, or a Greek style salad with tomato, cucumber, capsicum, reduced fat fetta and some olives.
  • Make fried rice – use one microwave cup of basmati rice and add a steamed pack of veg, or chop and cook carrot, snow peas and corn, along with one egg, a teaspoon of salt reduced soy sauce and shredded chicken. Add a small bag of baby spinach for an extra veg kick.
  • Toss shredded meat through ½ - 1 cup of cooked pasta, add a tablespoon of pesto pasta sauce, some halved cherry tomatoes and baby spinach. Heat until warmed through.

Tips on balancing your meal – healthy meal ideas

See our handy portion plate guide for tips on balancing your meal.

More information

Online course: Healthy Eating

Fact sheet: Food Choices for people with diabetes

Guide: Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Online courses

Helpful links