Cooking for One


Do you find it difficult to cook for one? I love cooking, but I absolutely hate cooking just for myself. Do you notice how pretty much all the recipes out there feed four people? The obvious answer to that is just to quarter the amount of each ingredient. But 1/4 of a garlic clove is either wasteful or annoying. Eating the same thing for 4 dinners in a row is dreadful. You'll only make that mistake once.

Here is where you'd expect I propose a solution to this problem. Nope. I have no answers for you. I've tried cooking out of Judith Jones' The Pleasures of Cooking for One? It basically gives you creative ideas for reworking your leftovers into different meals. I found it to be marginally helpful.

The dinner I made today is from Martha's Great Food Fast cookbook. I love that book for weekday cooking. Every single recipe has a picture next to it. You barely have to look at the recipe. You can just look at the picture and you know what to do. I've actually gone back a few times and realized that the recipe actually called for ground lamb instead of beef, or arugula instead of spinach. I think it's with this book that I realized I didn't have to follow the recipe word for word. It's quite liberating, and every once in a while I manage to make a reasonable-sized dinner for myself.

Any advice on cooking/eating by yourself?


  1. Hi Olga! :)

    I have been going through this recently too. I actually have no tips, just figured I'd let you know I can relate. Sometimes I try halving a recipe (instead of quartering) and then wait a day or two to have the leftovers. Which works nicely for some recipes (and for others it's just as annoying as quartering it).

    I love cooking too and I finally have space to do it and enjoy it, but it's a bummer to cook for one. =|

    1. Gina! It's good to know I'm not alone. Most of the times when I'm lonely I just don't eat. I've been making it a priority to eat dinner (even if it's just a bowl of cereal). I love reading your blog, and I'm so happy that you're making progress.

  2. I rarely follow recipes for just this reason - they're not meant for cooking for one. Cooking for just me is one of my favorite things to do though! I can just create what I want - dump in a portion of quinoa, stir it with whatever oil sounds good, add a sprinkle of spices, whichever veggies are calling my name ... etc. etc.

    I also do the halve the recipe & then save leftovers or rework them method that Gina mentions. If you're really a recipe-cooker and want to make, like, lasagna or something ... FREEZER. That's my miracle worker. I freeze 3/4 loaves of bread, 3/4 batch of cookies ... everything. Literally, everything. You can even cook rice and freeze half the batch!

    1. Yup. I use the freezer a lot. I don't store bread outside of the freezer at all. You can just take out a slice, toast it, and it's supaaah fresh.

      I definitely applaud you for not using recipes. That's awesome. I'm slowly getting to that level of kitchen skill. Speaking of quinoa though. This is, by far, my favorite quinoa dish. Love the lime in it.

    2. I love that quinoa recipe too! It's, like, all my favorite things in one dish. This may help you in the journey to non-recipe-dom ...


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