Solo Eating: Tips on Cooking for One
Eating alone can be an immensely pleasurable, gratifying thing. We wouldn’t want to do it every night, although many do, but once in a while it’s nice to eat what we want and enjoy it without conversation. What to fix, though, is a different matter. Not many recipes are created for a single serving…
It’s sometimes hard for us even to cook for two, since so many recipes serve four or six. We like leftovers, but a full lasagna or an entire pork shoulder, well, that can take a while to eat on your own. But the single-size alternatives that are so often peddled to solo eaters (frozen dinners) can definitely be improved upon. Here are a few of our tips.
Avoid recipes that have rare ingredients you won’t use often. It is, of course, easy to cut a recipe in half or in quarters to serve just yourself. But if the recipe calls for a bunch of an expensive ingredient that you can’t buy less of, you may waste it. If, for example, a recipe calls for several different fresh herbs, just buy one that you love and use more of it.
So shop in bulk bins. We love bulk bins that allow us to buy a tiny scoop of nuts or a little bit of a few different grains. You get fresher ingredients that you can use up on a single meal, and you save money.
Make dessert in a ramekin. We do this all the time. Cut up one apple or pear, put it in a ramekin, then follow this template for cobbler dough, which goes like this: equal parts flour and sugar, with enough melted butter to make a dough. For one ramekin, we’d say start with 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar (brown sugar is great, too), and 2 tablespoons of melted butter (maybe three). Mix, pat, lay on top of your fruit, and bake.
Cook without recipes! Cooking for one allows you to use a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and adapt to your liking. After all, you’re the only one eating it.
What are your tips for cooking for one?
Related: Julie Powell On Cooking for One
(Image: Faith Durand)