Single Ladyguide: Cooking for One

A single lady has got to eat, and sometimes she’s gotta eat something more than a bag of microwave popcorn. I’m a fairly good cook and I have some thoughts for you on how you can expand your single lady repertoire.

First of all, don’t knock the popcorn

One of the glorious things about being single is the ability to eat IDGAF-meals like popcorn and cans of tuna. At some point, your singleness will end, maybe for a few days, maybe for years, maybe for the rest of your life, and you will mourn these glorious days of not really thinking about what you are eating. Wine, pie, and Downton Abbey make a glorious combination. Enjoy.

Second of all, make yourself something nice

I enjoy the making of a meal just for me and the prospect of endless delicious lunches that come from that cooking. Now is the time to pull out the big guns on a Sunday. Cook the entire recipe and buy some of those twist-on, cheap-o containers that are in the plastic baggie aisle. Put a few servings into these and freeze. Take the rest, and if you’re lazy like me, just pop it in the fridge in the pan you cooked it in, and survive off of it for the rest of the week. Some of my favorite recipes include:

  • Red Lentil Soup – Every time a ladyblogger mentions lentils, you have a take a drink.
  • Braised Beef Shortribs – This one is so good and also really impressive if you are having a date over. But you’re single, so you don’t have to share.
  • Minestrone Soup – The first time I made this recipe, I followed it to the letter, and since then I’ve departed because I’m too lazy to look it up. The original is better than mine,  but as long as you’re adding bacon, it’s good.

If you want to toss something together

Sometimes you don’t have the time, ingredients, or energy to put together a real meal. Maybe it’s hot out, or maybe you want actual food, but you don’t want it to take more than 5 minutes. Have I got some recipes for you.

  • Pasta Carbonara – This is my ultimate comfort meal and it doesn’t take that long at all. You can divide this recipe by 4 to make one serving.
  • Bacon Salad – Exchange the bacon fat in the recipe for olive oil to make something relatively healthy. You’ll need to divide this recipe, too, but it’s a salad, so doesn’t need to be exact.
  • Risotto – You can add just enough rice for a single serving. Plus it involves wine. Perfect for Wahn Wednesday.

If you need recipes

I love recipe books. I take them to bed with me when I’m having a bad day. Reading about food is comforting. For single-lady foods, I love Nigella Lawson because her recipes are guidelines more than anything. Plus, her How to Eat book has an entire section for making delicious food when you’re just feeding yourself. Mark Bittman’s recipes are in a similar spirit and easily adapted to tossing together something easy for one.

There are also a plethora of single-person cooking books available on Amazon, but I haven’t tried any of them.

What are your single-lady cooking tips?

By [E] Sally Lawton

My food groups are cheese, bacon, and hot tea. I like studying cities and playing with my cat, Buffy.

4 replies on “Single Ladyguide: Cooking for One”

This is great :).  I completely relate to the wine, pie, and can of tuna (single ladies need protein, too).  I also put together a big dish of some sort(LOVE RED LENTILS) on Sundays and bring it to work for lunch on the weekend, I always feel so productive and adult-like when I have good food.

I have a great cookbook called Healthy Eating for Two (Or Just You) that has small recipes so there’s not a ton of leftovers all the time. The big problem with cooking from other cookbooks sometimes is trying to figure out how to scale it down. For every recipe in the book, there are two ingredient lists. Most are scaled for two people/one person, but some are four people/two people. Either way, if I haven’t planned for leftovers or don’t want to deal with trying to figure out how much a recipe serves and whether to halve it/third it/whatever for just the two of us, I know I can pick something from that book and be set.

How did you know I talked myself out of a bowl of microwaved popcorn for lunch today?

But yeah, making large portions and freezing has always worked for me. Sometimes I’ll make a bunch of just the meat (like chicken) and then add it to various things (pasta, rice and veggies, tacos…)

Also, I cannot ever give my slowcooker enough love. It is awesome.

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