Cooking for One

Aw, cooking for one. Could anything be more depressing than that?

Sure it can. The day after Labor Day, thus unofficially ending summer, sucks pretty bad. So do really depressing things, like poverty, disease, legless puppies…

But I digress. While clearly not the MOST depressing thing (and maybe not even making the Top 10), cooking for one certainly doesn’t get me kicking my heels in joy. Rather, it makes me mentally page through my recipes, discarding one after another for being too much work, having too many ingredients, taking too long, or just being way too much for one little person… which is, well, depressing.

I didn’t always used to find it depressing. When I started Weight Watchers back in Oct 2007, I was very, very single. I learned how to cook for myself, carefully portioning out meat in freezer bags, crafting tasty and nutritious meals for one, and being quite happy with myself.

Now, after over a year (at least) of always cooking for two, I’m suddenly at a loss.

Don’t fret — Aussie and I are still (very) happily (very) attached. Aussie just got a new job… an awesome, wonderful, dream-fulfilling job… that just so happens to put him on the road. A lot. In scenic wonderlands like Moses Lake, WA and Palmdale, CA.

Which means I now need to relearn how cook for one.

Last week was my first stretch of solo-cooking. I made pasta the first night (with enough leftovers for the entire week for lunch) and ate the same lentil and egg dish for three nights straight.

Totally delicious… but totally unacceptable for an adult woman who is crazy-in-love with food to eat only three different meals (I eat the same thing for breakfast daily) for most of a week. The worst part is that, while I rack my brains trying to think of something to make for dinner, I fall into a rut of thinking, “well, since lentils and eggs are out… what else can I make with eggs?”

So, help me out, pretty please? What do you make when you’re cooking for one? Preferably something that doesn’t involve eggs??

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8 thoughts on “Cooking for One

  1. Kristi says:

    I still have not rekindled my love for cooking. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I made a meal for just me, and I have a damn good memory. It seems like such a waste, which is ridiculous. I should be enough to make me want to have a good meal. It shouldn’t be someone else who makes me feel worthy to eat well. That is me barfing my feelings all over your wall. You little seester is, well, obviously, in a rut of all sorts, including food. I think I just found my inspiration for tonight’s class though. YOU, and only you, just the way you are, is enough. Do what brings you joy, because YOU are worth it. Goes nicely with yoga. Yes!

    • homemadediva says:

      Let me scrounge up some things. I save a lot of things for lunch and I’ll eat the same thing for lunch and breakfast frequently and vary dinner. I make this really yummy and simple Cuban Beans and Rice recipe (It’s a WW recipe!) which is really versatile. One of my favorite simple stand-bys is fajitas, either chicken or veggie. I love to make whole wheat pasta with lots of veggies as well. This are my simplest and most favorite stand-bys. I’ll persue some of my other favorites and let you know!

      • Jenni says:

        Thanks, Ruthie! I’d love some recommendations. The Cuban Beans and Rice sounds AWESOME — would love to try that!

    • Jenni says:

      You ARE enough of a reason to make a good meal. Don’t you feel better when you eat something you made? I do. You should come stay with me for a few days when Matt is in Moses Lake. We could have sister time, and we could cook together. It would be fun. 🙂

      Love you so much, Seester!!

  2. Chris says:

    I’ve been married almost thirty years and thankfully I rarely eat alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of the cooking. When I am by myself I am pathetic. If I eat at all, a bowl of cereal will usually do the trick. How sad!

    • Jenni says:

      Humph. Well, at least that’s better than Matt! I found out last week that when we has in Moses Lake last week, he ate SPAM. Uncooked Spam. I almost barfed when he told me that!

  3. Sadie says:

    Hey Jenni, I just came across your blog via facebook – and am loving it!

    A couple standbys for cooking for one:
    – chicken curry salad on a bed of lettuce (trader joes has “just chicken” that takes all the work out)
    – tortellini with pesto – super easy!
    – smoothies with yoghurt and whatever fruit is in season

    Or, when feeling particularly uncreative, I revert to PB&Js or Pita and Hummus with sliced cucumbers…

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