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Cooking for One

I most cook for myself these days and find it very difficult. I get bored very easy and do not particular like leftovers. So when I make a normal recipe - serves four - I end up throwing some of it away. I tried freezing and sometimes it is OK - recent successes have been individual leek and turkey pies, chicken curry with pineapple, mushroom and barley soup. Other things just sit in the freezer and I have no desire to take them out... I have Joyce Goldstein "Solo Suppers" and like some (but unfortunately not too many) of her recipes - persian soup with meatballs, farro salad, lobster, poached salmon - but didn't like her duck recipes, saltimbocca, chicken recipes. Took Toni Lydecker's Serves One out of the library the other day and am left complete uninspired:(

Any suggestions? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. Tell us more about why you don't like leftovers, what flavors you do like etc. It's hard to say what will work without knowing what you'd like.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      I guess I spent too many years in Asia where no one eats leftovers:) I prefer something freshly cooked and do not mind cooking it:)

      I love lots of cusines - asian, indian, middle eastern, italian, spanish, french... mainly savoury, hardly ever crave sweets aside from dark chocolate.

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Thank you, TDQ! Great-great threads - why was I not able to find them on my own?!

        1. re: herby

          ALWAYS click the Advanced Search options on the initial search results page, to allow you to expand your results.

      2. I love "Healthy Cooking for Two-Or Just You" by Price.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ann_l

          I used to have this book and gave it to a friend in need of a cooking for one book never to be seen again...

        2. I'm exactly the same. I can't stand leftovers, and cooking for one was a struggle as it's just impossible to scale some things down to just make a perfect portion size. Also, I hated cooking for one. The hobos were really well fed and I was losing weight...

          Unfortunately, I don't have any great suggestions for you. The boyfriend came on the scene and thinks I'm a kitchen genius, and has a huge appetite and a fondness for leftovers. I'm dreading the day I have to cook for one again; I tend to rely on takeaways or prepare from frozen meals (boxed fish and prepared veg) when he's away for somewhat longer periods.

          4 Replies
          1. re: haiku.

            People who throw away leftovers rather than eating them waste enough money that they are probably better off eating out instead.

            1. re: greygarious

              You are absolutely right, greygarious! I like to cook and eat at home though and try not to throw leftovers away but I do not like to eat them either. I was thinking about it after I started the thread and realized that as I child I hardly ever had leftovers and when I cooked for my kids we alsways had something new even if super quick. It seems that my dislike of leftovers ha a long history:)

              1. re: greygarious

                I refuse to throw out food; I gave it to the homeless people I would see often near where I lived.

              2. re: haiku.

                I started seeing someone and am having trouble letting go of my well-honed arsenal of cooking-for-one habits :-P

              3. Judith Jones' book "Cooking for One" advocates using leftovers to make another meal (i.e. 1 C of rice can become ...............) so this might not be very helpful for you. When I was alone, I relished finding something in the fridge that I could build around. Have you had success combining buying some prepared things and cooking the rest of the meal? A single steak or game hen is a tidy serving, it's easy to bake a single sweet or russet potato and toss a salad for a no-brainer dinner. Substituting some interesting salad-side dish for the (boring) potato-salad might be an answer. A sobo-peanut-bok choy salad would be my first thought, then it's on to Mexican green chile rice or some saag aloo. Risotto for one is a snap as are many pasta dishes.

                I found it an enormous challenge to go from cooking for a family to having grown sons away at school and being widowed at a (relatively) young age. There were days I had popcorn & martinis for supper; that wasn't all bad. When I was energetic, I made a large pot of red sauce and ate from that, freezing some for later. My fallback favorite became Garbage Quesadillas - tortillas filled with whatever sounded good, topped with some kind of cheese.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sherri

                  Cooking for One by Jones is indeed an excellent cookbook. Some of it is outside of my range (duck) but it really is a great resource.