Food Trying to Cook More - party of 1

Sep 14, 2007
I'm not exactly on a diet but am trying to lose weight. I was eating out a ton and eating desserts like they were going out of style. I have such a sweet tooth. I eat with my family when I am home but have been staying at my apartment more and more. I realized I was getting way too comfy eating all of these frozen meals (organic, but still) and although it was portion controlled I wasn't eating FRESH things.
So...I've been trying to cook more. It's not so easy cooking for one but it's not impossible either. I made a pita pizza for lunch today and had a huge salad for dinner with this lemon dressing I make and whipped up fresh berries and cream for dessert.
I felt kind of silly using my kitchenaid just to mix up some whipped cream for me but I like the outcome ;). What have been your experiences cooking for one? I feel healthier.


Aug 11, 2009
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Cooking for one tends to be a pain in the ass. Most recipes are for 6-8 servings, so you have to shrink it down. I did find two cookbooks, Rachel Ray Cooking for 2, 4, 6, 8 and Weight Watchers Cooking for Two, that have some good recipes. That way I don't have leftovers for days. I also look for websites that can break down recipes into how many ingredients you need for two. The plus side is that you cook what you want and can control your diet a little better.


Sep 21, 2007
It is a pain, but I've gotten used to it. I make a recipe for 4 generally and take the left overs to work, then have the rest another night (the dog eats a portion over 2-3 days as well, b/c I top his food w/ whatever meat and vegetables I have). has a tool to scale down to number of servings too and you are making something new.

Or, I just make chicken or grill some other type of meat and pair it w/ vegetables. That is easy enough, but getting motivation to cook for just me and the dog is a pain. I am guilty of eating hummus and crackers for dinner at the sink when I am lazy. I get more motivated if I go through my cookbooks and tab things I'd like to try.


will work for shoes
Dec 16, 2005
I am a life long vegetarian - Dh is a complete carnivore - I cook 2 meals for every meal - so in a way I cook for one.

Tips: Rice cooker and black or brown rice - takes 2 1/2 hours to cook brown or blk rice - so remember this - rice however is awesome with veggies - and blk rice is SUPER good for you!! You can measure out a cup and store the rest. Rice is a great sub for french bread....I love bread - but, as we know it is not great for us.

Quesadillas - so easy to make a quesadilla for yourself for one. Use 2 whole wheat tortillas, add veggies, a little chz - and cook in a pan on the stove - use a little olive oil brushed on each side of tortilla and cook till chs melts or you like the brown color.

I eat a TON of veggie burgers - veggie burger lettuce wraps with sundried tomato pesto -
I make lots of big salads - and will cut up a pear or apple in the salad for added fiber. Then toast one veggie burger, voila - whole meal.

It is very easy to cook for one - remember, rice - tortillas, salads, and veggie burgers!! Try the california burger by Amy's - or the mushroom lovers burger by Morningstar Farms.

Hope this helps!!


Jun 10, 2009
I admire your plan to cook more. I find it to be fun, and when I make the meals myself, I'm far more conscious of what I'm putting in my body and eat healthier.

I like cooking for crowds, but usually cook for 1-2. It's pretty easy to divide recipes, but many recipes divide well and you can freeze portions for 1-2 so you have frozen dinners ready to go for busy nights. Soups and stews freeze especially well.

The biggest timesaver I do is to bring and grill a bunch of chicken breasts every few days. I then have these available to add to pasta, soups, salads, sandwiches etc. It makes the rest of the week go faster and healthier!


Fill the Giant Pig!
Nov 7, 2006
Cajun Country
Do you like soup? It's quite easy to make up a batch of soup and freeze some for later.

I just made this very easy, but tasty soup the other day.

2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) chicken or vegetable broth
1 small onion, diced

Cook onion in a bit of butter or olive oil
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste. I used a tablespoon of adobo, but you could add garlic, lime, etc. If you don't have tomatoes, use a cup of salsa! If you have leftover chicken, shred it and toss it in!

Quesadillas are easy too. Scrambled eggs? Tuna salad?

I think the main thing is to have basics stocked in your pantry at all times. Figure out what you like to make and what it takes to make it.
For me: I always have chicken (I always try to cook at least one extra breast for lazy days), frozen broccoli, cheese, eggs and milk.
In the cupboard I always have pasta, breadcrumbs, rice, canned tomatoes, assorted canned beans, tuna and chicken stock and at least one can cream of mushroom soup.

Plus at least one pack of romaine hearts or bagged salad.

These stock items are always on my grocery list so they are constantly replaced.

With that, I can make broccoli rice casserole, chicken tetrazzini, baked chicken, quick spaghetti, soup, tuna/egg salad, etc without having to think about it.
Dec 10, 2008
Rochester / DC
I usually survive on eggs, tuna, grilled cheese sandwiches (really bad craving for these lately!), pork chops, hamburg/sausage, grilled chicken, salads, and once in awhile, pasta. I'm a grad student so by the time I get home (around 8), dinner has to be quick! Wish I like soups and crockpot type stuff, but I'm more of a grilled meat type of gal.


Jul 31, 2008
We have kids now but before we did, I was usually just cooking for two. We pretty much would live off spaghetti (pasta and a jar of sauce is all it takes plus you can fancy it up with mushrooms, onions, and/or bell peppers), chicken (I'd bake a whole one and we would get at least 3 meals out of it), and steak (nothing easier if you want something quick and tasty plus you can buy them in small portions).

I'd also like to second the suggestion for a rice cooker...I never had one until DH and I moved in together. He's Asian so of course he grew up with them, but they are the handiest appliances. Just cook up a batch of rice, add any meat and veggies and call it done. Plus, you can make one cup at a time if you want and 20 minutes later you have perfect rice :tup:


Sep 21, 2007
Bipolarbear mentioned this, but it is a really good one- the cooking, portioning out and freezing. I have a friend that had surgery and she's been eating cereal and junk from the bakery b/c she doesn't feel like cooking, so I made a few types of meals, packaged portions in the Gladware stuff and she can freeze and heat a proper meal.

Lightbulb went off for me that I should do that myself. I'll make a casserole or a chicken, etc. on the weekend and eat the same thing all week for lunch and dinner, but I get so sick of it and throw half away. If I packaged up things and froze portions, I could have variety and not waste as much. So, going to put it into practice tomorrow and cook a couple things, but I need some more containers first!