Gourmet Recipes for One is a resource of simple, delicious recipes that focus on cooking for one. Single-serving recipes are featured as well as ideas and inspiration for achieving a well-balanced lifestyle.

what we eat when we eat alone

Millions of us dine alone every night. Whether you’re a student or empty nester, or living alone because of a divorce like me, you often find yourself struggling with what to eat. Some people eat for nourishment, others for convenience and some are driven by their moods. Our relationship with food is an interesting glimpse into our lives. What, and how we eat, can be quite revealing.

A few months ago, What We Eat When We Eat Alone by Deborah Madison, (Gibbs Smith, April, 2009) caught my eye in the bookstore but it wasn’t until recently that I had the chance to sit down and read it. The book is part cookbook, part fun, and gives an inside look into the lives of everyday people and how they eat. It’s not only about what they eat, but how they eat it. The book is a fun read, with great illustrations by Patrick McFarlin, and is filled with lots of funny stories from people who share their quirky eating habits (fried spam, saltines crumbled in milk, Life cereal covered with Coffee-Mate just to name a few!). But the read does provide a sense of comfort simply by knowing you aren’t alone in how you live.

Like most people, my own relationship with food has gone through several phases. There were the post-college days where Chinese food and diet Coke were staples in my refrigerator. I hardly ever cooked, and eating for convenience was the way I lived. There was the first bad break-up, where what I ate was solely based on my mood. And of course most recently, my eating habits shifted again. Over the last couple of years I took another sabbatical from cooking while going through a divorce and replaced all known good eating habits with bad ones. My core food groups consisted of chips, chocolate (only in moderation as I’m slightly allergic) and of course, anything take-out. But phases come and go and eating habits change, thankfully. Oftentimes, they just follow the path of your life.

As any single person knows, sometimes cooking for yourself can be overwhelming. It can seem like a lot of work to do it only for yourself. But cooking for yourself should be just as rewarding as cooking and entertaining for others. So after much time out of the kitchen, I got myself back in and starting taking care of myself again. I wanted to cook, I missed it and more importantly, I needed it. And in doing so, the concept for Gourmet Recipes for One was born. I realized I needed my own inspiration to get motivated again and break my own bad habits. The idea is to keep food healthy and light and to avoid eating the same meals all week, as many single people tend to do. The recipes are designed to help you use up small quantities of ingredients. Cooking for yourself doesn’t involve a lot of ingredients at one time so making good use of your ingredients is important. Here you can search every main ingredient in each recipe to help you. And hopefully it will inspire you to form new, better habits.

But take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone. Sometimes it’s our relationship with food that gives us the comfort we need. We all have our own guilty pleasures and sometimes dessert should in fact be the meal, if we need it to be. And the best part is, when you eat alone no one has to know. I’d love to hear your stories, and of course any crazy concoctions you’d like to share. Email me at: karen@gourmetrecipesforone.com.


2 responses to what we eat when we eat alone

  • Calvetta:

    Thank you so much for this website. I am excited to try some of the recipes. Growing up my mom did not know how to cook for one because she grew up with 10 brothers and sisters so therefore I was not taught how to cook small amounts. I eventually figured some things out by trial and error and lots of wasted food. I’m looking forward to incorporating these new recipes.

  • Emily:

    Hi! I can’t believe I just stumbled across your site! I have just moved in to my first apartment sans roommates and open my refrigerator every night to cans of coke zero and cottage cheese. I love cooking – but as you said, it’s true – it feels like a lot of work to do just for myself. I absolutely love some of the recipes you have to share and cannot wait to try them!! Thank you!!

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