Cooking For One (Zucchini and Chickpeas)

Zucchini and Chickpeas

This is what dinner looks like when I eat on my own.

I am endlessly curious to know what cooks cook when they cook for one: some can’t see the point if there is no audience, others fall back on no-cook comfort foods, some take it as their opportunity to indulge in the foods they love but their family despises, and others yet take pleasure in treating themselves to the precise meal their appetite calls for.

I’m in the latter camp. Breakfast cereal for dinner was never my thing, and my evenings alone revolve around two all-important decisions: what dish I feel like eating, and what movie I feel like watching.

I relish the closed circuit thought process that solo meal planning involves, my brain taking its cue directly from my stomach, with zero consideration for anything or anyone else.

Granted, the cooking I do then is quite simple, taking no more than thirty minutes of my time, cleanup included, but still, it’s thirty minutes that I invest in my evening with joy. And what those meals have in common, 99.9% of the time, is that 1- they are vegetable-focused, and 2- they can be eaten from a bowl, with just a fork or a spoon. An essential feature if I am to couch-curl while I eat.

In the example pictured above, shot on a Sunday night a couple of weeks ago, I sautéed zucchini with a large shallot, tossed in some chickpeas I’d pressure-cooked earlier that day, and at the end I threw in some cilantro, chopped black olives, and sliced almonds. A drizzle of finishing oil, an energetic grind of the pepper mill, and I was ready for Bridesmaids.

Dessert after that might be a slice of cake if there is some in the cake dome, or a cut up apple mixed with sheep’s milk yogurt and a little granola, or a couple of dried figs and some dark chocolate, a treat I wrote about some years ago and still hold dear.

And I suppose you know where I’m going with this: will you tell me what kind of a solo eater you are? What do you cook, if anything, when you’re on your own?

  • Clo72

    When I used to live on my own, my bible was a book from the lovely Brigitte Namour “moi je cuisine solo ou duo”, do you know it?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Yes, absolutely! I actually have a copy myself. It’s a great book, on of my first cookbooks ever. In that same collection, there was also the excellent “Ils arrivent dans une heure !”

    • Ursula

      Ditto on the one-dish meals. Cooking for myself almost always is quick and easy, so that I can get back to my book (and the heaven of reading unsociably while I eat). Most typically I’ll make one of two things:

      Cold chickpeas with fresh diced tomato, cucumber, goat cheese, fresh basil, olive oil, a dash of salt, and crusty bread on the side;

      Or, a wholewheat tortilla wrap with black beans, arugula, goat cheese, and a spoon of salsa.

  • http://www.berryhaute.com Paolita@BerryHaute

    I definitely go for cooking something my other half doesn’t like but I (of course) do. Like maybe some Chilaquiles in Green Salsa with Black Beans.

  • http://www.attheredtable.com Amanda at the red table

    It goes one of two ways for me: I eat whatever is in the fridge, or I’m guilty of the “no cook” route — I order out! It’s not that I don’t have an audience; it’s just a nice break.

  • http://www.storiesfromemona.com Maya

    I must say, I enjoy my solo-eating moments quite a lot because that’s when I dare to experiment with ingredients and when I can also prepare my (but not necessarily his) favorite comfort food without hearing things like “oh no, cauliflower again??” xD

    Love your zucchini&chickpea dinner, Clotilde! Tasty and healthy choice, indeed.

  • http://cumindine.wordpress.com Renee

    I’m the same kind of solo eater with veggie-centric meals I can have on the table with very little effort. Mostly, that involves some prep work chopping veggies, kale, squashes, etc. but it is worth it when I can come home on a week night and relax with a glass of wine instead of fussing in the kitchen all evening.

  • http://www.forkyou-noforkyou.com Christina

    I’m the same way. Meals made just for me area always focused on what I want and the majority of the time are vegetable heavy. My fiance loves vegetables but they must be paired with a starch and sometimes heavy. I like experimenting with items that are out the norm but I still have my days where ramen noodles call my name, although I often add an egg or vegetarian dumplings to it.

  • http://mpinard.blogspot.com Margaret

    I LOVE hearing about this topic! I’ve sampled many a ‘Cookbook for one’ books and truly love Judith Jones’ version.
    Love her style and tone, which shows such an appreciation for the solo time in a busy life. Me, my busy life is made up of interesting solo time, so I will make very odd dishes for myself composed of leftovers, or very simple 2-food-group combinations, while I go all out for dinner parties!

  • http://mavenhaven.blogspot.com Maven

    This is literally exactly what my solo meals look like! Beans, vegetables, and greens sauteed together, spiced based on how I’m feeling at the moment, with maybe crumbled feta, tofu, or veggie sausage mixed in. I could eat it every day.

  • http://translatingnutrition.blogspot.com Courtney @ Translating Nutrition

    I too am fascinated by this topic. I fall into the ‘make what I love yet my partner hates’ category. It makes cooking for myself a treat to look forward to instead of a chore. I make the spicy food he doesn’t have a taste for, and meatless meals, which usually don’t satisfy his appetite. A personal favorite is sauteed green beans served with a creamy mushroom “risotto” (basically arborio rice baked with American style condensed mushroom soup- sounds awful but is delicious).

  • http://www.winnercelebrationparty.com Sarah

    It is so true that people fall into different camps when it comes to cooking for one. I have different modes, which roughly fall into three categories: Relaxed, stressed, and desperate. No matter what the category, though, I never am interested in making something complicated when it’s just me. Who will recognize the effort?? :P

    When I’m relaxed, and have some time and mental energy, I might poach some chicken with ginger and garlic, and eat that over brown rice with a sauce made of soy sauce, sugar, ginger & garlic, scallion, and maybe some fish sauce. I usually have greens on hand, so I might just do a quick stir fry, too.

    When work starts piling up, but I still have some time, I might make a quick pasta with frozen veggies tossed in.

    And when I’m desperate, and it seems there’s not enough time in the day to even shower, I fall into a dark cave and start grabbing at whatever is on the counter or in the fridge. In the past, this has included pickles, nuts, bread with cheese, and hot cheetos. YES, I said it. Hot cheetos! I love salt and spice, and this is even more true when I am stress-eating.

  • http://www.atthetablewithannie.blogspot.com at the table with annie

    Though I cook for my family most nights, usually at least three courses, when I am alone I like to eat tartines, from whatever delicious “restes” I have, or I make little meat pies with leftover meats, which I eat with a big salad. Sometimes I simply grill a piece of fish and eat it with a salad. By far, though, my favorite dinner alone is a main course salad: frisee aux lardons, salade lyonnaise, etc. Fun blog; thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://www.raisondetrenyc.com Alison

    I make this same dish, but add feta and a little bit of oregano. It also makes a great left-over lunch, on top of some greens.

  • Annabel (Mrs Redboots)

    I regret to say I’m one of those who doesn’t really bother, although I do sometimes make myself an omelette or similar. But mostly, what I like (you are probably going to shudder!), is a tin of choucroute garni or petit salé aux lentilles, neither of which my husband likes, and which I stock up on when we are in France so that I can enjoy a rare treat when he is out! They are not available in this country, so a dual treat! Sorry if the idea makes you shudder….

  • http://skinnyfatgirls.com/ Becky @ Skinnyfat Girls

    Cooking for one should absolutely be about indulgence! At least for me, it’s such a rare occurrance that I have to take advantage and make myself something special. It’s quite nice to take one’s time cooking once in a while and not be so hurried along by a husband’s loudly growling stomach.

  • http://aladyinfrance.com Lady Jennie

    I loved this post. I can RELATE! So, what do I cook when on my own … often it’s tahini and vegetables over rice because my (French) husband thinks tahini tastes too much like peanut butter, and … gross!

    But we both love to watch a movie while we eat. ;-)

  • Kayla

    I almost always cook pasta when I’m cooking for myself. Pasta with some diced tomato, a little bit of goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. My second favorite solo meal is sourdough toast topped with goat cheese and a fried egg. yum!

  • http://www.dessertfortwo.com DessertForTwo

    I frequently make dinner for one and I find myself falling into a pattern of making the things my other half doesn’t like. I indulge in a vegetarian dinner, most often lentils. Even better: lentils & rice. I made this recipe from Fine Cooking recently called ‘Kedgeree’ and loved it. I would link to it, but it would probably mark my comment as spam.
    If you want small desserts to enjoy by yourself, I make plenty of ‘em. It’s kinda my thing, hence my name ;)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Feel free to share the kedgeree link, we’d all love to see it!

  • http://bakersnook.wordpress.com/ Melanie

    Just a brief preface: C&Z is always the highlight of my morning while getting ready for work, thank you for a wonderful, inspiring blog :)

    And funny this topic should come up just as I’m contemplating how much effort to put into my dinner-for-one! Like Clotilde, I usually can’t bring myself to spend more than thirty or forty minutes in the kitchen on a weeknight. These days I’ve been making a lot of sauteed greens on toast, sometimes garnished with a poached egg or sliced tomato. Nothing fancy, but it’s my comfort, homey and filling!

  • http://www.thenervouscook.com Meister @ The Nervous Cook

    I love eating alone, and this post just reminds me all the reasons I do: I can eat anything I want! Whenever I want! How much of it I want!

    Eating alone means I get to chow down on all the things I love that my husband doesn’t (beets, sauerkraut, tomatoes, sweet potatoes), and I almost always just throw it all in a sandwich. The messier the better.

    I’ll have to try this delicious-sounding for-one dish next time he’s away for an evening! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Rosann

      Interesting – there are very few things my husband won’t eat, but the 2 major ones are beets and sweet potatoes! I wonder what they have in common (besides being root vegetables)?

  • Rachel

    I live alone, so for me it’s less a question of what I cook for myself (though it goes without saying that I generally cook more elaborate dishes for company than just for me) than it is of how much time and energy I have for cooking on a given evening. The dish you mentioned above is similar to one I sometimes make for myself when I’m tired and hungry and have come home late, though my version is with quinoa, soy sauce and a dash of Tabasco – you inspired me to try it your way and I bought zucchini from the farmer’s market on the way home to try tomorrow. Other favorite quick fixes are spaghetti aglio e olio, stir-fried veg/tofu with rice, and (in autumn/winter) sauteed cavolo nero and cannellini beans with loads of garlic and olive oil and a piece of crusty bread to mop up.

    I’ll keep an eye out for the Brigitte Namour book next time in France. My go-to solo cookbook is Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater. I’m not sure I’d have survived grad school without it!

  • http://www.diningwithastud.com Nic@diningwithastud

    Haha Im totally the same. Mine is usually veggies only as our meats usually portioned and frozen for two and it def has to be from a bowl and eaten resting on the arm on the couch, supporting the bowl with one hand and shovelling with the other haha

  • Amelia

    I go one of two ways – something very quick and easy if I am feeling lazy, or something new and complicated if I am using cooking to amuse myself. If the latter, I sometimes spend ages deciding exactly what I feel like!

  • http://crazycalgarycoupons.com/ crazy over choco

    What’s the perfect or best wine partner for this kind of dish? Any ideas? Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    I will almost always cook something for myself that my husband does not like, usually salmon. My favorite is Salmon Fillet en Papillote. But, a typical standby is an omelette with herbes de provence, chevre, and grape tomatoes. Simplicity is key, however there are times when it’s lovely to make a fuss over oneself!

  • http://www.tandcake.wordpress.com Tamsin

    I take the opportunity to eat the things my husband hates so it’s usually some kind of vegetable dish or salad. Lucky for me my husband’s taking a bricklaying course one night a week for the next two months so I get to treat myself more often; this week I’m having ratatouille with a poached egg.

  • Harriet

    Thank you Clotilde for a (nother) wonderful posting !

    I totally agree with Rachel about Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater. The book inspired me to start experimenting with food and has saved me on many a “desperate” or “stressed” evening.

    Eggs are my standby paired with whatever is to hand in the fridge – omelette, scrambled, baked / chakouka, poached as part of a salad. Quick, nutritious and delicious !

  • http://comeconella.blogspot.com/ mehrunnisa

    i usually make things that either my other half doesn’t like eating – perhaps some butternut squash roughly mashed with a some cinnamon and topped with a disc of slightly grilled goats cheese. or else i will make things that he usually lands up stealing from my plate like slices of ricotta fried in olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and some sumac.

  • http://onebowlcookbook.com Stephanie

    I must admit that I do a combination of the two– I may make myself a feast with homemade mu shu pancakes, hoisin sauce, and stir-fry OR I chop a few raw veg to eat with hummus and crackers.

    As more of us live a significant portion of our lives as solo cooks (whether because of actually being single or widowed by travel/military/etc), the cookbook and food industry need to do a better job of serving us good, real food options. We deserve good food.

    The question of cooking for one, though, inspired me to write a small cookbook (One Bowl: Simple Healthy Recipes for One). Written with the dual populations of my cooking novice college friends and my retired grandmothers in mind, it focuses on simple vegetable-based meals too!

  • http://sweetalchemies.blogspot.com Maia

    Your dinner for one looks delicious. I’m somewhat embarrassed to share that when I eat for one, I barely eat at all. When my husband went on a two and a half week trip recently, I lost several pounds! (Hidden perk, I suppose…) So if and what I eat depends on the amount of time I have at my disposal and whether or not I am determined to take the time to prepare something fresh, tasty and nutritious for myself… or not. These days I’m certainly much better about it, so I’ll make some trout or tilapia in the pan and some quick spinach if I have the time. Otherwise… Trader Joe’s Finest Frozen Dinners. Pathetic, isn’t it?

  • Kristin

    The most beautiful piece of fresh fish I can find. Usually high quality fish is beyond our means for two people on any regular basis. Other than that, I’m a one bowl, (an old Meissen soup plate, to be exact, a la Laurie Colwin!) heavy veggie kind of solo eater: mostly heaps of kale braised in garlic, tomato, wine and olives. Sometimes over pasta, sometimes not. Solo eating is luxurious, and I look forward to these opportunities like a kid anticipates Christmas.

  • http://www.joeinvegas.blogspot.com/ joeinvegas

    Yes, definitely more adventuresome when I can cook for an audience. For myself it’s usually a salad or sandwich and quick.

  • amy

    great post and just a tremendous blog!

    this is my first post despite following your blog for a few years.

    my alone dish is usually soba, sauce made with homemade peanut butter, soy, scallions, and ginger all topped with a poached or lightly fried egg.

    or else it’s epeautre, some toasted nuts and dried cherries, a handful of whatever veggies are on hand and “le tout” topped with…an egg.

    miam!

  • Sylvia

    sometimes just a baguette with nice butter and maybe some goat cheese. Other times beets or cauliflower, like so many others, the veggies my husband doesn’t like. Sometimes i go down to the local Vietnamese Pho shop and slurp on a bug bowl of PHO without worrying if I spill on my shirt.

  • Li-hsia

    I have ramen (yes!), the non-fried kind, and then add all the odds and ends in the refrigerator–the last 6 cherry tomatoes, the leftover salad (not dressed), the 1/2 serving of pork/chestnut/hoisin stew, a 3×3 cm cube of tofu, a poached egg–not all at once, but usually there’s a decent selection, and I can always add a few frozen peas. 10 minutes to dinner!

  • Alix

    Shall I state the obvious? Clotilde, this should be the topic of your next cookbook!!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Duly noted, thanks for the suggestion! :)

  • http://www.EllaRDinLA.com Ella, RD

    This is such an interesting topic. Breakfast cereal for dinner was never my style either – when it’s just me and I don’t have to deal with the husband, I almost always get away from meat and move towards cheese and vegetables. Maybe a huge salad with amazing cheese and a beer, or a fruit plate with crackers and cheese and a delicious wine… “Meals” that my husband would more likely call “snacks”!

  • kira

    I guess I see that from a slightly different perspective. I always cook what I want to, and anyone eating with me either eats it or then doesn’t (the sole exception are people with known allergies).
    For single meals it’s always a question of how hungry I am already and how much time there is to plan sth. If there’s a lot of time, I’ll just try something new, if not I usually go for a sandwich for dinner.

  • http://www.makanaibio.com Flo Makanai

    J’adore les repas en solo, de temps à autre, et je trouve extra que tu partages ta façon de faire.
    Comme pour toi, les miens sont invariablement vegetable centered. Je prends généralement le temps de laver un légume, de le râper ou de l’émincer cru puis de le déposer sur à un reste de légumes déjà cuits de la veille (pour les lunch boxes des enfants) que j’ai fait réchauffer, je poivre, un peu de fleur de sel, de l’huile d’olive saveur un peu verte, un trait de jus de citron, et voilà. Si j’ai aussi en stock un reste de féculents, j’ajoute.
    J’adore l’association cru/cuit, croquant/fondant, froid/chaud.
    Et pour le dessert, it depends, mais ça implique souvent un peu de miel (en ce moment, un miel d’acacia extrait à froid qui est une bonheur), des oléagineux (amandes ou noisettes), des raisins secs, 2-3 petits morceaux de bon chocolat noir, et une belle tasse de café fraîchement moulu et passé ou de thé aux épices.
    PS : as-tu un fournisseur de thé favori à Paris ou par correspondance? J’en cherche un, à des prix raisonnables et fiable. Merci :)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Pour le thé que l’on boit au quotidien, on alterne entre le kukicha et le genmaicha du Palais des Thés. Les tarifs sont raisonnables, et leur service de commande par correspondance marche très bien.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Thank you for sharing, everyone, I’m getting a kick out of all your solo dinner stories and suggestions!

  • http://thegreedyfork.blogspot.com Gary @ The Greedy Fork

    The last time I had the house to myself for a week, I had a big bowl of BBQ chicken wings, ribeye steak and curry. All of which took little time, but all of which are among my favourite meals.

    I also freeze portions, which means I get homecooked food but with little effort.

  • http://www.foodyoo.com love cooking

    If I am alone, I will go for quick and easy meal. But must be something I feel enjoys to eat. Stir fry onion with egg, canned tuna or canned sardine always is my favorite. Serve on top of pasta or rice, it’s so good. Or if I got “overnight” leftover rice in my fridge, fried rice always is my first choice. :)

  • http://Www.eatwellathome.blogspot.com Jennifer

    Lovely post — fascinating topic! When my husband is out of town, my son (8) and I make hard-boiled eggs. Sounds silly, but it’s a comfort food for both of us and hubs has a hard time with the smell :) Our ritual includes teasing him with email pictures.

    When I’m totally alone, dinner is usually a huge bowl of sauteed broccoli with olive oil and garlic. I’ll occasionally indulge a craving with some take-out sushi or Thai curry — something I don’t make as well at home.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      The email teasing makes me laugh. You are so cruel! :)

  • http://tetellita.blogspot.com Estelle

    And here is another reading suggestion for you, from the wonderful Deborah Madison.

  • http://www.thelegaltart.wordpress.com Meg@Thelegaltart

    It definitely has to be bowl food when I eat alone. Lemon and butter spaghetti with extra sharp parmesan and a lovely glass of wine.

  • http://www.thelegaltart.wordpress.com Meg@Thelegaltart

    It definitely has to be bowl food when I eat alone. Lemon and butter spaghetti with extra sharp parmesan and a lovely glass of wine.

  • http://elizabethnow.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    Polenta for me, especially the Argentinian brand De La Estancia, which cooks in a minute or two, but isn’t the precooked “instant” version. It’s wonderful and creamy, especially with some grated cheese melted in (Fiore de Sardo, anyone?) and a quick saute of what’s-in-the-vegetable-drawer on top. If I’m feeling particularly carnivorous, a small piece of hanger steak quickly seared and sliced as well. But sometimes it’s just the polenta with good olive oil drizzled over and coarse salt – doesn’t get much better than that on a rainy evening.

  • Natasa

    There is a wonderful collection of short-stories written by writers on the subject of eating alone. The collection is edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler and is called Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. Good read!

  • http://myexpatgermany.com Laurel

    This looks tasty and very healthy. I usually make a big pot of soup on Sunday, then have it in the fridge and eat it whenever I’m dining alone. Fast and healthy.

  • http://treehousekitchen.net Mel

    Hi Clotilde, your dish looks and sounds delicious. I was going to leave a comment in response to your question, but I decided to write a post about cooking for one instead. It is here.

  • http://www.choosingraw.com gena

    Dear Clotilde, that’s very much like what my solo dinners look like, too!

  • http://roadtothefarm.blogspot.com Anna

    I used to cook all kinds of things for myself, from simple to elaborate, since I didn’t regularly have anyone else to cook for. Now that I most often cook for my husband and myself, I am rediscovering the many options I have when I eat alone. Sometimes it is something that he would rather not eat, sometimes it is whatever appeals to me at the moment. I love reading your take on this, especially the movie to go along with the meal.

  • http://enchantedfig.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Thanks Clotilde, this saved me yesterday. I ate a version of it for lunch, and dinner. I seem to forget, regularly, how to eat when alone. But when my brain is working, dinner (or lunch) usually looks a lot like this–a one bowl mix of randomness that isn’t so random. There is usually beans, something green, some perkiness of vinegar or citrus, nuts, and a grain. The crowning glory is the herbs. Simple, tasty, filling, and fresh. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  • http://midwiferyandme.blogspot.com/ Laura

    My husband is deployed to Afghanistan, so I am eating solo for 6 months. I too eat what I crave when I am dining alone. Two nights ago I made a Dutch hutspot with kale and potatoes served alongside English baked beans. Last night I prepared avocado basil toasties and cream of tomato soup (with more basil!), and tonight I had steamed broccoli drizzled with a vinaigrette, mashed cannellini beans and some fresh, homemade rosemary French baguette. Since I have lived in many places around the world and LOVED all the time I spent in Europe, I typically dine on an ethnic hodge podge of foods – all that I crave and love.

  • http://www.lindamathieu.com Linda

    I love avocado with pre peeled shrimp (I hate having to peel shrimp), tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette. Sprinkle with some sea salt and I’m in heaven

  • http://www.tobiaskocht.com tobias kocht!

    A great combo! THough i am using lots of chickpeas, I never encountered this splendid assortment of ingredients before. I will certainly try this one.

  • http://cuisine-a-la-perse.blogspot.com/ mehdi

    rocket salad with a simple vinaigrette, added to that, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and crumbled roquefort, eaten from the bowl with a slice of proper baguette. (One of the best parts is mixing the rocket and vinaigrette with bare hands)

  • http://piecurious.wordpress.com Calantha

    When a habit or routine is so deeply embedded in your life, it can be difficult to remember that not everyone lives/performs the same routines that you do. So perhaps it is because I live solo, and therefore cook for one everyday, that I am shocked to hear that “bowl food” is the exception. I have a hard time remembering when I might have prepared a meal that (a) was not easily consumed from a bowl, and (b) took more than one (or at the very max, three) bowls to make. Unless of course it’s something like a baguette with cheese and preserves, which is my “indulgent” type, no-cook meal that I eat from a plate (though I’m sure I could coax it into a bowl). I guess it is no surprise then that the meal Clotilde posted above is a pretty typical everyday meal for me. Always delicious and desirable, in other words :)

  • anne

    Your recipe reminds me of one I tore out of a Martha Stewart magazine a few years back : Lemony zucchini, chickpea and Lima Bean salad. It is DELISH! We’ve had this several times and depending on availability, made several different versions of this. it’s a really minimal fuss bung-it-in-the-bowl number (ok, except for maybe the courgette blanching).

    As my man isn’t a fan of eggs, usually I keep my poached eggs on roquette and toasted sourdough treat for the evenings I know I can indulge solo.

    as for the days when I’m knackered and ravenous, well, then it’s tuna-tinned tomato-pasta. mmmm!

  • http://kitchenvoyage.blogspot.com/ kitchenvoyage

    Courgettes and chickpeas two of my favorites togheter. Why not i cooked them before? Thnaks

  • ella

    I love a luxurious composed salad – greens, some baked root veg or tomato, mustardy/citrus dressings, fresh herbs, cucumber and then protein – smoked fish/marinated tofu/fetta or goat cheese/legumes. Various greens and other tidbits (olives, pickles, capers, asparagus, beans, peas, nuts and seeds) can be added and flavours tweaked, generally medinterranean or asian leaning.

    Another fave would be quick baked eggs – tomatoes, onion, red cap and garlic stewed in small oven proof dish with a bit of chilli, cumin, ground corriander and paprika or maybe sumac, crack an egg or two in the middle and bake till cooked through but still runny. Chunk of bread and sprinkle of greens and it’s good to go!

  • Caroline

    For me it’s usually a simple vegetable sautee. Last night, when my partner was at the office late, I ate sauteed mushrooms, onions, and kale piled onto a slice of toast.

  • http://pickygirltriestoeat.wordpress.com mclicious

    Yes! Another person who prefers lonely, comforting, one-bowl, veggie-plentiful dishes. Except yours is a lot prettier than the ones I throw together. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://qakitchen.wordpress.com/ Quynh Anh

    My ‘eating for one’ is a bit like you too. Just actually had chickpea with fresh tomato sauce and basil leaves a few days ago. :) Cooking for one to me is a chance to eat healthy food since we don’t have to care about the tasty meat, fish, creamy dish for others.

  • http://www.edibletulip.com Daphne

    I love eating for one. I have a bit of wine and like you curl on the couch with my food in a bowl and light a candle. Who said eating alone shouldn’t be celebratory? I lean towards greens and a grain. I love rapini (the lovely bitter broccoli rabe) steamed/braised with garlic and tossed with a whole wheat pasta and a squirt of lemon juice. Or a whole head of braised rapini served on top of white beans with olive oil and sea salt. Swiss chard and quinoa in a big bowl with a dollop of Indian chili chutney. Red cargo rice and baby bok choy with soya sauce and lemon. And sometimes I cook a sweet dumpling winter squash or a sweet potato and then cube it and eat it with steamed greens. Sigh. So good!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/best-places-to-eat-in-new-york BlondeBomber

    This is right up my Mediterranean alley! Love anything with chick peas. This falls under my “cooking without cooking” category and I truly love those kinds of recipes. Thanks again!

  • http://www.restaurantrecipesdeals.com Mel cooks

    My dinner for one depends on if I feel like “really cooking” or eating something fast and simple. “Really Cooking” means that I make a bowl of pasta, drizzle it with a little olive oil, Italian salad dressing and sauteed Italian sausage. For a simple dish I have a salad with chickpeas, corn, mushrooms and black olives. I love the idea of mixing zucchini and chickpeas. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Heather B

    I was sitting here eating my solo meal when I came across this post.

    Eggplant! I am the only person who eats it in my family and when I am by myself and have time I make eggplant parmigiana or something similar (if it’s a weekend night.) I got home tonight only to realize I had no tomato sauce – so I made my own.

    My second favorite option would be cheese, pate with crackers or fresh bread. (That’s the lazy option.)

    I find it very interesting that so many women say they eat a vegetarian meal when their other half isn’t around. Wouldn’t that be an interesting survey – are women really more likely to be vegetarians?

    Oh – and the requisite glass of red wine while I cook & jazz blaring in the background. (I am the only jazz fan in the family…) It’s not only about the food – it’s about the having the whole place to myself!

  • ATL Cook

    I’ve cooked for 1 since 1997. Took a long time to learn to make 2 servings of soup.

    I put all leftovers and cooked food on the top shelf of the refrigerator. That way, nothing gets forgotten.

    I even made deviled eggs–yield 2 halves. I cook or eat a home cooked meal every day. Retired, so I have even more time to indulge in my favorite thing to do–cook.

  • Nikki

    I always go for something no-fuss, and usually what my partner would consider not a “real” meal (ie no meat or potatoes), and served in a bowl. So, like you, they tend to be vege-centric, but fish is also a favourite, as is soup. I remember when I was young if my Dad wasn’t going to be home for Mom would often serve baked beans on toast for dinner – something that Dad would have complained wasn’t a “real” meal – and it is still a favourite comfort food if I’m on my own.

  • nicole

    I used to always have fanciful ideas for my solo meals – pasta with truffle oil, french omelettes, cheese with bread etc – which my husband doesn’t enjoy.
    however, more times than not, i find myself so relieved at not having to rush home and cook frenetically to feed the fam that I will treat myself to a fave take-out meal. dreams vs reality!

  • http://www.gracefulcuisine.com Graceful Cuisine

    Great to see your solo meals are so healthy! When I’m toute seule, I usually cook what my hubby doesn’t like or cannot eat; so that means I make a lot of fish, fancy salads with bitter greens, and desserts with nuts. When I was still in school and living in dorms, I had a bowl of cereal with bread for dinner almost every day!

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