Cooking an "actual" meal just for yourself...

United States
October 19, 2009 9:39pm CST
Hello all. Since I've lived alone, I find it very difficult to cook an actual meal just for myself. I am not sure why, since I always cooked when my children were home and when I was still married. It somehow seems uninteresting for me to do several courses and a dessert, for instance, just for myself. I tend more to fix something very simple: a baked potato, or soup, or maybe salad or a sandwich. Even cereal and milk. What about you? Do you have the same trouble? Or if it's just you, do you cook a regular meal? What do you usually eat when it is just you alone? Karen
5 people like this
31 responses
• Boston, Massachusetts
20 Oct 09
Hi Karen, Don't worry you;re not alone. I do the same too. Choose the easiest/simpliest/fastest way prepare food for myself. I just don't have the drive to prepare a full just for myself alone. For me, it's not practical to cook a small amount of food for one person, I better eat out. I have eating alone. I enjoy preparing and cooking full meal for my family and that's every weekend and even after work if our caregiver hasn't prepared dish for the evening. I love eating with my family, friends and with a group.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hello Ms. It's good to know I'm not alone in my cooking habits for just myself. I agree, it's not practical to cook a full meal for just one person. That is a pleasure I save for when I have guests at mealtime. Thank you for responding and have a beautiful day. Karen
• Boston, Massachusetts
21 Oct 09
...anything that is instant (though not so healthy) and can be microwaved is fine with me. Then i'll just more fruits and take juice.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Oct 09
I do this often, too...fresh fruits or V8 fusion juices (veggie and fruits in one juice) to help make for a healthier diet. :) Karen
• India
20 Oct 09
hi! pfw1982 don't worry every time you try ! you find out some thing new in taste, this is not only your problem , i am also facing this problem every day, don't call trouble this is art of cooking my dear friend, i just follow the basic rule of cooking, i hope my dear friend you have a brave heart!keep it up, don't worry ........... regards your friend art of cooking..10,9,8,7..........
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Kaushikrc, and welcome to mylot! Thank you for the encouraging advice. I will just keep making the effort :) I hope you visit one of my discussions again soon. Regards to you, Karen
1 person likes this
• India
22 Oct 09
Thanks Karen, Don't worry ! Just Keep It Up, another time thanks for your comment regards Kaushikrc
@kitty42 (3906)
• United States
20 Oct 09
[b]Hello my friend I love cooking for myself, I have put together some things lol its so funny because I forget what I cooked its always a spare of the moment type of thing, and I love it, my daughter and grand are so picky they make cooking boring lol, but when its just me, stand back because kitty is going to put together something that will make your mouth water Thanks my friend.[/b]
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Kitty...wow, I admire that! I wish I was more motivated to cook "real" meals for myself. So, do tell...what lucious things do you throw together for yourself?? All creative ideas welcomed and appreciated. Karen
1 person likes this
@kitty42 (3906)
• United States
23 Oct 09
[b]Hello my friend LOL not sure you want cooking ideas from kitty, I am new to this, still learning but I have put together some good meals not sure I can share you may stay huh Honestly its always a spare of the moment type of thing so I never remember, I know one time I cut some potatoes in squares and friend bologna and something else I needed syrup for but I can't remember lol it was so good but I can't remember what else it was, all I know it was good I had ketchup/syrup lol told you it was weird, but hey it was for me lol Smoochesssss[/b]
@millertime (1398)
• United States
22 Oct 09
I know what you mean about cooking an "actual" meal. While I do cook fairly often for myself, I don't always cook several dishes for a meal. I mean, where a normal meal might be meat, potatoes and a vegetable, I tend to more often cook one thing. But, I do like to make dishes that have several food groups included. For instance, one of my favorites is stir fry consisting of one or more meats and several different types of veggies, served on rice. I have a few meat, starch, veggie casseroles that are good too or I might make a small beef roast in a cooking bag or crock pot with vegetables and potatoes in with it. I like a good stew too and used to love to make it in winter time. A good stew or hardy soup tastes great when you come in from the cold. Anyway, I like the one dish meals that have fairly balanced nutrition, plus the fact that they are easy to make. In the end, I eat pretty well. [;-)
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Millertime. I like your ideas. One-pot meals can contain a whole lot of good things, make for easy clean-up, and the leftovers would stretch pretty far, especially if I froze some of them. Thank you for sharing your input :) Karen
• United States
21 Oct 09
I know what you mean. It's only natural to cook a multi-course meal when there are many people in the house. I love simple meals, however. I don't mind cooking for myself, but I try to make it plain and healthy. In fact, I notice that when I cook for many people I usually throw the healthy choices out the window. I wonder why that is? That being the case, it's probably better for the body to eat alone as much as possible. You can still find interesting ways to cook for yourself. Just pick up the Recipe for Life book and in it you'll find many healthy recipes that are easy to make and delicious, as well.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Sasuke. I think when my family was young and at home, I was very much conscious of providing good nutrition for them. In reality, I need to do the same for myself! Thank you for the book suggestion :) Karen
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
21 Oct 09
Like you, I sometimes will not cook a whole meal just for myself. It depends on my mood and "cravings". For me, it's the cleanup that hinders me. I like to eat interesting food and I like to cook, but the deterrent is the cleanup. Soup does make an excellent meal for one, with lots of leftovers if made from scratch. You can just add a salad, sandwich, or even bread. Of course, salad and sandwich make a nice meal together, or each can stand alone. Pasta for one is also easy to make. It's best with homemade sauce, if you've made a batch and frozen some. Add salad, bread, or not Eggs make a good simple meal at any time of day. Omelets are a good way to use leftovers in the fridge. I don't like to eat cereal except at breakfast. A baked potato with lots of fixings, like cooked veggies, cheese,etc. is a great and filling meal for one. Any one-pot stew or chili is good re cleanup and freezing leftovers. I get pretty suggestible about food. If I see something on Food Network that looks good, I'll make it just for me, even if it does take some work. I wish I didn't enjoy food and cooking so much that I have to make myself an interesting meal every time, cause then I'd lose weight.
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Epicure. Yes, cleanup for one seems a bit of a nuisance, so I save the dishes until my last meal of the day and clean up just before bedtime, as I hate waking up to dirty dishes! I don't use many just for myself, as I eat more sandwiches, soups, and cereals than full meals. I do miss those meals, though, and think I'll change that! One-pot meals are a great idea, as I could freeze the leftovers, share them, or have them again a couple of days later, so thank you for mentioning that! Take care, Karen
@rebaozi (100)
• United States
21 Oct 09
Hi,when I saw what you wrote,as if I saw myself.As long as liveing with my husband I normally cook big meals.And when I am alone ,instate noodles,cookies,bread became my meal.Even sometimes I prefer going out to eat to cooking an actual meal for myself.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Rebaozi. Since I live alone all the time, I know I should develop better ways of cooking and eating, even just for myself. It would be healthier, and I do miss some of the things I routinely made when my daughters were younger and all home. I think I develop a plan or routine, as suggested by another member! Thank you for your input. Karen
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
21 Oct 09
HI KAREN, I to live alone but i do cook for myself. I don't cook a bunch of different things at one time like i did when my boys were home but i cook. I get hungry for veggies & things like that so i cook.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Jo, I admire that you'll cook, even for just yourself. I think I need to make more of an effort, for there are quite a few things I do get hungry for, but do without, and that is silly when I really think about it. Take care sweetie. Karen
@Mickie30 (2631)
20 Oct 09
I do find cooking for one much more difficult. My husband usually does all the cooking in our house anyway. I do cook from time to time, but I prefer to do other things in the house and leave the cooking for my husband who enjoys it.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Hi Mickie. So many of us seem to have this dilemma in common, yes? I actually enjoy cooking and learned how to do it well from my mother. I still cook big meals for company, but seem unmotivated to do so for just myself. Instead, I seem to fix whatever is fast and easy. Take care, and good for you that your husband cooks! Karen
@lindiebiz (1013)
• Canada
20 Oct 09
it really difficult preparing a meal just for yourself however, i would not cook a 3 course meal and whatever is left goes to the fridge for another day
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
Lindie, hello. I agree, I do find it hard, for whatever reason...once in a while, when I am just craving something homecooked, I make the effort, but not so often unless I'm having guests. Then it's more fun! Karen
1 person likes this
@jellymonty (2354)
20 Oct 09
I don't think I've ever cooked a decent meal for myself.. I've been living alone for the past 11 years and most of the time I just order takeaways or get ready made food heat it up in the microwave I never really have anytime to cook and hell I can't even cook!
2 people like this
• United States
22 Oct 09
LOL, take-out and microwavable are good. I do know how to cook and love it, but...it just seems a waste for only myself. Ugh! I save it for company and holidays and such. Take care... Karen
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15164)
20 Oct 09
well if i am eating by myself i do cook a proper dinner (one course) but make plenty. the rest can do me for several more meals. i sometimes add a salad (which i always do if there is somebody else) but i'd rather eat something nice than just a snack. maybe you don't need to cook several courses but making the main course might be quite nice for you. AND when you factor in how many din dins it will do you then is probably in the end actually less work than making a sandwich every night.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hi Jb. Bravo that you'll cook decently just for yourself. I need to make a greater effort, and yes, the leftovers could be frozen and make other meals throughout the month. Thank you for the excellent suggestion. Karen
1 person likes this
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
20 Oct 09
Hello, Karen. I don't live alone, but my husband loves chips and offal, which I hate. When I cook him something I don't want, I make a nice pasta dish for myself, with vegetables, tuna and tomatoes. It's quick and easy, yet it's just like a 'real' meal. Nothing wrong with jacket potatoes and salads, but why not make yourself a big pot of curry or chilli or casserole, then freeze down into individual portions? That way, you always have something nice at hand, as well as a standby when unexpected guests call.
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hi Sandra :) Hm, so even though you live with your husband, you still cook as though for just you to have what tastes good. I have a daughter whose husband eats things she doesn't like, so she, too, makes basically two meals each night...one for him, and one for herself. Thank you for the great suggestions. I shall do that! Karen
1 person likes this
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
20 Oct 09
What I cook at home for myself is simple. Fish and rice or meat and rice or potatoes. I hardly ever go beyond that to say I'm doing veges or other stuff. I practically never have any dessert. I do have a few snacks during the day to keep up the health situation. Its like that when you're a tired batchie.
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hello Bluepatch. Fish and rice sounds yummy...fast and healthy. And yes, some fruit and such throughout the day is healthy. That is an issue for some living alone...we tend to neglect our health. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. Karen
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30999)
• United States
20 Oct 09
I'm thinking I would be like you....I'm not sure that I would go to the bother of fixing myself a real meal. As it is, I have my daughter and for that reason I do cook decent meals for us. When all 4 of my girls were in the house, cooking and planning the meals was an important weekly thing for me. IT took me quite a bit of getting used to cooking for just 2 of us. I may cook myself a steak or a baked potato but I really don't see myself making a stew or meatloaf or mashed potatos etc just for me.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hi Sid. You're right. As our children leave one by one, we tend to feel less and less motivated to make meals a huge priority. I seldom cook a "meat" meal just for myself, but go with things I can make in the microwave or that do not require cooking at all. I do miss eating in restaurants, but that had to go when the economy fell to pieces! Thank you for responding. Karen
1 person likes this
@jugsjugs (13042)
20 Oct 09
I am the same as you it seems poiuntless to cook a meal just for one,so if i am here on my own i tend not to bother as it seems i am making myself alot of work for no reason where as a bag of crisps or a sandwich is good enough.I tend to only cook when all of the family are here as they need a hot meal.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hello Jugs. I agree, it's a lot of work to go through for just one, but since I live alone all the time, I do have to make an effort with at least sandwiches, salads, or soups. I enjoy it when guests come for a meal. I can then make a decent quantity and the work will seem more worthwhile. Take care! Karen
1 person likes this
@hora_fugit (5424)
• India
20 Oct 09
I love cooking, so thought it would be fun to cook for yourself... And usually I am never alone too! But last week everyone here had gone home for vacations, so I got the chance for this all.. and soon gave up! Well, didn't have much resources but even if I had, it's a time-consuming job. And eating your own is not so pleasant.. So I did a more or less of hunger strike for the week
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hello Hora. Like you, I find it easiest to cook for several or many rather than just myself. It's a lot of effort, so I tend to opt for something simple and fast. The appetite seems to wane when we don't share the meal with others, as evidenced by your "hunger strike." Karen
1 person likes this
• Philippines
20 Oct 09
hello. I know how to cook because my parents made it sure that I know it before they sent me to live alone far from home to pursue my studies. I have the same problem. If i am alone, i don't know what to cook for myself. I just eat bread and a glass of milk or not eat at all. Maybe because I am alone. That makes sense. I lose my appetite when I am alone and I feel lazy to eat by myself. Good day.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hello Princess. I think the majority of us know how to cook. My mother taught me well, as I taught my daughters. But like you, I find it hard getting motivated or creative with a meal when it is just for myself alone. Something quick and simple seems to satisfy me and make more sense than cooking a bunch of food. Thank you for voicing your experiences. Karen
@savypat (20245)
• United States
20 Oct 09
Even with two of us it is hard to get energy to fix a proper three course meal, mainly I fix a main course and allow both of us to supplement this with other prepared items, like yogurt, fruit or even salad.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hi Pat. I noticed the same thing when married and all the kids had grown. Simple seems to make the most sense when living alone, and also for just a couple. I think, too, as we reach the middle years, our appetites tend to be a bit smaller. Karen
• United Arab Emirates
20 Oct 09
Even though I am a boy, cook most of the time for myself. I am actually a fond of cooking, thats why it is my craze to cook and eat. I make salad, main dish, desert and drink by myself in the dinner and serve myself in a quite elegant way. I dont feel tired or boring in this task as well. Well the moral of the story is that, you have to be dedicated towards the cooking, then you dont feel bad while cooking all alone.
• United States
20 Oct 09
Hi Saqib :) I admire that you will cook so well and dine nicely, even when alone. It is good to treat yourself in such a worthy manner. Thank you for sharing here, and have a nice day. Karen