How to summer – cooking for self

The joys of solo summer afternoons at home

There is an urban legend that cooking for one is cumbersome.

Back when I used to go into the office and have physical lunches with colleagues, that was the most popular excuse I heard from my peers in single households. They cannot be more wrong.

Cooking for one is the most fun a girl (or a guy) can have. Here’s how.

The most important highlight of single cooking, to me, is an entirely kid-free diet. Single cooking otherwise is not that different from cooking for two. I don’t do meal-planning but I always cook for two persons – either feed the extra to the next person or pack it for lunch the next day.

What is nice about a kid-free diet, you ask? Children are picky little dictators with the most sensitive palettes. Before you have to put their needs before yours – and likely for a good portion of your life before retirement – why not prioritise your needs, wants and desires, while you can right now?

Also, your food budget is just yours entirely. That means you can play around with fancier ingredients: a nice cut of meat just for you, lobster for one, caviar on your baked potato, truffle on your toast. Do I need to spell that out for you?

Also, your kitchen is an adventure land. You don’t have to answer to anyone. If you make a mistake, you can just order a take-out on an app. It’s never been easier to try. I repeat: you don’t have to answer to anyone else.

So that was my pitch. Now onto practical tips.

I have compiled some tips that work for me onto this Google Doc. A perfect illustration of this is my recent #WFHlunch. Cook whole Tiger King prawns in melted butter seasoned with chives (sage also works great) and chilli flakes. Drizzle them with lemon juice. Serve with re-heated leftover rice (or bread if you have it) sprinkled with nori and shaved fennel dressed in balsamic vinegar. I added cut cucumbers because it was 35 degrees out.

This took 15 minutes, so time is not an excuse. So simple, delicious and hassle-free. Clean up as you go. You probably have a dishwasher, too.

Solo lunch break
It’s going to be hard for me to come back into the office

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