The lonely business of cooking for one

As a single person, I never made an apple pie. Who would eat it all? (Gasp, what if I ate it all?). I never made lasagne. I hardly ever made meatloaf, because frozen meatloaf reheated was always spongy. And like everyone else, I wanted a recipe that makes enough for dinner, plus maybe some for the next day’s lunch. And if it can be frozen, like some soups can, it better taste as good thawed and reheated as it did going into the freezer, otherwise every time I open the freezer door I’m going to see the plastic container of whatever, and say to myself… “gee, there’s nothing to eat in here.”

Right up there among the things we dislike most… buying more than we need and throwing out food past its expiry date … is eating the same thing day after day. I was single for a couple of longish periods in my life. And being a passionate cook, I never minded cooking for myself, because I knew the alternatives (frozen tv dinner, delivery). So if the challenge is to eat at home more often, and to eat well, then in this adventure of One Roast Chicken, I had to tackle the challenge of cooking for one.

Mini recipe for meatloaf

Starting this week, as the new recipes for download are being posted, I will try wherever possible to create illustrated, simple, step-by-step recipes that feed 4 to 6 people, AND include instructions on how to adapt the recipe to serve one or two.

Let’s call this the Mini recipe.

The recipe I’m publishing this week is Meatloaf with spicy ketchup. It’s a huge favourite in my house, and we make it about every couple of weeks. With two of us eating it for dinner, and then again for lunch the next day, we can use the 4 servings rather nicely. If you’re two adults with two kids, you finish this in one sitting.

But if you’re Gramma, and you’re cooking for one or two, or if you’re Single-Shelley (or Single-Patrick) and you still want to have a decent, home cooked meal… Here’s the question… can you make meat loaf for one?

For the past two weeks I’ve been researching just this question. How can I adapt meatloaf to be made in a muffin tin? And today, it’s finished. Some trial and error, a messy oven, and reheated leftovers today for lunch, and now I have finally discovered all of the tricks.

The tricks for the meatloaf Mini recipe include: how to get the right quantity in the individual muffin tins, how long to cook it, and (most importantly) how to reheat the little babies once frozen. You can download a copy of that recipe here for less than the cost of a super value meal.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback. If you have any recipes that you’d like simplified, anything you would love to serve for just one or two… or any other ideas for the upcoming cookbook (Spring 2007), drop me a line or post a comment to the blog 🙂

You can always reach me at

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef

One response to “The lonely business of cooking for one

  1. Oh i just love your blog.. I cook for 2 with leftovers for a few days… But your blog is so very perfect for those who only cook for themselves and don’t want alot of complication or blah…..

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