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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week 235 Menu…and Cooking for One

Aren’t these little honeydew melons cute? I got them from my friend’s CSA this week. They’re actually orange inside! And they are tiny…which is perfect because…

This week I am ALONE. As in living by myself for 10 days, no husband, no kids. Nate took the girls for the annual Maynard family trip to Cape Cod. It’s strangely quiet around here. And it’s amazing how the apartment stays so clean! Of course, I do miss the sounds of my girls singing as they play, and dirt in the bottom of the bathtub after bathtime. But I am also enjoying this little break, before school starts, before baby #3 arrives, before life gets crazy…in fact, I’m already eagerly anticipating this afternoon’s nap! πŸ˜‰

I was telling my friend Gudrun the last thing I want to do this week is plan a menu! I love having each day’s food plans up in the air, subject to my every pregnant whim! So, I’m not really planning a menu this week. I’m taking a break. This doesn’t mean I’m not going to cook, in fact, I would love it if you share your favorite thing to make when you’re cooking for one. I would also like to applaud everyone out there who regularly cooks for one AND plans a menu each week. I am very impressed with your discipline! I completely believe in menu planning and think it makes everyone’s life easier…whether you are just cooking for yourself or for a group of people. BUT…that said…when you don’t have that group of people expecting dinner, it’s just so easy to not plan ahead. So, bravo to you menu-planning single folks!

– Going to try out the food carts at Edgewood Eats – so excited!

– I didn’t get the Mushroom Soup at Draeger’s last week, so I’m getting it this week!

Boursin Turkey Baguette (maybe for lunch, maybe for dinner…or maybe not at all!)

– Who knows?

– Out to eat with friends before seeing Midnight in Paris

– Again, no plans!

– Breakfast for dinner…no reason to stop my usual Sunday plans…especially since Nate isn’t here and he’s sick to death of breakfast for dinner πŸ˜‰

Since I’m providing pretty much zero food inspiration this week, please pretty please share your menu for the week! You need to inspire one another…and me! And remember to share your favorite meals for one – would love to get some ideas for the week!


  1. 1

    Monday – Curry & Basmati Rice
    Tuesday – Lime Chicken Breast on BBQ and Corn on the cob
    Wednesday – Homemade (Half Meat/Half Veg) Burgers and Goat Cheese Salad
    Thursday – Chicken Fajitas
    Friday – Omellettes
    Saturday – Moroccan Chili
    Sunday – Everyone fends for themselves πŸ™‚

  2. Lots of grilling this week

    Sunday: Homemade pizza on the grill (first time!)
    Monday: Grilled hot dogs
    Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs
    Wednesday: Breakfast
    Thursday: Steak Kebobs
    Friday: Tacos
    Saturday: Crockpot ribs

    Cooking for one is quite hard, but I’ve had to do it a lot. I’m either cooking for one or for four, so it can be hard to make a plan for the week. I like to go for breakfast when it’s just me, because that’s obviously quite easy. But I also make items where I can adjust the quantity really easily, like pasta. One thing I love to do is take left over steak or chicken and make fajitas just for me. That’s a really easy dish for one. This can also be done with out meat of course if you just want to cook the veggies, and you can easily adjust the portions cheese, beans, sour cream, and salsa.

    • We had homemade pizza on Sunday night too. If done it on the grill before, but usually have problems. Maybe I’ll try it again next weekend as it is on my menu for next weekend too – I used a recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I have lots of dough in the fridge. We are being very creative with Summer Squash around here lately. We had “cheesecake” for dinner tonight and will be trying some new recipes from Deborah Madison’s book Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers Markets later this week. Check out the full menu plan here:

    • Jane Maynard

      fajitas sounds good…I just might have to do that tonight!

  3. Sunday: Family’s choice from a Burger Recipe Round-up on homemade buns; winner: Western BBQ Burger! Served with sweeet potato fries
    Monday: Stuffed Shells from freezer
    Tuesday: Chicken Thighs with Balsamic & Garlic Sauce (from For the Love of Cooking) with portobello mushrooms
    Wednesday: Dinner at church
    Thursday: Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork in the slow cooker (PW)
    Friday: Leftovers
    Saturday: Out

  4. Monday: Loaded Alfredo with Corn-mealed Chicken and Vegetables
    Tuesday: Tortilla Soup
    Weds: Skirt Steak marinated in Italian dressing and Smitten Kitchen’s RATATOUILLE!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Thurs: Wheat Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon and Onion Beans
    Fri: Cheese Pizza, multi-grain crust

    Sat/Sun: use up/free for all etc

    cooking alone is difficult! For that I like throw together from stuff you may already have, chicken tacos, pasta with a kick etc

  5. sun: out
    mon: salmon & shells
    tues: garlicky clam pizza
    weds: out
    thurs: steak & goat cheese mashed potatoes
    fri: biscuits & gravy
    sat: tbd

  6. 6

    Sun: Rotisserie chicken + big salad (it is WAY too hot to cook!)
    Mon: 5 year anniversary- dinner and movie date
    Tues: Indian style wheat tortillas (roti)+ dal + stir fried veggies
    Wed: Quinoa salad with garbanzo beans
    Thur: Leftovers
    Fri: Rice noodles with garlicky chicken meatballs and stir fried veggies
    Sat: Visiting my folks, so … Mom’s cooking!

    I haven’t cooked for one in a while, but the last time my husband and toddler went out to dinner by themselves (actually, ONLY time), I made a big bowl of pasta with a spicy, almost raw tomato and garlic sauce with olive oil and parmesan cheese on top. Simple, but it so hit the spot. Yum yum!

  7. 7

    Smoked Turkey Breast (in slow cooker-hope it turns out!)
    Gazpacho, Garlic Dill Crackers, Key Lime Pie
    Burger & Bean Packets, Potato Salad
    Breakfast Burritos, Zucchini Muffins
    Meatball Stuffed Pasta Shells, Garlic Bread
    Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, Corn
    Orange Soy Pork Loin, Brown Rice
    Rachel Sandwiches, French Fries

  8. I am the absoluste worst when it comes to cooking for one… honestly I end up getting food out or grilled cheese.
    Sorry I’m no help.

    Sunday: Chili
    Monday: Meatball Sliders and a green salad
    Tuesday: leftovers
    Wednesday: Pork Chops and Parmesan and Herb Risotto
    Thursday: Fish Tacos
    Friday: Pizza
    Saturday: dinner out
    Sunday: hopefully leftovers from dinner!

    Ooh, and I think I figured out how to direct link. Cross my fingers it works…

  9. Yay, it worked!!! That’s all. I’m happy. Have a great week!

  10. 10

    my menu (with some recipes) can be found on my blog or at this link:
    i have some lunch items (L>) as per request of the kiddos…
    chicken/broccoli/rice casserole
    L> hot dogs
    L> sandwiches
    home made chicken fingers with sour creamed potatoes and peas
    L> chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
    spaghetti and cottage cheese
    french toast maybe with bacon
    baked fried chicken with mashed potaters and buttered garlicky corn
    vodka cream pasta
    hamburger ramen
    crock pot apricot chicken with rice and oriental green salad
    ground beef and spinach lasagna roll ups
    cheddar barbecue biscuits

    cooking for one? i’ve never done it. i think when i was single i just didn’t eat… seriously! but i’m glad you asked because my mother-in-law who is a single lady that lives by herself fell last week and broke her wrist and has a head injury. i’m planning meals for her. mostly i’m just preparing an extra plate of our food to bring to her, but these ideas are great!!! i think if i were single NOW i’d eat a lot of sandwiches or salads. those are both so easy to make for one, plus different each time, AND healthy!

  11. 11

    Enjoy your break! πŸ™‚ Here’s our menu for this week.

    Monday-Minute Steaks w/mashed potato & gravy, corn on the cob, tomatos slices
    Tuesday-Quiche w/salad
    Wednesday-BBQ pork chops w/baked sweet potato’s and peas.
    Thursday-Seasoned Chicken Wraps w/chips & dill pickle OR leftovers-if there are any
    Friday-Either popcorn chicken or baked breaded shrimp, cheese ball, fresh veggie sticks and grapes. (Friday nights are our “snack” food night so no heavy cooking allowed.) πŸ™‚

  12. 12

    I just got back into town from a month long vacation, am feeling rather under the weather, and have to travel for work this week, so I don’t have a meal plan. But I DO cook for one–all the time! If you need some inspiration, check out my “Party of One” recipes! πŸ™‚

  13. 13

    Sometimes I miss the days when it was just me and I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner- even if it was pasta w/red sauce and mozzarella four nights in a row!

    Sunday- grilled shrimp, cous cous and corn on the cob
    Monday- veggie calzone
    Tuesday- Chicken masala w/rice and peas
    Wednesday- Pasta w/tuna, capers and olives
    Thursday- work event
    Friday- probably take-out pizza
    Saturday- girls weekend away!

    • Jane Maynard

      I think that’s the most fun about it…just doing whatever I want whenever I want. it’s going to be hard to go back to cooking for four next week!

  14. We’re still only cooking for 2… which can also be challenging, succumbing to the “I don’t wanna’s” and going out. I have an infant, but she’s only 7 months. I hope to transition her to table foods soon, though. I will say, it still takes some getting used to when we go to restaurants and I say “we need a table for 3” now. πŸ˜‰

    This week, I am using up some leftover “stuff” we have in the pantry. I didn’t want to go grocery shopping, but we needed things like toilet paper, so I had to head out anyway. πŸ˜› And I took my husband… mistake! The grocery bill was about twice what I wanted it to be.

    Sunday – BBQ Chicken Wings & Fries (didn’t eat this last week)
    Monday – Lentil Tacos or Out (depends, I have a hair appt after work)
    Tuesday – Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce & Spinach Salad
    Wednesday – Chicken Fried Rice
    Thursday – Lentil Soup & Grilled cheese on jalapeno bread
    Friday – Out
    Saturday – Breakfast for dinner or Frozen Pizza

  15. 15

    sorry no weekly menu to share, but I can tell you that I’ll definitely be trying your watermelon salad. Recently decided I’d commit to meatless Mondays, so tomorrow night seems like a good time to try your recipe. thanks!!

    • Jane Maynard

      good luck with meatless mondays! I have to say, cutting out meat from our diet was so much easier than I thought it would be…we still have it, but not nearly as much and I love it!

  16. 16

    Mon: Asian Spinach Salad + Fresh Mangos
    Tues: Fresh Tomato & Basil Pasta
    Wed: Choo’s Chicken + Couscous
    Thur: Creamy Lemon Pasta with Spinach & Tomatoes + Fruit
    Fri: Omelettes + Toast + Mango Smoothies
    Sat: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches + Lime Cilantro Quinoa Salad

    If I was feeling in the mood to cook for just myself (usually I’m not in the mood — cold cereal for dinner) I think I’d do some yummy “shower food” type things: bruschetta, cucumber sandwiches on baguettes, special salads that my husband won’t eat, etc. Mmm. Sounds good.

  17. 17

    Monday: Ranch Chicken Pasta
    Tuesday: Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets and Lighten Up Mac and Cheese (both via
    Wednesday: Leftovers
    Thursday: Baked Chicken Parmesan + salad
    Friday: Having friends over!

    I don’t know that I have any tips for cooking for one…I am still trying to master cooking for just two! We have a hard time going through an entire recipe and/or I forget to freeze the leftovers. I am still learning! I think when it was just me I ate a lot of pasta, baked potatoes and hot sandwiches.

  18. 18

    I am very uninspired this week too. So I was thinking easy!
    Maybe some thing like,
    Spaghetti and meatballs
    Wednesday we always do pizza since we have boy scouts and it takes up most the evening
    ooh maybe chili and do the hot dogs after as chili dogs?
    I dont know what else maybe leftovers?

  19. 19

    I love the chance to cook for myself, it means I can eat whatever I what which is mainly veggies! A favourite is ratatouille with goat’s cheese or a poached egg and crusty bread.

    Mon: Left over meat from the BBQ, baked potatoes and salad
    Tue: Salad with goat’s cheese croutons, peaches
    Wed: Pasta with roasted peppers and crispy breadcrumbs
    Thur: Courgette and feta quiche, salad
    Fri: Fish cakes
    Sat: Steak and rocket sandwiches
    Sun: Dinner at mum’s

  20. 20

    Sunday – bake at home pizzas (after the Phillies game!)
    monday – chicken curry with basmati rice and samoas
    tuesday – burgers on the grill
    wednesday – I’m away for the day so up in the air?
    thursday – niece and nephews arrive to gear up for a cape may vacation! I’m thinking grilled pizzas
    friday – every one over before the shore – home made pasta with garlic bread
    saturday- on vacation! burgers and dogs on the grill after the beach!

  21. 21

    My go to when it’s just me is pasta with some garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and herbs if I’m feeling like it. Actually, that sounds really good now!

    – Homemade pizza
    – Italian drip beef and spaghetti salad (a cold pasta salad)
    – Tostadas with leftover drip beef
    – Paninis – Cheddar, Boston tomato and arugula on Chris’ first rye bread!
    – Cream pasta – pasta, zucchini and squash sauteed in a sage and thyme cream sauce.
    – Spicy Thai basil stir fry
    – Out to the county fair to see the cows! It’s where we went on our first date, so we go every year now. (c:

  22. 22

    I’m trying to get back on the bandwagon of meal planning. Summer has thrown me for a loop on that one…
    But here’s this week’s menu:

    Sun – Orange Chicken
    Mon – Grilled Pizza
    Tues – Pork Quesadillas with Sweet Corn Salad
    Wed – Crockpot Meatballs served over pasta
    Thurs – Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
    Fri through Sun – I’m out of town…hubby will have to figure that one out himself.

  23. 23

    Sunday – pork loin on grill, grilled squash with onions and parmesan curls, salad
    Monday – hamburgers on pretzel rolls, sweet potato fries, veggies & dip
    Tuesday – teriyaki chicken kabobs, brown rice and barley
    Wednesday – cube steak au poivre, corn on the cob, salad
    Thursday- veggie stir fry, jasmine rice, pot stickers
    Friday – taco night
    Saturday – cooking class with my husband to celebrate our 10th anniversary

  24. 24

    I have a paper due at the end of the week and we are trying to save some money on groceries. So, this week is pretty simple, easy and cheap (minus the birthday dinner menu). Hopefully, I’ll be back to a more inspired and exciting menu next week.

    Sunday- Family Birthday Dinner for 20 People: pulled pork, coleslaw, sweet potato salad, jello salad, hummingbird cake, brownies and peach pie
    Monday- Leftovers
    Tuesday- Leftovers- we have a ton!
    Wednesday- Pizza
    Thursday- Tuna-Egg Salad Sandwiches
    Friday- Bolognese Pasta from the freezer
    Saturday- Beans, Rice and Tortillas

  25. 25
    Angie .

    Unfortunately, I’m terrible at cooking for one. When I was single, I would make a recipe for 4 and just eat on it for 4 days…

    Sun – TriTip w/ baked potatoes
    Mon – Stromboli
    Tue – Italian Pork Chops w/ herb rice and green beans
    Wed – Ravioli w/ marinara, garlic bread, and caesar salad
    Thu – Chicken Nachos
    Fri – Burgers w/ sweet potato fries
    Sat – open

  26. 26

    Must be hard without your family but, what a treat for you time before the whirlwind begins!

    Sunday: kylie’s birthday party
    Monday: yakitori with coconut rice and roasted vegetables
    Tuesday: el toro bravo – friends from san francisco arrive
    Wednesday: dinner in san diego for campbell’s princess tea party
    Thursday: farmers market pizza with roasted vegetables
    Friday: date night
    Saturday: wedding in san clemente

    Dessert: pink lemonade cupcakes and s’mores cookies

  27. 27

    Sunday–Grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, chips, fruit salad
    Monday–Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, Oven Baked Fries, Spinach Salad
    Tuesday–Shrimp Quesadillas, Corn with Lime and Chili Powder, Refried Beans, Chips and Salsa
    Wednesday–Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit Salad
    Thursday–Steak on the Grill, Baked Potatoes, Brocolli and Cheese Sauce
    Friday–Oven Chicken Parm and Manicotti, Garlic Bread, Spinach Salad or Out

    When I’m by myself, I love to eat things my husband hates (as many veggies as I can get!). I love the Pioneer Woman’s favorite salad, Chicken and Pasta salad cold with peanut dressing, Chicken Salad with Honey mustard and mayo (with fruit and slivered almonds), breakfast food, and Indian or Thai takeout.

    • Amanda

      I will definitely be using this meal plan for next week thanks Michelle! This is my family’s kind of food!

  28. This week I just don’t feel like cooking but I know my family must eat, so this week will be easy for the most part.

    Sunday: Grilled steak, fried potatoes, and salad

    Monday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, garlic bread and salad

    Tuesday: Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops, smashed fried potatoes, and caprese salad (from last week)

    Wednesday: Chicken Spaghetti

    Thursday: Chicken and Waffles (from last week)

    Friday: Beef fajitas, homemade tortillas and refried beans

    Saturday: Tilapia Athenian, couscous and Greek salad.

    You can view more about these recipes at

  29. 29

    Sat – BLTs
    Sun – baked haddock, rice, zucchini/summer squash
    Mon – zucchini boats
    Tues – grilled chicken, Kohlrabi slaw
    Wed – pasta w/ CSA veggies (zucc/ss, english peas)
    Thurs – homemade pizza, salad
    Fri – BFD

  30. 30
    Erika B.

    Enjoy your quiet week and fun food! Another odd week for us…

    Sunday-Cinnomon Toast Crunch Cereal
    Monday-Taco Bell (with beans instead of meat)
    Tuesday-Frozen Pizza, Cauliflower and Smoothies
    Wednesday-TBD? More Cereal? More Taco Bell?
    Thursday-Out for 9th wedding anniversary!
    Friday-Dinner with friends

  31. I live by myself so definitely a lot of cooking for one πŸ™‚ This week I am making veggie quesadillas, pasta salad, pork chops, and most probably eggs πŸ™‚ My latest favorite is French Style Scrambled Eggs

  32. I’m not sure I even remember how to cook for one anymore?! But it does sound dreamy…Washington Post Food section editor Joe Yonan just published a full book of recipes for one called Serve Yourself. I bet you could find some great inspiration there.

    In the meantime, I continue to cook for the full brood. This week, I’m featuring a corn-centric menu. It’s here:


  33. 33

    I feel like we are living the same life this week. I am also on my own as my hubby & his family are off for a camping trip. I am also largely preggers, so I am really not up for it!

    No menu really this week. I know I’ll probably eat out a bit more. Being on my own means I really don’t do well at planning ahead… especially if this is quite the opportunity to give into pregnancy cravings. Cereal for dinner? Of course!

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