by Stephanie Bostic
Date Published: August 17, 2011
Cooking for one is not something most people want to try to tackle. That’s why there’s a plethora of frozen dinners, right? Sure, we say to ourselves, “This year I will really make the effort to cook special meals for myself and treat my body to the healthy food it deserves.” Somehow, though, the idea seems to fall by the wayside before it even gets started. “It’s too hard to make a meal just for one person,” “I end up wasting so much of what I make,” “Why spend time cooking just for me?,” or “I just don’t know what to make for just me.”
The excuses most of us make as single people are limitless what it comes to cooking for ourselves. Maybe we don’t want to think about what it means to cook for just one, or maybe we’ve spent years cooking for a family and now sizing it down is just a difficult concept. With so much convenience food at our disposal, it also makes us lazy in our decision-making when it comes to food. Stephanie Bostic if determined to pull us out of the singleton’s food rut into which many have fallen.
In One Bowl: Simple Healthy Recipes for One, Bostic not only makes it easy for the newbie cook, but for the experienced as well. What too often seems a daunting task, is made simple and attainable in this step-by-step cookbook for the single life. From several ways to cook an egg, what utensils are necessary and which are just convenient, and what you need in your pantry, this guide keeps it basic, but with flair.
None of the recipes in One Bowl are time-consuming or overwhelming, which make them easy to implement in everyday life. As a bonus, every recipe can easily be doubled to accommodate company, as well. Most of the dishes center on fresh ingredients, but can be easily translated into canned or frozen options when fresh is not available. Recipes like Southwest Frittata and Plum Duck Breast give fancier options of what can be done in single serving size, while most of the other recipes keep it a bit more simple, such as Breakfast Parfait and English Muffin Pizzas.
One Bowl not only is a great tool for simple, healthy meals, but teaches how to add flavor to every dish using an array of spices and sauces. Bostic gives us recipes to easily whip up peanut sauce, vinaigrettes, and other toppings, as well as a spice how-to. From basil to turmeric, there is a handy chart of how to use the spices, when to use them, and how much- taking the guesswork out of the world of seasonings.
With worksheets, nutrition and portion guides, and attainable recipes, Bostic separates herself from many cookbook authors by making honest, easy food without being pretentious. It is too often we buy a cookbook, then place it on a shelf to be forgotten with the rest because the offerings are too pricey, not readily available, or above the average skill level in the kitchen. She not only teaches us just how easy it is to cook for one, but shows us that learning to feed oneself it essential to the healthy life we all deserve. Whether you are a bachelor/ette, a single retiree that has always cooked for a family, or someone who’s partner is often traveling or working different shifts, One Bowl will fit easily into your kitchen.
This book can be purchased at Amazon.com, or your local independent bookseller.
For more about Stephanie Bostic and for more great recipes, visit her blog.
[This review is also published at LL Book Review]