Library Notes: Cooking for one at Rowan Public Library

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2023

By Amanda Brill
Rowan Public Library

The start of a brand-new year is a great time to commit to better habits like cooking at home instead of eating fast food or takeout. However, what happens when most recipes are suited to feed an entire group and you live alone? Currently, I’m in the process of buying a house — not only am I thinking about how to cut down on my budget, but I am also thinking of ways to reduce my food waste by only cooking enough for myself. If this struggle sounds familiar, you are in luck: Rowan Public Library offers a wide variety of books full of recipes tailored toward all kinds of specific diets, allergens, and preferences, including cooking for one!

“Solo Suppers” by Joyce Goldstein takes the reader through a brief introduction on how to manage grocery shopping for one person, with useful tips about how to avoid pesky pressures to buy in bulk when you really just need to buy enough for yourself. Budgeting for groceries can be difficult with families and more mouths to feed, but when the local market is designed to feed more, how do you manage buying the perfect amount just for yourself? Goldstein takes you through recipes ranging from quick and easy rice bowls to sautéed duck breast, all suited for solo diners.

“Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One” by Anita Lo is similar in that her recipes are designed around someone eating just enough for themselves but gives a new spin on the old-world. With Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean influences abound, Lo gives readers a chance to step outside their comfort zones and try something new without breaking the bank. The recipe for chicken pho is a simple recipe with enormous flavors that I personally recommend.

Perhaps you’re a solo diner with limited kitchen space, such as a college student with a small dorm room or a new renter in a studio apartment. Megan Carle’s “College Cooking” is just the cookbook you need. The recipes start out with simple classics like chicken and rice and lead all the way up to more complicated meals, like roasted chicken with parsley potatoes and asparagus. The recipes in this cookbook are generally designed around one or two people, but budgeting constraints between a college student and a person living alone might be more similar than one would think.

RPL also has a copy of “The Keto for One Cookbook” by Dana Carpenter, a cookbook designed for those who are prescribed a keto diet for their health and for those who choose a keto diet. The keto diet has been all the rage over the last several years, but not many cookbooks or recipes call for meals for just one person, leading to wasted food and money. Carpenter makes a point that those on a keto diet might be tempted by other snacks or single-serving convenience foods but following the recipes and meal planning will help keep the reader on the keto path.

Whatever your reasons for living alone and whatever abilities you possess in the kitchen, there is a cookbook for you waiting at Rowan Public Library. Call 704-432-8670, go to, or stop by your most convenient RPL location to explore these titles and more!

Amanda Brill is young adult librarian at Rowan Public Library.

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