Thanks for wanting to know more about Dinner Desperado, a blog dedicated to making cooking for one easy.

Despite loving entertaining and being the go-to person amongst friends and family for cooking tips, 99% of the time I cook dinner for one and have done so for nearly two decades.

Over that time I'm developed a method to 'downsize' my favourite recipes (I have a massive sweet tooth so that includes puddings!) and wealth of hacks to enable me to  consistently cook quick, easy and healthy dinners for one.

However, it's not easy! And that's why my blog is called Dinner Desperado - as all too often, come dinner time, that's what I am!  A desperate person opening and re-opening the fridge, wishing, that like rabbits out of a hat at a magic show, dinner would just 'appear'! 

So this blog aims to help you no matter what your situation - whether you are looking at help getting organised with menu planning (I can be good at that, just not consistently!) dedicated to one person, or tips on how to create 'something out of nothing' for those nights when you need to eat, but have no idea what to cook!

As to me, my name is Kelly and I'm a Western Australian who transplanted 'temporarily' to Sydney over 15 years ago...

I don't have any formal cooking skills, but I do have a ton of experience planning, shopping and cooking for one, as most of that time I've lived by myself.

I did once do a 'chalet girl cooking course'. One of the crazy jobs I had during my 'backpacker years' travelling in Europe (A rite of passage for a lot of Australians) was as a 'chalet girl' in the French Alps. This meant cooking breakfast, morning tea and a 3 course dinner for 12 people 6 nights a week.  (Still absolutely no idea how I did it)

More about me can be found at the end of this page and also on the Kitchen Insider page which includes my favourite recipes, how I manage cooking for one etc.

But first about the blog - why I started it, who it's for and how I hope it becomes a place people cooking for one can go to to solve problems and find inspiration to consistently cook delicious, nutritious dinners for one.

Not 'one or two', but ONE

I see many recipe round ups supposedly for 'one person' only to find they are full of recipes 'for one OR two' - but from skill set to mind set, there is a dramatic difference in cooking for one vs two people.

How cooking for one is different

Cooking for one not only requires a different set of shopping and menu planning skills, it requires a different type of motivation. Cooking for one means there is no one to look sideways if you classify wine and icecream as dinner (all truths coming out here!), or skip dinner for the 3rd night in a row.   There's no one to say 'if you cook, I'll wash up'. 

Why cooking for one is worth it

For your wellbeing, for your waistline and for your budget. The purpose of this blog is to make cooking for one easier by:

  • providing weekly menu plans dedicated to one person
  • creating a database of fantastic single serve recipes of everything from family favourites tailored for one to fantastic summer salads and wintery stews. 
  • sharing pictures of meals myself and others in the Dinner Desperado community cook each week

How this blog is different to other food blogs:

 - it's not pretty! 

Cooking would be so much easier if all the ingredients appeared chopped and ready, like they are in cooking programs or Tasty Videos.

It would be even better if everyone had their dream kitchen, top end appliances and an unlimited food budget.

But so often it's not like that! 

Cooking for one in particular, you often start with leftovers, half the carrot from yesterday or a tin of tomatoes that needs to be used up.  

So I try and share 'real life' photos so that help you see the bits and pieces in your fridge and pantry in a new light and you can relate to the ingredients for different meals. 

- it includes recipes for foods not normally cooked for one person, i.e. puddings and roasts

Just because you are not cooking for a family doesn't mean you should miss out on pie and dessert!

Whose this blog for?

From moving out of home for the first time, to moving into a retirement Villa; from being the partner of a FIFO worker or a parent whose kids don't always live with you to those of us who live alone - this community is for anyone who has to cook dinner for one. 

Why I started this blog

The reason for starting this blog is that I know quite a few people who really struggle to cook 'just for themselves'.

There's a long list of reasons, including, a feeling that it's not worth it, they're used to cooking for a family, don't really know how to cook, find it hard to be organised, can't find recipes that cater to one person etc.

This really concerns me, as I firmly believe a good diet is the basis for good health - so I want to use my experience to share ideas on how to eat well without too much effort or expense when it is 'just you.'  But I also fall into those same traps, so it's as much about keeping myself on track as it is sharing.  Kelly

More about me

  • 90% of my diet is very healthy and based around wholefoods, but there is definitely an 80s foodie hiding out in my DNA  - cream sauce or vol-au-vent anyone?
  • I grew up in regional Australia at a time of 'meat and 3 veg' and Kraft parmesan cheese, but now use lots of words like kale and quinoa - so please don't judge me - I'm not as pretentious as some of that makes me sound!
  • I believe roasting and caramelising any vegetable is the base for a great meal
  • My microplane is my most beloved kitchen item, closely followed by my Le Creuset pot and a recent gift, a copper roasting tin (SWOON). Now I'm lusting after an All-Clad frypan and saute pan.  Some people want Jimmy Choos and statement handbags, I just lust after kitchen appliances. (I'm sure there is a Kitchen Aid and 6 burner stove in my future somewhere!!)
  • Tearing out recipes from magazines and newspapers is in my DNA - not only do I have overflowing folders of my own recipes, I have inherited my Mum and Grandma's torn out recipes! Unfortunately the tearing out and keeping is where the process usually stops.  You will hear a loud cheer whenever I actually cook from a recipe I have torn out.
  • I'm a wooos when it comes to chilli and spicy food
  • 'I believe in Green' was an alternate name for this blog.  One public health message that stuck is the benefits of leafy green vegetables.  For most recipes you will see ideas for ways on how to increase the content of broccoli and leafy greens.
  • I love entertaining more than cooking for one - going all out creating an elaborate meal for friends and family is my 'happy place' - but the reality of the daily grind is that most of the meals I cook are for one person and my main priority is cooking simple, nutritious, tasty meals that are quick, not too laden with calories and leave little washing up.
  • Apart from food I'm a big fan of the beach, stand up paddling, golden fluffy dogs and travel.