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'm cooking for one person and have done so for years and years.

Over that time I'm developed a wealth of hacks 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, at 6pm on weeknights, that's what I am!  Usually wishing I'd taken my own advice about menu planning and weekend meal prep!

In real life my name is Kelly and I live in Sydney. I enjoy cooking, but mainly when it's for entertaining -  week night meals at the end of a long day and long commute - not so much! More about me can be found at the end of this page and also on the Kitchen Insider page - where, to kick off the series, I interview myself!

But first about the blog, why I started it, who it's for and how I hope to help solo cooks consistently eat delicious, nutritious dinners.

Not 'one or two', but ONE

I see many recipes supposedly for 'one person' state they are 'for one OR two' - but from skill set to mind set, there is a dramatic difference in cooking for one vs two people.

Shop, cook, wash up - repeat

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, or skip dinner for the 3rd night in a row.   There's no one to say 'if you cook, I'll wash up'. 

But it's 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 ideas and inspiration
  • recipes, meal ideas and menu plans specifically for one person
  • a forum and community to turn to when you need help to stay motivated and get out the chopping board vs the takeaway menu

Ways I hope to do this:

  • sharing pictures of meals for one I cook each week
  • providing weekly menu plans
  • creating a database of single serve recipes

How this blog is different to other food blogs:

  • it's not pretty! 

Cooking would be so much easier if it was like the cooking programs or Tasty Videos and all the ingredients were nicely laid out in pretty glass bowls with all the portions correct.

It would be even better if everyone had their picture- perfect, dream kitchen, top end appliances and an unlimited food budget for organic produce from a Farmers' Market.

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 and not pretty things up too much as a reminder that, even if things aren't perfect it's worth making the effort.

Also my kitchen looks nothing like any food blog I've ever seen!

I've got a rusty stove that's about 30 years old and has no temperature gauge and about 1.2 metres of functional bench space. (Agghh!)

  • 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. 

What is a Desperado Dinner?

As I said earlier, I called this blog Dinner Desperado, because that's quite often how I feel at dinner time. 

And that's when I often make up something based on whatever's available - a Desperado Dinner.

About me

I live in Sydney and most nights cook just for myself. I love food, cooking and entertaining. I'm addicted to cook books and am fanatical about trying to make sure I eat 5 serves of vegetables a day and eat food that has a high nutritional content. However, I do at times struggle to stay motivated and  lapse into skipping meals or calling cheese and biscuits 'dinner'.

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 to have the right ingredients on hand, can't find recipes that cater to one person etc. This really concerns me, as I do believe a good diet is the basis for good health - so I want 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

  • Pikelets from the Golden Wattle cooking book were the first thing I learnt to make
  • I am a home cook and have never had formal training, but I did do a 'chalet girl cooking course' once and spent a season in the French Alps cooking 3 course meals for 10 people, 6 nights a week.
  • 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 - now, 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 message that public health authorities have definitely got through to me is the health benefits of leafy green vegetables.  For most meals and 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 and travel.