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Dinner for One (Made Fun!)

Estimated time to read 6 minutes

While cooking for yourself can come with a few challenges, it also comes with sooo many perks! 

Cooking dinner for one can be therapeutic–the soothing repetition of measuring out ingredients and cooking fragrant spices and herbs is heavenly!

But if you’re not used to cooking for yourself, it can feel intimidating. Don’t worry! We’ll show you how cooking for one can become an indulgent form of self care!

Form of meditation

At Proper Good, we believe that both physical AND mental health is essential to overall wellness. We’re big fans of meditation, too (we wrote about different meditation types here!)

Mindful cooking is a concept that encourages home chefs to focus attention on the senses, which tunes them into sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Instead of using breath to focus the mind, like in meditation, mindful cooking encourages the participant to focus on each step of the recipe.

Mindful meditation has been found to increase happiness, improve focus, and reduce stress. Whether that meditation occurs on the cushion or in the kitchen is up to you! :) 

Reduces stress

After cooking for yourself, do you ever feel a sense of calm and release? Just utter and complete relaxation?

That’s because cooking is a way to stimulate your brain while getting creative, like if you’ve forgotten an ingredient and need to improvise. Food also tends to have an emotional connection to past memories with family or cultural practices. For example, if you’re feeling a bit bummed about a bad day at work, cooking a family recipe your mother used to make helps ease bad feelings! When you focus on good memories associated with a recipe, it can help boost your mood.

Leaves you feeling inspired

If you’re feeling like you’re in a rut (either at work or personally!), sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is cooking for yourself. However, in those bummed-out times, cooking can boost your creative energy!

Experimenting with a new dish or trying unique ingredients is energizing because it releases stress and stimulates different parts of the brain. If you’re not sure how to get creative in the kitchen, think about an old favorite recipe. Then, brainstorm ways you could change it up–can you add a new spice? Swap out meat for a plant-based alternative? Add a unique side dish?

The possibilities are endless! 

Saves money

We know that sometimes, especially when living alone, managing finances can feel overwhelming! It’s tricky to know how much you have to spend on groceries, going out with friends, and more. When you go over budget, it can be a source of stress, which isn’t good for your mental wellbeing.

Cooking dinner for one helps cut costs and reduce guilt over spending. When you cook for yourself, you control what ingredients you’re getting and how much money you’re spending. At a restaurant, you don’t have control over their prices.

If finances are a source of stress for you, here's a great blog post about setting a “money date” for yourself. This can be an excellent starting point for those unsure how to take charge of their finances.

Dinner for one healthy ideas

The good news about cooking dinner for one is that there are SO many fantastic, healthy recipes out there! So now that you’re ready to hop on the “cooking for one self care” train … you need a few ideas. 

Proper Good Build Your Own Pack

We get that sometimes you can’t wait to roll up your sleeves and get cooking, and that’s amazing! But there are times when you’re just not in the mood to cook. Maybe you had a hectic day or must care for a loved one or look after the kids, or study or … the list goes on!

Proper Good Meals for One - Eat Proper Good


During those instances, Proper Good has got your back! Proper Good’s Build Your Own Pack of soups, chilis and oatmeals gives you the nutrients you need without sacrificing on flavor. Let us do the picking for you with a 6 pack of best sellers, or pull together a pack of your own choosing from our many gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, and plant-based options!

Each perfectly portioned pouch is a ready-made dinner for one option, to enjoy as is or you can use Proper Good meals to make any of the following tasty recipes!

Scrambled eggs with vegetables

At Proper Good, we LOVE breakfast! We’re a little obsessed in fact, and have written about a ton of breakfast-related topics, such as sharing ideas for breakfast for kids (and parents), breakfast for dinner ideas, and even tacos for breakfast!

Breakfast Tacos - Eat Proper Good

So it’s no surprise that when we think about dinner for one ideas … our minds go straight to breakfast! Eggs are only 77 calories but contain 6 grams of protein and a variety of healthy fats. They’re also loaded with vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin B, and phosphorus. 

Scrambled eggs are quick to make and done in less than 5 minutes! If you’re not in the mood to have your eggs scrambled, you can also enjoy eggs hard boiled, poached, or over easy.

The great thing about eggs is that they pair well with just about any vegetable! If you’re between grocery runs, scour the refrigerator for whatever veggies you can find. It’s also a good idea to keep a can or two of your favorite veggie in the pantry, just in case you don’t have fresh vegetables on hand!

Broccoli cheddar baked chicken

We love the comforting mix of broccoli cheddar with protein-rich chicken. This broccoli cheddar baked chicken recipe couldn’t possibly be easier and consists of just 4 chicken breasts and 1 pouch of Proper Good Broccoli Cheddar soup!

Our version is an elevated twist on the classic, using bone broth, cheddar cheese, and turmeric. Not to mention 7 grams of protein and zero added sugar! This recipe is awesome as a standalone, but if you’re craving that extra serving of veggies, it also pairs well with cauliflower, broccoli, or red bell peppers.

Since this recipe serves 2-4, you can make it one night and enjoy leftovers the next day!

Baked salmon in foil with asparagus and lemon

If you can’t get enough of omega-3 rich fish, this salmon recipe is a perfect dinner for one option! It combines tasty salmon and vegetables into single serve foil packs. So when you’re dining solo, just eat what you need and nibble on the rest later!

Low-carb, paleo, gluten-free and keto-friendly, this baked salmon dish is flavorful without being too in-your-face. Hints of lemon juice and hot sauce add a kick, while the mild flavor of asparagus mixes nicely with salmon. Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro add the finishing touch! 

If you need more easy recipe inspiration check out our delicious recipes page, recipes that have been crafted to be super easy and super delicious too - find them all HERE

Dining alone doesn’t have to be a tedious chore! In fact, cooking dinner for one is an excellent way to look after yourself and introduce a new element of self care into your routine.

So kick off your shoes, cook one of the recipes above, and enjoy an evening however you’d like–whether that be a cozy night in front of the tv, working on a passion project, a puzzle, or whatever!

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