Cooking for One: A New Relationship

For those living alone, cooking for one can feel lonely, and eating out becomes an unhealthy default. At least that's what Cookie used to think. Faced with a need to make serious changes in her diet and eating habits, she recently finished a six-week cooking and nutrition class for cancer survivors, and came away with a whole new relationship to food. Cookie enjoyed the cooking tips and techniques, and definitely found nutritional info that she was looking for. In fact, she learned there was even more to reading a label than she had previously thought. What she didn’t expect, however, was to get so excited about cooking—even for one! Since completing the classes, she’s been cooking more, freezing left-overs, and even sharing recipes with her friends. She continues to experiment from the cookbook--here are some highlights from her class experience.

What made you want to take the class?

The Livestrong Program coordinator at YMCA notified me of the class. I want to get any and all information I need in order to build up my health. And the promise of free groceries was an incentive too.

What was your favorite part of class?

The eating part of course! Seriously though, I loved the cooking tips and techniques I learned from the instructors. And the fact I got the groceries to recreate the recipe was a plus.

What was your favorite recipe?

I loved the Lentil Soup recipe.

Did you make any of the recipes after the class?

I made Lentil Soup, Dried Fruit Compote, Waldorf Salad, Baked Butternut Squash. I also have been cooking some of the recipes out of the cookbook like the Applesauce Oatmeal. I like that most of the recipes have been under 300 calories and have low sodium.

Have you made anything else from the cookbook?

Applesauce Oatmeal, Spiced Almonds, Fried Rice, Vegetable Broth are a few. I’ve cooked other recipes out of the cookbook also.

Have you told others about what you learned?

I’ve talked about the things I learned in class to numerous friends (and a few strangers). I belong to a bunco game group and I shared the Lentil Soup recipe with several friends in the group. I also shared some of the nutritional knowledge and cooking tips/shortcuts I learned from the class.

What is the number one thing that you learned?

How to properly read a label and ingredient list. I thought I knew how to read a label but Amy Rahm opened my eyes to additional information to consider when reading a label and the ingredient list.

What positive changes have you made because of the class?

Buying and eating more vegetables especially greens--chard, spinach, and mixed greens. Since I am single, it is easy to eat out a lot. Since the class, I’ve been cooking more and freezing extra meals.