What to cook when it's just me for dinner


My husband won’t be home for dinner tonight so it’s just me. So this can be a delicious night of something that only I like to eat. Or it can be a night of picking tidbits from the fridge and thinking I am eating nothing but actually consuming millions of calories.

My husband Ed likes almost everything I cook, so looking for something he doesn’t like but that I do is nearly impossible. I am not complaining here. His good humor about dinner is a blessing.

But cooking for one shouldn’t be a lonely, burdensome deal. Better for it to be a guilty pleasure of sorts.

Maybe I’ll make meatloaf. Ed hates meatloaf. He always hated it and keeps telling us the story about how his grandmother made meatloaf for him and hid it under the spaghetti, which he did like, so that when he got to the bottom of the pile of pasta, there it was, a slab of beef he had to eat because his grandmother was watching.

His aunt Alice, who was also at the house on occasion would say “Ma, you know Eddie doesn’t like meatloaf!” To which grandma would insist that Eddie did.

When Ed and I were married he made me promise never to make meatloaf. He’s one of the only men I know who really doesn’t like it despite what his grandmother said.

So, because I can’t think of anything else he hates, I guess I’ll make meatloaf because I love it. Especially the next day, cold, on a sandwich with ketchup.

I hate ketchup. But that’s another story for another day.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup bottled chili sauce, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, tomato sauce and water and let soak until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the beef, veal, turkey, egg, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper and the cooled vegetables. Mix gently but thoroughly to distribute the ingredients evenly. Place the mixture in a loaf pan (or shape the mixture into a large oval and place it in a roasting pan). Bake for 30 minutes. Top with the chili sauce, if desired and bake for another 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings