There’s a rash of new cookbooks out that target singles and empty-nesters—including the one pictured here, which is written by Judith Jones, who discovered Julia Child, so you know it’s good. Jones wrote this following the death of her husband, when she wondered if she’d ever want to cook again but ultimately needed to re-connect with her lifelong culinary passion.

From childhood, we’re hardwired that cooking and eating food is one of the great social experiences, and shopping for it has become an art in itself– almost as challenging as when man used to have to hunt and gather in the wild– with the labyrinth of organic, vegan, low-cal, artisanal, etc etc choices out there. So—what happens when you’re on the other side of 50, the kids leave home, and the couple—or you—are alone and it’s 6PM and you’re thinking about dinner? Or 6AM and you’re thinking about breakfast? I’m pretty much on my own now, with sporadic visits from a 20-something ghost who drops in, sometimes for dinner, before he de-materializes, off for a date at 9PM. All that shopping, peeling, chopping and cleaning up seems like a lot of work just for me. However, after a few post-kid grad years of trial and error, and checking out these new cookbooks, I firmly believe that I have now found the universal answer for micro-dining without resorting to fast food: the boneless, skinless chicken breast. Every supermarket has them. They don’t cost much. They can be microwaved or cooked any way. You only need one. They take 2 minutes to prepare. Serve over rice—or lettuce or spinach if you’re counting carbs. What’s your recipe?
– Liz