“I usually cook for family or friends, but there is something liberating about cooking just for myself. No pressure! I am free to try the strangest combinations and I can eat in my pajamas and using my fingers. There are not enough books that teach you how to cook for one! In 'Serve Yourself,' the food is so good that you won’t notice that you are eating it by yourself and you do not have to wash the dishes....at least not right away.”
― Jacques Pépin, author, teacher, and star of "Fast Food My Way"
From the award-winning food editor at The Washington Post comes "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, spring 2011), a wryly funny and endearing celebration of eating solo. Joe Yonan brings more than 100 inventive, easy-to-follow, and globally inspired recipes to the food-loving single. Dishes like Mushroom and Green Garlic Frittata, Catfish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw, and Smoked Trout, Potato, and Fennel Pizza will add excitement to any repertoire and forever dispel the notion that single life means starving, settling for take-out or facing a fridge full of monotonous leftovers. Yonan also includes shopping and storage tips for the single-chef household, along with creative ideas for making use of extra ingredients. Serve Yourself makes cooking for one a deeply satisfying, approachable pleasure. (And with such delectable meals, your solo status could be threatened if you’re forced to share with others.)
Favorite cookbooks of 2011, SeriousEats.com: "A truly thoughtful, useful, and incredible delicious book tailored for the solo cook. With ingenious game plans and tips, 'Serve Yourself' will ensure that single eaters do not fall into the evil clutches of frozen dinners and Hot Pockets." -- Caroline Russock
Favorite gift books 2011, San Francisco Chronicle: "Through sophisticated and approachable recipes, Yonan reminds us that cooking and dining solo can be a true pleasure. Fun anecdotes, storage tips ... and useful techniques -- like broiling pizza -- make this a valuable addition to anyone's collection, single or otherwise." -- Amanda Gold
Favorite cookbooks of 2011, DavidLebovitz.com: "Joe Yonan is the cheerful food editor of The Washington Post. But like many of us, although he’s around food all day, when he gets home – if he’s by himself – he needs to get dinner on the table. ... This book proves dining alone can be fun…and you don’t have to share!" -- David Lebovitz
"His writing is heartfelt and charming, and his recipes are always inviting. Joe’s philosophy is that even if you’re eating alone, this doesn’t mean you have to eat soulless, sad meals from a microwave." -- Lisa Fain, Homesick Texan
"What Yonan does with no small measure of wit and friendly wisdom is make a case that cooking for yourself is something that matters. He wants single diners to stop thinking of cooking for themselves as a chore or a rote act born of necessity. Instead, they should think of it as nurturing someone they love: themselves." -- Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle
"Thanks to Joe Yonan ... cooking for one can be a very pleasurable experience—because, well, you're worth it." -- Esther Sung, Epicurious
"Lone eaters, you are no longer eating alone. Joe Yonan is with you."
-- Kathleen Purvis, The Charlotte Observer
"What savory advice for all of us, single or not. ... The recipes in this book are pared down in size but not in flavor or technique." -- Elizabeth Passarella, The Kitchn
"Who says single folk just eat cereal for dinner? Yonan has assembled a book full of approachable, globally inspired recipes. ... This week we're going to set the table for one with recipes from Serve Yourself." -- Caroline Russock, Serious Eats
"The book offers a delicious array of dishes that will have you feeding yourself very well indeed. ... His book features sophisticated recipes for chutneys, fruit jams, frittatas, Yucatan slow-roasted pork, a mouthwatering assortment of tacos (with homemade tortillas, and a spicy coconut sorbet." -- Susanna Bolle, Public Radio Kitchen
"A motivational guide designed to empower people to feel comfortable cooking themselves, instead of dialing for Chinese delivery." -- Olga Boikess, Zagat Buzz
"Eclectic and enticing. ... There is no skimping on either flavor or freshness. The recipes are simple, streamlined and inspired. ... A highly recommended cookbook." -- Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen
"Yonan ... has written a fabulous cookbook filled with grown-up food for grown-up people." -- Rebecca Joines Schinsky, The Book Lady's Blog
"Boy, does the book live up to its promise: delightful recipes that you will want to make again and again." -- Monica Bhide, A Life of Spice
"In the course of our busy lives, time spent with one’s self is precious. It is necessary to understand ourselves better- necessary to meditate, to reflect, to be creative and to answer our emails. Eating solo is one of those special moments in our lives that we need to celebrate, to embrace, and certainly Joe Yonan's cookbook 'Serve Yourself' has captured that very moment with delicious recipes and tips on how to make it happen."
-- Lidia Bastianich, restaurateur, public television personality, and author of "Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy"
“Joe Yonan’s book 'Serve Yourself' is proof that good things can come in small packages or in this case in single servings. Full of delicious and sophisticated recipes, solo diners who love food and cooking will no longer be shortchanged at the table thanks to Joe’s book.”
― Jose Andrés, chef-restaurateur, public television personality, and author of "Made in Spain"
“Joe Yonan’s written a book of recipes so electric and stimulating anyone who co-habitates with a loved one will seriously consider a trial separation just to eat this food the way it was intended to be eaten.”
― Adam Roberts, creator of The Amateur Gourmet
"Joe Yonan's 'Serve Yourself' is brilliant for those who cook and dine alone, but his hip, sensible approach works equally well for couples looking to eat simply and well."
-- Pam Anderson, USA Weekend food columnist, blogger, and author of "Perfect One-Dish Dinners"
“Eating by yourself is one of life’s great pleasures. Joe Yonan also proves that great food for one can be fast, simple, and delicious. So pour yourself a glass of wine, fire up the oven for a crisp, hot cheese and fig pizza or stuff a few tacos with slow-roasted Mexican pork. And the best part? You don’t have to share!”
― David Lebovitz, author of "Ready for Dessert" and "The Sweet Life in Paris"