Kitchen Confessional: The Secret Foods You Eat When You’re Alone

When we're alone, so many fabulous activities await: watching trashy TV, re-enacting Hugh Grant's "Jump" scene from Love Actually and getting creative–really creative–in the kitchen because we're cooking for one. Here's what we eat when nobody's looking.

Man sitting alone on a white sofa and digging into a plate of food in front of him on a coffee table

Shutterstock / szefei

The other day my toddler and I were watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and in the episode, Chef Brockett stops by with a treat: a banana wrapped in a piece of American cheese. What?! Why?! I wondered. Then it dawned on me. The chef must have been cooking for one when he had this bizarre stroke of genius–and I do mean “genius,” because apparently it’s good (and super easy).

I happen to have my own favorite me-time treats: Bush’s Baked Beans straight from the can and crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos stirred into ramen soup. I have admitted that to no one until now. But admit I have, because you just might think these weird foods, like banana and cheese, are as delicious as I do. Here are several more top-secret eats to try.


Cereal? Been there. Start the day with something more innovative, like these breakfasts, and your whole day could turn into an adventure.

“Graham cracker mush (crumbled grahams and milk)!” -Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, WI

“I often go rogue at breakfast. This morning I had leftover eggplant Parm before heading to work.” -Jeanne Ambrose, Taste of Home Executive Editor

“Rolled oats. Raw. And I know I need to go grocery shopping when I crack open the can of baked beans.” -Maggie Bender, Milwaukee, WI


There are sandwiches, and then there are sandwiches. And salad, and canned pasta.

“I love me a condiment sandwich. Some relish, ketchup, mustard (any kind will do)…mmm! I think I’ll make one now!” -Josh Kadletz, Ooltewah, TN

“In college: Carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and totally necessary croutons dipped in ranch before each bite. Nowadays: Shrimp salad on bread, one baguette slice at a time.” -Liz Harris, Taste of Home Contributing Editor

“I haven’t eaten this in forever, but it was a favorite growing up on the farm: peanut butter toast with cheddar cheese and summer sausage.” -Amy Martin, Waukesha, WI

“An entire can of Joe’s O’s from Trader Joe’s.” -Peter Graening, Baltimore, MD


Now’s your chance to eat what you love but nobody else in your family will touch, such as these one-of-a-kind delicacies.

“Believe it or not, when Hubby is gone, I fix myself liver and onions! Needless to say, it is not his favorite.” -Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, TX

“A big mess of sauteed asparagus, mushrooms and onions with really good balsamic vinegar over…cottage cheese. Don’t judge me.” -Deb Mulvey, Taste of Home Copy Chief

“Pepperoni and giardiniera pizza.” -William Steber, Villa Park, IL

“Angel hair pasta with an unusually sinful amount of butter and salt. Garlic and Parm if I’m feeling a bit adventurous. And an entire Vidalia onion slowly and lovingly caramelized as a side dish. And now I wish my husband had a business trip planned.” -Becky Pender, Waukesha, WI

“I will sometimes make a Top Ramen. I add frozen peas and carrots and a tiny bit of sesame oil. Then I eat the entire package. Two servings, my foot!” -Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, WA

“If I want a ‘meal,’ I do a Bloody Mary and popcorn.” -Angeline Kessler, Tomahawk, WI


Help yourself to one of these indulgent treats and have as much as you like. Nobody’s watching!

“Vanilla ice cream with cornflakes and honey-mock fried ice cream.” -Emily Tyra, Taste of Home Editor

“Wine, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and homemade kettle corn!” -Ashley Post Guell, West Bend, WI

“Nutella out of the jar, but I’ve done that in front of my family, too.” -Meredith Bodgas, Bellmore, NY

Snack Time

Binge-watching is always best when you’re binge-eating, too. Try these go-to snacks.

“Cheese. I will gnaw it like a rat. I will do shortcut fondue. Literally melt cheese on a plate in the microwave and swab it up with potato chips. Alone. It’s a private moment. Some people take lilac-scented baths while listening to Chopin. Melted cheese is my lilac Chopin.” -Kathryn Conrad, Taste of Home Lead Food Stylist

“Quick guacamole made from just avocado, salt, pepper and garlic powder with tortilla chips. Yum!” -Katie Rouse, Marietta, GA

“Alone? What is this alone you speak of? Seriously, if I ever get a chance to eat food I don’t have to share, I love Nacho Cheese Doritos with French onion dip.” -Jen Owen Lemm, Broomfield, CO

“Sardines on pretzels before I went gluten-free. Now sardines with jalapeno potato chips.” -Mirjana Vicari, New York, NY

“Green olives out of the jar-often with the refrigerator door open, contrary to all of my environmental commitments. This is usually at 2 a.m., when I wake up with a salt craving!” -Elizabeth Constable, Elcho, WI

Looking for more inspiring eats? Check out our most over-the-top recipes ever. Bon appetit!

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Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now Taste of Home's content director, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for almost 20 years. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Forbidden Island with her family.