Monday, April 27, 2015

Recipe Roundup: 10 recipes for cooking for one

Cooking for one can be a tricky thing when most recipes are for 4-6. Fear not: here we have a great round up of healthy, delicious recipes all scaled for one!

Cutting board of nibbles. Sometimes you just don't feel like cooking. Instead of reaching for your phone to order in, just arrange a few little things onto a cutting board and enjoy a simple meal. Above I have a small wedge of cheese, apple and pepper slices, whole grain crackers and a hard boiled egg. All food groups covered, minimal effort!
Shiitake + Avocado Sammie by Karman of The Nutrition Adventure
Think beyond the PB+J with this filling, delicious sammie that is nourishing and filling - perfect meal for one! Click here for full recipe.

Follow The Nutrition Adventure on Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram

Molletes  - an open-face sandwich from Mexico introduces to me by a dear Mexican friend of mine! Preheat your broiler. Grab a bolillo, a french-style french bread and spread  it with refried beans and shredded cheese. Toast until warmed through and bubbly and then top with fresh pico de gallo. Sounds simple, and it is, but it is also damn delicious. Click here for one recipe option and scale for your needs!

Tomato Salad Stack
Tomato Salad Stack  by Jamila René Lepore, MS, RD/N of No Nonsense Nutrition  
This is a delicious dinner that looks fancy enough to serve to a date, but easy enough to make for yourself on a week night. Perfect for a Meatless Monday dinner! Click here for full recipe

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Salad Nicoice: This classic french salad is a perfect meal in a bowl that is also scaled for one. Hard boil an egg or two as well as some new red potatoes. Meanwhile, arrange some crunchy lettuce on a plate and top with a drained can or tuna, a sliced roma tomato, a handful of green beans (frozen and nuked is easiest) pitted black olives and your favorite vignette. Add your cooked egg and potatoes when they're ready and bon appetite!

A Salad with Split Peas and Soft-Boiled Eggs. Cook split peas (similar to lentils) in plenty of boiling salted water until tender and a bit al dente (about 20-30 minutes). Drain and dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic, and garlic. Meanwhile, soft-boiled eggs are basically hard-boiled eggs cooked for less time. This makes a runnier yolk and more tender white. For the egg, boil water, add egg (in shell), turn off heat, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove and peel under water. On a bed of greens dressed with a bit of olive oil, add peas, tomatoes, cheese, and top with the  soft-cooked egg. A dijon-balsamic vinaigrette would also complement the egg nicely. Recipe by Kelly Dumke of Off The Wall.

Dutch Baby Personal Pan Pizza by Rachael Hartley of Avocado A Day Nutrition
Dutch baby personal pan pizza
In less time than it takes to have pizza delivered, Rachael has a fantastic recipe for pizza + salad all on one plate! The base is an airy crust that comes out of the oven just in time to receive a delicious salad topping! Click here for full recipe.

Follow Avocado A Day Nutrition on Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Facebook

Baked Potato + Toppings. Skip the oven and nuke a baked potato until soft. Add blanched broccoli and cheddar or chili and cheddar (I like Amy's brand soups and chili).

Spaghetti Squash: Cut a spaghetti squash in half and use an ice-cream scoop to get rid of seeds and any stringy gunk. Nuke for 5-10 minutes or until the strands separate easily with a fork and are tender. Add scrambled egg, cooked Italian sausage or just keep it simple with pasta sauce or pesto. More details here.

Strata is a great little mixture of stale bread cubes, eggs, milk, cheese and veggies. Basically a whole meal of nutrition in one dish. Easily scaled down to one or up for a crowd, make as much (or as little) as you'll eat. Pour the mixture into an oven safe dish and bake in the oven or toaster oven until puffed up and browned. 

What is your favorite meal for one? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Preserving sanity as a small business owner

Picture from my ribbon cutting in August, 2013!
Don't leave for later things that take less than one minute to complete. Our brains are too full of to-dos to let them become cluttered with tiny tasks.

Take staycations. You may not be able to afford your dream vacation while pouring your resources into the beginnings of your small business, but you still deserve a break. I have been taking staycations with two other small business owners once a quarter and have really benefited from this time to relax and recharge. 

Be kind to yourself. The last thing you need is to feed any feelings of self doubt. Remember that we are only human, not super heroes!  It takes guts to start a small business and guts to keep going. You have a really different stress level than those working a reliable 9-5 job with benefits and a consistent pay check.

Ask for some advice, but don't take all of it. You're not the first small business owner. It is likely that there is a lot to be garnered from other folks in business. But, don't follow advice that isn't supporting your vision. Friends and family mean well, but don't necessarily know what is best for you.

Say no. You can't do everything and you shouldn't want to. Don't let yourself get spread too thinly. Just because something helps pay the bills doesn't mean that it is the right fit for your business; keep your work opportunities focused on what your business really is.

Make decisions. The more you struggle with decisions and have "analysis by paralysis", the less you're getting done and moving forward. Everyone makes mistakes, but don't let fear paralyze your progress.  You have a good gut: trust it and keep marching forward.

Contribute to your retirement. While it is my hope that you are developing your best job ever, you probably don't want to keep doing it until you are 90. Even if it is just a tiny amount, every penny you add to a retirement account is growing in interest as well as lowering your tax liability come April 15th. I love my account with Capital One 360; each week  money moves automatically from my everyday checking account to the online savings account and then once in a while I chuck it into my Roth IRA. Easy breezy!

Simplify. There is so much to do to support, manage and grow your business that it can seem like you're doing everything except for what you set out to do. Whenever there is the opportunity to simplify - jump on it! One resource that is helpful for me is Freshbooks; I use it to automatically track and categorize business expenses (it is linked to my business bank account) as well as send and receive payments on invoices. At the end of the year, it is simple to print out the reports my tax lady needs.

Count your blessings. Every once in a while, write down the things you are grateful for and what is awesome about your life as a small business owner.

Close the office at the end of the day. There may not be physical distance between your home life and your work life, so embrace whatever distance you can to help your brain turn off when the day is done. Turn off the computer, shut the door to the office if you have one and congratulate yourself on another day completed as a small business owner. If your brain is busy with the endless to-dos, take a minute to write them down so you don't forget, but wait to tackle them until the next day. Small business ownership can be 24/7 if you let it, but you'll run yourself ragged if you do.

Network and brainstorm. Each week I meet with two other local small business owners over cocktails. We discuss what has gone well with each of our businesses and set goals for the next week. If anyone hasn't completed their goals from the previous week, they are responsible for the tab.

Remember that it is going to be hard. Striking out on your own is not for the faint of heart. Having times when everything happens at once and is overwhelming is normal - it has no reflection on you as a person or your skills as a leader and entrepreneur. Chin up, call a friend and get crackin' on your to-do list.
What are your best tips for maintaining sanity? I'd love to hear them :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

{Recipe ReDux} Pantry staples: Chocolate peanut butter chia pudding

Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

This month's Recipe ReDux challenge was a fun one - what ingredient or project has been lurking in the shadows of your pantry? I had some chia seeds that I had purchased with good intentions only to be shoved behind this and that in my tiny cupboard (someday I'll have a real pantry!).

Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and fun. They quickly thicken liquids and make fun puddings and smoothies.

This whole pudding can be made in a jar - very kid friendly :)

Chocolate peanut butter chia pudding
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk (your choice!)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or sweetener of your choosing)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients in a jar and shake until thoroughly combined. 
  2. Chill in fridge until thickened. Serves two!
Note: this recipe makes a very thick pudding. Add more milk if you would like a thinner consistency.

Serving suggestions: place a dollop of pudding over sliced bananas for a sweet breakfast or dessert. Feel free to garnish with chopped peanuts and/or chocolate shavings.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Apple Kale Juice + Chocolate Waffle Combo

Disclosure: this post was sponsored by Champion Juicer.

Juicing with a Champion Juiceris a wonderful way to sneak in extra fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. This delicious combo recipe takes juicing up a notch by using the pulp that may otherwise be discarded from the juicing process. The pulp is fiber and has many health benefits.

Enjoy these waffles at your next brunch, bridal shower or for a romantic dinner for two. The waffles are not overly sweet; they pair well with sliced strawberries and a drizzle maple syrup. Or, some delicious fruit compote. If they're not sweet enough for your taste buds, feel free to add a touch more honey to the batter!

Apple + Kale Juice
  • 4 medium apples, cored and sliced into eights
  • 1 small bunch of kale, rinsed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Chocolate Whole Wheat Waffles
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pulp from juicing apples + kale, approx 1/2 cup
  1. Make juice using your champion juicer. Set up juicer according to the manual. Alternate juicing apple wedges and leaves of kale, including the stems. If the juice pitcher is foamy, scoop foam off with a spoon. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, stir and set in the fridge to chill.
  2. Preheat waffle iron.
  3. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  4. In a microwave-safe 4-cup measuring cup, melt butter. Add eggs and honey and whisk to combine. Add vanilla, apple and kale pulp and whisk to thoroughly mix. 
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Ladle batter into hot waffle iron. Cook waffles until browned and cooked through the center, approximately 5 minutes per waffle. Follow the guidelines of your waffle maker for cooking times.
Recipe yields two servings of juice and 4 Belgian waffles.

For more information about Champion Juicers, click here. The Champion Juicer is made in the USA in Lodi, California.

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