• Tips for Cooking for One & Dandelion Pesto Spaghetti Squash

    February 27, 2014

    Good morning!

    I can’t believe how quickly this week has flown by. Thursday already? Hey, I’m not complaining… I have a fun weekend on the agenda! I hope your week is whizzing by just as quickly!

    Here’s an adorable photo of Murphy just because. I know some of you read CNC just for the pug pictures and that’s ok. I am more than happy to share his adorableness on a regular basis.

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    Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a good one!

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    Listen to this: Sliced banana sautéed in honey-almond butter on top of a couple of toasted waffles with melt-y almond butter inside. Holy yum!

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    After breakfast, I spent the morning glued to my computer and then headed out around lunchtime to get my car fixed at Subaru. Unfortunately, with all of the snow we’ve had lately, I burned out one of the motors on the windshield wipers. (I still have no idea how?!) The fast wiper setting worked fine, but the slow one didn’t at all, which was kind of amusing when it was just sprinkling rain outside. Haha! Anyway, I went to get it fixed.

    Since it was lunchtime, I brought a protein granola bar from Cascadian Farms to snack on… I am so thankful that I did. I was so hungry!



    When I got home, I made myself lunch, which was leftover dandelion pesto mixed with spaghetti squash and chunked chicken. Delicious!

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    Dandelion Pesto

    Makes about 1/2 cup

    • 3 cups fresh dandelion greens
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1/4 cup walnuts
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
    • salt + pepper to taste

    Directions: Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.


    Mid-afternoon, I special package from Nature Box (<– affiliate link) arrived in the mail. I had picked out the snacks I wanted for this month’s box a couple of weeks ago, so I was really pumped about this particular shipment. Check out what was inside: Cherry Ganache Granola, French Toast Granola, Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Big Island Pineapple, Yogurt Dipped Pretzels, and Dried California Peaches. Sound delicious, right? I immediately tried a bunch of them. The granolas are especially heavenly!



    A little while later, I headed to CrossFit for a workout called “Evel Knievel.” It was a good one and much harder than expected. By round 5, my quads were burning so bad. Obviously, because of the Overhead Squats, but the Squat Thrusts (pregnancy modification for Burpees) were making my legs so tired. I guess I have a lot more weight to move up and down now! I used 55 pounds for the Overhead Squats and finished in 15:03.

    “Evel Knievel”

    5 RFT:

    50 Double Unders

    20 Burpees

    10 OHS (95, 65)

    For the workout, I wore some new CrossFit gear from my friends at Reebok through a campaign with Fitfluential. They’re getting ready for the CrossFit Open, which starts TODAY (the first Open workout is announced tonight), so they sent me a little something to help promote their gear. Even though I’m not participating in the Open this year, I am still really excited about it. It’s such a fun time for the CrossFit community, and I will definitely be following along with all of the excitement.

    Anyway, I am totally obsessed with the Reebok CrossFit Perform Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Tee. Reebok sent me a size up from my usual size, and it fits perfectly. Check out how long it is! No riding up on overhead movements. Love it! The shirt also has PlayDry technology to keep you dry and comfortable while working out, which I especially like because I hate it when sweaty cotton shirts stick to me. The pants are the Reebok CrossFit Chase Capri, which also fit really well. They are soft, comfy, and move well.

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    After CrossFit, I came home, showered, and whipped up a quick dinner. My spaghetti squash was already prepared, so all I had to do was cook up some ground beef, peppers, and onions for an Italian Hot Plate. Mmm!

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    After dinner, Mal and I killed a bag of Yogurt Dipped Pretzels. Those thing were addictive!

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    Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco Half Marathon

    Just passing along some info about the Rock n Roll San Francisco Half Marathon, which is happening on Sunday, April 6th, 2014. Sadly, I won’t be running it (it’s actually the same day as my baby shower), but I hear it’s an awesome race! Be sure to check it out!

    Health News & Views

    Whether you live alone or your partner is traveling, we all end up cooking for one. And it’s sometimes a bit of a challenge, especially when most recipes aren’t created to make a single serving. But, of course, cooking for one isn’t impossible either, especially if you have the right know-how. Here are eight tips to help you make healthy, delicious, and interesting meals for one!

    8 Tips for Cooking for One


    Questions of the Day

    What are your best tips and tricks for cooking for one?

    What is your favorite half marathon race? 

    Are you participating in this year’s CrossFit Open? 

    P.S. Just a reminder: PRO Compression is offering 40% off + free U.S. shipping on their marathon socks, calf sleeves, and arm sleeves with the code CC40 at checkout. You need shamrock socks for your St. Patty’s Day race, right?

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    { 57 comments… read them below or add one }

    Becky @ Olives n Wine February 27, 2014 at 8:34 am

    When my husband is traveling, I cook up a big batch of chili or a casserole and eat that for dinner each night. It might get boring but at least I don’t have to worry about if I’m going to waste food/what I’m going to eat by myself during the week :)


    Linz @ Itz Linz February 27, 2014 at 8:36 am

    tips for cooking for one? FREEZE LEFTOVERS!!!!! and make meals that are versatile…. example: chili! i can eat chili a million different ways: by itzself, on top of a potato, in eggs, in a tortilla, on a salad… so many possibilities!


    Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 27, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I think your freezer is the key to cooking for one. I make full recipes and then freeze half of it. If I don’t do that, I always end up wasting food.


    Megan @ Anything But Cake February 27, 2014 at 8:48 am

    When I’m just cooking for myself, my eating gets so monotonous. I’ll roast a whole chicken and a huge batch of veggies at the beginning of the week and then spice it up each meal with different sauces– tahini, pesto, picatta, balsamic reduction.. the list goes on!


    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun February 27, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I end up eating the weirdest things when I am just cooking for myself which I do quite a lot because I get off work very late and my husband usually has already eaten. Thanks for the article will be a good reference!


    Julie February 27, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Tina, have you ever tried “Graze” before? Looking for opinions from my favorite bloggers! http://www.graze.com/us/p/JULIEV11F


    Tina February 27, 2014 at 8:54 am

    No, I’ve never heard of it. Looks interesting!


    Julie February 27, 2014 at 8:58 am

    @Tina: I went ahead and ordered a box since the first one is free. I’ll let you know how it goes! Should get here next week.


    Mary February 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    @Julie: I just got my first box in the mail yesterday and loved it. Make sure you go through the foods they offer online and rate which ones you’d like to try!


    Kara February 27, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I agree with Linz – freezing leftovers is awesome because then you get a great meal for one PLUS an easy dinner for a night when it’s not just one!


    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance February 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

    When I cook for one I make two portions and just eat the same thing for dinner the next night. A whole night off from cooking!! That pesto with spaghetti squash looks really good!


    amrapCindy February 27, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I’m pretty terrible at cooking for myself when my husband is gone, but lately my go-to has been sweet potato (cubed and sauteed), sauteed kale and a couple scrambled eggs to top it off. Tasty and easy!

    I’m finally doing the open this year! Last year I did all the WODs but didn’t actually register. This year it’s happening!!


    Vicky February 27, 2014 at 9:14 am

    My best tip for cooking for one is I don’t! I cook regularly and freeze individual portions. Instant healthy lunches ready to go!


    Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork February 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

    That combination of waffles + sauteed bananas sounds delicious! I’ll have to try it out this weekend! Thanks for sharing!


    Cara's Healthy Cravings February 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Whenever I am cooking just for myself, it’s usually always a ginormous salad with roasted veg and a fried egg…I never get sick of it!


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 27, 2014 at 9:36 am

    As a single lady, I think I’ve become a pro at cooking for one and I think you really hit it on the head about getting creative with leftovers. I was trying to explain this to my roommate the other day and she just didn’t get it. But if you can only make a certain amount of a grain, find a different way to use it so it feels like something completely different each day! :)


    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 27, 2014 at 9:38 am

    oh gosh, my life is cooking for one. I’ve learned to make crock pot meals and freeze them, but I’m awful about dinner, I always end up snacking instead of eating a real meal!


    Lindsay February 27, 2014 at 9:55 am

    My favorite half marathon I’ve ever run was the 13.1 Boston 1/2 Marathon. It was actually in Blue Hill, which is fitting because it was basically ALL hills. Tough, tough course but it was beautiful and the turnout was fantastic. I don’t think they do the race there anymore, though.


    Yael February 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I eat a LOT of avocado toast with eggs for dinner, since I’m just cooking for myself. Or, like others have said, I make enough for a few meals and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers. Sometimes I’ll even freeze only part of a meal–for example, I’ll make a lot of quinoa and freeze it in batches so that on other nights I’ll only have to defrost that, but I can change up what I add to it so I’m not eating the same thing every day for a week. Other than what’s going in my salad, I use mostly frozen veggies. I try to buy spinach for my salads because if I don’t keep up and it starts to wilt I can cook it and toss it into whatever I’m making (eg, sauteed with garlic on top of the egg and avocado toast).

    BUT sometimes these feel more like coping mechanisms than actually how I want to cook. When I wasn’t cooking for one, I would try many more new recipes from my favorite blogs and cookbooks than I do now-but buying all of those ingredients and doing all of that work for one doesn’t seem worth it!

    Also, how do you make your spaghetti squash?


    Tina February 27, 2014 at 10:19 am
    Yael February 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you so much! I can’t wait to try :)


    Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health February 27, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I have yet to try spaghetti squash… I thought it was actually real spaghetti for a second in the picture you posted. PS- you looked so great preggo and fit :)


    Megan @ The Skinny-Life February 27, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I am always cooking for one. I freeze a lot of produce and use half. I also cut recipes in half or freezr half the meal. I like leftovers. I am always on the go so it’s nice to have something available and not have to cook every night.


    Jennifer February 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I love your sneakers! Are those reebok?


    Tina February 27, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Yep! Custom Nano 2.0! :)


    Jamie @ Dishing Out Health February 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

    All of your meals look fantastic! I need that French Toast Granola in my life!


    Heather @fitncookies February 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I’m so bad at cooking for one. If my husband isn’t home, I turn to cereal, breakfast foods, or leftovers. I hardly ever make myself something. However, it would be smart to make a meal and then just freeze it in individual containers and pop them out every week or so! Save on waste and easy to cook :)


    Annette@FitnessPerks February 27, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I usually am cooking for 2, but if I were cooking for 1 more often I would do big batches & freeze stuff (and eat leftovers)!

    Spaghetti squash is so fun to eat!


    Ali February 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I really want to run the America’s Finest Half Marathon in San Diego! It’s always full and hard to get into and it’s a bit of a journey for me.


    Nicki February 27, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I’m also great at cooking for one due to being single. Freezing leftovers is great, but I have a grocery shopping problem and LOVE trying new products so I always way over-purchase what I need, haha!

    I’m participating in the Open this year for the FIRST TIME! I am so excited and nervous (hello, being 4’10″ and <90# so I never do Rx'd weights due to my size), as last year I was only 6 months into CrossFit and there's no way I could have gotten through any of the WODs at that point – and my coach rightly told me to wait another year. Can't wait to see what they'll throw at us tonight!


    Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} February 27, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Love the pug photo! My favorite half is the Columbus Marathon 1/2, so much energy!! I cook for one at least 1/2 of the week and I like making the serve 4 or 6 people recipes so that I have leftovers!


    Lisa @ runnermamablogger February 27, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Love the Nature’s Box, I have been thinking about doing it. Your breakfast looks delicious. I am running the Nike DC half in April and I can’t wait!


    Tara February 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I have to say how adorable your baby belly looks in that pic; you can see your belly button starting to show! (<—hope this is to too creepy sounding!)

    I was horrible when I had to cook for 1. If I need to these days, I will cut a recipe in half or quarters, and freeze what I dont eat.


    Alyssa February 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    That breakfast looks delicious!
    Even though I live at home, I still do my own food shopping & mostly eat what I buy. I tend to just eat the same lunch & dinner for four days & then treat myself to something my dad makes for lunch on Friday & have Panera for dinner at work. I know, it’s boring lol. But as long as I buy foods I know I’m going to enjoy, then it works for me for the most part.


    Sim @ The Micro Harvest February 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I totally love the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half-Marathon! It is a great route, the fans are amazing, and it isn’t too over-crowded. Plus, it’s a great tour of Columbus, Ohio :)


    Erin February 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Is Nature Box GMO-free? Or is there an option for non-GMO or organic snacks? I like the idea of it, but while I saw they are preservative and high-fructose corn syrup free, I didn’t see GMO-free mentioned.


    Tina February 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I’m not sure. Sorry. Maybe check their website or contact them?


    Amanda February 28, 2014 at 7:28 pm


    Here is a link to their FAQ – some of their products are GMO and you can filter your selections to be non-GMO!


    Maureen February 27, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I never cook for one, but cooking for two always turns into me cooking about 10 portions to freeze for nights down the road when we’re too busy to cook.


    Brittney @ Sweets 'N' Greens February 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Mmm I love pesto on spaghetti squash. I’ll have to try this dandelion pesto out!


    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily February 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Your breakfast is what my pregnant dreams are made of!! Can’t wait to try this :)


    Tricia February 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Whenever my husband is working late, I tend to make breakfast for dinner. It is so easy to make just one serving. Plus it’s kind of fun and delicious obviously.


    Sarah @ Sweet Miles February 27, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Cooking for one really is tough!! But, I guess it’s helpful when you make too much and can have leftovers for yourself the next day or two!


    Sara @ fitcupcaker February 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I love nature box snacks!! Those pretzels look amazing. And I love pesto but never thought about adding it to spaghetti squash, thanks for the idea!


    joelle (on a pink typewriter) February 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    My favorite half marathon race was my first one, the Santa Rosa Half Marathon/Marathon up in Santa Rosa, CA (wine country)! Loved the small town feel and everyone was SO excited to have us there. Plus, free PANCAKES and wine in the swag bag. The best.


    Ash Bear February 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Does the pesto taste like normal pesto or is it more bitter because of the greens? It sounds delicious and looks great! I pinned it for the future! :)


    Tina February 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    With the garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, salt, and pepper, it didn’t taste bitter to me. I thought it tasted delicious! :)


    Meredith February 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Since I’ve been traveling and living in hostels for the last 6 months I’ve gotten fairly skilled at cooking for one. I won’t succumb to the pasta and toast backpacker special, probably because I’m not 18 and eating like that doesn’t make my body happy. What I do- spices and herbs. They can change the flavor of any meal and make it feel very different. Sweet potatoes with cumin and chili tastes way different than sweet potato with cinnamon and nutmeg.

    I can’t freeze foods because I’m moving around all the time so I eat the same thing for lunch and dinner for 2 days. Then cook up something else and eat it for two days. Also- stir fries. Seriously you can throw anything in a stir fry and it works. Anything.

    And the best backpacker food in the world? Eggs. Cheap. Versatile. Nutritious. Work for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Change the spices, change the way you cook them and you can get hundreds of different meals from eggs. Amazing.


    Shel@PeachyPalate February 27, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Nine times out of ten I’m cooking for one…I either make recipes for 2-4 and freeze or refrigerate leftovers (I ate 2 whole Frittata’s last week, literally breakfast, lunch and dinner 2 days running!), or I make sure things I’m making cross over ingredient wise! The waffles sound amazing!! Did you make them from scratch?


    Tina February 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    No, they’re the frozen kind! :)


    Ashley February 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I actually found a new tip myself cooking for one this week. “Produce shopping” at Whole Foods hot and salad bars. I got containers of a smaller portion of greens, peppers, veggies, etc. so that I have enough for meals but won’t waste any or be stuck eating the same thing week!


    Julie @ Coastal Runner Girl February 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    When my husband is away I either make something simple like breakfast for dinner or I prepare a normal size dinner and pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. Looooove leftovers! :)


    Livi February 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    The Disney Princess Half Marathon was awesome! It was so fun and well organized!


    Kim @ FITsique February 27, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    In all honesty I think cooking for one is much easier than cooking for two! Whenever I used to cook for myself I would just make single servings of everything. I bought small ramekins and baking dishes and would cut the recipes out to just what I knew I would eat. When I’m cooking for two I never know how to cut the recipe or how much to make and I either make too much or too little! Strange, but true.


    Peach February 27, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Love the Reebok gear and since my lulu love affair is sadly coming to an end (just me or did the quality go down??), I’m looking for better run/CF attire that will last AND look good.

    Wish I could do the Open this year, but I’m training for the big half marathon coming up in a month!! eeeek! Going to scour your archives for a post on running shoes and when you know you need new ones. :/

    ps – you look so happy and healthy and amazing!


    Michelle February 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Do you ever notice how many times you use the phrase whipped up. So random I know, but I just realized you love “whipping up things.” Haha ok that’s all!


    Amanda @runtothefinish February 28, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Oh I like that pesto!!! The yogurt dipped or chocolate covered anything in a snack bag I can never resist and I don’t care what it says about servings, there’s only 1!


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