Tips for Cooking for One & Dandelion Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

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 TeeReebok 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?



  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

        1. @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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!!

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

  8. 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! 🙂

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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 🙂

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. I have always had a difficult time cooking for one or two. I am not huge on leftovers so cooking a lot never suited me. Over the years, I have finally mastered cooking for just me. These recipes look delicious. That dandelion pesto is making my mouth water.

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