Single girl cooking tips + this week’s meal plan

Happy Friday! I hope you have had a fantastic week. I wanted to stop by today to share some of my single girl cooking tips in coordination with this past week’s dinner plan.

I know that cooking full dinners for just one person can seem like a lot of work, expensive, time-consuming etc. I’ve made all those excuses as well! But, we have to eat and I think we can all agree that home cooked meals are not only healthier but if you plan them correctly, can also help you save money. Additionally, I love cooking! When I went through a period where I wasn’t really doing much of it because of all the cooking-for-one excuses, I found that I really missed it. I am so much more satisfied when I take the time to prepare and sit down to a home-cooked dinner most nights of the week even if I am just cooking for one.

Here is my dinner meal plan from this week including my single girl cooking tips & tricks for each meal:

Monday: Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken and Thai Sweet Potato Quinoa (I used Trader Joes Peanut Dressing for this and added Kale).

  • Buy your meat from a butcher. Denver friends! Go here and be prepared to never go elsewhere for meat. Game. Changer. For this recipe I just bought two breasts so I wouldn’t have a ton of leftovers.
  • I used the 2nd breast for Wednesday’s lunch with leftover sweet potato quinoa salad. I prepped this lunch in a tupperware right away so it was all set to grab for Wednesday.
  • While I was making the quinoa for this, I made a big batch for other meals this week.

Tuesday: Homemade bison burgers and watermelon. I don’t follow a recipe for my burgers but here is a good basic recipe. I used Whole Foods pretzel buns and topped my burger with goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms + red onions + kale, BBQ sauce and sprouts (burger topping indecisiveness).

  • Take advantage of the freezer! I put any unused burger buns into the freezer right away. You can also freeze meat if you don’t think you will use it within a week.
  • Find ways to use what you prep one night in other meals. I use the bison and sautéed veggies in Thursday’s dinner.
  • Watermelon is easy to eat all week for snacks and a little something extra with dinner. I never have a problem getting through fruit.

Wednesday:  Salmon with this Strawberry Pistachio Cabbage Salad (I am obsessed with the simple dressing in this salad!). I also tossed quinoa in the salad for some ‘umph.

  • I only buy as much salmon from my meat market that will last 2 or 3 meals. Avoid getting pre-packaged fish, find a good butcher/meat market for better quality AND you can ask for just the right amount.
  • When I am putting together my dinner, I also put together lunch for tomorrow which is all the above in a tupperware.
  • Quinoa was already cooked from Monday.
  • For grains and nuts find a grocery store with bulk bins. As with the meat, you can only get as much as you need. I also do this for random spices that I need to either refill or won’t use very often, Whole Foods and Sprouts both have bulk spices.

Thursday: Bison Burger Burrito Bowls – Leftover bison over quinoa, black beans, avocado, sautéed veggies from Tuesday night, salsa and cheese.

  • Tonight’s dinner is all recycled leftovers which makes it come together super quick. A Thursday night bike ride keeps me out late so a quick and easy dinner is much-needed.
  • I have a work lunch tomorrow but this could easily be made into Friday’s lunch if I didn’t.

Friday: Homemade pizza night! (a whole post with recipes is coming on this soon)

  • I buy my dough from Trader Joe’s and as soon as I make my first pizza, I divide the dough in 4 pieces and put each piece into its own freezer-friendly ziploc bag. I freeze the other 3 pieces and simply take a bag out and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before my next pizza night. For a whopping price of 3-ish dollars, I get dough for 4 pizza nights!
  • Unless I have a specific craving I will use up any extra veggies I have for pizza nights.
  • If I buy pizza sauce (though I like bbq and other alternatives), I freeze what I don’t use right away.

Weekend dinners are usually a little more lax. I typically eat out for one dinner or take extra time to make whatever I am craving that day! I will work my way through any other leftovers from the week typically in huge kale “salad bowls”.

My top tips for single girl cooking: 

  • PLAN PLAN PLAN! 
  • FREEZE!
  • Recycle leftovers.
  • Use bulk bins and a good butcher to get just the amount you need. 
  • Cook what you can in bulk to use throughout the week. 
  • Use dinners to create next day lunches. 

 

And there you have it! Hoping you have a wonderful weekend!

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 


I would love to know! Do you have any other cooking for one tips or tricks? Tell me in the comment section below.

 

 

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts is a staple in my holiday cooking. This simple side dish isn’t only delicious but it’s healthy too! 
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I am not a traditional holiday food gal. Turkey, stuffing, ham, cranberries and any type of casserole that includes marshmallows or green beans is easy to pass up. That is not to say though that I do not love holiday meals. My holiday recipes make me happy. Sweet potato gnocchi, roasted veggies, a phenomenally festive salad and some “Hayley” dessert fill my plate when it comes to the holidays and I look forward to an excuse to make these recipes every year. 

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This past weekend I attended a Friendsgiving with a lot of people I don’t know that well and I spent a good portion of the week stressing about what to bring. While my family and close friends have always at least pretended to appreciate my untraditional holiday recipes, I am not sure that strangers would be as good of sports. 

Do I try to make something traditional that I have never made before and am not a fan of? Or do I take a risk because not everyone loves Hayley recipes and make one of my favorites that isn’t as traditional? What if people don’t like brussels sprouts? Or sweet potatoes (they would have to be crazy)? These are the things that keep me up at night, people. I decided in the end to make something that I am comfortable with because I knew I could eat the whole recipe if necessary. 

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Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts
Serves 10
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  2. 2 pounds brussels sprouts halved and trimmed
  3. 1 cup chopped pecans
  4. 1 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  6. 1/2 cup maple syrup
  7. salt
  8. Balsamic glaze (you can make your own but I just get mine from Trader Joe's)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees
  2. Toss brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes with maple syrup, coconut oil and salt
  3. Spread your veggies on two well greased baking sheets in a single layer
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, at 20 minutes toss with chopped pecans
  5. You will know the veggies are done when the sweet potato is fork tender and the brussels are crispy
  6. Top with cranberries and balsamic glaze
Notes
  1. *This recipe is also delicious with goat cheese and pancetta or bacon
Healthy Regards, Hayley http://www.healthyregardshayley.com/
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 The good news is: I didn’t have to eat all of it! People actually liked it! And asked me for the recipe! And by the time I got up for seconds there was none left! 4 exclamation points worth of excitement! (now five). 

And now, here I am sharing it with you all! (six)

 

P.S. This is recipe is extra good with goat cheese and bacon or pancetta. I made it without this go around so any vegetarians or non-cheese lovers that I have never heard of could still enjoy. 

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley

 


Let’s chat!

Are you a fan of the traditional holiday food?

What is your favorite holiday recipe?

 

 

 

WIAW – Recipes I’ve Been Loving Lately

Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I love finding recipes, planning, grocery shopping and putting it all together. Sitting down to delicious home-cooked meal is just the cherry on top of a process I love.

With a few big job changes, moving and dealing with a long commute I fell out of the habit of cooking “real” dinners during the week. I usually spent some time on the weekend roasting and preparing veggies, making some sort of grain and a few different proteins but didn’t have much of a plan for the week ahead. Most weeknights consisted of throwing together the stuff I had already prepared on the weekend. All of this was fine, I was eating healthy and it was easy however I found that I wasn’t enjoying my food as much as I used to. I was always eating the same things and was less satisfied after meals. 

A few weeks ago I was determined to get back in the cooking game. While there are still days where I throw together a hodge lodge of leftovers, I have been consistently trying 3-4 new recipes a week/revisiting some of my favorites. Taking the time to make “real” dinners has definitely improved my dinner enjoyment and reminded me just how fun this cooking thing is. 

Here are some of the recipes I have been loving lately:  

Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili 

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Soups and stews are one of my favorite things about cooler weather. I especially love how easy it is to make and re-eat throughout the week or freeze and store for longer. Add in some squash and I am sold. The lentils, beans and squash in this vegetarian chili make it very filling. I made about half the recipe and got 4-5 meals out of it. 

Clean Eating Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Chicken img_2765

Guys, this recipe is so good! It is rare that I get excited about chicken but this has been my favorite recipe from the last couple weeks. SO GOOD (you really don’t need to know much else). I am already planning on when I can make it next. If you are looking to spruce up your usual chicken, this is a delicious way to do so. I made the chicken with roasted brussels sprouts and barley. 

High-Altitude Bison Meatballs from Run Fast. Eat Slow

I received the Run Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook for my birthday in October and have made at least one recipe from the book every week since. While all the recipes have been great, this is by far my favorite. I served the meatballs with roasted veggies and sweet potato. 

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon from Skinny Tasteimg_2840

Skinny Taste is one of the blogs I can always count on for recipes. I know that if the recipe sounds like something I would like, I end up loving it. This Maple Soy Glazed Salmon recipe is super easy and doesn’t lack flavor in the least. I served mine over a kale salad with roasted brussels sprouts and carrots (Yes, every dinner consists of some sort of roasted veggie). 

 

Healthy Regards,

Hayley


Let’s chat!

What is one good recipe you have been loving lately? I am always looking for more!

 

 

Christmas Granola Recipe {and edible gift idea}

This christmas granola recipe blends the warm flavors of fig, nuts and maple for a homemade, edible, budget friendly gift that everyone can enjoy. 

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Have you ever met anyone that doesn’t like granola? 

…. yep, me neither.Christams-granola-recipe-2granola1

Now imagine gifting a warm, aromatic, chunky granola that is freshly baked with love to your coworkers, clients, coaches, family, friends… really anyone. I even gifted myself multiple handfuls in the making. I’d say it is a pretty spectacular present, because really, who doesn’t like granola? 

It is also wallet friendly in this season that tends to be financially stressful. 

I made two batches of this recipe to give to my personal training clients and a few other people who I wanted to give something small but thoughtful to. I picked up some mason jars, decorative tags and cards from Target to create a cute, simple gift. Altogether, including all the ingredients, the mason jars, cards and decorative touches I spent about $50 dollars for 10 full jars of granola + cards. That is just 5 dollars a gift! Nothing beats a delicious, cute and economical Christmas gift in my book. granola-3granola-4

For this Christmas granola recipe I started with a Pinch of Yum’s Coconut Oil Granola as a base recipe and made a few tweaks + add ins for a chrismast-y taste. 

Christmas Granola
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups old fashioned oats
  2. 1 cup chopped walnuts
  3. 1 cup chopped pecans
  4. 1 cup chopped dried figs
  5. 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  6. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 teaspoon ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1 cup melted coconut oil*
  11. 1 cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl (all ingredients except coconut oil and maple syrup).
  3. Whisk together the maple syrup and melted coconut oil in a separate bowl.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a large bowl until the mixture is moistened.
  5. Bake for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  6. When you remove the granola from the oven at the end, don't stir it right away - the granola will form crunchy clusters as it cools.
Notes
  1. *You can melt your coconut oil in microwave
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Healthy Regards, Hayley http://www.healthyregardshayley.com/
 *One batch of this recipe fills 5 – 16oz mason jars. 

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And if you want to just make a batch of this christmas granola recipe all for yourself, I wouldn’t judge you. 

Enjoy! 9 days until Christmas!

[Tweet “Christmas granola! The perfect edible gift. #vegan #christmas #JOY”]

Healthy Regards,

Hayley 

 

What is a small gift you have given to coworkers, teachers etc? 

And really, do you know anyone who doesn’t like granola?! I would be interested to hear.