Panko Parmesan Crusted Scallops

These vegetarian panko parmesan crusted scallops are an easy-peasy dish that’s on the table in less than 20 minutes! They’re a healthy addition to any meal!

Panko Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Panko Parmesan Crusted Scallops

(Courtesy:  Ray and Irene Horne)
Course Main Course
Servings 1
Calories 450 kcal


  • 6 sea scallops
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped shallot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the oven to 425℉. Coat a small oven-proof pan with cooking spray.
  • Pat the scallops dry and arrange them in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk butter, lemon juice, shallot and garlic in a small bowl and pour evenly over scallops.
  • In the same bowl, mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the scallops.
  • Bake until the scallops are opaque and the topping is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Hack: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Hack: Scallops can be purchased individually from the seafood counter at most grocery stores. Alternatively, they can be purchased frozen in larger portions if you wish to keep some on hand. Thaw needed amounts before cooking.
  • Hack: Seafood can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator. It can be thawed more quickly by placing it in a sealed bag and submerging it in a bath of cold water for about an hour.
Keyword baked, easy, fast and easy, healthy, quick and easy, quick prep, scallops, seafood, shellfish, vegetarian

Did you know?  Scallops are considered to be one of the healthiest kinds of seafood!

Suggestion:  These scallops would go nicely with Baked Rice Pilaf!

Cooking for one person – 14 Questions Answered

So, you’re single and trying to eat healthily but cooking for one person seems like more trouble than it’s worth. You got questions…I’ve got answers!

Cooking for one person
Cooking for one person

When starting down a new path in life, there are always questions.  The problem, at least for me, is I feel dumb when I ask them. I feel like people who would have the answers, those “In The Know” are looking down at me and wondering why I would attempt this when it’s obvious that I don’t even have the most rudimentary skills to make it happen.

Is this the truth?  Probably not but all it takes is that one person to make us feel like we would never be able to pull this off, right?

I’m here to tell you that you can do it and I’d like to help!  I’ve got answers to 14 common questions about how to get started on this journey to eat healthier and be successful cooking for one.

What Should I Eat If I Live Alone?

What Should I Eat When Living Alone?
What Should I Eat When Living Alone?

What do single people eat?

Generally speaking, people who live alone tend to have poorer eating habits than those who don’t, men to a greater degree than women.  I’m not throwing shade here, it’s just a fact.

Why?  Theories abound but it seems most singles agree that it’s harder to keep fruits and vegetables fresh until they can be used and it’s harder to purchase portions of fresh food sized for a single person.

And let’s not forget accountability…it’s easier to eat cake for dinner when there’s no one there to see you do it.

What should I eat if I’m single?

I’m not crazy about the wording of this question because it seems to indicate that there are things we are “allowed” to eat and things we are “not allowed” to eat.

We should be striving to add more whole foods to our diets and cutting back on empty calories as well as processed foods but let’s face facts: There will absolutely be (the very occasional) times when you’re going to eat cake for dinner.  And that’s ok.

What can I cook that’s healthy?

What can I cook that's healthy?
What can I cook that’s healthy? 

What is a healthy dinner?

There’s no one-size-fits-all healthy meal.  People have different likes, different eating habits and different beliefs on what is ethical food.  Based on what our bodies need to thrive, a meal should consist of protein, fruits and/or veggies, complex carbs and calcium.  And don’t forget that a tad bit of fat helps your body absorb all those nutrients!

How do single people eat healthily?

It’s easier to eat healthy when you have the healthy foods you need right on hand. Whether you like to shop for groceries daily, weekly or monthly, make sure you go with a  meal plan in mind and a list in hand.

Take advantage of the butcher, seafood and deli counters to get the exact amount of product you’ll want to eat.  Shop for loose fruits and veggies in produce and don’t hesitate to ask the clerks in produce and meat if you can get portions smaller than the packages that are on the shelf.  Lastly, check-in the frozen aisle for healthy foods that will keep for a while in your freezer!

How do I cook when living alone?

How do you cook when living alone?
How do you cook when living alone?

What are the easiest things to cook?

There are plenty of simple recipes out there that just take just a few minutes to prepare such as spinach feta pizza and pan-seared scallops.  You could also just Google “simple meals to make” to get some great ideas as well!

How can I simplify cooking?

One of the easiest ways to simplify cooking, in my opinion, is to make something once and use it (at least) twice.  Make creamed spinach for a side to your steak and use the leftovers for eggs florentine. Dill Greek yogurt dip is great for dipping some veggies while watching your favorite movie but it’s also great as a chicken marinade or in egg salad!

You’d be surprised how easy it is to whip up something delightful when you have a good selection of condiments and spices.  Szechuan-style shrimp? Nothing but shrimp, rice and condiments. You can pick these spices and condiments up as you go along so don’t hesitate to invest in a new spice or additional type of mustard. These things have a long shelf life and come in handy when you’re on a mission to “throw something together”!

What should I cook for one person?

What should I cook for one person?
What should I cook for one person? 

What should I make for dinner for one person?

I think too many people feel like cooking for one person is somehow different than cooking for an entire family.  It’s exactly the same. Oh, the proportions may need to be adjusted but that’s it. Spaghetti and meatballs? Just cook 2 ounces of spaghetti (the end of the bundle should equal the diameter of a quarter), top with a quarter cup of sauce and a few meatballs.  Viola! Spaghetti for one.

What should I make for lunch for one person?

My favorite lunch for one is a repeat of what was for dinner.  It was good then, right? Well, it’s good now, too!

What about breakfast?

What I make for breakfast is varied depending on whether I have to work or not.  If I have to be up and out in a hurry (because, let’s face it. We’re always in a hurry in the morning, right?) I’ll go for a very quick smoothie or something that I’ve pre-made on my day off, like a breakfast cookie or overnight oats.

If I have the time, I like to make eggs with…well…something.  It depends on my mood.

Sometimes, (I’ll admit it!) I just grab whatever leftover comes to hand, even if it isn’t technically considered to be “breakfast food”.

I guess what I’m saying here is just have something.  While we can’t always make time for breakfast, we can always grab something healthy and eat it on the way. Not hungry? Grab something anyway because I guarantee that you will be. Your body hasn’t had food in 12 hours or more and, if you’re famished by lunch, I also guarantee that take-out is going to look much better than that salad you packed.

What should I cook tonight?

So, it’s happened.  You were busy, you didn’t take the time to plan, you didn’t take anything out of the freezer.  There’s nothing for dinner.

Really? Nothing?

This penne pasta dish comes together in no time flat.  So do scrambled eggs, peanut butter toast or a hummus tabouli wrap.  Just take a deep breath, open your cupboard and your mind.  I promise there’s something to eat!

What can I cook when I run out of ideas?

This is actually one of my favorite things.  Why? Because I get to try something new. First of all, what do you have for ingredients?  Let’s say you have a chicken breast, a potato and some frozen peas. Just Google it! Seriously.  “Chicken potato frozen peas. Enter.” This method has never failed me.

Still got questions?  Ask away in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!.

All my best


Sometimes You Just Want A Book

While it’s great to be able to look up a recipe online, sometimes you just want a book. These books look so good I can almost smell the food cooking.

Sometimes You Just Want A Book
Sometimes You Just Want A Book
This post contains affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full policy here.

I am very grateful to all my friends, both new and established (Please note that I did not use the word “old”!) who take the time to visit this site, read my ramblings and try my recipes. I appreciate the thoughts, encouragement, ideas and recipes that you have shared and I hope we can continue this beautiful back and forth for a long, long time. But I also know, for sure, there’s another truth out there for many of us.

Sometimes you just want a book.

Cookbooks have the feel that many readers love. You can hold it, turn the pages, and feel the paper. It looks great on your bookshelf. As time goes on it gets well broken in, with frayed edges and splattered stains on the pages. (Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m a sloppy cook.)

If this sounds like you, I’ve put together a selection of books you might enjoy, either in digital form or hard copy.

Books! Glorious Books!


The Pleasures of Cooking for One
The Pleasures of Cooking for One

The Pleasures of Cooking for One – Judith Jones

Kindle / hardcover


After the death of Judith Jones’s husband in 1996, she took on the task of cooking for one and decided to write a book about it. This is a great book that includes kitchen tips, easy-to-understand French-inspired recipes and “makeovers” for leftovers.

If you like gourmet food (or just want to Feel Fancy!), this is the book for you! Check out a preview here.

Judith Jones (1924-2011) was an American writer and editor. She was best known for her campaigns to publish The Diary of Anne Frank and Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, both of which she rescued from the reject pile. Her friendship with Julia Child is featured in the 2009 movie “Julie and Julia”.

Vegan Cooking for One
Vegan Cooking for One

Vegan Cooking for One – Leah Leneman

Kindle / Paperback


Vegan Cooking for One is an updated version of Leah Lenemans’ 1989 book The Single Vegan, which sold over 600,000 copies. This cookbook offers over 200 diverse and seasonal recipes that tempt the taste buds, are easy to follow as well as being very simple and straightforward,

It offers weekly menus, which include shopping lists to make sure you have the ingredients you need for the week. In addition, you can take advantage of the seasonally based collections to make the best use of fresh, local produce.

Check out the preview here.

Leah Leneman (1944-1999) was an American actor and author born and raised in California. She eventually moved to Scotland and, after receiving a history degree at the University of Edinburgh, pursued an academic career built around independent research and writing geared towards the depiction of the women’s suffrage movement in Scotland. After becoming vegan in her twenties, she also authored a number of vegan cookbooks.

Mug Meals for One
Mug Meals for One

Mug Meals – Leslie Bilderback

Kindle / Paperback

$12.99 eBook

Mugs aren’t just for coffee anymore!! This amazing book has over 100 recipes to make right in your microwave, with a wild variety of options for any meal, snack or dessert. Chili Con Carne? Beef Stroganoff? Poached Salmon? Yes, please! Brownie-in-a-mug? Of course, it’s there.

This book is a must-have for those with limited cooking facilities, new cooks or those of us who are just plain busy! Check out a preview here.

Leslie Bilderback is a Certified Master Baker and has been a chef for nearly 20 years. She is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and was one of the first instructors at the California School of Culinary Arts. She went on to become the Executive Chef and helped guide the school as it partnered with Le Cordon Bleu. In 2002, she was a finalist on Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, an international, invitational artisan baking competition held in Paris, France.

Cook & Freeze
Cook & Freeze

Cook & Freeze – Dana Jacobi

Kindle / Paperback


Dana Jacobi tuned into freezing serving-sized meals when she became a caregiver to her parents. She wanted to serve them healthy, nutritious meals but soon found that cooking and delivering meals every day was an impossible task. Luckily for us, this cookbook fits nicely into what we’ve been talking about here on this site. She covers the basics of freezer storage, organization and reheating as well as 150 delicious recipes.

See the preview here!

In addition to writing cookbooks, Dana Jacobi writes the nationally syndicated column “Something Different,” and has been featured in a number of national publications including Cooking Light, Eating Well and The New York Times. Her healthy approach to cooking has been endorsed by American Institute for Cancer Research and her work was published in Diabetic Gourmet Magazine, Vegetarian Times and Prevention.


Slow Cooking for Two
Slow Cooking for Two

Slow Cooking for Two – Cynthia Graubart

Kindle / Hardcover / Paperback

Here’s what we’ve all been looking for! Slow cooker recipes of all types! It’s great for those with limited cooking facilities or abilities, hot weather or if your only wish is to have dinner cook itself.

The ingredients are basic while still being whole foods and it even has entries that will make two different recipes in the same pot at the same time! Click here to see a preview.

Cynthia Graubart is an author, Southern Living Magazine columnist, food writer, cooking teacher and former television producer based in Atlanta, GA.

In 2004, she garnered national attention with the publication of her book “The One-Armed Cook”, aimed at the challenges of young families in creating healthy meals. She went on to create a weekly food e-newsletter for Nickelodeon’s online parenting portal, ParentsConnect. In 2014, she won the James Beard Best Cookbook Award for her 2012 publication “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking”. She was named a Georgia Grown Executive Chef in 2017 and has recently released her 8th cookbook

What are you waiting for?

eReader Cookbook
eReader Cookbook

These books look so good I can almost smell the food cooking. Which one will you choose? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to come back to let me know which one has your (new) favorite recipe.

What are you waiting for?

All my best,





Cooking For One Person — Hacks, Tips and Tricks

Cooking for one can be tricky. I’ve put together a list of hacks, tips and tricks to help with the question of what to do with leftover ingredients!

Cooking For One Person -- Hacks, Tips and Tricks
Cooking For One Person — Hacks, Tips and Tricks

When I post recipes, I’ll often post hacks at the end of it to give some helpful information in regard to storing leftover ingredients. I hope this has been beneficial but I also thought it might be great to have all those ideas in one place. Yep, right here.

Print ‘em out and stick ‘em right on your fridge for the next time you need to buy that whole knob of ginger for a recipe that calls for 1 teaspoon…

Ready? Let’s GO!

Let's GO
Let’s GO



Anchovies can be covered in oil and sealed in a sealable sandwich bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Alternately, they can be spread out in a single layer and frozen (still in the sandwich bag, if desired). I suggest you double bag the fillets before storing them.

Bacon: Separate uncooked bacon slices and roll into individual pinwheels. Place on cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze bacon slices. Place in a sealable freezer bag or container. The frozen slices can then be used in the portions desired.

Bananas: If your bananas have reached maximum ripeness, remove peels and place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once solid, place in sealable freezer bag and store in the freezer for use in recipes that call for mashed or pureed banana. Try them in this delicious smoothie!

Berries: If you purchase fresh berries, the leftovers can be stored in the freezer. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until solid. Place in a sealable freezer bag and store in the freezer for use in recipes that call for mashed or pureed berries.

Broccoli: Check the produce department of your local grocery store for pre-cut broccoli florets to avoid having to buy an entire head. Frozen broccoli florets would also work in a cooked recipe.

Butternut Squash: Fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store, making your life just a little bit easier. Frozen butternut squash can also be used in most recipes.

Burgers: Shape ground meat into 4 oz patties. Place burgers on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until frozen. Put individually into sealable sandwich bags and then into a sealable freezer bag or freezer container. The rolls can also be frozen in the same manner.

Eggs, Cooked: Make more than one egg and store them for later use. For the best quality, I suggest cooking scrambled eggs in an egg ring as this provides for uniform cooking and reheating. Cook just until set. These eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

To freeze eggs, place on cookie sheet and place in freezer until firm. Seal in freezer bag or container and store in freezer.

To reheat, thaw in refrigerator overnight and microwave at 20 second intervals, just until heated through.

Eggs, Hard Boiled: Hard-boiled eggs keep in the refrigerator for one week so consider making a few extra while you’ve got the water boiling! They make a great snack alone, pickled, deviled or in egg salad.

English Muffin: Slice English muffins in half horizontally and return to original packing. Place in sealed freezer bag and place in freezer for up to 3 months.

Fruit/Berry: Take advantage of the wide variety of fruits and berries that can be found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. If the pieces are too large for your purpose, simply let a few thaw so you can mash them or puree the desired amount in a blender.

Ginger: Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root? Grating it in its frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it! Simply place in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

Guacamole: Place any leftover guacamole in a sealable bag. Roll to press out as much air as possible and seal tightly. Store in refrigerator for up to two days.

Herbs: Fresh herbs can easily be frozen. Lay flat in a single layer and freeze. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and seal tightly. Store in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Alternately, herbs can be chopped and placed in ice cubes trays. Cover with oil and freeze for future use.

Pine Nuts: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.

Rice: Place leftover rice while still warm (to retain moisture) in serving-size containers and freeze for future use.

Romaine Lettuce: To keep romaine lettuce fresh longer, separate leaves and wash. Dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels. Place lettuce leaves in a sealable plastic bag or container with paper towels between each layer to absorb moisture. Store in refrigerator and replace paper towels if they become soggy.

Salad Bar: Shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.

Seafood: Although seafood purchased from the seafood counter is often priced by weight, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for only what you need, such as 6 shrimp or half a fillet of haddock.

Alternately, many of these items can be purchased frozen in larger portions if you wish to keep some on hand. Thaw desired amounts before cooking.

Seafood can be thawed overnight in refrigerator. It can be thawed more quickly by placing it in a sealable bag and submerging in a bath of cold water for about an hour.

I do not recommend freezing seafood that is purchased from the seafood counter. Many seafood items are flash frozen after being caught to retain their freshness. Refreezing will compromise the quality.

Sesame Oil: Once opened, sesame oil can be stored in a cool, dark place (kitchen cupboard away from the stove) for up to six months. It can be stored in the fridge for a year or more.

Yogurt: Use any leftover Greek yogurt to make this versatile Dill Greek Yogurt Dip!

Just one more tip: Click here to check out my favorite bags and containers to freeze all the above-mentioned goodies!

That’s All For Now!

So, I think that’s enough for one day, don’t you? That’s a whole lot of information and I hope it comes in handy!

Did I miss anything? Do you have any handy-dandy hacks, tips and tricks to share with the class? Please leave a comment below to let us know what it is!

All my best




Fast and Easy Salsa Verde Eggs

Salsa verde eggs are a quick and easy meal that’s spicy and satisfying. It’s a healthy, simple and low-calorie treat for any time of day!

Salsa Verde Eggs

Salsa Verde Eggs

Course Breakfast
Servings 1
Calories 173 kcal


  • ¼ cup fresh salsa
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese, shredded


  • Coat small saute pan with cooking spray.
  • Add salsa to pan and over medium heat until simmering. Push salsa to the sides of the pan, making a “well” for the egg.
  • Crack the egg into well. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes to the desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cover until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Keyword breakfast, breakfast ideas, cooking for one, eggs, fast and easy, healthy, keto, low calorie, low carb, meal for one, one pan meal, one skillet meal, quick and easy, salsa

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Suggestion:  Serve this over a slice of simple white toast!

Sausage Egg Breakfast Cups

Sausage egg breakfast cups serve up a complete and nutritious breakfast in one handy portion. It makes a great buffet selection or grab-and-go breakfast.

Sausage Egg Breakfast Cups

Sausage Egg Breakfast Cups

(Courtesy: Penny Jacques)
Course Breakfast
Servings 6
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • ½ tsp ground thyme
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¾ cup freshly minced onion and green pepper
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs, beaten


  • Preheat oven to 400℉.  Coat the wells of a 12ct muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground pork, sage, thyme, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly and put equal amounts into 12 muffin cups. Mold mixture along the bottom and up sides to form cups.
  • Add one tablespoon onion/pepper mix and one tablespoon cheese to each cup. Fill each cup with egg and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until eggs are set and slightly browned on top.
  • Hack: Feel free to use your favorite vegetales and/or cheese in this recipe or whatever you have on hand!
  • Hack: Frozen vegetables can be used in this recipe.
  • Hack: To prevent sticking, immediately run a knife around the edge of the cups after removing them from the oven and gently loosen the sides and bottom from the cup. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and remove from the cup.
  • Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in refrigerator overnight and microwave at 20-second intervals just until heated through.
  • Hack: Some egg cup recipes suggest that you just crack an egg over the top. Yolks and whites require different reheating times, resulting in (either) dried-out whites or unheated yolks. Using beaten eggs will alleviate this problem.
Keyword brunch, buffet, cooking for one, cooking for singles, make ahead, make ahead breakfast, muffin tin meals, quick and easy, sausage egg cups, single serving meal

Did you know?  Despite the negative press that eggs have received in the past, they can absolutely be a part of a healthy diet!

Baked cauliflower casserole is another great option if you’re looking for make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfasts!

Homemade Mini Chicken Pot Pie

Mini Chicken Pot Pie is a new take on classic comfort food.  It’s a healthy make-ahead, freezable dish that’s perfect for grab-and-go meals.

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

Course Main Course
Servings 12
Calories 343 kcal


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
  • cup frozen pearl onions
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried chives
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Butter biscuit dough, unbaked


  • Preheat oven to 450͒℉.
  • Melt butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add pearl onions and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add peas and carrots. Turn heat up to medium-high and wait for butter to come to a simmer. Simmer 2 minutes.
  • Stir in flour until well incorporated and smooth. Add vegetable broth, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Bring back to boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add parsley, chives, thyme, salt and pepper. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly. Add cream and chicken.
  • Spray 12 ct muffin tin with cooking spray. Cut biscuit dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Flatten each ball and press it into muffin cups, bringing it slightly above the rim of the cup. Fill each cup with ¼ cup of the chicken mixture.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until biscuit tops are golden brown.
  • Allow chicken pot pies to cool for 5 - 10 minutes, then remove by sliding a knife into a muffin cup and gently underneath to pop the pies out. Serve warm.
  • Hack: Filling can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Hack: Leftover pot pies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure to subtract any days that you stored the filing before making pies.
  • Hack: Place cooled chicken pot pies on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Store in a freezer container for up to 3 months. I don’t recommend using a just freezer bag as the crust might break up as they are moved around the freezer.
  • To reheat: .Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake in 350͒℉ for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160℉.
Keyword Chicken pot pie, cooking for one, cooking for singles, freezer meal, meat pie, mini chicken pot pie, muffin tin meals

Did you know?  The pastry surrounding the very first meat pies was to preserve the filling…and was not meant to be eaten.  Check out these interesting facts on the history of pies!

If you like this recipe, consider trying another single-serve option: Mini Tourtiere Pork Pie!


Healthy Cooking for One — How to Create a New You

Trying to start a new program of healthy cooking for one? Old habits die hard but here are a few tips to help get you back on track to start eating healthier!

Healthy Cooking for One
Healthy Cooking for One

We’ve all seen him. That guy in the checkout line at the grocery store, the one we know is single and lives alone. 4 frozen dinners, 1 deli sandwich, 6-pack of beer and an economy-sized bag of Cheetos.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Just because we’re single, it doesn’t mean we’re doomed to a future of breakfast cereal, frozen pizza for one and Ramon noodles.

Nor must we choose drive-thrus or gas station hot dogs.  I often who came up with THAT idea. Like, was someone pumping their gas and suddenly thought, “Well, this makes me want to eat a smoked sausage!”? (Yes, I’m kidding.  Here’s why gas stations started selling food).

We have a choice. I’d like to share a few things that I’ve picked up along the way to make cooking for one a bit easier and, hopefully, a little more fun.

Healthy Ways Start to Your Day

Healthy Ways Start to Your Day
Healthy Ways Start to Your Day

Running late this morning? Always keep some bananas, frozen strawberries and yogurt on hand to make a smoothie. It just takes a minute and you can drink it on your way to work!

Overnight oats are convenient and the flavor combos are endless so you’ll never get bored. They can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge so go ahead and throw together a few one evening for a week of quick breakfasts.

Everybody loves Sunday morning breakfast! Make a crustless quiche to enjoy with a leisurely cup of coffee and the newspaper. Store a few pieces in the fridge for up to 5 days for a healthy lunch and put the rest in the freezer for another time!

Play It Again, Sam

Play it again Sam
Play It Again, Sam

No big plans for your day off? Make a big pot of spaghetti sauce and freeze it in portions for use another day. Might as well freeze up a batch of meatballs to go with it, too!

A dozen mini pork pies make a great grab-and-go lunch (or, rather 12!).

Make a dinner recipe that serves two and take the leftovers for lunch. Or make a recipe that serves three or four and have some left for an easy meal later in the week.

Try this Szechuan-style shrimp or garlic chicken with caramelized mushrooms. They’re easy to put together and any leftovers you don’t use can be put in the freezer for a future meal!

Make connected meals. For example, when making potatoes for garlic chicken, do a few extra and use the leftovers to go with Korean beef (instead of cooking rice).

Or save some potato cubes unmashed to make potato salad. While you’re boiling the eggs for the potato salad, throw in a few extra for egg salad.

And always, always, make extra rice to package up in single serving sizes and store in the freezer!

Strategic Contingency Planning

Strategic Contingency Planning
Strategic Contingency Planning

It happens. You get stuck working late, encounter a major traffic jam on the way home or get caught up in a lengthy conversation with a friend. Then it’s too late to cook that dinner you had planned or you’re just too tired.

Make sure you’ve stocked up on a few items that have a decent shelf life and are quick and easy to throw together.

Eggs, cheese, peanut butter and pasta are excellent choices, as are crackers, rice and bread (store this double wrapped in the freezer if you need to!). Frozen fruits and vegetables require no prep at all so they can easily be used in a pinch.

Think of Ways To Be Creative!

Be Creative!
Be Creative!

Decide to go to the farmers market, choose something you haven’t had before then go home and create a meal.

No, honestly, I “wing” a lot of my recipes and it always turns out fine.

Ok, almost always as there was the “Fennel Incident”. Fennel, as it turns out, tastes like black licorice. Gross. Who knew?

Dress up your go-to meals. Grilled cheese? Mix it up with a two cheese combo, mustard and a couple of pickle slices. Add a splash of cream and some croutons to your tomato soup. Swap out the ketchup on your burger for some thousand island dressing.

Presto Chango! Leftovers don’t have to be the same thing that they were when they were originally left over. (Say THAT 5 times fast!) Pair the grilled chicken and roasted carrots you had last night with chopped onion, soy sauce, leftover rice and – BOOM! – a delicious (and definitely not leftover) stir-fry.

Riddle Me This

Riddle Me This
Riddle Me This

Who do you have to answer to anyway? Cooking for just you allows you to eat what you want, when you want, using whatever ingredients you want and as spicy (or not) as you want.

Who’s gonna even know? So what if that tuna and spaghetti thing didn’t measure up to your expectations? I’m not gonna tell and you don’t have to either!

No one’s watching, right? Pour a glass of wine, turn up the 80’s pop music and have a dance party in your pajamas while cooking pasta for the 3rd day in a row. Because you can.

Life is what you make it so make it good. Be brave, be bold, be empowered. And above all, have fun.

What are your thoughts on cooking for one? What are your favorite recipes and strategies? Let me know in the comments below!





Creating Healthy Whole Foods Meals For One

So, what the heck is a whole foods diet, anyway? Take a minute to read this for my opinion on the subject on creating healthy whole foods meals!

Cooking Whole Foods
Cooking Whole Foods


As I mentioned before, I love to cook but cooking for one person seems like a lot of work. You have to haul out the bowls and the pans. The utensils, the cutting board, and the dishes. Not to mention the shopping and clean-up! All for that one meal. But the good news is that I’ve been experimenting in my kitchen. I’ve been creating some tasty and healthy whole foods meals to share with you. I’ve also come up with some easy cooking hacks, tips and ideas to make meal preparation a little bit easier and more efficient.

What Is A Whole Foods Diet?

What Is A Whole Foods Diet?
What Is A Whole Foods Diet?

So what is a whole foods diet, exactly?  Well, that’s sort of a loaded question.

The first thing I would like to point out is that what I’m referring to when I say “diet” is not what is commonly thought of as traditional dieting (i.e. weight loss diet plan). What I’m talking about is a healthier way of eating. (And if you do lose a little weight then all the better, right?!?)

The second thing I’ll say is that there are a number of definitions out there. Many vegetarians see their choices as being the true whole foods diet, while vegans (including raw vegans, fruitarians, juicearians, sproutairians, etc) feel that THEIR choices are the correct ones.

These are all great options and I have deep respect for those who desire, for whatever reason, to remove meat or animals products from their diets but what I’m referring to is a more general description. More of a goal, really, as opposed to a specific plan.

I’m concentrating on avoiding processed foods in favor of using fresh foods, or foods in their natural state if you prefer.

Fresh Foods vs Processed Foods

Processed Foods
Processed Foods

The term fresh food means, once again, different things to different people.

If we wanted to be literal about this, we would go to the hen house every morning to gather eggs. Then we would head to the barn to milk Bessy so we could churn the butter for bread made from the flour we milled after harvesting the wheat in our own backyard.

I, personally, don’t want to wait that long for breakfast so I’m in favor of using a meter, of sorts, that rates food from red to green. From Very Bad (Is there anything in this that isn’t chemicals?) to Sainthood (Why, yes, I do maintain an organic, totally self-sufficient, plant-based household). I simply aim for something in the green(ish) section.

In all seriousness, acquiring fresh food is easier than ever. Most of us are no longer at the mercy of growing seasons, weather or the proximity to others who are willing to barter foodstuffs.

In regard to fresh foods vs processed foods, I am simply referring to foods that are in their natural state vs foods that have been modified in some way to make them ready to eat or easier to prepare. Think a fresh potato instead of boxed potato flakes. Really, it’s that simple.

If you do want to take things a step further (and sometimes I do), the movement to purchase locally grown or raised products is gaining serious traction. You could google local farms (or farmers markets), check your local newspaper or peruse the community bulletin board. I have discovered that most local merchants are happy to direct you to another one if they don’t have what you need.

And think of all the cool people you’ll meet.

Is Eating Meat Healthy?

Is Eating Meat Healthy?
Is Eating Meat Healthy?

Is eating meat bad? Is eating meat healthy?

The debate is never-ending and certainly not one that I could ever settle.

There is one thing that I DO know…many experts agree that meat can be a part of a whole foods meal plan.

Keep in mind that this not a specific eating plan we’re talking about here but more of a guideline.

Fresh and unprocessed is the key (sorry chicken nuggets). Based on that train of thought, some will even argue that fresh meat is more compatible with a whole foods diet than the processed vegan alternatives.

Shopping For Whole Foods

Whole Foods
Whole Foods

Now that we’ve had this chat, you’re ready to jump right in and work up a healthy eating plan, right?

Unfortunately, creating healthy meals is a “no-go” if you don’t have the proper ingredients.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is go shopping for whole foods.

I’m not going to tell you what to buy because I think we’ve already covered that. And we all have different tastes. I love Brussels sprouts, for example, but my best friend gags at the mere sight of them.

No, my advice is simple.  Shop the perimeter of the store because that’s where all the good stuff is. Close your eyes and picture taking a walk around the (inside) outer limits of your local supermarket. That’s where you’ll find fresh produce, seafood, meat and dairy.

Shopping for one person is trickier than shopping for a group so the first thing you’re going to want to do is to decide what you’re going to cook in the upcoming week and use that to make a list.

If you’re feeling stuck, I have posted some of my favorite recipes in the Let’s Get Cooking! tab on my home page. There are a few aisles you may want to hit but if you have a plan you won’t waste your time wandering aimlessly and (probably) buying things you didn’t intend to buy.

For more information on shopping for one person, check out this post.


Whole Foods
Whole Foods

I’ll be adding a few recipes each week under the Let’s Get Cooking! tab on my homepage.

I’ll do my best to categorize them but my idea of evening food might be different from yours (breakfast for supper, anyone?) so feel free to look around to see what’s there.

I’ll also be including those aforementioned cooking hacks, tips and ideas. Any that pertain to a particular recipe will be included in that post but

I will also be writing posts about some ideas I’ve come up with. Please come back often to see what’s new!

This is a journey and I hope you’ll join me. I look forward to seeing your ideas and recipes, either in the comment section below or by email.

So, are we ready?

Let’s Get Cooking!



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