Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What I cook when my hubby is out of town

On our way back from Nashville this weekend, Becca asked me what I cook for myself when John is out of town. Cooking for one is not nearly as fun as making a meal to share with someone else. So I typically stick to relatively simple and healthy meals that I can eat for leftovers. I also take advantage of the time saved from not making a full meal to catch up on baking!

Since John was out of town at a work event the beginning of this week, here's what I made:

Dinner (and lunch and/or dinner leftovers):

Lentil and Quinoa Veggie Stew (Gluten-free)

I made this meal after returning from Nashville Sunday night. It's also the perfect dinner for post-vacation before you've had a chance to go to the grocery store. I typically have all of these ingredients on hand, but you can customize depending on what's in your pantry/fridge.

1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup quinoa
4-5 cups water
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans
1 small diced onion
2 garlic cloves diced
1 jalapeno chopped
1 cup frozen spinach
To taste: Italian seasoning, Cayenne pepper, Smoked paprika, and Ground pepper
Optional: Chopped green onion as garnish


  1. Rinse lentils and quinoa. Put lentils and quinoa in a large pot with 4 to 5 cups water (depending on the desired thickness.) I started with four cups then added another cup later on.
  2. Bring to a boil then let simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is done and lentils are starting to become tender.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients. 
  4. Let simmer until lentils are done and top with green onion, if desired.

Side Item:
Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

I got this recipe from Cooking Light, here. The only change I made was that my chips needs several more minutes of microwaving.

Baked Goods/Snacks:

Homemade, all natural fruit and nut bars (Gluten free)

I love Lara Bars but not their price tag. Instead, I tried my hand at making my own fruit and nut bars, and I loved the result! Although these are definitely a healthy version, they tasted like a fudgy brownie to me. 

I was inspired by a recipe in Women's Running magazine but didn't have some of the ingredients on hand. So here's my version below:

1 1/2 cups dried plums (or figs) soaked in warm water for 1 hour
2 cups almond flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash sea salt
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 banana
1 cup applesauce


  1. Soak dried plums.
  2. Add everything to a food processor until combined. (I only have a blender, so my bars came out a little chunkier, but they were still great.)
  3. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray and spread mix evenly into pan.
  4. Freeze overnight, cut into squares, and keep frozen. Let the square sit out for a couple minutes when you are ready to eat one.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins (Gluten Free)

I used this same recipe that I've made before, but replaced the chocolate chips for blueberries. John even wanted one this morning, and he normally doesn't like oatmeal!

2-ingredient pancakes (Gluten Free)

I've read several bloggers who've made 2-ingredient pancakes for breakfast. Knowing that I need more iron and protein in my diet, these sounded like a tasty way to eat more eggs. 

2 eggs lightly beaten
1 mashed banana
Dash of pumpkin pie spice (optional) - so call them 3-ingredient pancakes!


  1. Beat eggs. Mash banana. Whisk both together. Add a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, if desired.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add about 2-3 Tablespoons of the egg/banana mixture. As it starts to firm up, flip over on the other side until lightly browned. 
  3. Repeat with remaining "batter."
  4. I like mine served with almond butter on the side for dipping and extra protein!


  1. WOW.. you are amazing!! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Do you have a mandoline slicer as the sweet potato chip recipe suggests, or did you just cut them by hand? Those would be a great Whole 30 snack!

    1. They are a great snack! And no, I just sliced them very thin because I don't have a mandoline and it worked fine!