Smoothies For One

Sorry, All, new job and super tired in the evenings when I get home, so the blog has taken a temporary backseat. But no worries. Just making adjustments, then I’ll get back in the swing of things.

Here’s a refreshing recipe for a summer smoothie. This stuff is the bomb, and you can make it in a snap.

1 cup milk (regular, almond, soy, pick a card, any card…)

1 container yogurt (mine are six ounces, but again, take your pick, plain or low-carb or sugar-free)

1/2 to 1 cup frozen pineapple or mango or strawberries or peaches

2 tsp sweetener (optional, I use honey or real maple syrup or Stevia when I use it at all)

Put the milk and the yoghurt in the blender, add fruit and sweetener, and blend until it’s the way you like it. Add what little things you might like to rev up the flavor or the nutrition, like a dash of cinnamon, a drop of peppermint oil, or a handful of spinach (this comes out with an awesome green color, but you can’t really taste it).

Remember, FROZEN fruit is the key to the right consistency. Room temperature fruit will render your refreshing smoothie dull and unappealing, like stories of the Mojave Desert on a hot day in July.

Enjoy!

Build A Taco For One

Here’s one that’s super easy to fix, allows for creativity, and tastes great.

Build A Taco For One

1/2 pound ground beef

Half a taco seasoning packet

1/2 cup water

1 can black beans (optional)

Shredded Mexican cheese

Sour cream

Salsa

Guacamole

Tortilla chips (optional, use sparingly)

Shredded lettuce

Brown the ground beef, drain.

Add half a seasoning packet and the water, mix and stir over medium heat until thickened.

Warm the black beans in a saucepan or in a dish in the microwave.

Line a bowl with lettuce and/or tortilla chips.

Top with beef and beans, then cheese (so it melts), then everything else. Stir it up and eat it with a fork! That’s it! Super filling and super cheap, too. Enjoy!

Let’s Talk About Sugar, But Only For Two Seconds

Okay, yes, I posted a recipe for a single chocolate chip cookie, but it was in a moment of weakness, and in my defense, everybody needs a cookie sometime. (Better one than the five dozen you’ll make with the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag!) However, let me take just a moment — well, two, really — and talk about sugar and flour.

They’re bad.

They’re not good.

That’s all you need to know. You cut out these two things, or cut way back on them, and watch what happens. The weight drops. The energy levels jump up. The indicators for heart disease drop, including triglycerides (big word for “three sugars”) and blood sugar levels. And did you know that a number of doctors are talking about Alzheimer’s as “Type 3 Diabetes” now? Scary.

What should you eat in its place, you ask? Protein. Lots of veggies. Some fruit (not dried). Some good fat. A few (and very little of the) natural sweeteners. We’ll talk about that more soon, but for now, just try this one simple thing: Cut back on sugar and/or flour, and see if it’s not what the doctor (not me!) ordered. Give up sugar for one month, just four weeks, and see what happens. When I did it, I lost 13 pounds, changing nothing else, only stopping the sugar (wasn’t even exercising). How about you? What will your story be?

Now, try this recipe out and see if you like it.

Sweet Cream Dessert For One

1/4 cup of whipping cream

1/2 tbsp sweetener (optional): xylitol (this stuff actually inhibits cavities!), maple syrup (mild flavor), or possibly a Stevia packet

Flavors (optional): 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cocoa, 1/2 tsp instant coffee, a few drops of flavored oil (like peppermint, banana, orange, etc.)

Beat the ingredients together until the cream forms stiff peaks.

Eat with a spoon, and tell me that stuff’s not the bomb. Leave the sugar out and dip some fruit in there instead, and you’re set.

 

Chicken and Rice: Single Serving

Oops! Pressed this awesome recipe from Dinner of Herbs to the wrong blog! Let me try that again, and hope you enjoy it. As for the mushroom soup substitute, I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest the following, since you don’t need that much.

via Chicken and Rice: Single Serving.

Cream of Mushroom Soup Substitute for Chicken and Rice Recipe

1 tbsp mushrooms cut up

1 tsp chopped onion

1 tsp butter

1 tbsp cream

1/2 tsp flour, optional

salt and pepper to taste

In a tiny sauté pan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat and cook the onions for one minute, then add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two, until tender. Add the cream and the salt and pepper (a dash or two apiece), and keep stirring. If you want it a little thicker, add the flour and stir over medium heat until it’s the consistency you want.

This only makes a tiny bit, but may be easier than opening a can of soup for that one tablespoon. One spoon for the recipe, one for your happy mouth. What do you think? Should I scale this up for a full serving? Cream of Mushroom Soup For One? Yeah, I definitely will.

via Chicken and Rice: Single Serving.

Jacked-Up Chicken For One

Okay, let’s keep the momentum going with the chicken for another easy to make recipe. This one is a variation on a popular chain’s idea for chicken with mushrooms. Hope you like it!

Jacked-Up Chicken For One

1 chicken breast

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp chopped mushrooms

2 tbsp chopped onions

1 tbsp cream

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp flour

salt and pepper to taste

 

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Add the onions, cook for a minute until tender (invisible).

Add the mushrooms, cook for another minute until softer, but still firm, too.

Add the cream, milk and salt and pepper. Slowly add the flour and stir until thickened. (This shouldn’t take long at all.)

Set aside, and cook the chicken breast using a grill or another skillet, until the internal temperature is 165.

Turn the heat down to medium or medium-low, and top the cooked breast with the mushroom/onion mix. Place a slice of Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese on top, and cover so the cheese will melt.

This stuff is the bomb. Enjoy!

Oven-Fried Chicken For One

This is a great dish for when you want fried chicken, but without all the grease. It still has some butter, mind you, but this is low-carb friendly, which means good things for your waistline AND your heart. If you’re allergic to almonds, you can use regular breading (e.g. crumbled crackers are excellent, and bread crumbs will work, too). There really shouldn’t be so much that the carb count goes too high, anyway.

Note: You CAN coat the entire breast with the mixture by shaking it in a bag, but my experience is that the breading is going to stick to the bottom of the pan no matter what you do, so the choice is yours.

Oven-Fried Chicken For One

1 chicken breast

1 egg, beaten

1/8 cup (2 tbsp) ground almonds (blender or food processor) or finely crumbled crackers

1/4 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 400.

Coat the breast in the beaten egg and place in a baking dish.

Mix up the breading, paprika, and salt and pepper in a small mug or plastic bag.

Sprinkle mixture generously over the breast, but not with mounds piled high.

Pour melted butter over the top of the chicken, getting as much coverage as you can.

Bake for 40 minutes to an hour, until the temperature reaches 180. There’s a range here, because some of you will be baking frozen breasts, and others will be using breasts the size of small Volkswagen Beetles, so just keep an eye on it. When it’s done, it comes out nice and golden brown, and tastes better than it has any right to. You might try out my recipes for mashed cauliflower, or carrots and green beens for something on the side.

Enjoy!

Spaghetti (No Noodles) For One

Yes, yes, I know. You’re saying, “No noodles?” And the answer is yes, that’s just what I wanted to say. Noodles are fine, and they’re the go-to for spaghetti sauce, but wait, hear me out. Noodles, even the “whole-wheat” variety, are pretty empty nutritionally. Yes, they fill us up, but it’s with empty calories, and a blood-sugar spike that’s less than helpful. Unless you’re in perfect shape and exercise a lot, spaghetti noodles are not the most awesome thing for you. We’ll talk more later about why that is, but for now, just take a look at the recipe and give it a shot. (If it helps at all, eating it this way is an option at a rather good Italian restaurant chain. It’s for those who don’t want wheat or simple carbs in their food. You just have to ask.)

Note: If you must use noodles, boil just enough for yourself for 7 to 9 minutes, no more, and then lay them down under the sauce.

Note: If you want meat in there, just brown 1/4 pound ground beef or ground Italian sausage and add it when the sauce is cooking on the stove. I’m a big fan, myself, but the recipes are for straight tomato-based sauce.

Spaghetti (No Noodles)

Thin Spaghetti Sauce For One

1 tbsp (olive) oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder, or 1 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 tsp basil, or 2 leaves, chopped

1 can tomato sauce

salt and pepper

Sauté the garlic (or garlic powder) in oil over medium heat for about two to three minutes, until tender. (Cooking the powder also helps to release the flavor, so don’t get weirded out by that.)

Stir in the basil and tomato sauce.

Season with some salt and pepper, then cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens a little.

Chunky Spaghetti Sauce For One

1 tbsp (olive oil)

1 clove of minced garlic, or 1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, optional

1/8 cup chopped mushrooms, optional

1/8 cup chopped zucchini, optional

1 tsp basil, or 2 leaves, chopped

1 can crushed or diced tomatoes

salt and pepper

Sauté the garlic (or garlic powder) and the other vegetables in oil over medium heat for about two to four minutes, until tender.

Stir in the basil and the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until it thickens some.

Tomato-Only Spaghetti Sauce For One

1 tbls (olive) oil

1 clove garlic, or 1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/4 to 1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 tsp basil, or 2 leaves, chopped

salt and pepper

Sauté the garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes over medium heat, then add the tomatoes and the basil, cooking and stirring occasionally while the tomatoes soften. When they’re at the right consistency for your taste, you’re done.

Not Noodles For One

2 tbsp (olive) oil

1 to 2 cups chopped or sliced zucchini , squash, sugar snap peas, eggplant, bell peppers, onions (any or all optional)

salt and pepper

Sauté chopped vegetables in oil over medium to medium high heat until tender and slightly browned. Add salt and pepper.

Just put the sautéed vegetables down instead of the noodles, cover with the sauce of your choice, and you’re set. Believe me when I say that not only does this taste good, but it beats noodles for nutrition and weight loss hands down. Let me know what you think.