One of the first things I wanted to do after finishing final exams was to sit down and write a blog post since it’s been a while. I wrapped up exams this week, and it’s hard to believe I only have one more semester of law school left!
This has definitely been an odd semester with classes totally online, and of course, life in general has felt strange and unpredictable since March. I hope you’re hanging in there, staying healthy, and finding time to do things that fill you up and help you feel at peace.
Today, I’m excited for a post that’s more similar to what I used to write in the good ol’ days when I first started blogging. (Was anyone else around for the “What I Ate Wednesday” trend in the blog world?! Every Wednesday, a group of food bloggers shared pictures of everything they ate in a day.)
The longer I’ve blogged, the more I’ve found myself over-thinking what to share, but posting recent meals was simple and fun. So, here a “what I’ve been eating lately” post. (And when I say “lately”…I mean the last 2.5 years of law school 😂).
I’m definitely a creature of habit, so when I find a healthy meal that I really like and that’s easy to make for one person, I usually don’t mind making it often.
These are a few of my go-tos that are healthy, easy, and quick to prep, and I can enjoy them all week (other than the last meal in this post, which takes about three minutes to whip up so I make it daily)!
All but one meal include lots of veggies because I typically don’t make any side dishes when cooking for one. They’re also boyfriend-approved, although he might add some bread or half a dozen chocolate chip cookies, too, to really round out the meal. 😉
1. Spaghetti squash with protein
I use spaghetti squash a few different ways, both as a base like rice, and then like noodles mixed with sauce.
I bake a big spaghetti squash ahead of time and use it for 4 meals or so. I keep all of the other ingredients for spaghetti squash bowls in the fridge that week, and then I build each bowl on the day of, depending on how hungry I am.
Here are my favorite ways to enjoy spaghetti squash:
• Spaghetti squash with marinara & turkey meatballs: I use jarred spicy marinara and frozen turkey meatballs that I prep ahead of time and freeze. You can also buy frozen chicken or turkey meatballs for an even easier option. I love topping with nutritional yeast, too, for some extra “cheesy” flavor, or topping with parmesan is a great idea.
• Mexican spaghetti squash with chicken, black beans, salsa, and sauteed bell peppers. For what it’s worth, my dad, brother, and boyfriend all love this one!
• Spaghetti squash with homemade meat sauce: I freeze mason jars of homemade meat sauce, and then all I have to do is let one defrost in the fridge overnight, mix it with spaghetti squash, and heat it up.
• Pesto spaghetti squash: I make this with Trader Joe’s vegan pesto, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, and maybe some goat cheese sprinkled in for a creamier sauce. I love topping with nutritional yeast, too.
2. Huge salads that are actually SO yummy
I think the keys for a really good salad are a variety of raw AND roasted vegetables, having something crunchy on top (like roasted chickpeas or nuts), and a healthy creamy dressing.
I almost always add:
• Roasted veggies, usually butternut squash (which adds some amazing sweetness) or even roasted broccoli or cauliflower
• Raw veggies like bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion
• Mixed greens
• Rotisserie chicken
• Something crunchy, like roasted chickpeas or nuts
• A yummy creamy dairy-free dressing like tahini or honey mustard
I roast a bunch of veggies twice per week or so and then add them to salads each day.
3. Grain & roasted veggie bowls with fried eggs
I make lots of roasted veggie bowls with some combination of root veggies (sweet potatoes, carrots, maybe rutabaga) and other veggies like bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry or grape tomatoes, asparagus, and red onion.
I roast root veggies on one pan and everything else on another. Then, I add the veggies to a bowl and add a fried egg or two on top with a drizzle of sriracha. I’ll also sometimes add chickpeas for some extra bulk.
I bake two big roasting pans of veggies at once ahead of time, and then fry the eggs fresh for each meal! Here’s my recipe for roasted veggie hash with fried eggs for more specific details of how I do it!
4. Gluten-free peanut butter banana protein pancakes
Breakfast for dinner is great on a busy day, and gluten-free Kodiak cakes are my go-to dinner when I don’t have much food prepped or I’m low on groceries. And I LOVE my Kodiak cakes. Sometimes, you just need a big plate of yummy, bread-y carbs and especially with being gluten-free, I feel like some days I just need my carb fix.
For gluten-free protein pancakes, I use:
• 1/2 cup gluten-free Kodiak Cake Mix
• A cube of frozen banana or a whole mini banana (I buy mini bananas at Whole Foods!)
• 1 Tablespoon PBFit (for PB flavor and protein!)
• 1 scoop collagen peptides (very optional)
• A few Lily’s chocolate chips sprinkled in 😍
I usually order gluten-free Kodiak cakes from Amazon in packs of three or six and do the Subscribe & Save option to save a little extra. They occasionally go out of stock on Amazon, so I also order individual boxes from Target, too!
When I packed up to visit my parents for Thanksgiving, I absolutely packed some Kodiak cakes, too, haha.
One other thing I love about these meals is that they’re all macro-friendly, which basically means that you get a lot of bang for your (macro) buck. To me, that means high protein and high volume of food. 😊
I started tracking macros about six months ago and while I’ve taken a few breaks since then, especially while traveling, I’ve grown to really like it! It takes a lot of the guesswork out of eating for me (am I eating enough protein, am I over or undereating, etc.). And I have no problem going over my macros if I’m genuinely still hungry at the end of the day, which happens occasionally.
To track macros for big bowls like these, I build my bowl on the scale. I place the big bowl on the scale and then zero the scale. Then, I add the first ingredient, zero the scale, and add the next one. Hope that makes sense! I log everything in grams (ex: 200 grams of spaghetti squash, 150 grams of cooked chicken, etc.) since it’s easier than logging odd amounts of ounces, like 4.39 ounces of chicken, for example.
I don’t worry about tracking super light things like lettuce, a few pieces of tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc. I think some amount of flexibility and looseness is the only way I can track macros without it becoming too tedious, and it’s close enough for me! And repeating meals or meal components simplifies the process a lot.
So, those are some of my go-tos and how I track them!
I’d love to know…do you repeat meals a lot? What’s one of your go-tos? Have you ever tried tracking macros?