Health Hack: Eat 3 Meals a Day!

This was one meal I ate, but there were three in total.


When I started my career as a successful lifestyle blogger, I was working in an office. It meant I got to share exciting lifestyle secrets about morning routines and after-work dinners. Now, after a long hiatus where I had no lifestyle at all, I’m thrilled to announce that I am back and more lifestyled than ever. Only now, I work from home! This means I am very zen, centered, and teetering on the edge of emotional collapse at all times.

When I first started working from home, I didn’t have any groceries. This created a lot of confusion: Was there more to life than bagels and expired oatmeal?  How could I obtain food if I was at home all day? Why did I feel vaguely sick all the time? Surely a cup of coffee and a salad of shriveled greens should sustain me til dinner, but alas… it did not.

But then, I stumbled out of doors one night (there’s a whole world out there!) and happened upon the grocery store. At this miraculous house of food, I bought fresh produce and nourishing carbohydrates. I took them home and the next day, I ate three complete meals.

And oh, the energy! I felt so human. So alive. So adequate. And that’s the thing with miracles. Nobody knows how it works! But that’s the beauty of basic biology: it can’t be understood.

Loneliness Hack: Make Festive Party Foods for Just You!

If you’re like me, you know that cooking for one can be a bummer. All the work that goes into lovingly preparing a meal only serves as a reminder that you are all alone in the world. (Not even successful lifestyle bloggers are immune to this. It’s lonely at the top.)

But does a lifestyle blogger give up? No, I found a solution! This one simple trick will breathe new life into your lonely habits:

Make fun dishes that are meant for groups, and eat them alone.

 


These veggie stuffed mushrooms are a healthy, decadent party snack. They’re challenging to prepare (hollowing out those mushrooms is harder than it looks!), and the slicing, chopping, and baking process builds anticipation for what is sure to be a warm dinner party in the company of good friends. Or, a semi-satisfying dinner for one! I put them on a plate and washed them down with some wine, but feel free to hold the hot cookie sheet over the sink and go to town.


Cauliflower fritters are a healthy twist on hash browns, and they’re great for a homemade brunch with someone you love. Or, for creating an entire sink full of dishes that you, yourself will have to wash! But hovering over a hot stove and trying to flip these beauties before they crumbled? It was so worth it when I saw the look on my own face as I took the first bite, my reflection in the living room window betraying a mix of satisfaction an existential doom. Yum!


Queso dip is, technically, not food. But it is great for parties! And any event can be a party with the right snacks – even sitting on the couch and admitting that you, truly, have given up. And when you’re eating alone, nobody will ever know that you finished the entire jar yourself. I didn’t even give this picture a border, because it doesn’t deserve it.

I might be a lonely lifestyle blogger, but with this fun life hack, I’m also full of appetizers at all times! And that, my friends, is what I call a success 🙂

Fad Diet: Salad Week

I couldn’t call myself a successful lifestyle blogger if I didn’t endorse a harebrained dieting scheme. So let’s go with this one:

A few weeks ago, my roommate Inae and I made a commitment to eat salads for a week. The parameters were that we would take turns making a salad every day, and the salad would be dinner. That’s it. No other guidelines. Easy diet, right?

WRONG. No, just kidding. It was pretty successful! We made it six days, which is hereby called an Adequate Week™. And the salads were, overall, pretty healthy. I was surprised how full I felt from just eating a lot of vegetables.

Though Salad Week was pretty successful, I did chronicle it poorly. There were lots of homemade dressings and delicious roasted chickpeas and marinated tofu, but I don’t remember most of what they were. Instead, enjoy these unexplained photos of salads!




Recipe: Magic Eggs

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I didn’t have a lot of time for lunch today, so I made something quick that is usually a totally passable lunch choice: spinach and eggs. The recipe is simple. You saute some spinach, then crack a couple eggs in as soon as the spinach starts shrinking up. The eggs finished cooking – I swear they were all cooked – and I crumbled some goat cheese on top. I sat down to eat.

Only then, like MAGIC, the eggs uncooked themselves! It was yolk soup. It was a disgusting lunch miracle! It was basically inedible.

I didn’t eat it.

But I didn’t give up. I popped the whole thing in the microwave for a minute, which cooked up the eggs a little too much. It didn’t taste good, but I did have lunch. And that, my friends, is what I call an adequate meal 🙂

My Deepest Secret: How to Make Anything a Meal


Hello, loyal readers. Being a successful lifestyle blogger is not as easy as it looks. In order to share my self-actualized, spiritually whole lifestyle with the masses, I need to be willing to let you into my life. You come here to get the secrets of the universe, and there’s a lot of pressure on me to deliver.

Well, now that we’ve known each other for a few months, I feel like I finally trust you enough to divulge my most adequate secret. The cardinal rule of an adequate lifestyle:

If you put it in a tortilla, it’s a meal.

For example, if I put cream cheese, spinach, and salad dressing in a tortilla? That’s dinner.

Nutella and craisins in a tortilla? Also dinner…AND dessert.

Tortillas are easy to keep on hand, and any combination of ingredients from the dregs of last week’s grocery trip will co-mingle inside. That’s right, ANY ingredients, whether it’s leftover sauteed veggies or the last shavings from the bottom of a bag of shredded cheddar. No matter the ingredients and/or sauces, if you wrap a tortilla around it, it qualifies as a “wrap.”

You’re welcome.

 

 

Quick, Easy Dinner: Half a Bottle of Wine

This is what my field of vision looks like right now!

I had “one of those days” today. A long, frustrating one that left me feeling completely drained. The last thing I wanted to do after a ten hour work day was go home and cook dinner. In fact, I wasn’t even hungry. Do you ever have those days?

I could have put tens of minutes into chopping and cooking vegetables and putting them over rice or in pasta, but instead, I went for something quicker. In five seconds flat, I opened up a bottle of red wine (type unclear) that was sitting in my pantry.

That’s it! Prep work, done. Cooking time, nonexistent.

Better yet, it’s in my bloodstream immediately, no digestion necessary! I’m not even hungry anymore. And let me tell you, I’m having a great time! Also, I’m dizzy.

This Tostada Should Have Been a Bummer

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On weekends, I love to make myself a nice breakfast while I scramble to make coffee before the caffeine withdrawal headache sets in. One of my favorites is a breakfast tostada, which usually involves some scrambled eggs. However, after making scrambled eggs with vanilla almond milk one too many times (do not recommend), I thought I’d mix it up and fry the eggs instead.

I didn’t have high hopes for this breakfast, since a fried egg on a tostada seemed a little bland. To spice it up, I added some sliced tomato and crumbled goat cheese. This made the whole thing seem a little less sad, but still – it’s a very cursory meal, entirely based on convenience.

UNTIL…

I used my tiny Ikea frying pan to make the eggs! It turns out, this created an egg disc that was exactly the same size as the tostada. It was an incredibly satisfying dish to assemble.

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Those two circles are the same size!

Somehow, the yolks didn’t break as I was cooking the eggs, and the heat from the eggs melted the goat cheese – and runny yolk, gooey cheese, plus crispy tostada? What should have been a disappointing end-of-the-groceries breakfast turned into a satisfying miracle!

In conclusion, go get one of those tiny frying pans.

Life Gave Me Lemons

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There’s a lemon tree in front of my house. After months of looking at sad green bulbs, beautiful yellow lemons appeared all at once. Which means….immediate stress! A desperate need to binge on lemons! Over-saturation of garden delight! So I came up with a plan: a massive lemon day, where I would pick all the lemons and then cook and bake lemon-related things with them. It was going to be grand. There would be lemon bars and meringue pies! There would be potions and teas and lemonades! There were some hurdles.

Lemon trees have thorns. I didn’t know that until one stabbed me. So the momentous lemon harvest turned into picking six lemons and then going inside to wash my wounds. It’s okay though! Cooking with six lemons is totally respectable. I “cook,” but “baking” isn’t really a doable thing, so my friend Jen came over to assist with the “following directions” part of baking.
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My first recipe attempt was a (misguided) Lemon Spaghetti. Does that sound weird? It was. But I don’t cook meat, and vegetarian lemon recipe options were sort of limited. And then….the substitutions! (I can’t follow a recipe.) I thought heavy cream sounded too unhealthy and subbed in “fat free half and half” aka chalk water. Also, I already had mozzarella cheese so I used that instead of parmigiano reggiano (whatever that is). So something about the flavors wasn’t quite right, and instead of a sauce, it was more of a cheesy lemon stew. It needed vegetables, and I had none. And I might have left out another thing? Parsley, maybe? It was totally fine, though. Very edible.

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Jen’s contribution was this recipe for a Lemon Yogurt Cake. This one got off to a strong start because we had all the ingredients (thanks, Jen). It hit a rocky middle because I don’t own a mixing bowl. We made it work, though:

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This is a pitcher.

There’s actually not that much to report about the baking experience. I stayed out of the way, and it went off without a hitch.

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No hitches here.

The cake was a total success. And I ate leftover lemon spaghetti for the rest of the week, so that wasn’t technically a failure either. 🙂

What else should I “make” with a bunch of lemons? Tell me in the comments!

Diner-Grade, Neurotoxic Potatoes

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If you’re anything like me, seven years ago your mom sent you an article about how the eyes on potatoes can contain dangerous neurotoxins, and you’ve subconsciously avoided dealing with them ever since.

Well, finally it occurred to me that I frequently entrust food prep to complete strangers (a fun, cool way of looking at restaurants), and they definitely aren’t getting neurotic about neurotoxins. And, I’m still alive. The truth has set me free.

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with hash browns and other breakfast potatoes. I came up with one that’s of almost a diner-like quality, and is only kind of extremely unhealthy.

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Olive oil is not butter.

I like using baby yukon gold potatoes, but you can probably sub in any kind. I don’t know if that’s true. I’m not a potato expert. Anyway, the baby yukon golds are easy to slice. They also have a thin skin – relatable! – so you can skip peeling them. Slice the potatoes thinly and arrange on a skillet with some garlic. I sprayed on some aerosol olive oil in an attempt to be healthy, but there wasn’t enough sizzling so I gave up and added some butter. Once they were satisfyingly crispy, I topped with a little cheese, salt, and pepper.

I don’t want to brag and say that I think these could hold up as a forgettable side dish at a 2am diner…but I don’t think that they couldn’t. That might be the neurotoxins talking.