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Throw together an easy DIY waffle bar to celebrate Galentine’s Day this February or weekend brunch with your favorite people. 

Valentine’s Day is cool and all, but have you celebrated Galentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day is a holiday that Leslie Knope, the main character of Parks & Rec came up with. Essentially, it’s a day to celebrate with your best girlfriends. In one episode, Leslie hosted a breakfast themed party complete with her favorite food-waffles. So, obviously when I celebrate Galentine’s Day with my favorite friends, it’s got to include waffles, and pizza, and 90s-2000’s rom-coms.

Obviously.

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how this DIY waffle bar fits into my lifestyle 

Since moving into my own place, I’ve recognized the importance of having people over to my house. Since my life revolves around food and I love to cook and eat with friends, I’ve made an effort to have at least monthly dinner parties with a few more people than the 4 people I regularly get together with. Connecting with friends, meeting new ones, and having low key dinners are integral to my wellbeing, and I hope to give you a bit of inspiration if you’d like to make an effort to connect more with your friends. My dinner parties are often potlucks so I don’t have to spend a full day preparing, and then cleaning up afterward.

How it’ll make your life easier

As fun as dinner parties sound and are in the moment, they do take a lot of preparation AND time. That’s why I’m 100% for potluck style dinner parties. All I do is choose a theme & decide what I want to contribute, then create a simple sign up sheet with general dishes like vegetable, grain/starch, drinks, and dessert. That way we don’t end up with 4 people bringing fruit and no main dish (been there, done that) and it’s slightly cohesive AND guests can see what others are bringing and avoid duplicating a dish.

This DIY waffle bar is the perfect way to do a fun potluck that’s easy for everyone. Have your guests bring toppings & you just need an hour or so (before OR more realistically, during the dinner-right?!) to make the waffles. Have friends bring waffle irons if they have any, this will save you lots of time to have a few!

Quick Notes on This Recipe What waffle mixes should I get?

You 100% can make your own waffle mix, but honestly, there are lots of great ready to mix pancake/waffle mixes out there. Here are a couple of my favorites-

  • Kodiak Cakes (literally ALL the flavors), they taste sooo delicious, have whole grains, and you only have to add water (and a bit of oil for waffles)
  • Bob’s Red Mill whole grain pancake/waffle mix
  • Simple Mills Gluten Free mix
How can I save time making the waffles?

Use a mix saves you time, and also have guests bring their own waffle iron. You can invite everyone over to prep their dish or have a few people come early to make waffles.

Also, turn the oven to 200 degrees, put a large (covered) pan in there, and add waffles as they’re done. This will help keep them warm as you’re making more.

What toppings should we include?

My absolute favorite waffle toppings are fresh (or thawed frozen) fruit, chocolate whipped cream, and syrup. But you can also top your waffles with chopped nuts, chocolate syrup, jam, bananas, caramel, ice cream, yogurt, or make them savory with cheese and bacon. Really there is no wrong way to top a waffle.

What if I want a more round meal?

I get it, waffles with sweet toppings are great and all, but sometimes you just want something savory to go along with them. I’d recommend making eggs of some kind, scrambled are easiest, and you can keep them warm in the oven too! I’m also a huge fan of breakfast sausage &/or bacon. The meatiness and saltiness in these breakfast classics pair really well with sweet waffles & the other toppings. Again, you can keep them warm in the oven too!

How do I make this a potluck breakfast bar?

I love making spreadsheets, and for potlucks this makes everything SO MUCH easier. I write down a few dish ideas (or just leave it blank for your guests to fill out) on a google spreadsheet, text the link out, and have people sign up for the dish they’ll bring. For a waffle bar where your guests will all bring waffle toppings, you can just leave it blank and people can fill in what they’ll bring.

Using a sign up spreadsheet allows me to streamline the potluck process, and people can all have access to see what we’ll be eating since everyone is writing down what they’ll bring on one document. No duplicates unless you want them, and you’ll have lots of options! it’s a win win, and it’s really easy for you as the host.

How do I make easy chocolate waffles?

Oh, this is so easy. I add cocoa powder and sugar to my regular waffle mix, here’s the recipe. It’s delicious, chocolatey, and best of all, really easy!

DIY Waffle Bar

Throw together an easy DIY waffle bar to celebrate Galentine’s Day this February or weekend brunch with your favorite people. 

  • 2 cups Pancake/Waffle mix
  • 2 cups fresh berries (sliced if needed)
  • bananas
  • fresh whipped cream
  • peanut butter
  • nutella
  • chocolate chips
  • chopped nuts
  • maple syrup
  • ground cinnamon
  1. Mix waffle mix according to box directions. Heat up waffle iron, and spray waffle iron with cooking spray before pouring batter in. Cook waffles. While waffles are cooking, heat up oven to 200 degrees, place a large baking pan in oven with a lid. Transfer cooked waffles to baking pan to keep them warm as the others cook.

  2. Cut up fruit and toppings, put toppings in serving bowls. 

  3. Place bowls of toppings on a table, add waffles right before serving. Serve and enjoy.

If you want to make chocolate waffles, here’s an easy recipe using plain pancake/waffle mix.

Serve with any of the following for variety: scrambled eggs or frittata, bacon, sausage, cocktails or mocktails.

Make about 1/4 recipe more than the number of guests you anticipate, unless you’ve got a lot of protein rich foods. This will ensure you’ve got a few extra if anyone wants seconds!

Freeze remaining waffles for a quick and exciting breakfast

easy ways to repurpose this recipe

Well, you can’t quite repurpose these items, but you can freeze the waffles for quick breakfasts. That’s what I do & they’re awesome! If the fruit gets soggy, mix it all together and use as ‘jam’ it’s great on toast, over oatmeal, or on those waffles you froze for later!

Want more ideas for a Galentine’s Day party? I’ve got ’em here!

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Let’s get chatty:

  • Do you celebrate Galentine’s day?
  • What toppings would you love to have at a DIY waffle bar?

The post Easy DIY Waffle Bar appeared first on Nourish Nutrition Blog: quick recipes for single women, From Registered Dietitian Rebecca Clyde.

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Cold weather calls for warming up with hot cocoa. Liven up your hot cocoa with the best hot chocolate toppings: peppermint and peanut butter powder.

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Now that it’s full on winter, or at least should be, it’s time for all the warm things. Because it’s important to be warm on the inside and the outside. Grab your favorite blanket, and heat up yourself some delicious hot cocoa on this chilly winter’s night.

how these best hot chocolate toppings fit into my lifestyle 

While everyone else is sharing and focusing on dieting and restriction this post holiday season, I’m here sharing a hot chocolate recipe. And it’s on purpose. As much as I love, and want to show you how to love vegetables and foods that have a high nutritional value, the reality is that eating isn’t all about physically nourishing our bodies. It’s about enjoyment, fueling, and joy. Especially during the post holiday gloom-we deserve it.

I’m one of those dietitians who loves all foods, who believes and preaches Intuitive Eating. Who believes that loosening ourselves from the grips of restriction and shame from eating is THE way to live a healthier and happier life.

I won’t go into it much more, because I’ve talked about it before. Here and here. But there’s a great power in treating all foods as morally equal. It shifts the way we think about, and eventually eat food. It opens the door to enjoyment and creates space for other things in life that are important to us. it’s a beautiful thing.

With all that said, I love warming up with a cozy mug of hot chocolate. It’s a great way to wind down and sit still.

How it’ll make your life easier

You can add the best hot chocolate toppings to any hot chocolate mix that you have. All you need is a tablespoon, some milk (or water), your fave cocoa mix, and peanut butter powder or crushed peppermint. No need to froth anything, no need to cook anything else, just sprinkle and enjoy.

Use your favorite instant hot chocolate or my delicious homemade hot chocolate mix.

Quick Notes on This Recipe Peanut Butter Powder?

If you haven’t tried peanut butter powder yet, grab some on your next grocery run. You can find peanut butter powder next to the peanut butter. It’s essentially dehydrated peanut butter. I love adding it to smoothies, pancakes, and baked goods. You can also get it in different flavors, so if you like chocolate or vanilla flavored PB, you’re in luck. You can also add water to make a peanut butter paste, but it’s better just added to other items as a powder!

What are other great hot chocolate toppings?

I added it here-but whipped cream is another fave of mine. It makes your hot cocoa extra creamy and milky. Marshmallows, chocolate candies, a candy cane, caramel, actual peanut butter are also great add-ins. If you’re a dark chocolate lover and have milk chocolate mixes, I recommend adding a spoonful of dark chocolate cocoa powder to your regular mix. This is one of my fave hot chocolate hacks, it is amazing!

Create a hot chocolate bar

If you’re hosting a party in the winter, or having guests over, a hot chocolate bar is a really fun & easy way to treat your guests. Just pour hot chocolate mixes into bowls, keep milk and water warm on the stove or in a vessel to keep it warm, and add these toppings to small bowls. Make sure to have lots of mugs, straws, and napkins on hand. And you’ll have happy excited guests.

The Best Hot Chocolate Toppings

Cold weather calls for warming up with hot cocoa. Liven up your hot cocoa with the best hot chocolate toppings: peppermint and peanut butter powder.

  • favorite hot chocolate mix
  • 8 ounces milk or water
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream
  • 1 tablespoon crushed peppermint candy (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered peanut butter (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon mini marshmallows (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate candies (optional)
  • 1 candy cane (optional)
  1. Make a cup of hot chocolate with your favorite mix (according to mix directions). Add a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Top with any of the above toppings. Enjoy. 

Want to make your own hot chocolate? Try this recipe of mine

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Let’s get chatty:

  • What’s your favorite warm drink during the winter?
  • What toppings would you add to the list of the best hot chocolate toppings?

The post The Best Hot Chocolate Toppings appeared first on Nourish Nutrition Blog: quick recipes for single women, From Registered Dietitian Rebecca Clyde.

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This easy Thai beef bowl with garlic and spinach over brown rice is an easy dinner recipe that will just take you 20 minutes from start to finish.

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Easy flavorful bowls are the best quick dinner ever! Everything in one bowl, tons of flavor, it really can’t get any better!

how this Thai beef bowl with garlic and spinach fits into my lifestyle

I LOVE Thai food. Like dream about it. My dad lived in Thailand for a couple years when he was younger, and that lead my mom to take Thai cooking classes from a local Asian market owner. So, needless to say, I grew up eating Thai food.

Then, I was lucky enough to visit some of the places that my dad lived with my family a couple years ago. I fell even more in love with Thai food then. Hot soups on a hot muggy day, yes please! A whole fish bought from a small roadside restaurant. Oh yes. Was I apprehensive? Yup, but one bite, and I was sold. I’d peel the skin back and pick the bones out of that fish any day it was so delicious. Pad Thai from a food court, that turned out to be the best pad Thai we had on our trip.

Again, I’m obsessed.

While there are a few unique ingredients for good Thai food, it just takes a couple, and they’re probably available at your local market. All you need is oyster sauce (which is thick like molasses, but doesn’t taste like molasses) and fish sauce that looks like vinegar, and smells like fishy vinegar. Don’t let these descriptions scare you, super fishy smells gross me out, and these are pretty fishy. But you don’t u

se a bunch in cooking, and they’re honestly some of my favorite sauces for any dish.

I was inspired by a Milk Street stir fried spinach recipe that I’d made for my birthday last year.  Stir fried spinach, for my birthday? Like it was on purpose? Yes, it was and yes, it was so good I’ve made it since. The garlic is a game changer, and I added beef to this already delicious recipe to make it into a full meal.

How it’ll make your life easier

This is a one-two pan meal. One pan for the Thai beef and garlic and spinach, one for the rice. That’s it. You can use frozen or quick-cook rice so your rice will be done when the beef is. I also froze half the beef that I cooked up to make my beef stuffed squash. I didn’t thaw it, just threw the frozen crumbles into the pan and it cooked up really quickly. This is a great way to save time and energy. Because it really doesn’t take much longer to cook up a whole pound or tray of ground beef than enough for one meal. So cook up your proteins and save for the week. You can use them for very different recipes & love how much time you’ll save without sacrificing on interesting flavors.

Quick Notes on This Recipe

Where can I buy the Thai Sauces?

Fish sauce can be found at your local grocery store, and oyster sauce at an Asian market. You can also find them online if you’d rather have them delivered. Get them once and you can use them for lots of delicious recipes.

How do I prepare the garlic?

This Thai bowl is delicious on it’s own, but the garlic makes it. Slice the garlic thin, and yes you’re welcome- no need to mince it. Then toss it into a pan with some oil like canola or grapeseed oil. Remove the garlic once it’s golden brown, then cook the beef and spinach in the remaining oil.

How much spinach?

Spinach loses a ton of water when cooking, so it’ll shrink like crazy. Don’t hesitate to add a TON! 3+ handfulls is totally fine. It’ll stretch your meal out, and you’ll be surprised at how delicious it is. This is NOT your regular bitter nasty sauteed spinach. This is *cool* spinach.

Thai Beef Bowl with Garlic and Spinach

This easy Thai beef bowl with garlic and spinach over brown rice is an easy dinner recipe that will just take you 20 minutes from start to finish.

  • 2 tablespoons mild oil (like grapeseed )
  • 7 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
  • 1/3 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (I used turbinado)
  • 3 large handfulls baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice (cooked)
  • optional red pepper flakes
  1. Heat oil up in frying pan. Once oil is hot, add sliced garlic to pan. Fry for about 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove garlic, but leave oil.

  2. Add ground beef to heated oil. (use frozen precooked or uncooked ground beef) Cook until beef is browned. About 3-7 minutes depending on whether it’s precooked or not. 

  3. Add in oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir. Add baby spinach. Stir until wilted. Heat up rice while spinach is wilting. 

  4. Add rice to bowl, top with beef and spinach mixture, then fried garlic. (optional: add red pepper flakes). Enjoy. 

rice can take some time to cook, here’s a couple ideas to expedite the cooking process:

-buy precooked frozen rice

-buy minute rice

-cook a large batch at the beginning of the week. 

-find rice that takes just 15-20 minutes to cook

Here are a few of my other fave beef dishes:

Korean Beef Bulgogi (Cupbop copycat)

Restaurant Style Beef & Broccoli

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Let’s get chatty:

  • What’s your favorite cuisine?
  • What would you add to this Thai bowl?

The post Thai Beef Bowl with Garlic and Spinach appeared first on Nourish Nutrition Blog: quick recipes for single women, From Registered Dietitian Rebecca Clyde.

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This vegetarian burrito bowl recipe with queso the perfect super quick dinner idea. You can throw it together in about 5 minutes, and it so doesn’t taste boring.

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Throw together the easiest pantry meal with this vegetarian burrito bowl recipe with queso. It’s really fast, easy, and when you add the queso, it becomes a special and exciting dinner. No need for sad quick meals after a long day at work.

how this vegetarian burrito bowl recipe fits into my lifestyle

One of my go to throw together dinner ingredient combinations is rice, beans, & vegetables. I’ve always got a can of black beans on hand, quick rice, and some veggies somewhere. This mix of ingredients, a plain old burrito bowl can be a bit boring, but when you add this 5 minute queso, it becomes a whole new meal. Exciting, delicious, and cheesy beyond belief.

I’ve realized that throw together meals can be really sad. Eating alone can be hard enough some nights, but add in a lame dinner and meal time can get a tad too depressing when there’s no exciting flavors or anything to look forward to. That’s why I like to keep my pantry stocked with ingredients that I can use to throw together into super easy, yet delicious meals.

How it’ll make your life easier

This burrito bowl recipe is easy enough to follow on a night where you have no time and no brain power to follow a recipe. It’s a great way to use up vegetables that you have on hand, just use it as a guide to make something delicious and easy.

Quick Notes on This Recipe What steps can I take to make this burrito bowl even easier?

Buy quick rice. Whether it be a box of minute rice, frozen rice, or precook it yourself-have rice that’s ready to go! Use pre-chopped vegetables. Pre-chopped onions, peppers, and whatever else you have on hand works just great!

What if I don’t have all the ingredients in my pantry?

This burrito bowl recipe is perfect to modify. Do you have a bunch of tortillas to use up? Turn this burrito bowl into a burrito recipe. Spoon all the ingredients into a tortilla for an easy dinner. Or finish up the ingredients by making burritos the next night. Instead of just using the peppers and onions in this recipe, use whatever you have on hand! Have some cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, green onion, zucchini, other veggies?! Use those. I’d say the most important ingredients here are the beans, salsa, and queso for protein and flavor, the rest can be substituted really easily.

What queso recipe do I use?

I made this easy queso a couple days ago. This recipe takes about 5 minutes, and is so easy! Store bought queso is fine, but this homemade queso sauce is 100x better.

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl Recipe with Queso

This vegetarian burrito bowl recipe with queso the perfect super quick dinner idea. You can throw it together in about 5 minutes, and it so doesn’t taste boring.

  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup sliced peppers and onions
  • 1/4 cup queso ((see notes for recipe))
  • 1/4 cup fresh salsa
  • 1/4 lime
  1. Mix cumin, oregano, salt, and black beans. Add rice, beans, veggies, queso, and salsa to bowl. Serve with lime wedge and tortilla chips if desired. 

Queso Sauce Recipe

Sautee vegetables if you have time.

Want to slice extra veggies, and use up leftover rice & beans?

Turn leftovers into a vegetarian quesadilla

or tacos

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  • what would you add to this vegetarian burrito bowl recipe?

The post Vegetarian Burrito Bowl Recipe with Queso appeared first on Nourish Nutrition Blog: quick recipes for single women, From Registered Dietitian Rebecca Clyde.

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Fancy up sparkling apple cider with some fresh citrus slices for a fun and easy New Years apple mocktail that everyone will enjoy.

Who doesn’t love fancy drinks to celebrate the New Year, or really any other holiday! If you don’t drink, this easy citrus sparkling apple cider is a beautiful and flavorful simple mocktail that you will love.

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how this easy sparkling apple cider mocktail fits into my lifestyle

Walking around an event with a soda or still water gets sad and boring pretty easy. I like to ask bartenders if they have a special non alcoholic drink, or make my own if there isn’t one. So if you’re entertaining and want to offer fun non alcoholic mixed drinks that are effortlessly beautiful, this apple mocktail is exactly what you need. it’s easy, fun, and really tasty, especially with a sprig of rosemary!

How it’ll make your life easier

DIY bars are fun, whether you’re making burritos, salads, oatmeal, or drinks, it’s fun to have options for your guests to customize to their liking. Plus, it’s easier than having to make specific recipes or taking into account someone’s dietary needs/preferences. They can take care of that themselves. Plus, if you’re serving alcohol and want an option for people who want non alcoholic drinks, it’s an easy way to offer them something different without that awkward conversation about non-alcoholic options. These apple mocktails are customizable, beautiful, and super tasty!

Quick Notes on This Recipe Want to make a DIY cocktail/mocktail table? Here are some things to include:
  • sparkling cider/champagne/water
  • fresh berries
  • thinly sliced citrus. Use a mandolin if you’ve got lots to cut
  • fresh mint, rosemary, basil for garnish

Easy Sparkling Apple Mocktail

Fancy up sparkling apple cider with some fresh citrus slices for a fun and easy New Years apple mocktail that everyone will enjoy.

  • 1 bottle sparkling apple cider (like Martinellis)
  • 1 orange (sliced thinly)
  • 1 lime (sliced thinly)
  • 1 grapefruit (sliced thinly)
  • large sprig rosemary (sliced into 1 inch long segments)
  1. Place 1 slice of orange, lime, and grapefruit in a glass, pour cider over fruit. Add small sprig of rosemary to each drink

  2. enjoy

Here are a few other favorite simple mocktail recipes for any upcoming holiday or New Years parties:

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Let’s get chatty:

  • What’s your favorite New Years drink?
  • What would you add to this sparkling apple cider mocktail?

The post Easy Sparkling Apple Cider Mocktail appeared first on Nourish Nutrition Blog: quick recipes for single women, From Registered Dietitian Rebecca Clyde.

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