Left on the West

Happy Friday!

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to take Almanzo to the airport for a six o’clock flight. I’m super bummed I’m not going to NYC with everyone for BlogHer! As much as I love the West coast, it’s hard to get back East for just a short weekend. You end up spending more time in an airplane than you do on the ground! I have been traveling a bunch though lately so I should probably use this weekend to get some work done here. My next trips are Austin, Texas (for fun!) and Vegas (for a conference). I’ve never been to either of those places before so I’m pretty excited.

When I got back from the airport this morning I tried to lay back down and take a quick nap but we all know Jenna doesn’t nap. I’ll lay there for ten minutes and then my mind will start whirling of everything I should be doing, and before long I’m up and at ’em again. Sigh.

Instead of napping, I vacuumed and cleaned my apartment and made this delicious sandwich for sort of a breakfast/lunch before work:

Another one of those turkey and avocado beauties! I’m having a love affair with avocado and not afraid to say it.

I just ate this sandwich but I’m already excited for dinner. I bought ingredients to make myself something special and delicious tonight because I knew I’d probably be in a bit of a bummed out mood that I wasn’t in New York with everyone.
What’s your favorite solo meal to cook for yourself when the boyfriend or hubby is out of town?

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  • MC
    August 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

    i feel the exact same way about napping. and when i don’t feel like cooking just for myself, i usually get take out 😉

  • Jackie
    August 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Stuffed peppers with orzo and mint. I make 6 of them and live off of them for a week.

  • Lyndsey
    August 6, 2010 at 10:19 am

    My husband doesn’t care too much for cheese tortillini so I always try to make something with that! Sometimes I just have it tossed in olive oil, fresh parmesan and cracked black pepper!

  • jenna
    August 6, 2010 at 10:25 am

    i always make something fast and easy with minimal dishes! like an egg sandwich! mmm. i can’t wait to hear about your vegas conference.

  • wendy
    August 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Nothing! I love cooking, but after a hard day work, I love not “having” to cook. A bowl of cereal never tasted sooo good!

  • Lizzie
    August 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Wholewheat pasta with a jar of pasta sauce and some goat cheese mixed in to make it creamy. Follow with several pieces of dark (dark!) chocolate 🙂 Vegas is very fun – though I found one weekend was just the right amount of time to be there. It’s massive overload for all the senses!!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    August 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Hmm..when the husband is away I usually eat a lot of salad or i buy a container of hummus to have all to myself!! My own hummus is a luxury because he always eats it too fast and I’m not left with much =( Sometimes I try to draw a line down the middle = my half, your half….and back off! but it doesn’t work …. haha

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete
    August 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Anything with eggplant. The hubs claims he is allergic, but I don’t believe him. Anyways, I wait till he is out of town so I don’t have to hear the complaining that his throat is swelling up. 😉

  • Sarah
    August 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I’m definitely the same way when it comes to napping. As much as I try and as much as I want to catch a few quick Z’s, it nevvvver happens. :/
    Also, totally jealous you’re going to Austin! I’ve always wanted to go and heard it’s such a chill place!

  • Camille
    August 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I love to do anything with sweet potatoes… even if it means just baking them to perfection!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    August 6, 2010 at 10:39 am

    i know what you mean about being sad you’re missing BlogHer, but it sounds like you’re doing it for a good reason! make sure you go to the Salt Lick for life-altering BBQ when you’re in Austin. Trust me (and ask Anne P, she went and I’m pretty sure her life is changed too ;))

    • Kimmy
      August 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      Yes! Salt Lick for sure! and I’m glad you are finally coming here!

  • crunchy granola gal
    August 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I looove making a big bowl of whole wheat pasta with a ton of veggies and some sort of protein. Aaand jarred tomato sauce. The Italian boyfriend would never approve of my bastardized pasta dish, but I love it! 🙂

  • MMiller
    August 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I am also a person who can’t nap! On the rare occasion I do fall asleep in the afternoon, I wake up even more tired! And I don’t usually cook for myself! I usually get take out…or drive through! I remember when my husband was in the navy and was away, after work I would stop at the mall and get fresh baked cookies…FOR DINNER! Or just melt cheddar cheese on whole wheat toast! You have been inspiring me to cook, even just for myself! And I pass on your links! Thank you Jenna!

  • Dorry
    August 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Fun! When are you going to be in Austin? I lived there for years after college – now in Dallas…but my fiance and I say that’s where we’ll raise a family! Let me know if you want any new restaurant suggestions. 🙂

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    August 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I’m not gonna lie. I tend to pick up something from the deli or get a frozen dinner when the hubby is out of town. Not much motivation to cook when it’s just me!

    Austin?! You’ll be kinda sorta in my neck of the woods. Kinda sorta yes because it’s Texas (eh… though many would debate whether Austin can really be considered part of Texas…), but largely no because it takes 7 freakin’ hours to drive from Plainview to Austin. Anyway. While you’re in that neighborhood, do me a favor and head over to pretty much any barbecue joint in Lockhart and order brisket. Please!

  • The Wife of a Dairyman
    August 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I can’t nap either unless maybe it’s 3 in the afternoon and the kids are quiet:) Love your macro shots! Yummy looking sandwich. My favorite solo meal is a home made veggie pizza….because hubby likes meat and kids only want cheese.

  • Heather
    August 6, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I love to make myself homemade pizza if I’m flying solo – any toppings I want, and I don’t have to share 🙂

    Austin and Vegas are both so much fun, you’ll have a blast in both places!

  • Katy(The Balanced Foodie)
    August 6, 2010 at 10:54 am

    When I’m alone I go crazy with veggie meals! The hubs loves meat while I could go without it for a while. I would just make veggie versions of our favorite meals, probably grill up a portobello burger, make homemade veggie burgers, etc. 🙂

  • Lauren @ louisianagrown
    August 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Make yourself a pizza! You love that anyway, it would take up some of your time and entertain you, and you can make it small enough for one!

  • Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries
    August 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Avocado + turkey is quite the delicious pairing!! And I love trying out new recipes when I’m by myself.. that way I don’t feel bad if they don’t turn out well!

  • Victoria
    August 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I don’t really cook when my husband is out of town. I know that’s kind of sad, but I guess I just prefer cooking for others over cooking for myself. I usually get take out or go out with friends.

  • Erinn
    August 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I eat avocado pretty much everyday lol. Are you not going to HLS in Chicago next week?

  • Wendy
    August 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I live in Austin and trust me you are in for a treat food wise! Austin is obsessed with food trailers right now and they are a must try while you are here. Definitely check out Old Duck and Gourdough’s trailer court if you get a chance… amazing! Have a great trip!

    • Ann
      August 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      I totally agree about the trailers! I never got to try out Gourdough’s but I heard it was amazing! I heard there’s a trailer court opening on MLK too!!

  • Tina
    August 6, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I’ll make anything vegetarian! Hubs thinks he has to have meat in chili w/ no beans. I didn’t know chili could exist w/o beans! Veggie pizza or eggs w/ smoked salmon when he’s not there and I don’t want chili.

  • Tara @ Food for Fool
    August 6, 2010 at 11:03 am

    YAY!! I’m so glad you’re coming to Austin! I was born and raised here and STILL live and work here…it’s a fabulous place to visit (and live, obviously)! I definitely have all sorts of recommendations for food, things to do, places to run, etc…!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day
    August 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Actually, when he’s gone, I like to treat myself by getting take out. Normally, I go to Whole Foods and get soup and salad. Its comforting 🙂

  • mara
    August 6, 2010 at 11:06 am

    hey single girls have to make solo meals every night – it’s harder than you think to continuously cook for one. homeade pizza made out of whole wheat pita is delish! thin crust style

  • Heather @ Sugar & Spice
    August 6, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I love your avocado and turkey sandwich! Not only does it (probably) taste great, it looks so pretty!
    One of my favorite “on my own” meals is a weird one. Pastina (the smallest form of pasta) cooked in chicken broth. In my family we call it Paul’s Porridge. I started eating it when I was a kid (about 5 or so) and I still eat it to this day. Either when I’m on my own, or when I have a cold… I still love it!

  • Bunji
    August 6, 2010 at 11:08 am


  • Hayley
    August 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

    When I’m cooking a special meal for myself the only real requirement is that I do it while drinking wine.

  • Catherine
    August 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Tonight is one of those nights for me, so I’m having lasagne and a large glass of wine – bliss!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    August 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I am the same way with naps! Unless I really can’t hold my eyes open any longer, all I do as I’m laying there is make lists in my head about what I’m going to do when I get up. So frustrating!

  • Stacy @ A Girl's Guide to Shoes
    August 6, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I’m with you. I’ve been having a love affair with avocados lately too! My husband and I used half an avocado as a mix in for a can of tuna the other night, instead of mayo. Added a little white balsamic vinegar and salt + pepper. It was delicious!

  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life
    August 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I just had an avocado sandwich at a restaurant and couldn’t believe I’d gone so long without one (last Summer?!?!) I rushed to the store to buy some of my very own…but they were sold out! Blast. Guess I’ll have to check again this weekend.

  • Krystina
    August 6, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I usually get baking itches when I’m by myself, so I’ll say I’d probably make cookies.

  • Chelsey
    August 6, 2010 at 11:26 am

    sorry you’re feeling down! you’ll have a great evening relaxing by yourself – you’ll see, it’s just what you need!

    Honestly, I don’t like to cook when I want a relaxing night. I go to a salad and baked potato – one of my favs.

  • Sarah L
    August 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Let me know if you need any Austin recommendations! My hubby & I live in Austin and we love it! I agree with Heather that for BBQ, Salt Lick is the way to go. So many other places too, though… definitely plan on trying out some of the food trailers. 🙂

  • Angela (ohsheglows)
    August 6, 2010 at 11:29 am

    You must make a green monster and then have lindt sea salt chocolate. My prescription for the blues. 😉

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin
    August 6, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I usually try to make something that I wouldn’t when my husband’s around– he doesn’t really care for cheese or garlic, so it’s usually something Italian! Very comforting when paired with a chick-flick. 😉

    Also, chocolate is a must!!

  • Kathleen
    August 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Yum, I’m now craving an avo and turkey sandwich. When the hub is out of town, I tend to go for simple – Amy’s soups, toast, yogurt and fruit. I’ve also been known to eat a lot of cereal 😉 Lazy cooking for sure.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    August 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Last night was absorbed in reading ‘Paris to the Moon’ so did a quick stir-fry of garlic, a bag of organic spinach, a bag of shrimp defrosted, lemon juice, some Thai red curry paste, and a splash of Annie’s Sesame/Tahini dressing. Healthy, fast, one wok pan, and I liked it! Mushrooms would have been a good addition but was cooking with one hand holding up the book, so not really thinking.

    I posted Gwyneth Paltrow’s SF tips (augmented with some of my own from living there 20-years) Love the Sat Ferry Building Market.

    Happy weekend!

  • Jory @ Exploring Ordinary
    August 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    You will love Vegas – it’s tons of fun! The best part is that there’s something for everyone. Austin is even better… love that place! I would move there if I could.

    My favorite thing to cook when my husband is out of town is seared tuna and a salad with avocado, peppers, scallions, and dried cranberries. Delicious perfection!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    August 6, 2010 at 11:51 am

    It’s going to sound pathetic, but when my husband isn’t home for a night, I eat cereal. Sometimes that’s all I want, but to him it doesn’t count as dinner.

    • Laura
      August 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      My husband is that way, too! I just got married in June and it’s been a transition of sorts not to have cereal for dinner once or twice a week. haha

  • Ashley
    August 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I’ve lived in Austin my whole life. It’s the BEST! 🙂 You will love it!

  • Scargosun
    August 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I am usually all about the pasta when P is out of town but last night I made Zucchini Pasta out of zucchini and LOVED it! I blogged about it too.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    August 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    My favorite meal is one I don’t have to cook!!! When hubby is around, I always feel like I need to make a “real dinner,” when he’s gone, I eat a salad and call it a night. I love that.

  • Erin
    August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I love Austin! My sisters live there so I visit a few times a year and it is one of my favorite places. I went amateur tour guide for Austin on my blog ( although I’m sure the locals can give you a lot more ideas of where to go and what to eat. All the food in Austin is so delicious!

  • Mary Catherine
    August 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    SO excited you’re coming to Austin! 🙂

  • Erin
    August 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I really wish I was going to BlogHer (and HLS!) but I just started a new job this summer and can’t take time off. Hopefully next year because they both look like great events and fun ways to meet new people. 😀

  • Katelynn
    August 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I love to make a personal size pizza for myself. I either go simple with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil. Or I will do it up and make something like a BBQ Chicken pizza with goat cheese and arugula! With of course, a full glass of wine ( or a few). I pop on the tV and watch a good movie or get lost in a book. My blog has the goat cheese pizza recipe, feel free to use it! . Enjoy your relaxed weekend. 🙂

  • Katie
    August 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    SOme delish Icecream will make you feel better!

    Hmmmmm when my fiances away, I do like to enjoy a delish icecream dessert!

  • McKella
    August 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    That’s a mighty fine-lookin’ sammich. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of fun trips coming up too! Have a good time!
    When the husband’s not around, I usually just make easy things like wraps and salads. Neither of us has had much of an appetite lately though (must be the heat) and our schedule aren’t jiving these days, so salads, sammiches, fruit and yogurt have been the extent of my meal prep.

  • Cassie @ Back to Her Roots
    August 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    OH! I am so happy to read these comments. My husband works late tonight and I was just trying to figure out what to whip up for myself for dinner.

  • Tali
    August 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    My husband is allergic to all things delicious (beans, peas, nuts, soy and sesame) and wouldn’t touch other delicious things if his life depended on it (fish, fruit, meat that is not overdone chicken breast), so when he’s out of town I have a forbidden-food orgy. Anything and everything he can’t/won’t eat. Edemame, hummus, peanuts, fish, lots and lots of fruit…. yum.
    I’m a bad wife.

  • Sarah
    August 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    When my fiance is out of town or on call at the hospital, I almost always make either salmon or something with mushrooms. He hates mushrooms. 🙂

  • Meg
    August 6, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Let us know when you are headed to Austin and if you do a blogger meet up. There are tons of great places to eat here- love this city!

  • Paige
    August 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Honestly? Anything involving tuna and/or macaroni & cheese. Sometimes together. Sometimes separate. My boyfriend can’t STAND the smell of canned tuna, so I can only have it when he is a) out of town or b) otherwise incapacitated/unconscious/whatever. And he had a bad experience with mac & cheese once, so…that one is off limits as well.

  • Katryn
    August 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I love making an omelette with all my favorite toppings when I’m on my own. Feta, tomatoes, spinach, basil and a little hot sauce…so tasty!

  • Cate
    August 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Yes, avocados are irresistible. When my husband is out of town, I eat vegetarian meals, especially dishes that involve tofu or beans as he isn’t as into those as I am. I look forward to seeing what you’re creating tonight….

  • Cara
    August 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    If you need any foodie/fitness tips in Austin let me know. I have been living here for a little over 2 years and have been pretty involved in it all. Have a great time this weekend. I wish I was at blogher too!

  • jen
    August 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    we (my husband, 8 mth old daughter and i) just moved back to austin after being gone for a year and are SO happy to be back. austin is a fantastic place-i think you’ll like it and all the food options. it’s like paradise for mexican food lovers!

    i <3 breakfast food-so when it's just me i usually end up eating waffles, pancakes or oatmeal for dinner.

  • Jenny
    August 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Jenna! Yesterday my and my friend Karine were up to a mountain biking ride. While riding, we were talking about the blogs we usually read at the office in the morning. We just wanted to let you know that yours turned out to be our favourite! So we thought you should know that you have French fans/readers from Canada! Keep on!

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness
    August 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Oh my gosh, you are going to have fun in Vegas. There are so many top-notch restaurants to choose from! And you’ll have to visit “Downtown” Vegas, the casinos there are classic Vegas cheese. Don’t miss Frankie’s Tiki Bar, it’s a short cab ride from the strip and totally awesome.
    I’ve never been to Austin either, and a friend just moved there. I will be stoked to see your recommendations for things to do / see there!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    August 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Considerng the fact that I’ve been single for the past two years, I’m quite accustomed to cooking special meals for myself. Among them, they include poached salmon with a citrus glaze, sauteed veggies, roast chicken, or maple ginger tempeh strips.

    Enjoying taking yourself out on a date tonight!

  • Jayce
    August 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I cook fish or anything with onions – my husband hates onions so when he’s here I always omit them from recipes, but I really love them!

  • Courtney
    August 6, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    What kind of turkey or lunch meat do you eat?! I’m weird about eating lunch meat because it is so processed and loaded with sodium. Any suggestions? thanks!

  • Niki (Running in Pink)
    August 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    My husband has golf league on Thursday nights during the summer, so a girl friend and I will get together and order Thai take-out and watch a movie or just hang out. It’s awesome. 🙂

  • Vicky @ eat live spin
    August 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I can’t wait to see what you cook up for dinner! Tonight the bf is playing hockey so I am watching movie and relaxing… didn’t decide what I am going to eat though.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    August 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I can’t nap either and it’s so frustrating! Especially when my roommate sometimes takes 3 naps a day. Seriously!

  • Rachael
    August 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Austin is the best! I went there for the first time last year and was amazed by the healthy food options! You have to check out the flagship whole foods – amazing!!

  • eatmovelove
    August 6, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I’m ‘alone’ all the time so I always just prepare a meal. Not cereal! (on its own anyways)…can’t wait to see what your culinary creation is!

  • Sarah
    August 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    We have SUCH different tastes….. which can get very expensive having to buy almost separate groceries. Although not a full fledge vegetarian (I was back in college but turned to the dark side… I just LOVE lamb, steak tips and fish) I eat like a veetarian most of the time. I eat loads of tempeh and tons of yogurt, oats, greens powder, salads, veggie burgers, hummus, apples, and wine… none of which my fiance likes. He loves baked mac and cheese, steak and potatoes, deli style sandwiches, beer, and escargot! (the one thing we like to share lol) Although we DO also share BBQ/grilling food… so when he is gone I STILL do my own thing, just without my honey 🙁

  • Ann
    August 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I went to UT Austin! You’ll have a ton of fun in Austin! You should consider biking/canoeing/kayaking while you’re in town! And, if you like crepes, try out Flip Happy!

  • Jo
    August 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I make mac n cheese from a box and add veggie hot dogs. secret single behavior

  • Angharad
    August 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Those are actually the nights that I love eating cereal for dinner or just snacking my face off.

    Austin, TX…sigh. I used to live there (went there for college for a year). Is that where Almanzo’s from? It’s so fricking awesome. I’m going back this October!

  • Charlotte
    August 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I am from Austin! You MUST go to Chuy’s Mexican Food. It is DELICIOUS! Ask for the Creamy Jalapeno dip. It is free but only brought to the table on request. The texas martini’s are also delish! Have fun!

  • Diana (mymarblerye)
    August 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I am from Austin! Pplease arrange a meet up!!! Ahhhhh

  • Amanda
    August 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    My go to meal is either Trader Joes Sharp Cheddar Mac n Cheese with peas or a quesadilla….both are quick, easy, and cheesy

  • sarah
    August 8, 2010 at 12:54 am

    That sandwich looks AMAZING. I may be copying you for lunch tomorrow *innocent face.*

    Austin, Texas! That’s where it’s at! I’m sure you’ve already gotten many suggestions about where to visit. If you go to Salt Lick, make sure to go to the original one south of Austin. I actually prefer Rudy’s BBQ, SO good.
    We’ve also got some pretty nice farmers markets (or so I’ve heard.. I haven’t actually had a chance to go yet).
    Austin’s known for having lots of parks, be sure to go jogging by Town Lake. It’s gorgeous!

  • KatieTX
    August 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I was just in Austin Friday night and went to Pete’s Piano Bar on 6th, oh my, so much fun. Only $5 cover, pretty cheap drinks, and really, really good entertainment. I usually only go out in Austin, so if you need those type of suggestions, I could give some guidance there.

  • Seana
    August 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    How does one narrow down a suggestion for their very favorite blogger about a city they’ve lived in their entire life? By leaving it up to another professional I guess! is one of the best Austin food blogs I’ve stumbled upon, check it out if you haven’t already.

    I hope you find time for a reader meet up, but if not, I really hope you enjoy Austin!!

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    January 26, 2021 at 5:13 pm

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