Cooking for Two

Do you ever find that it is hard to cook the right portions and find the right size products when you are just cooking for two? For me, I always make too much. In theory, that means leftovers. In reality, it means it is all too easy to eat seconds. Here are some tips for cooking for two (or one):

Buy Once for Two Meals (or three)
We had a pound of ground beef hanging out in the freezer last week, so I knew that would be included in one of our meals for the week. When I do my meal planning, I always start by checking out what we have. I wound up being able to use that 1 pound of beef for 3 meals. First it went on a pizza, then some of it was mixed into stuffed bell peppers, and finally some tacos for lunch.

Plan
Like mentioned above, meal planning always help to avoid waste and use what you have. It also saves time and money!

Do some research
Look at recipes that are designed for 4 servings and halve them until you get familiar with the right quantities for two.

Check Out the Salad Bar
If you only need a small amount of a certain vegetable or fruit, avoid waste by using the salad bar. You can grab just what you need and probably save money.

Find a Store with a Good Butcher
If you eat meat, you might often notice that the packaged quantities in the super market just aren’t practical for two people. Sure, you can freeze some of it for later, but I usually don’t want to spend the extra money on food I don’t need at the moment. The solution to this is to find a store with a really good butcher. If we need something special, or just a small amount of something, we go to a specialty market that isn’t too far out of the way. Things we go there for? Ground lamb, specialty sausages, seafood or other meats for special dinners.

Be Careful at Wholesale Stores
We really never shopped at Costco because the quantities were just impossible for us to use and store when we lived in a one-bedroom condo in San Diego. Now that we have a little extra room, we have found there are certain things in bulk that work for us. Make sure to really think about what you are buying. Don’t just buy something because it is a great deal – only buy it if you will use it. Things that we buy that are great for last minute meals for two include:
– Frozen, individually vacuum packed fish fillets. These are great for fish dinners or fish taco.
– Frozen turkey burgers. When we don’t know what to have for dinner or lunch, we can make a really tasty turkey burger right from the freezer.
– Spinach. I find that if we have a bunch of it, we use it in everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. And we all can use more spinach. We use it in breafast sandi, lunch sandis, omelets, fritattas, green monsters, pastas, as a side dish, salads.
– Frozen shrimp. These keep great and are good on pizzas, salads ad pasta.

Be Smart About Leftovers
Sometimes you will have leftovers. Sometimes you will WANT to have leftovers. Be smart and put the extra away before you sit down to eat your first serving. Trust me, this is easier said than done, but you will be happy when you aren’t stuffed from seconds and when you have lunch or dinner already made for the next day.

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