Tips for eating smarter and better!
Often I hear women say, “we hate leftovers!” So how do you cook for two without suffering through a weeks worth of leftovers? Most recipes work well for four or six but never two.
I have some great ideas for making your recipes work for you, feeding two more than once and storing food until you’re ready to eat it is my favorite solution because many recipes don’t reduce well.
Today I made Oven Stew, a simple beef stew recipe that cooks all day long and tastes delicious. The recipe feeds about 8 and if you’re making it for two that’s a lot of leftovers.
Lets make this recipe as written and divide it into two 8×8 baking dishes or two quart casseroles. Leave the bread crumbs off the one you freeze and cover it well with plastic wrap and foil to lock the freshness in. Now you have two dinners that are oven ready, one for tonight and one for later this month.
Chicken Pot Pie is another great recipe to divide up for multiple meals. You use the same amounts of filling and just roll out smaller pie crusts. You may need some smaller sized pie pans, like a 6″ instead of the standard 9 or 10″ pans. Once you’ve made your pies cover well with saran wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to enjoy them, take the pie out of the freezer the day before and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Bake as instructed and enjoy. Chicken Pot Pies freeze very well!
Pasta recipes are also easy to divide, simply make your sauce and then divide before boiling your pasta. Set aside a portion of the sauce and freeze for a later time. Most all sauces (red or white) can be frozen for later use or even in multiple recipes, like lasagna, chicken parmesan, etc. Be creative and use your imagination!
Soups and stews are excellent choices for making and storing leftovers. I like the Wild Rice Soup that is hearty and filling. You can pour the remaining soup into a freezer container, cool to room temperature and freeze. It easily stores for up to 3 months, but you will not want to wait that long once you’ve tasted it.
Some people are afraid to freeze when cooking for two – but remember the freezer is your friend. I often talk to women who are afraid to serve frozen food. Fresh is best but frozen is easy! If you have time limitatons or just enjoy a day off from cooking this is the plan for you. If you have limited freezer space then purchase freezer storage containers that stack and fit your freezer needs.
I got up on Monday with a plan to use the meat in my freezer. Most of it is grill-able so I took out a pound of tenderloin, for shish kabobs, and a small pack of country style ribs. I thought we could have the shish kabobs on Monday and Ribs on Tuesday.
This was my moment of truth…while my husband grilled the shish kabobs Monday evening, I gave him the ribs and said, “Would you brown these on all sides and then take them off? They don’t have to be done just grilled a little on every side!” I had no idea what compelled me to do this…but it turned out to be a very good idea!
I refrigerated the ribs Monday night, no extra preparation for Tuesday’s dinner, and at noon on Tuesday I placed them in the crock pot. I didn’t add water but I drizzled about 1/3 c. barbeque sauce over them (not covering them, just adding a little flavor). I also wrapped 2 sweet potatoes in foil and placed them on one side of the crock pot. Then I buttered and wrapped a couple ears of fresh sweet corn in foil and placed them on top. Let’s just say I spent less than 5 minutes on this little activity!
After about 5 hours on low/med heat, we ate the most delicious meal! I figured out the cost at about $2.75 per person. It was the best meal, and I didn’t work very hard. My sweet husband was so impressed with his previously browned ribs and the great meal we’d made with so little effort and practically no clean up.
When you grill… maximize the space on your grilling surface. Double the recipe or make two meals instead of one! Cook smart and eat well!Read More
January is a great month for Soups, Stews and Chilis, while the “weather outside is frightful.” Be sure to browse the MealEssence.com database for our list of delicious soup and stew recipes for hearty one-dish meals that can be served with as little as a slice of crusty bread or side salad.Read More
I love fresh green beans but I don’t love cleaning and snapping them. I have been known to bring home a large bag of green beans and avoid it all week long. Then just about the time I think, “if I don’t use ‘em, I’m going to loose ‘em”, I open the bag and find that they have rotted or molded or whatever they do in those plastic bags. Have you ever done that?Read More
There’s a new Cheddars in town! We haven’t been there because the lines are long…even after several months. In fact, there are overcrowded restaurants everywhere you turn these days. How can so many people eat out so often?Read More
I’ve noticed lately that you can put just about anything in a tortilla and call it a taco….
“taco (tah-KOH) a Mexican style “sandwich” consisting of a folded corn tortilla filled with various ingredients.”
So, with that in mind I decided to dig through the refrigerator and have tacos for dinner.
I was so please to find some wonderful BBQ leftovers and planned to add lettuce for a garnish with cheese, tomatoes, etc. But after laying out those ingredients, I decided on a fish taco garnish I use, cabbage, cilantro, and sour cream. I thought those flavors would go well with the BBQ and I was right!