Archive for the ‘cooking for 2’ Category

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, quick, vegetable

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Sweet Potato & Kale

Vegetarian or not, this is something I will be making again. Go to the grocery store and head straight for the produce aisle. No meat is needed for this one at all. Versatile, quick and perfect for two. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed/cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • sea salt & pepper
  • parsley, basil, whatever other seasonings you like (I added a little bit of cayenne pepper)
  • 1 small bunch of kale (I prefer organic), trimmed and cleaned.
  • ½ can of cooked beans, drained & rinsed well (I used white and red that were leftovers)
  • juice of ¼ of a lemon

images of sweet potato and kale

  1. Take a sharp knife and poke several “holes” into the potatoes. I cooked both of them together on a plate in the microwave until they were done (I don’t mess with waiting for an hour to have potatoes cook. I’m impatient. If you choose to do it, bake them at 400 degrees on a baking sheet for about an hour).
  2. Trim and clean up the kale. I do this by flipping the piece of kale over so the vein is facing up like shown in the picture. Trim the leaves from both sides of the vein, discarding the vein and throwing the leaves into a strainer.
  3. Heat up the olive oil over low-medium heat.
  4. Add your onions and cook just until soft.
  5. Add the garlic and your seasonings and cook for another minute.
  6. Add your beans and cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add the kale and some salt and pepper. Cover and let it cook until the kale is soft and slightly cooked down (I added a splash of water to help speed this process up). **side note: I’d steam the kale a bit next time I make this so it gets cooked down just a little bit more than it did**
  8. Take your knife and cut a slit through each potato, just long enough to have room to stuff the potato and fill each potato with the kale & bean mix.

This was the perfect combination of flavors and textures. I even had a little leftover kale & bean mix that would be good with scrambled eggs in a burrito.

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, portions, quick, vegetable

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I am certain I’ve mentioned before that, believe it or not, my cupboards sometimes end up bare. I’m also sure I’ve brought up the fact that I always have frozen vegetables in my freezer for instances such as this AND at times can be too tired/lazy to cook.

Vegetarian friendly and satisfying sans meat, this isn’t really a recipe but more of an emergency “what can I use” type of situation.  Plus, it makes 3 very hearty servings and all ingredients can be switched out depending on what you have in your kitchen.

Don’t have rice? Try quinoa. Fresh vegetables can be used obviously but sometimes having frozen options works out better for me in cases of emergency such as this week.

Come up with an awesome combo? Let me know, leave a comment below! I would love to know what you guys use. Don’t forget to take pictures too!

Here’s what I had:

  • A cup of white rice in the fridge
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • Cumin
  • Dried parsley
  • Garlic powder (or use fresh!)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A half of a lemon in the fridge (probably from a bloody mary…)
  • A little bit of olive oil

Here’s what I did:

  1. Heat up a tiny bit of olive oil in a skillet. Throw in your frozen veggies (if you’re using fresh, they won’t take as much time to cook… you want them to be slightly tender).
  2. Put a lid on it and let them thaw out and cook a bit.
  3. Cook your rice (or quinoa) according to package.
  4. Throw in the black beans and your seasonings you like (a dash of cayenne would be good) and mix!
  5. Cover and let them cook another couple of minutes until they’re slightly tender (if you’re using fresh garlic I’d mix it in now). Throw a bit of rice/quinoa in a bowl and top with the veggie mix.

Seriously… the mix of cumin, sea salt and black pepper and the mix of textures with the veggies and rice was perfect! Not bad for a girl with “nothing” in her cupboards, right? YOUR TURN!

posted by on cooking, cooking for 2


Pork chops. Seriously, one of the hardest things to cook really well. I mean moist and melt-in-your-mouth great. I found this poem oddly enough through a Google search and gave this “recipe” from The Amateur Gourmet a go.

That was a couple of years ago and every time I’ve made this recipe, I change it up a little bit making it even better than it was the last time. For those starters in the kitchen and for those who don’t like the restraints of baking, this recipe is for you. If you want to impress someone (a date, a friend, your grandmother…) try this out. You won’t be disappointed. Below is my version but without the fun poem formatting. Feeds 2.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 thick cut boneless pork chops (you could use bone-in if you prefer)
  • 1 medium sized head of cabbage (organic if you can find it), roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • butter/margarine
  • sea salt & pepper
  • fresh garlic cloves, roughly smashed
  • ¼-½ cup of white wine or substitute water
  • red wine vinegar
  • various seasonings

  1. First, using a strong paper towel, dry off the pork chops, both sides, really well.
  2. Season generously with sea salt and pepper, parsley, lemon pepper… whatever you have.
  3. Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil and a little bit of butter/margarine in a pot over medium high heat.
  4. When it’s melted and hot, add your seasoned pork chops to the pan (I usually season one side only, place in the pan to brown on that side and then season the other side while it’s in the pan).
  5. Once you have a nice dark, golden brown on both sides, remove from the pot and let rest on a plate.
  6. Add your smashed garlic (6-7 cloves) to the pork fat & butter/oil mix (if there’s a lot of fat, pour a little bit out into a small bowl… do NOT put that down your sink drain, please!)
  7. Once the garlic is golden brown,  add all of your chopped cabbage. A full head of cabbage may seem like a lot in your pot, but it will cook down a lot. Trust it!
  8. Cover the pot and let cook down for about 10-15 minutes until it’s cooked down quite a bit.
  9. Add your ¼-½ cup of white wine (I used water because I didn’t have any, won’t matter).
  10. Add a few sprinkles of red wine vinegar and more salt and pepper. Let it cook for 10 more minutes.
  11. Taste your cabbage. It should taste awesome! I always add more parsley, lemon pepper and this last time I added a few dashes of cayenne pepper and it was amazing! Season it to you liking.
  12. Once it tastes the way you want, add your pork chops back into the pot. It’s going to party with that fantastic cabbage of yours!
  13. Put a lid on it, grab a glass of wine and let it cook over medium-low heat about 15-20 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked at 150 degrees (a meat thermometer would be handy here!).

That’s it! Serve up the pork chops and split the cabbage between the 2 of you.

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, portions, quick, vegetable

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I won’t say much about this recipe other than my version has a more complex flavor than the normal ground beef and cheddar cheese version that we’re all used to. Also, since I’m pre cooking all the ingredients, it spends less time in the oven, leaving the pepper tender yet crisp. Use what you have in the fridge and your cupboards, as this is a very versatile recipe to keep. If you’re vegetarian, skip the ground turkey.

Makes 3 peppers
What you’ll need

  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes (no added salt)
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and slightly drained
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • crushed and finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • dried parsley
  • dried basil
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • sea salt & pepper
  1. Clean and cut the tops of the peppers off. Using a paring knife, carefully remove the seeds and membrane from inside. Rinse again, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and pepper, place in a glass baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cook the cup of rice according to package and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the onions and turkey until the onions are soft and the turkey is cooked through.
  4. Add thawed spinach, tomatoes, garlic & seasonings. Mix well.
  5. Add the cooked rice and freshly shredded parm. Mix well.
  6. Stuff the peppers as full as you can. You should have enough mix for 3 medium-large sized peppers.
  7. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven just until the cheese has melted (10-15 minutes).

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, portions, quick

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Life is finally starting to mellow out a bit now that I’m getting a little more settled in my new job and the weather is finally turning from the crazy desert heat. Perfect timing to get back on track with my cooking and getting back to going mainly vegetarian.

A much needed trip to the grocery store and I was set. This one is a new favorite from “Healthy Cooking For Two (Or Just You)” by Frances Price, RD from Rodale (I couldn’t find this recipe book on their website – it was published in 1995 but you can find it on Amazon to purchase).

Fettuccine with Spinach & Feta – serves 2
What you’ll need: 

  • 8 cups spinach leaves, loosely packed  (I’d recommend thawing out chopped frozen spinach instead)
  • 1 green onion
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. dried dill weed
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4 oz. fettuccine
  1. Feta, olive oil, green onion, lemon juice, dill weed & pepper mix

    If you’re using fresh spinach, remove stems, rinse well, roughly chop & set aside.

  2. Thinly slice the green onion and place in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add the feta, oil, lemon juice, dill & pepper.
  4. Cook the fettuccine according to the directions. *don’t need any salt with the feta cheese*
  5. For the last 30 seconds of cooking, stir in the spinach and push under the water to wilt it.
  6. Drain the pasta and spinach and add to the bowl with the cheese and oil. Mix well and serve!

per serving: 449 calories, 18.7 g. protein, 49.8 g. carbs, 3.1 g. dietary fiber

posted by on cooking for 2, quick

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Believe it or not, Sriracha is fairly new to me (take a few minutes to let the shock pass). I’ve been experimenting more with it and found this asian glazed drumstick recipe on Pinterest via Skinnytaste. Honestly it looked so good I didn’t really care what the calorie count was, I had to make it!

I didn’t end up making the full recipe because I only had a pack of 5 drumsticks but I still followed the original recipe excluding a couple things I didn’t have in my kitchen.

Start to finish, this recipe comes together quicker than I thought it would and is pretty versatile no matter what cut of chicken you have or what’s on sale.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5-8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tsp agave nectar (I used sugar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated (I used ground ginger instead, just a few shakes)
  • 2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped (I omitted this)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (I omitted this)
  1. Spray olive oil in a large skillet set to high heat.
  2. Brown the drumsticks for 3-4 minutes until they are nice and golden brown.
  3. In a bowl, mix the water, balsamic, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger & hot sauce.
  4. Pour mix over the browned drumsticks.
  5. Cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
  6. Uncover and turn the heat to high to reduce/thicken the sauce (about 8-10 minutes) until it becomes a thick glaze (make sure to turn the chicken frequently).
  7. Pour glaze over chicken & top with chives and sesame seeds.


Breakfast burrito


posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, portions, quick

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Won’t say too much about this one except it goes back to my thoughts on using what you already have in your refrigerator to come up with a quick and delicious dish!

What you’ll need – makes 2 burritos:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Splash of milk
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (whatever you have)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • Green onion, cleaned and chopped
  • Meat (optional – I used leftover slices of smoked turkey I had in the fridge – left over ground beef or sausage would be great too!)
  • Frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Lemon pepper
  • Salt & Pepper

**if you decide to use harder veggies like onions or green peppers, sprinkle with salt & saute them until soft first)**

  1. Beat the eggs and milk together. Add the green onion and seasonings. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until warm.
  3. Add the spinach and chopped up turkey and cook until hot.
  4. Pour the egg mix in and let sit until the egg starts to cook up around the edges.
  5. Start scrambling/mixing everything together and leave it alone for 2 or 3 min.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese on top and mix until the eggs are fully cooked.
  7. Serve on warmed up whole wheat tortillas.  
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