Archive for the ‘portions’ Category

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

Breakfast burrito

Jun
2012
26

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.  

Turkey Sliders

Jun
2012
25

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

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I love sliders! I use this recipe as an opportunity to try different ingredients and use up whatever I have in my fridge/freezer. Also, another great recipe when you’re cooking for 2! Feel free to experiment and see what combos you can come up with on your own. (makes 4 sliders)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ lb. ground meat (I used turkey this time)
  • frozen spinach, thawed & drained
  • italian bread crumbs
  • seasonings like basil, garlic, onion, paprika, cumin, salt & pepper, lemon pepper (to your taste and liking)
  • provolone cheese
  • mini buns (I cheated & bought mini rolls from the freezer section)
  • mixed greens
  1. Mix up the ground meat, spinach & seasonings lightly with your hands until well mixed. Add the thawed spinach and combine until incorporated with the meat.
  2. Sprinkle the meat with bread crumbs (I add just enough to make sure the meat holds together).
  3. I place them in the freezer on a plastic cutting board until a bit firm (this is totally optional – I find that the sliders cook up better if they have a chill on them).
  4. Heat a tablespoon into a pan, add the sliders and leave alone until well browned.
  5. Flip over, let them brown up on the other side, add your cheese and let it melt.
  6. Top with mixed greens, serve & enjoy!

Cooking for 2

Jun
2012
17

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

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When I first started this blog I mentioned cooking for 1 or 2 people and how my favorite cookbook is based around that idea (remember?). At this point, cooking for 2 people comes naturally to me. It’s hard for me to actually think “normal” and cook for 5 or 6 people because I’ve adapted to shopping, prepping and cooking for me and the boyfriend.

This all ties in with portion control and waste too. I hear friends tell me that they’ll go ahead and cook a full recipe fully knowing most of it will go to waste, even after eating leftovers. I would love to try and convince everyone that this doesn’t have to be the case if you’re cooking for yourself or you and a significant other. Hopefully I can touch on this subject every once in a while to help you guys out – along the way, let me know if you have questions or any ideas to add!

I still really struggle with cutting down when it comes to baking & probably because I know baked goods will be gone before I can even get them off a hot baking sheet! For this post I’ll focus on cooking and start of with some tips. We’ll go into more detail later!

Meat & Poultry:
Buy meat/poultry when it’s on sale and in family sizes – when you bring it home divide it into 1/2 lbs., put in freezer bags and store for later. I generally use 1/2 pound of any kind of meat when I cook for the boyfriend and I.  Really a 1/4 lb. of meat is a little bit more than a portion so this will be plenty. Trust this Nebraska girl – I know it sounds like not enough, but it will be.

When I buy chicken breast I’ll clean them up, cut them in half and freeze them separately. When it’s time to use them, thaw them out, place between two pieces of saran wrap or place in a baggie and pound with a rolling pin until about 1″ thick. You’ll have plenty for one serving and cut down on your cooking time significantly.

Vegetables:
Visit your local farmer’s market (if you’re fortunate enough to have one around) and buy what’s in season. This one is hard for me sometimes when I see Brussels sprouts or asparagus and have to hold back because they’re not in season and are so expensive. You’ll help out your wallet if you pay attention to this. Google your local growing seasons and see what’s in now. www.cuesa.org has a good one…

Frozen vegetables are something my freezer is always stocked with. I use them in everything and love having the different options when it comes time to throw a quick 15-minute dinner together or when there’s no meat in the house, I can easily put together an awesome vegetarian meal (think stir fry with rice or noodles).
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posted by on cooking, cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, Phoenix, portions, quick, vegetable

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Now that it’s reaching past 100 degrees every day here in Phoenix, I’m afraid my baking will have to subside until my birthday (yes, I bake my own birthday cake – a crazy dark chocolate bundt to be exact – follow up on this after June 12!).

When I really “read” my first cookbook I remember mention of keeping staples in your kitchen – basics that are versatile and can be used in a lot of different meals.

This quick recipe uses just about every main staple I keep around. Onions, garlic, rice, canned tomatoes, beans & veggies, pasta – just to name a few. Here’s a quick dish that makes excellent leftovers that are even better on day 2.

Here’s what you’ll need:
(makes enough for 2-4 people depending on if you want leftovers)

  • 1½ cups of instant rice, cooked
  • ½  onion, chopped
  • ¼-½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Cumin, salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Throw in the ground beef, chopped onion and seasonings as you like.
  3. Half way through the beef cooking, add the chopped garlic and mix well.
  4. Cook until beef is browned and onions have softened and are translucent.
  5. Add the frozen corn & beans and mix until well heated. Add more cumin, salt & pepper as needed.
  6. Finally, stir in the cooked rice and continue cooking 4-5 more minutes until well mixed and hot.
  7. Serve in bowls!

It may seem hard at first, but it is possible and easy to cook for 2 people when you have staples already in your kitchen, ready to use. Keep portions in mind and read the labels for serving sizes.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Apr
2012
02

posted by on baking, portions

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Found this gem on Pinterest…It’s the best cookie recipe I’ve found in a while.

What you’ll need:

  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract (you know I used 1!)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I’ve been using these reusable ones & they’re great!)

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Gradually add in the dry ingredients until well-combined.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls and then roll in sugar. Place on the baking sheet.**

Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let sit on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes & transfer to cooling rack.

**At this point, you can freeze the rolled and sugared dough and then transfer to a freezer bag to store for later baking. Perfect for those watching portions! Just take the balls out of the freezer, place on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes.**

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