It can be hard to cook for a smaller household, especially since recipes tend to serve four to eight. Food tends to spoil too quickly and leftovers are thrown away. Don't abandon the kitchen for takeout! With proper planning and a few simple tricks, you can begin preparing healthy, easy meals for two.
Plan your meals at the beginning of the week before you go to the grocery store. Choose two or three meals that you love and wouldn't mind eating for a couple days in a row. Make the full recipe and save leftovers and pack in your lunch or reheat for dinner the next day. Don't make a recipe that serves eight if you know you're only going to eat it for two days.
Use your freezer to your advantage! Freeze leftovers for a quick dinner another night. Cook batches of grains such as brown rice or quinoa and freeze in one-cup portions in freezer bags. Frozen fruits and veggies are a healthy and affordable way to add fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Make sure to buy the vegetables without added sauces and spices, which may be high in sodium.
Avoid bulk bags of apples, oranges or other fresh fruits and vegetables. It's not a bargain if you can't eat them fast enough, so buy in smaller quantities. Eat the most perishable produce at the beginning of the week, such as spinach and berries. Save less-perishable foods such as potatoes and cabbages for later in the week. Check out the self-serve bulk bins of dried fruit and grains, as you can buy in however much quantity you need. Purchase chicken and turkey in bulk if you have freezer space, and freeze individual chicken breasts or turkey patties in freezer bags for small portions of meat. This way, you can easily prepare only the amount of meat you need for two servings.
Fruit is actually considered a carbohydrate — it contains natural fruit sugars. But don't ban fruit from your diet: it also contains fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugar and prevents high and low blood sugar and reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes. Fiber can also help lower cholesterol and can help you feel full. A good portion of fruit is about the size of a baseball.
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano or Baylor Scott & White Health.