Ways to Cook for Two

Are you tired of having too many leftovers when you cook at home? There are quite a few ways to cook only two portions, or four if you want lunch the next day. It’s frustrating when you see a really good recipe on Pinterest but it calls for 6 servings. In this article we will look at five different ways that you can cook at home and save money but not end up with a ton of leftovers. The first method is cutting a recipe in half.

Halving Recipes

No one ever said you couldn’t take a regular recipe and cut it down. If you want a quiche, look into making a smaller one in a muffin pan. You don’t need to buy a full sheet of pastry dough that you cut up and waste most of either. You can make the crust using hashbrowns. You can also make egg cups by buying Canadian bacon, and using that as the bottom of the cup. Again you would assemble this in a muffin pan.

If you want to make more egg dishes, but don’t know how to halve an egg, buy liquid eggs. You can easily pour out 1/8 of a cup instead of 1/4 for smaller recipes. Eggs aren’t the only thing you can get smaller portions of.

Get Friendly with Your Butcher

Supermarket butchers are happy to recut and repackage meat for you. Most meat sections have a small bell that you can ring for help. Ask the butcher to slice you a smaller chuck roast for pot roast or beef stew. You will save money by only buying what you can easily use. Whole chickens are cheaper than cut up chicken packs. Ask the butcher to cut up the whole chicken for you, and then use the pieces in different meals throughout the week.

Slow Cooker Convenience

Most of the common slow cookers hold 6 quarts. You certainly don’t need to make enough soup for 10-12 people. Yes, it can be nice to have leftovers for another dinner or lunch the next day, but you don’t really need or want that much.

Slow cookers offer a major convenience as well as saving money. You can buy a cheap cut of meat and cook it slowly for a wonderful pot roast. You could buy a 3-quart size slow cooker. But if that’s still too large, or if you have a 6-qt hanging around, put a 1-2 quart ceramic or Pyrex dish inside of the slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker insert with water up until approximately halfway up the side of the smaller dish.

You may want to start with something simple like some seasoned chicken breasts that could be finished on the stove if needed. As you gain knowledge, you can start quartering down standard recipes and test them.

Pressure Cooker

The new electric pressure cookers are fool-proof. They are sometimes called “multi-cookers. ” You can use them as a pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and slow cooker. If you’re short on time, they can help you craft an all in one meal like beef stew. The other nice thing is that you can cook smaller portions more easily.

Let’s say you have a bag of frozen chicken breasts in your freezer. You can pour in a cup to a cup and a half of water or broth and then put the chicken directly in or on top of a trivet and pressure cook on high for six minutes. You then have a completely cooked chicken breast that you can serve with just about anything. Add teriyaki sauce or barbecue sauce or make your own honey dijon mustard sauce.

Foil Packets

Foil packets are where you take a piece of foil and place in it a protein like fish or chicken, some vegetables like thinly sliced potatoes and asparagus, and then put in some seasonings. There are a tremendous amount of recipes out there if you Google terms like “chicken packet meal” or “fish foil packet. ”

You then cook the packet in an oven (or better still, a toaster oven) for the set amount of time at the given temperature. You get a well cooked meal with perfect portion sizes without messing up too much of your kitchen, and no leftovers to deal with.

How To Storing Food in Your Fridge Correctly

If you have left home for the first time and set up in your very own home or apartment, you might be a little confused about how to store food correctly in your fridge and many of you might not even know that proper storage can actually help to reduce the risks of getting food poisoning. It is always wise to try and learn about food storage practices as a bad case of food poisoning can be extremely bad for your health and could even possibly cause death.

Fridge Storage

There are a number of different foods that need to be stored in a fridge in order to stop bacteria growing on them. These items will usually state that they should be ‘kept refrigerated’ and will have a use by date. Any foods that have been removed from their original packaging should be kept in sanitary bags that are sealed tight.

You should also keep your fridge at or below 5C, never store food in their open cans, and should never put food in the fridge until it has cooled down. Keeping your fridge clean is also very important for the practice of good hygiene.

Storing Meat

Most of you will know that you should store meat in the fridge if you are not planning on cooking and eating it straight away. All meat and poultry should be stored either in clean sealed container or sealed sanitary bags that are air tight. They should also be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that they will not drip onto another type of food.

Never use meat that has gone past its use by date and always keep any uncooked meat away from cooked meat as it could cause cross contamination.

When and What to Freeze

When it comes to your freezer, there are also certain rules about what you should or should not be putting in there. If you are going to freeze anything, make sure you freeze it before its use by date. When you store meat in the freezer you should make sure that it is wrapped tightly in a sanitary bag.

Finally, whenever you take anything out of the freezer, you should always make sure it is completely defrosted before you cook it.

Summary

Hopefully the little tips above will have taught you a few of the basics about storing food in the fridge and freezer and will enable you to have far less risk of getting food poisoning in the future. Just make sure that you always stick to the rules and use air tight containers or sanitary bags to store any food.