Cooking for just one or two? Maximize your meal planning with these healthy recipes – St George News

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FEATURE — Are you an empty nester? Maybe a university pupil who lives alone? Perhaps you’re a single guardian of 1 or two youngsters. It doesn’t matter what explicit state of affairs you might be in, creating wholesome meals for one or two folks might seem to be a chore. 

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With some assist from Utah State College’s meals science division, we’ve put collectively some useful hints to make mealtime a bit simpler – and hopefully extra pleasant to your pockets. 

Prepare dinner extra, not much less! Getting ready just a few massive meals prematurely will prevent money and time. Maybe you’ve learn our “cook dinner as soon as, eat twice” weblog. Utilizing a few of these similar strategies, you may create one thing to freeze, use later within the week and/or use as leftovers. This methodology additionally saves you cash by eradicating a number of the temptation to eat out.

Know what’s freezer-friendly and what’s not. Whereas rice, soups, casseroles and even bread merchandise freeze nicely, you need to keep away from freezing issues that will curdle when frozen then thawed. This contains issues like gravy, bitter cream, yogurt and mayonnaise when used as a dressing. 

Remember that the rationale for not freezing is because of high quality, not the potential for “spoiling” or toxicity. Potatoes might not freeze nicely just because, when thawed, they might turn out to be mushy and lose a few of their style and texture. To study extra about which meals freeze nicely, click on right here.

Meals will be packaged for storage in lots of distinctive methods. You need to use freezer paper, storage luggage or glass containers with lids. The secret’s to maintain air from reaching the product and reduce moisture loss. 

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Relying on the way you retailer or freeze your meals, there are quite a few thawing strategies. Particular person servings of soup saved in freezer luggage will be thawed and warmed in a pot of boiling water. Meals saved in a microwave-safe container can shortly be thawed or heated in a microwave oven. You should definitely stir soups or stews often to keep away from sizzling spots.

Bread merchandise freeze nicely. Particular person loaves of bread, muffins or biscuits will be frozen on a baking sheet after which saved collectively in a single massive bag. You may even pre-cook French toast and freeze particular person slices to reheat later within the toaster. 

Relating to cooking for one or two, much less isn’t at all times finest. Weekly prep is useful, too. I prefer to take just a few hours on Saturday or Sunday morning to prep just a few veggies, pre-cook some hen or floor beef and set just a few issues within the fridge to thaw for the approaching week. Whether or not there’s 4 of us on the dinner desk or two, superior meal preparation is an actual time-saver at my home.

One among my favourite issues to cook dinner as a part of my meal prep is shredded hen. Right here’s how I prefer to make it:

Within the morning, place 4 kilos thawed hen breasts in a gradual cooker with two (15-ounce) cans low-sodium hen broth, 4 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Prepare dinner the hen on low for six hours. Shred with a fork. Divide between storage containers and refrigerate.

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In case you’re cooking for one, 1/2 to three/4 cup of shredded hen in every storage container will do. In case you’re cooking for 2, put 1 to 1 1/2 cups of hen in every container. All through the week, you need to use your hen in a bunch of various methods. Every pound of hen is roughly equal to 1 cup of cooked hen. Sometimes, recipes name for 1/2 to three/4 cups of hen per particular person. In case you cook dinner 4 kilos of hen, you’ll have sufficient for 4 to 6 particular person servings. 

Relying on what number of hen recipes you wish to make for the week, it’s possible you’ll wish to enhance or scale back the quantity of hen you cook dinner in your gradual cooker. Cooked hen can keep within the fridge for 3 or 4 days. You too can make further to freeze for later use. Frozen hen can keep within the freezer for as much as six months earlier than it begins to decrease in high quality.

The recipes under have been tailored to serve two folks. In case you’re cooking for one, attempt reducing the recipe in half or saving the additional as leftovers. Take pleasure in!

In case you’re utilizing the hen you’ve already cooked within the crockpot, you gained’t must cook dinner the hen as listed within the recipe. Comply with the recipe steps, however as a substitute of cooking the hen for 5-8 minutes, you solely must warmth it by means of for 2-3 minutes.

Right here’s one other recipe the place you need to use the hen you cooked forward of time to hurry up the cooking course of. You may warmth the hen within the microwave or serve it chilly on the salad.

Written by CANDI MERRITT and BECKY EGLI, Licensed Vitamin Training Ambassadors.

This text initially appeared April 14, 2021, on the USU Extension Create Higher Well being weblog.

Copyright © CreateBetterHealth.org, all rights reserved.

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