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Cooking for One or Two

Your children are not the only ones transitioning to “Back to School” mode. Chances are your routine has changed quite a bit as well- especially, in regards to mealtime.

Now that you only have one or two mouths to feed, you may be wondering where to find recipes. Look no further! All you have to do is make slight adjustments to your favorites, and you will be able to enjoy delicious meals, without waste!

Here’s how to properly adjust your favorite recipe from feeding a family to serving just one or two:

a)    Divide the number of servings that the original recipe calls for into the number of servings you need to make. 
This will give you a conversion factor for your new recipe.
b)   Multiply each ingredient from the original recipe by the conversion factor to obtain your adjusted portions.

For example, take Mom’s famous casserole dish, which serves ten, and modify the recipe to serve two by using the equation above (2 ÷ 10). The conversion factor for adjusting the recipe from ten to two servings is 0.2. The original recipe calls for 16 ounces of frozen spinach. Multiply 16 ounces by 0.2 and you will see that you now need 3.2 ounces of frozen spinach. Adjust the remaining ingredients in the same fashion.

Other helpful tips to help cut down time and cost when cooking for one or two include the following:

  • Select recipes with less steps and less ingredients. The easier your recipe, the more likely you are to cook. Chances are a 30-minute meal might be the solution to your problem!
  • Meal plan on a budget. When choosing recipes for the week, select a few that share ingredients to help cut shopping costs. Always use a shopping list to budget effectively.
  • Plan for leftovers. Cook once or twice a week in bulk. Keep ingredients separate, so that you can repurpose them for other dishes. (Turn your tilapia from Monday’s dinner into fish tacos for Tuesday’s lunch!)

Spaghetti with Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms

 

Makes: 2 Servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • ½ pound crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 ounce fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons shallots (or about 2 small shallots), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ tablespoon minced garlic (or about 3 large cloves, minced)
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook spaghetti as instructed on the box and set aside.
  2. In a large pan, cook shallots, garlic and olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add crimini mushrooms to the shallots and oil. Cook until they begin to soften and brown.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, spinach, basil and balsamic vinegar. Cook until spinach has wilted.
  5. Place portobello mushrooms in a baking dish. Using half of the tomato, mushroom, and spinach mixture, stuff each portobello mushroom where the stem has been removed.
  6. Top each with an even amount of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
  7. In the meantime, add the cooked spaghetti to the remaining tomato, spinach and mushroom mixture. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve pasta with the portobello mushrooms and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 323 Calories, 11 g Fat (3 g Sat), 11 mg Cholesterol, 307 mg Sodium, 36 g Carbohydrate, 7 g Fiber, 16 g Protein

Article originally published on the Pathmark Wellness Blog

 

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