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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Beef and Carmelized Onion Pizza

Cooking for One or Two People

Posted by Jenna Smith - Leftovers

Most recipes make a family-sized portion, causing a weeks' worth of leftovers for someone who's only cooking for one or two people. While beef and noodles may be your favorite meal you probably hesitate buying a whole roast knowing you'll grow tired of eating it after having it five meals in a row. However, it can be more economical buying large-portioned ingredients rather than individual serving sizes. So what can you do?

Transform the leftovers into a whole new dish. Start with cooking a whole chicken, for example, in the slow cooker. Add some potatoes, onions and carrots and season with herbs and spices for a comforting meal. Then, shred the leftover chicken and divide and save for additional meals the rest of the week. Add taco seasoning and water for chicken tacos one night and soy sauce, brown sugar and any leftover veggies for a simple stir-fry another night.

Don't give up that large casserole or meatloaf just because it serves an army. Divide the uncooked mixture into muffin tins or ramekins for individual portions that can be put in the freezer for easy meals at a later date; simply thaw and bake. Homemade precooked casseroles can also be added to the freezer for a simple warm-up. Try to use precooked frozen meals within three months for best quality and reheat to 165°F. Of course, another option for those eating solo is to invite guests over to help you eat the meal. It's nice to enjoy the company of others while decreasing food waste and food boredom. So don't resort to a fast food meal or popcorn for dinner, get to the kitchen and start cooking for delicious food made for one!

Make this:

Pot Roast

Into this:

Roast Beef and Caramelized Onion Pizza (Printable PDF)

1 Naan (6-8 inch) or pizza crust

⅓ cup sliced mushrooms

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ cup fresh spinach

½ cup cooked red onion

¼ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

¼ cup cooked, shredded roast beef

Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400⁰F. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-low. Add onion and cook until golden brown and fragrant, stirring so they don't burn. Add onions to the naan or pizza crust and top with roast beef, mushrooms, spinach, and feta cheese. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Let rest 3 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: 240 calories, 8 grams fat, 325 milligrams sodium, 30 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 11 grams protein



Or this:

Beef and Noodles (Printable PDF)

2 teaspoons olive oil

¼ cup chopped onion

½ cup sliced mushrooms

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups low-sodium beef broth

2 cups whole wheat fettuccine noodles, uncooked

¾ cup cooked, shredded roast beef

Salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan, add oil, onions, and mushrooms; sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute. Add broth and noodles to pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Add shredded beef to saucepan and stir until combined. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes or until noodles are tender and mixture is thick. Salt and pepper if desired. Add additional broth or water if needed.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: 352 calories, 9 grams fat, 312 milligrams sodium, 53 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 17 grams protein

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