Cooking for two can sometimes be tough. It seems that recipes are almost always too large for just a couple, and sometimes it can seem like the effort to make something great for just two is too great to handle. Your health, your palate, and your wallet really do deserve your effort, though, and with some tips and tricks for cooking for two, you’ll soon find it is much more “worth it” in the end, and much more manageable than you might first have thought.
Learn To Manage Shopping
A key in cooking for two people is managing the grocery bill end of it. Sometimes that seems tough because the cuts for roasts and whole poultry may just be too much, and so seem a waste of money. However, you don’t have to go with the full cut, or the full bird. Here are some tips to consider in the store:
- Buy loose produce and vegetables by the pound when buying fresh, and just buy what you need to prevent waste.
- If you must overbuy fresh produce, you can blanch and freeze many vegetables the way gardeners do for off-season use.
- For large cuts of meat, take it to the butcher in the store and ask them to cut it down into smaller portions you will use, then freeze extra cuts at home.
- You can even create diversity by cutting roasts into steaks or stew or stir-fry sized cuts, or cut the cuts down yourself and wrap and freeze the extra.
- When cooking poultry like chicken or turkey, it can be split in half or quartered for more manageable sizes.
- Cornish hens and young turkeys or poultry make good size-solutions, too when you are cooking for two.
Learn To Scale Down Recipes
It is true that you will often find most recipes to be too much when only cooking for one or two people, but keep in mind that recipes and measurements are just ratios and fractions. Most can be easily cut in half or more. All you really need to do is access a good cooking measurement conversion chart or list to pare any recipe down to a size that is workable for cooking for two.
Cook Big, Store, And Save Time Later
For recipes that you find just do not scale down well, but that might freeze well (usually baked dishes, casseroles, or things with sauces or liquids that will help retain the original moisture and flavor content), go ahead and make the entire batch, use what you need, and divide the rest into freezable or disposable aluminum pans, etc. Freeze what you won’t eat now and have it on hand for another meal when you are more pressed for time.
Look On The Bright Side
On a brighter note, cooking for two can also open up some great possibilities to you, because more costly dishes can be much more affordable when scaled down for just a pair. What might be cost prohibitive for an entire family or large party can be much more manageable for a couple, so treat yourself and explore some options you might not otherwise consider.
Use these cooking tips and tricks to open up your menu possibilities while still keeping it affordable and enjoyable for you to cook at home for two.