It’s probably safe to say that we’ve all gotten the message that portion control is a path to weight control. According to research in the last few years, people who ate two portion-controlled meals a day lost about five pounds more than people who ate the same number of calories but had to figure out their own portion sizes. Well, sure—I’d find it a lot easier to eat exactly the right amount of every dish at every meal if only I knew what "just the right amount" was. That’s when I turn to these "smart dinners" for help: with well-defined single-serve portions built right in, they take the guesswork out of the equation so I can feel in control.
—Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor
Brussels sprouts and preshredded potatoes make these oversized muffin-shaped frittatas hearty. They’re as good served
warm for dinner as they are at room temperature for lunch. Pair with a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and
Portion control: 1 ramekin of frittata = 1 serving.
Aromatic savory-and-sweet stuffed peppers are a satisfying supper, thanks to lean beef, brown rice and bell pepper in
each bite. Serve with rainbow chard sautéed with olive oil, garlic and parsley.
Portion control: 1 pepper = 1 serving.
Individual meatloaves not only take the guesswork out of portion size, they cook quicker than a large loaf. Look for
ground chipotle in the spice section of the market—it gives the glaze a hit of smoke and spice. Serve with roasted
broccoli and brown rice tossed with cilantro.
Portion control: 1 mini meatloaf = 1 serving.
An irresistible crisp (but easy) phyllo crust tops these homey individual chicken potpies. Make a double batch and freeze
extras to have on hand anytime. Serve with a butterhead lettuce salad with red onion and white-wine vinaigrette.
Portion control: 1 potpie = 1 serving.
Garlicky mushrooms spiked with bacon make a lovely garnish for halibut and polenta. We can’t decide what we like best
about this dish: the flavors, healthfulness, ease or the fact that there is so little cleanup! Serve with steamed green
beans tossed with olive oil, whole-grain mustard and a squeeze of lemon.
Portion control: 1 packet = 1 serving.