If your kitchen has become more a source of perspiration than inspiration, these 4 simple strategies can take you from grocery store to table with less stress and more time to relax and enjoy your healthy and delicious meals for two.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to plan your meals for the coming days. Check your and your partner’s schedule for dinner conflicts like late nights at work or evening classes. Whatever you do, don’t wait until you get home from work to figure out what’s for dinner. That’s just an invitation to order in pizza or Chinese.
Make a detailed shopping list, grouping what you need based on the layout of your favorite market. It’s a drag to find yourself buying yogurt in the dairy aisle only to realize you forgot the cilantro back in produce. A list saves time and it can save money; if you stick to it, you’ll avoid those “impulse” buys.
Consider cooking two meals on a leisurely weekend or weeknight evening, and reheating on a busier day. Even fresh vegetables like green beans and broccoli can be made ahead; blanch them at the start of the week and store them in resealable bags. Quickly rewarmed or sautéed and then seasoned, these make for almost-instant side dishes.
If a recipe calls for, say, half a bell pepper, you don’t want to throw out the other half. Look to our Tips for Two section for ideas on how to use leftover products. We’ve also profiled our favorite ingredients for two and shopping-for-two tips in Just Enough for Two.