Reprinted from The NebliNe, February 2012For more information about healthy eating, visit http://food.unl.edu Know how. Know now. Planning Healthy Meals for One or Two — a Checklist Alice Henneman, MS, RD UNL Extension Educator firstname.lastname@example.org Tracie Masek, www.flickr.com/emotionaltoothpaste Sometimes, it can be hard toget motivated when cooking a mealfor just one or two people. Here isa checklist to help you get the mostvalue for your time and money if youare cooking for two, or just you! General Tips4n Maximize your nutrition! 4 n Consider individually packaged uThaw corn or peas in strainer • Make half servings of items if you frequently under cool running water for your plate have leftovers salads fruits and veg- • String cheese, wrapped cheese • Taste and nutrition etables slices u Comparable to fresh • Make at least half your grains • Single containers of tuna, soup, u Often lower in salt than canned whole grains or fruit veggies • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) • Individual cartons of yogurt 4 n Can-do canned foods milk 4 n Buy a smaller number of servings • Nutrition is comparable to fresh/4n Cook once, eat twice from meat counter frozen • Plan two meals from the same • Enjoy one pork chop • No refrigerator space needed entrée • Purchase a single salmon filet • Helpful in emergency; have • Separate out extra food BEFORE • Explore a different cut of beef manual can opener handy serving 4 n Buy fruit at varying stages of • Remove from can when storing • Eat extras in 3–4 days or freeze ripeness unused portions • Buy some fruit to eat immedi- • Check the “use by date” on cans ately and some to ripen for later for best safety/quality; after can is Shopping • Apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, opened, use within 3–4 days Tips kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, • Low sodium versions available4n Should you buy and plums continue to ripen after • Canned Food Alliance offers in bulk? purchase recipes at www.mealtime.org • May be half • Refrigerate fruit after it has rip- 4 n Shop at supermarket salad bars the cost but ened for longer storage • Purchase small amounts of fruits/ just as expensive if you toss half! 4 n Buy frozen vegetables in bags vegetables • Smaller portions help avoid eat- • Pour what you need • Buy individual salads ing the same food over and over u Use in 8 months or per package • Use foods within 1–2 days of • Repackage meat in freezer bags guidelines purchase for best quality for smaller servings and freeze • Toss into soups, casseroles, salads Continued on next page Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln cooperating with the Counties and the United States Department of Agriculture. ® Extension’s educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.
from preceding page Reducing Recipe SizeRestaurant 4 n Recipes can frequently be successfully reduced by 1/2 to 1/3. Some Tips helpful equivalents include:4n Benefit from • 1 cup = 16 tablespoons large restau- • 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons rant portions • 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces (Note: measuring cups measure volume, not weight) • Two meals • 1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons for price of • 1 pound = 16 ounces (weight) one • 1 pint = 2 cups • Divide meal in • 1 quart = 2 pints half BEFORE eating! 4 To change pan sizes: n • Refrigerate perishables in shallow • 9 x 2 x 13-inch pan holds containers within 14 to 15 cups; for half, use: 2 hours of service u Square 8 x 2-inch u Round 9 x 2-inch u Reduce oven temperature by 25°F if substituting glass for metal pan Storage Tips4n Refrigerator storage tips 4 n Freezer Storage Tips cream or custard fillings; milk • Refrigerate • Store it, don’t ignore it — food sauces; sour cream; cheese or in a shallow is “safe” indefinitely at 0°F but crumb toppings, mayonnaise; pan — food “quality” lowers over time gelatin; and fried foods should be • Use freezer quality containers for • Store bread in freezer; remove no more freezer storage a slice at a time and toast as than 2 inches deep • Safest to thaw in fridge; it takes needed. • Eat perishable foods in 3–4 days; about 24 hours to thaw 5 pounds heat until steaming hot (165°F) of food • Thaw packages on a plate in • Foods that don’t freeze well refrigerator near bottom so they include: watery foods such as don’t drip on other foods cabbage, celery, lettuce, etc.; Turkey or Chicken Soup Yield: 2 servings Note: Prepare an extra chicken breast one night and use it in the soup the next night. 1 cup chopped, cooked turkey or chicken dash of pepper 1/4 chopped onion 1/4 cup chopped celery 2 thinly chopped carrots 1/4 teaspoon thyme 2 cups low sodium chicken broth 1 cup cooked pasta (such as bowtie, shells, macaroni, etc.) OR 1 cup cooked rice Add all ingredients, except pasta or rice to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered until veg- etables are tender crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add cooked pasta or cooked rice and cook a few more minutes until pasta or rice is heated. This is a peer reviewed publication