Are you tired of seeing recipes with 6-8 servings when you routinely cook dinner for just one or two? Cookbooks, cooking magazines, food blogs and websites seem to be designed to support a family of four or more. Yet the statistics show that over 60% of households consist of just one or two people.
I am a great example of this trend. I live with my husband. My mom is alone. Both my brother and sister are couples without children at home. Seven of the eight families in my condo complex are singles or couples.
I’d never really given this much thought until the requests for easy healthy recipes that serve one or two kept rolling in from readers. Then I began to pay attention to how often I end up with too many leftovers that sometimes don’t get used up before they spoil. Such a waste!
Which is why I’m focused on sharing more easy healthy recipes that serve two. To kick things off I scoured my recipe archives and the internet visiting all my favorite WW friendly recipe lists to compile a collection of easy tasty two-serving recipes, all with WW Freestyle SmartPoints.
But before we get to the recipes here are some cooking tips for two that might help:
Cooking for Two Ideas & Tips
Divide and Conquer. There’s no reason why you can’t make chicken spaghetti casserole or tuna noodle casserole for two. Make a half or quarter of your favorite casseroles by halving the ingredients or dividing by four. Bake in a loaf pan (9 x 5-inch), or a mini-loaf pan (5 3/4-inch x 3-inch) instead. If you halve a recipe that calls for a 9 x 13-inch dish, use an 8 x 8-inch square dish or a 9-inch pie plate instead. If you’re making one-fourth of the recipe, a loaf pan might work best. Cooking time might be a bit less, though, so keep an eye on that.
Repurpose your Leftovers. Just because you have leftover food doesn’t mean you have to eat the same exact meal. We’ll do chicken with fruit and rolls one night, then leftover chicken with roasted veggies the second night, followed by leftover roasted veggies with fish the third night. The goal is to reduce waste and not have to cook a full meal every night.
I like to “re-purpose” my leftovers into a brand new meal, like tacos, quesadillas, a frittata or pasta. This is especially easy when you’ve got individual ingredients like grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, rice, or beans ready to go. For example, leftover chicken fajitas can be turned into a quesadilla, burrito bowl or stir-fry with brown rice. Roasted vegetables can be the filling for an omelet or topping for a salad or pizza or stuffing for a sandwich. Use leftover chili to top a baked potato.
Enjoy breakfast for dinner. Remember, eggs come in one-serving portions naturally. It can be as simple as a few scrambled eggs, poached egg on toast, an omelet, or a frittata, with a simple green salad or vegetable alongside. Even a stack of pancakes can be a light and healthy choice when topped with fruit.
Fancy sandwiches make a nice dinner for two. I like to grill my sandwiches, and an easy way to do this is to use your George Foreman as a panini press. Just lightly coat the outside slices of bread with canola or olive cooking spray, and cook in your indoor grill for about four minutes.
Think single serving proteins. Chicken breasts, burgers, chops and fish fillets are natural choices when cooking for two. A toaster oven or indoor grill comes in handy when cooking small quantities. No need to fire up the whole oven or outdoor grill this way.
It’s easy to make main-dish green salads in one- or two-serving sizes. The bags of baby spinach, mixed greens, and chopped Romaine work great because you just take as much as you need, seal the bag back up, and you still have washed and ready lettuce for the next time. Top it all off with bottled light dressing and you’re good to go.
You can make one or two baked potatoes in minutes in the microwave. To make it a meal, add veggies, any sauce, shredded cheese, and canned lean chili, beans, or shredded chicken.
Buy just what you need from the bulk bins, meat/deli counter and/or salad bar. Shopping from the bulk bins, meat counter, deli counter and salad bar is a great strategy for singles. Why? You can take only as much as you need – a single chicken breast, 1/4 pound of shrimp, 3 slices of cheese, 1 cup of sliced onions and peppers, a few ounces of nuts – instead of buying pre-packaged ingredients that are likely to spoil before you use them up.
Stock your pantry with convenient canned items including fish, beans and low calorie soups. Dress up canned soup by adding frozen vegetables or leftover meat cut into pieces. Use cans of fish (tuna, crab, or salmon) for sandwiches and a wide variety of salads from green to potato to pasta.
Buy frozen ravioli or tortellini and just boil the amount you need. Prepared sauces, like bottled marinara or frozen pesto, make meals super easy. Just defrost or spoon out the amount you need and the rest is ready in the freezer or fridge for the next time.
Frozen shrimp can be bought cooked or uncooked. And you only need to defrost the amount you need for your meal.
Keep frozen fruit and vegetables on hand. Just warm up the veggies you need from the bag and the rest goes in the freezer. Frozen fruit can top your waffles or power pancakes or blended into a smoothie. Some of my favorite frozen fruits are blueberries, raspberries, and mango.
Favorite Easy Healthy Recipes for Two w/ WW Freestyle SmartPoints
Shrimp Scampi Zoodles for Two (SkinnyTaste)
Easy Cheesy Lasagna for Two (Hungry Girl)
Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs for Two (Hungry Girl)
Easy BLT Soup for Two (Hungry Girl)
Healthy Cashew Chicken for Two (Hungry)
Buffalo Chicken Roulades (Emily Bites)
Healthy Chicken Marsala for Two (Hungry Girl)
Dill Salmon Dip (You Brew My Tea)
Easy Egg Salad Sandwiches (Meal Planning Mommies)
Balsamic Glazed Salmon (Skinny Kitchen)
Asian Chicken Salad with Shanghai Dressing (Skinny Kitchen)
Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts (Meal Planning Mommies)
Monte Cristo Flatout Sandwiches (Drizzle Me Skinny)
Ham and Cheese Quesadillas with Red Pepper Hummus (Dashing Dish)
Apple Yogurt Salad (Drizzle Me Skinny)
You might also like: Cooking Tips for One and WW Friendly Single Serving Recipes
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
PS: If you are looking for recipes for 2 be sure to check out my friend WW friend Alisha’s Table for Two Meal Planner & ECookbook!
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