Proper Portioning Eliminates Leftovers : Keep Nutrition High, Costs Low When Cooking for 2

Two-person families have increased during the 1980s. But one of the biggest problems in cooking for fewer people is keeping nutrition up while keeping costs down. That means purchasing only needed amounts of foods and either cooking just the right portion or managing leftovers carefully.

Here is a selection of recipes, each featuring a meat and starch combination, designed to give dinners for two a nutritional boost while eliminating leftovers. It is easy to make your own recipes for two even if it's not possible to buy food items--meat, produce and breads--in one- or two-serving packages.

One solution is to devote a day to cooking your favorite meals, then freeze each dish in small portions (to facilitate thawing). Be sure to label and date all bundles going into the freezer and eat everything within six months. When the freezer's empty, clean it out, cook for a day and fill it up again.


8 ounces boneless beef round steak, 3/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 (8-ounce) can seasoned stewed tomatoes

1 cup beef broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed

1/3 cup sliced carrot

1/3 cup sliced celery

1 small zucchini, cut into strips

1 cup hot cooked rice

Cut beef in half. Combine flour and salt and season to taste with pepper. Dredge steak in mixture. In medium skillet cook meat in oil until brown. Drain fat. Stir onion, tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire and Italian seasoning into skillet. Simmer, covered, over medium heat 35 to 40 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, then cook, covered, 5 minutes longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Serve over hot cooked rice. Makes 2 servings.


2 beef cubed steaks

2 tablespoons oil

Salt, pepper

3 tablespoons water


1 1/2 teaspoons instant minced onion

1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn with peppers

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 small tomato, cut into 4 wedges

2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese

In skillet brown steaks in oil about 3 minutes on each side. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine water, 2 tablespoons salsa and onion and brush mixture over steaks. Cook, covered, 2 to 3 minutes. In saucepan heat corn throughly. Remove corn and steaks to platter. Garnish with lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese. Pass additional salsa, if desired. Makes 2 servings.


1 slice bread, crumbled

1 egg

1/4 pound ground beef

1/4 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons minced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon allspice


1 (7 1/2-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

1 cup hot cooked rice

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Combine bread and egg. Stir in beef, pork, onion, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix well. Form into 8 balls, about 2 inches in diameter. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat brown meatballs. Add 1 tablespoon water. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, 10 minutes or until done. In small saucepan combine soup, sour cream, Worcestershire, bouillon and 2 tablespoons water. Heat through. Serve meatballs and sauce over hot cooked rice. Top with parsley. Makes 2 servings.


2 or 3 pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick

Salt, pepper

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped green pepper

1/2 cup rice

1 cup boiling chicken broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

Season chops to taste with salt and pepper and brown on each side in hot oil. Remove chops and drain off excess fat. Stir onion, green pepper, rice, broth, Worcestershire and cumin seeds into skillet, stirring to loosen brown bits. Season to taste with salt. Pour rice mixture into baking dish and top with chops. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until meat and rice are tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice lightly with fork before serving. Makes 2 servings.


2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or celery salt

Black pepper

4 meaty chicken pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon dry white wine, optional

1/3 cup chicken broth

3 tablespoons sour cream

2/3 cup canned tomatoes, chopped

1/2 small bay leaf

1 cup hot cooked rice

Blend flour and garlic salt. Season to taste with pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in mixture. Brown in skillet in hot oil. Add wine, stirring to loosen brown bits. Combine remaining flour, broth, sour cream and tomatoes and stir into chicken. Add bay leaf and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked rice. Makes 2 servings.


4 slices white bread

2 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 pound diced lamb shoulder

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 cup stock or bouillon

Black pepper

1 small apple, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons flour


Trim crusts from bread. Flatten slices with rolling pin and brush with butter. Press into 2 3/4-inch muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until browned. Remove from pan and cool.

Meanwhile, in skillet cook lamb in hot oil until brown. Drain fat, then add stock and season to taste with pepper. Add apple and onion and cook 5 minutes. Slowly stir flour into lamb mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Spoon lamb mixture into toast cups. Garnish with parsley. Makes 2 servings.

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