Cooking for Two (#SFWApro)

One of my goals for this year, as I’ve mentioned before, is to stop cooking as if TYG and I both ate three meals a day at home. I usually eat three; TYG may skip a meal, eats out during the work day, or get sushi or salad from the store. If I cook too much food, I have to work to get it eaten before it goes bad, because years of living on a tight budget make me ultra-resistant to throwing away food.

pieI’ve succeeded, with occasional exceptions. The pie shown here, for instance, is massively dense (layers of carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, cauliflower) filled me up in small portions, so it lasted longer than I expected. But it was tasty, and very labor-intensive, so I wasn’t getting rid of it except via digestion. So now that the amounts are mostly under control, I’m also attempting to account for TYG not liking leftover as much as I do.

Even though she enjoys what I cook, she often won’t go back for seconds (excepting her favorites, such as zucchini lasagna, hummus or chili).  So I’m trying to design my menus to include at least one one-shot meal a week — something like eggs or a sandwich that doesn’t generate leftovers and isn’t too demanding to cook.

Another solution is to pick a meal that’s made entirely of canned or frozen ingredients. That way if I have heavy leftovers, I can simply kick the meal back a week and not worry about any ingredients spoiling. This week I’ve had two different meals postponed (red beans and rice and a lima beans with tomatoes recipe).

All this would probably be easier if recipes accurately estimated how many portions they provide. I don’t know who these trenchermen eating them in the test kitchens are, but typically if it says “four portions” it’ll be six to eight. Two sandwiches becomes four. Maybe it’s because TYG and I are short and compact? Or maybe when these things are served up in testing, everyone pigs out?

Overall though, it’s working well. I’ve actually had a couple of weeks this summer where I used up all the leftovers by the end of the week, leaving me relying on cereal or instant food (we have a stockpile of instant Indian).

The pie, by the way, uses a puff pastry crust. More calorific than when I make my own pastry, but my own crusts rarely come out looking that good.

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