Another effort to combat the problem of leftovers is to repackage items that you buy into smaller sizes. In this case, I wrapped pork chops from a larger package individually. When it’s time to cook, I can take out what I need.
This is an easy, inexpensive recipe for two that is quick to prepare.
Pork Chops for Two
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pork chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1 green pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dry basil
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Season pork on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until browned on both sides.
Top chops with green pepper, onion and basil. Cover skillet, reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender and pork is cooked through.
This is a simple recipe that can be dressed up any way you like. Add some carrots, celery or bell peppers for a different taste. Use turkey or pork instead of the chicken. Experiment a bit with herbs. It’s a blank canvas.
Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini for Two
1½ cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 can (14½ ounce) chicken broth
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup sliced mushrooms
¼ cup cream
1 tablespoon sherry (optional)
4 ounces dry spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese
Place first 5 ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Turn to high. Add spaghetti, cream and sherry, if using. Stir until mixed. Continue to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until spaghetti is tender.
Serve with Parmesan.
A few years ago, we decided that eating at most restaurants wasn’t really worth the money. Yes, it was nice not to cook. Yes, it was nice to go out, but the food wasn’t the central focus of the event. Of course, restaurant meals are no way to cut the food budget and, if it isn’t good, why bother.
Copycat recipes can replace the food that is missed by cooking at home instead of eating out. Last week, I tried one of my husband’s favorites–Jack-in-the-Box tacos. I tried to follow this recipe, but I didn’t have everything listed. I had to make refried beans and, of course, they don’t taste like those from a can. I didn’t have the specific taco sauce called for in the recipe, so I used what I had on hand. I’ve never had a Jack-in-the-Box taco, but I thought they tasted fine. The expert, my spouse, said they tasted fine but were nowhere near the real thing. I guess I’ll have to go out for a taco dinner to know for sure.
If you miss some of your favorites, there is a recipe for just about any restaurant dish:
One of the best cost-saving measures that I have implemented is cutting the amount of food that I cook. Most recipes are for 4 servings and sometimes more. We couldn’t eat the entire recipe, so the left-overs often sat in the refrigerator until they no longer resembled food. (I do miss the fun of guessing what the furry blobs in the container once were.)
Here is a take on stuffed peppers that is a little different. If you want a milder dish, then substitute bell peppers for the poblanos.
Picadillo Stuffed Peppers
1 tablespoons oil
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup beef broth
2 poblano peppers cut in half, seeds and membranes removed
1/4 cup Mexican-style shredded cheese
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown ground beef in oil until no longer pink.
Add onion and garlic. Cook until soft.
Add apple, raisins, cinnamon, and beef broth. Simmer until liquid is absorbed.
Arrange the peppers, cut side up, in a baking dish. Fill peppers with ground beef mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
Top each pepper with1 tablespoons of cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted.
2 Servings, (2 half peppers each)