March 4, 2015 at 11:13 a.m.

Cooking for one or two? I can help!

Cooking for one or two? I can help!
Cooking for one or two? I can help!

Oh my gosh! Do you realize that the calendar tells us the February and March have the same dates and days? I flipped the calendar over to March and thought someone had made a huge mistake. That was until I remembered there are only 28 days in February! What does that have to do with the recipes? Nothing! I was just looking at the calendar to make sure I had this column written for the correct day. So... let’s get to recipes.

If you are cooking for one or two, and wonder how much to prepare, compared to when there were more mouths to feed, I think I can help you. I have several “cooking for two” magazines, and paging through them, I found recipes that are easy to make with ingredients that you may have in your cupboard, pantry, fridge or freezer

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SWEET N’ SPICY PORK CHOPS
2 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick)
Dash of salt and pepper
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. minced onion
1 to 1-1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. each, garlic powder and prepared mustard

Sprinkle both sides of chops with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a foil lined broiler pan. Broil four inches from the heat for five minutes. Combine the remaining ingredients. Move the pan down to the next rack. Turn chops, spread with brown sugar mixture. Broil 8-10 minutes longer or until juices run clear. Makes two servings.

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ITALIAN BEEF STEW
3/4 lb. beef cube steak, cubed
1 t. canola or vegetable oil
1 c. water
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 c. slice carrot, cut about 1/2 inch thick
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 small sweet red pepper, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 T. dry onion soup mix
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 c. frozen peas

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, brown meat in oil for five minutes, stirring often. Stir in next nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes. Stir in peas, simmer 15 minutes longer or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally. Makes two servings. Note: Serve hot French bread or warm cornbread rounding out this meal.

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BAKED PARMESAN CHICKEN
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
1 T. low sodium soy sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 oz. each)
1-1/2 T. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 t. each Italian seasoning, garlic salt and paprika

In a shallow dish (I use a pie pan), combine butter and soy sauce; dip chicken into mixture on both sides. Place in a sprayed 9x9 inch baking pan. Combine remaining ingredients, sprinkle over chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees, for 30-35 minutes. Makes two servings.

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This meal is for four people, but for two you can refrigerate the leftovers and serve within four days.

SOUP BOWL 
CABBAGE ROLL
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small head of cabbage, coarsely chopped (4 c.)
2-1/2 c. water
2/3 uncooked long grain rice
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. each onion powder and dried basil leaves
1/8-1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. pepper
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 t. salt
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese, optional

In a non-stick Dutch oven, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in tomatoes and salt; heat through. Sprinkle each serving with cheese if you like. Makes four servings. Note: If you don’t have onion powder, you can substitute 1 T. minced fresh onion. Looking at all of these recipes, you will see most of them have garlic as one of the ingredients. Garlic is so good for you, however, if you’re not a fan of garlic, cut back the amount the recipe calls for.

Thought for the Day: Did you know it takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown. If you smile a lot you will have less wrinkles. (I smile a lot and still have wrinkles... hmmmm\...)

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