Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eat 1, Pack 1: Cooking For One Time Savings Strategy

I hear over and over again, from people that live alone, that they do not cook meals for themselves because they'd rather cook for others. Seriously! On the occasions that I'm cooking for myself, I like to go all out like a restaurant meal because I like to treat myself to something tasty and I don't have to worry what my husband might like. He's a bit picky.

Here's a great time savings tip: make 2 servings of a meal and eat 1 serving and pack the other serving for a lunch or dinner during the week. I do this a lot when I make salads for work. I make two salads at once. It saves TONS of time.

Last Saturday night, I was cooking for 1 because Aaron was out of town. I was inspired by a bunch of Swiss Chard and decided to make pasta with heirloom cherry tomatoes, which gave the dish a bright flavor. I used the sprouted whole grain pasta from Trader Joe's. It was tasty with a glass of Chardonnay. The best thing is that it only took me 30 minutes to make this meal! Yep, that's right my own personal 30-minute meal!

Swiss Chard, Fresh Tomato, and Sausage Whole Wheat Pasta Serves 2 - Eat 1, Pack 1

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stems removed, sliced in thin strips (see my post for tips on washing greens)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 chicken sausage (try Trader Joe's Chicken and Portabella Mushroom Sausage)
  • 4 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil sliced
  • 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat medium pot for the chard and small skillet for the sausages. Bring water for pasta up to a boil. Chop onion and slice swiss chard. Drizzle olive oil in the pot. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Add water to skillet and add sausages. Water should come up halfway to the top of the sausage. Bring water to a boil uncovered on medium, then cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • While sausage is cooking, add chard to pot with onion with a 2 tbs of cooking liquid from sausages. Cook swiss chard covered for 5 minutes. Add fresh tomatoes on the top of the chard to warm. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook per instructions.
  • Slice fresh basil. When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and add to chard and tomato mixture. Toss with fresh basil. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

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