Bring date night home and whip up an easy, healthy supper for a couple. Try one of these dinner ideas for two the next time you feel like a change from your standards.
Dinners out are grand — but not every night. Cooking meals at home is a good way to make sure you’re not getting extra fat, sugar, or salt and stick to reasonable portions. It’s also a good way for any pair to bond. Your husband will be touched when you remember his favorites. Your wife will appreciate that you do the clean-up. You can plan and cook the meal together, or divvy up tasks and feel the glow of cooperation.
If you’re cooking for one child, you can teach your child about cooking and healthy eating as you go along.
Try one of these dinner ideas for two the next time you feel like a change from your standards or perhaps on a “date night” at home.
Teriyaki chicken and broccoli. This Chinese restaurant favorite isn’t hard to cook at home, where you can cut back on the salt and sugar or, for someone sensitive to gluten, use a gluten-free form of teriyaki sauce.
You’ll need about a pound of chicken breast, 4 cups of fresh broccoli (and other vegetables you might add, like water chestnuts), and the ingredients of the sauce: minced garlic, a low-sodium or gluten-free teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and your favorite sweetener (try Stevia, if you want to stay away from sugar). You’ll mix up the sauce separately, brown the chicken and lightly cooked broccoli in a pan with oil, then add the sauce and let it thicken for five minutes. See a complete recipe here.
Curry shrimp with vegetables. Basically a stir fry, the twist is an Indian spice medley and super-healthy kale, is one of our favorite dinner ideas for two.
You’ll need at least a half-pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined), broccoli, kale, garlic, collard greens, a carrot, and a red onion. You can buy “Vindaloo” or other Indian spice mixtures online, or make your own mixture (Vindaloo includes turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, fenugreek, salt, brown mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, ginger, cayenne, cardamom, black pepper, and cloves.)
First you’ll sprinkle the shrimp with your seasoning and sear it on one side in oil for three minutes, then flip for a minute on the other side. Remove the shrimp from the pan, set aside. Using that same pan with a little more oil, sauté your vegetables and add the greens last. Add more seasoning. Return the shrimp to the pan to heat up with the cooked vegetables. Serve with brown rice, if you’re hungry. See a complete recipe here.
Pasta with avocado sauce. Creamy sauces are luscious but are rich in saturated fat. The fat in avocados is much healthier, and you’ll get a similar creamy texture.
You’ll make the sauce in a blender, mixing garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, one avocado, basil or cilantro, and salt and pepper and red pepper to taste.
Cook up a whole wheat or bean-based pasta and top it with the sauce. Serve with a big salad or other cooked vegetables. See a complete recipe here.
Linguini with clam sauce. You’ll need about half a pound of pasta, half a pound of chopped clams (fresh or canned), and a quarter cup of white wine to make this Italian classic for two. Again, you can go for a healthier kind of pasta, made with whole wheat or bean flour. The main trick is to avoid overcooking either the pasta or the clams. For instructions, see here.
Tofu and bok choy. A 12-ounce package of firm tofu and at least six pieces of bok choy will feed two adults. Add brown rice if you’re hungry.
Brown the tofu in a pan on both sides. Then add a sauce (this recipe mixes maple syrup with garlic and soy-sauce) to coat it. Set the tofu aside. Cook the bok choy in the same pan with more oil and soy sauce and serve with the tofu. For more details, see here.
June 28, 2017
Janet O’Dell, RN