Friday, August 28, 2015

Plate for One: Food Prep & Tortilla Chips

 
Welcome to the second edition of Plate for One, a series based on fixing meals when you live alone. This week, I'm bringing you some meal prep tips for one and a quick and simple recipe for making healthier tortilla chips at home. We'll start with the meal prep tips though and end with the recipe. I find doing a little prep work saves me cooking time and keeps me from wasting food.
 
1. Cook meat in large batches and freeze in small portions.
I hate cooking just enough meat for myself for one night. It seems like a waste of time and electricity to cook just enough meat for me for one meal. So, I cook a bunch of meat at once and freeze it to use in recipes later. My favorite way to cook a large batch of chicken is in the crockpot. I'll share some of my favorite recipes for this in another edition of this series, but for now, you can browse Pinterest to find lots of good ideas for shredded chicken. I also like to cook the entire package of ground beef (or turkey) at the same time. Then, I freeze it in small batches to use later in tacos or pasta dishes (depending on how I season it).  I always portion out the meat and freeze it in freezer safe bags with portions just right for one. When it comes time to use it, I pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw, and throw it in the recipe (or heat it up if I'm eating it as the main dish).
 
2. Cook rice and pasta in advance and freeze.
I'm not going to get lengthy with this one because it's basically the same concept as the meat. Both rice and pasta can be cooked in advance and frozen until you need to use them. For pasta, heat it up in water to help it maintain texture.
 
3. Freeze bread products to make them last longer.
You can also freeze bread to help it last longer. If you've done a good job with meal planning for the week, you know how much you'll need each week. Keep what you're using in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer to avoid waste.
 
4. Cut up fruits and veggies.
I find it much easier to grab a healthy snack when it's easy to grab. Cut up fruits and veggies in advance and store them in easy to grab containers. I've been using small mason jars lately to create grab and go fruit for myself. It makes it much easier to make a good choice! After all, we love convenience, especially on busy days.
 
5. Make sure you meal plan!
Meal planning will help you make the most of the food you buy each week. My goal each week is to waste as little food as possible. When I first started cooking for one, I found that a lot of leftovers meant a lot of waste. Meal planning helps me figure out in advance where I can best use my groceries to prevent waste. If you need some tips on how to plan for your week, you can head to The Petite Mrs. where I have shared my tips and a free printable today!
 
 
Now, let's get to the recipe! You can pair these chips with taco meat and toppings for a fun taco salad. These can also be prepped ahead of time and stored in a bag all week.
 
 
Ingredients:
Corn tortilla shells
Olive oil spray
Salt or seasoning
 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
 
2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
 
3. Cut tortilla shells into wedges. I got six wedges from each shell. (Extra tip: Use a pizza cutter to cut the shells. It makes it easier and you can cut two or three at a time.)
 
4. Put the wedges on the cookie sheet and spray with olive oil. Flip the wedges and repeat.
 
5. Lightly salt or season the chips before putting them in the oven.
 
6. Bake 10-15 minutes until done.
 
For serving size and nutritional facts, refer to the package for your tortilla chips. I used two tortillas as a serving and it was plenty!
 
What would you eat these delicious chips with?
 
 
More pictures for visual learners:
       
 
 
 

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