Dinner for Two
Leslie Davis

Dinner for Two

Searching for a dinner for 2 people doesn’t have to be difficult- in fact it can be fun! Check out these dinner choices for a special occasion or a just a new idea for a meal for two hungry appetites. 

 

Lemon Pepper Chicken  

chicken on black plate with lemon

 

Easy to prepare, hard to beat the flavor of this lemony chicken. Add our “to die for” Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables to satisfy any appetite. Don’t miss this Strawberry Frozen Yogurt for Dessert. 

Ingredients:  

Serves 2  

  • 3/4 pounds chicken leg quarters (bone-in, skin removed)  
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder  
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder  
  • ½ teaspoon paprika  
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (approx. the juice from ½  lemon) 
  • ½ tablespoon of salt free lemon pepper seasoning 

Instructions:  

  1. Wash hands with soap and water. 
  2. Do not rinse raw poultry. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel prior to seasoning (for crispier texture). Throw out paper towel and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.  
  3. In a large bowl, add chicken, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Stir to combine.  
  4. Cover and set in fridge on bottom shelf for 20 minutes or overnight for better flavor.
  5. Wash hands with soap and water, thoroughly clean area raw chicken was prepped.  
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit when it is time to cook the chicken.  
  7. Place marinated chicken in a roasting pan and roast until chicken is crispy on the outside and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees for at least 60 seconds (approximately 50-60 minutes).  
  8. Take chicken out of pan while hot and place in a large, clean mixing bowl.  
  9. Add lemon juice onto the chicken and add lemon pepper seasoning. Toss with tongs to coat evenly, rolling the chicken to ensure lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning are evenly spread on all pieces. Serve immediately. 

Notes:

  • Raw chicken and other meats are a source of dangerous bacteria. [1] When handling raw meat, be sure not to touch spice containers, handles, or other unnecessary surfaces to keep your family safe. Always wash utensils, bowls, and surfaces with hot, soapy water after coming in contact with raw meat! [2] 
  • Removing the skin of the chicken legs reduces the unwanted saturated fat in the recipe. The spice rub results in a crispy outside, and the dark meat makes for a tender and juicy interior–all without the skin! 

 

Baked Fish and Veggies  

white fish with vegetables in a baking dish

 

Quick and easy meal that is colorful and full of flavor. Combine this with brown rice or our Basic Flatbread for an amazing side. Finally, try one of these 3 Ingredient Cookies for dessert. 

Ingredients: 

2 servings 

  • 2 white fish fillets (frozen, or cod or perch, total of 8-10 oz) 
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (frozen) 
  • ½ small onion, diced 
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice (or fresh lemon, sliced thin) 
  • 2 squares aluminum foil (about 10×12 inches) 
  • ½ tablespoon parsley flakes (dried or fresh chopped) 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. 
  2. Separate fish fillets. If frozen, no need to thaw. Place one fillet in the center of each square of aluminum foil. 
  3. In a bowl, mix frozen vegetables and diced onion. Spoon vegetables around fish, dividing equally. 
  4. Sprinkle fish and vegetables with lemon juice (or top with lemon slice) and parsley. 
  5. Fold ends of aluminum foil together to seal. 
  6. Bake until fish reaches 145 degrees F. About 10 minutes for fresh fish or 30 minutes for un-thawed frozen. Serve. 

Notes: 

  • This recipe easily adapts to whatever white fish is on sale or looks freshest and whichever veggies you have on hand. Keep ingredient amounts similar while you play with different combos.
  • Frozen fillets are about ¼” thick. Thicker fillets would need to cook longer.
  • For a tasty treat, up the lemon juice to a tablespoon or top each fillet with a half tablespoon of prepared pesto before. 

 

Skillet Mac and Cheese  

black skillet containing cheesy macaroni and cheese with broccoli pieces

 

Prepare this southern favorite in one skillet, which means less clean up! This pairs nicely with seasonal fruit. Try out this Chocolate Zucchini Mug Cake for dessert. 

Ingredients: 

Serves 2 

  • ½ teaspoon canola oil 
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard 
  • 1/8 cup minced onion 
  • ¾ cups water 
  • 1 cup uncooked whole grain elbow or shell macaroni 
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets 
  • ¼ cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • ¼ cup light sour cream 
  • ½ cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, block or pre-shredded, divided 

Instructions: 

  1. In medium (10-inch) non-stick skillet, heat oil on medium heat. 
  2. Add dry mustard and mix. 
  3. Add onion. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add water. Cover and bring to a boil. 
  5. Add uncooked macaroni, reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir occasionally. 
  6. Add broccoli, yogurt, and sour cream, mixing well. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for five minutes. 
  7. Remove lid and add ½ cup shredded cheese. Mix well. 
  8. Top macaroni mixture with remaining ¼ cup shredded cheese. Replace lid and allow cheese to melt for five minutes. 
  9. Remove from heat and serve warm. 

Notes: 

  • We like fresh broccoli florets. If using frozen, defrost and drain before adding to skillet. 
  • Broccoli can be replaced with your favorite veggies. We like spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, or cauliflower. 
  • Fun fact: plain Greek yogurt has almost double the protein and half the sugar of regular yogurt. It is the perfect tangy substitute for sour cream. Regular nonfat plain yogurt can be substituted for the Greek yogurt. 
  • Amp up the flavor with a pinch of paprika, ground black pepper, hot sauce, or your favorite spice! 

Herbed Broiled Beef 

Marinate this dish the day before and the next day you will have a tasty dinner in under 30 minutes. Make the meal complete with our Simple Veggie Stir Fry. Blueberry Buckle dessert adds the final touch of flavor and will leave you more than satisfied. 

Ingredients: 

Serves 2 

  • 1/8 cup onion, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (fresh or 1 teaspoon dried parsley) 
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons prepared mustard 
  • 1/8  teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/8  teaspoon basil, dried (or thyme) 
  • ½ pounds boneless beef chuck shoulder steak, cut 1-inch thick 

Instructions:  

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Gently rub produce under cold running water. 
  3. Mix onion, parsley, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and basil or thyme.
  4. Place meat in plastic bag and pour in marinade. Do not rinse raw beef. Wash hands with soap and water. Use a soapy rag and hot water to clean surface where meat was prepared. 
  5. Close bag securely, place in a bowl and marinate in refrigerator six to eight hours or overnight, turning at least once.
  6. Place meat on rack in broiler. Throw away leftover marinade and bag. Wash hands with soap and water. Wash bowl and  prep area in case of drippage. 
  7. Broil 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature of beef reaches145 degrees Fahrenheit  on food thermometer, turning once. 
  8. Cut into thin slices to serve.

Bottom line- don’t be afraid to cook when there are just two people. Try some of these other meal options as well – Egg, Kale Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole, Yogurt Crunch Parfait, Curry Chickpea Sandwich, and Slow Cooker Savory Pea Soup. Keep the leftovers to use later- a great time saver!

 

Written by Leslie Davis, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES | Edited by the Nutrition Education Team 

Posted on February 12, 2021 

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