Are you wanting to dine like a true gourmet on a Boston Market budget? As a self avowed foodie, I highly recommend a subscription to an online gourmet magazine. You cannot imagine how easy it is to prepare gourmet meals. Small portions, fabulous and delicious meals or huge feasts, fit for royalty. Cooking for only one or two people doesn't doom you to TV and prepared, corporate designed food. A little planning can change your dining experience from pre-made, easy, soulless heat and eat grub to easy and exciting dishes that are nutritious, tasty and easy on the pocketbook.
Shop with convenience in mind when looking for gourmet dinner gift basket. Purchase foods that are individually frozen, such as fruits, vegetables, chicken breasts or fish fillets. These foods allow you to thaw out only the amount you need. Also, low-fat frozen meals and prepackaged single-serving foods, such as ready-to-eat, low-fat, reduced-sodium canned soups are tasty as well as budget friendly.
One great way is to cook a large quantity of your favorite dish, for example, make a casserole or stew and freeze individual-size servings. Then take out only the amount of food you need. Be sure to write the date and contents on packages and move older packages forward as you add food to your freezer. Preparemeals so that you can use the extra food in new dishes, such as rice as a side dish for one meal, then using the remainder in a casserole or rice pudding. Bake chicken breasts for a meal and use the rest in sandwiches, soup or a stir-fry. I like to make a meatloaf mixture and bake some as a meatloaf and freeze the uncooked portion for later use in meatballs. Use any remaining mixture for spaghetti and or Marinara sauces or countless other meat fillers.
There are a lot of cookbooks that are geared to small meals or one or two people. Gourmet dinners abound as well as conventional and region specific recipes, as well as providing practical advice and helpful tips on such things as selecting healthy foods, planning menus, shopping and reading food labels. There is a big difference between eating versus dining, and it's no more extra work or expense if done right. Bon appetit' and thanks for reading.