I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredient's I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week - my weekly meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.
Last week, beef galumpkis were served in tomato sauce and chopped up in a veggie-filled cabbage Soup. This week, an eggplant is baked into a gratin that will be used again for eggplant and mozzarella subs.
Here's the rest of the plan:
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- Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Cooking spray
- Canola oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Seasoned breadcrumbs
- Curry powder
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Kosher salt
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken
- ¾ lb eggplant
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- 1 package mixed greens
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 red onion
- 3-4 medium tomatoes
- 1 head garlic
- 2 lemons
- 2 carrot
- ½ cup French green lentils (small, dark green, speckled with black; can be found in specialty food aisles)
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 package whole grain naan
- 2 crusty sub rolls or 1 loaf Italian bread
Day 1: Curried Lentil Soup recipe adapted from bonappetit.com
*Makes extra Chickpea Puree for Chicken & Chickpea Flatbread Pitas
Heat ½ tbsp oil in heavy-bottomed skillet. Add ½ chopped onion and ½ chopped carrot. Cook until softened and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 clove minced garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in 1 tbsp curry powder and cook for another minute. Add 2 cups water and ½ cup lentils and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on low until lentils are tender, about 30 min.
Meanwhile, reserve 2 tbsp chickpeas and blend the rest with 1 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ cup water, 2 tbsp olive oil, and 1 clove minced garlic.
*Refrigerate reserved chickpeas and half of puree for use in days 2 and 4.
Add remaining half of chickpea puree to lentil soup. Finish with 1 tbsp butter. Taste and season as needed and use water to thin out to desired consistency.
Serve soup topped with chopped fresh basil, fresh lemon and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Day 2: Spiced Chicken Salad w/ Yogurt Dressing
*Makes leftover Spiced Chicken for Chicken & Chickpea Flatbread Pitas
Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and use mallet or bottom of pan to flatten. Rub with equal parts cumin and paprika. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
Heat grillpan over medium-high heat and coat with oil. Add chicken and grill until browned and cooked through, about 4-7 minutes per side depending in thickness.
*Reserve half for use in day 4.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/3 cup yogurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 small clove minced garlic, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss sliced red onion, chopped tomato, shredded carrot, and reserved whole chickpeas. Top with sliced chicken and drizzle with yogurt dressing.
Day 3: Baked Eggplant Gratin
*Makes leftover Eggplant Gratin for Eggplant & Mozzarella Subs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut eggplant into ½ inch thick slices and dredge in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until eggplant is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and layer in eggplant, sliced tomato, basil leaves and sliced mozzarella. Season each layer with salt and pepper and repeat until all eggplant is used. Top with parmesan cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs.
Bake 20-25 minutes until top is browned and bubbly.
*Reserve half for use in day 5.
Serve with a handful of mixed greens tossed with extra virgin olive oil, a touch of honey, balsamic, salt and pepper.
Day 4: Chicken & Chickpea Flatbread Pitas
*Uses leftover Chickpea Puree and Spiced Chicken
Lightly toast naan. Spread with leftover chickpea puree. Fold to form a pita and fill with chopped leftover chicken and thinly sliced tomato and red onions sprinkled with salt and crushed black pepper.
Serve finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or hot sauce.
Day 5: Eggplant & Mozzarella Subs
*Uses leftover Eggplant Gratin
Slice open Italian bread or rolls and fill with leftover eggplant gratin. Top with parmesan and place, open faced, under broiler until eggplant is hot and rolls are lightly toasted.
Slice and serve topped with chopped fresh basil.