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 ingredients 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, pan-roasted turkey cutlets got double action in a Turkey Saltimboca and in a twist on the classic BLT. This week, both Thai Peanut Chicken and Quinoa are used to make another meal.
Here's the rest of the plan:
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Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Balsamic vinegar Cooking spray Parmesan cheese Eggs Greek yogurt Dijon mustard Paprika Sriracha Kosher salt Pepper
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 1½ lb boneless skinless chicken tenders 1 can wild caught salmon, skin and bones removed 1 head garlic 1 small zucchini 1 bunch scallions 1 bunch fresh basil 1 bag shredded carrots 1 head lettuce 1 lemon 2 oz chopped peanuts 1 oz golden raisins 1 oz pine nuts 1 bag/jar quinoa 8oz shredded fontina cheese 1 jar Thai peanut sauce (or make your own) 4 slices good-quality bread of choice 1 package pizza dough (try Trader Joe's or make your own)
Day 1 -- Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps *Makes leftover Peanut Chicken for Thai Chicken Pizza
Chop chicken into bite-size chunks and toss with peanut sauce. *Reserve 4 tenders for use in day 3.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add chicken, tossing, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. *Reserve ½ for use in day 2.
Gently tear leaves from half the head of Romaine, removing the ribs to form cups.
Toss the cooked chicken with another dash of peanut sauce, ¼ cup shredded carrots and 2 tbsp chopped peanuts.
Spoon mixture into lettuce wraps and serve topped with chopped scallion and Sriracha.
Day 2 -- Thai Chicken Pizza *Uses leftover Peanut Chicken
Heat oven to 500 degrees.
Roll out dough to pizza of desired shape/size and place on pizza stone or a pizza pan/nonstick baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
For crisper flatbreads, cook, without toppings, for about 3 minutes. Flip over -- the bottom should be just beginning to brown.
Spread the dough with peanut sauce and top with the leftover chopped chicken, 2-3 oz fontina cheese, ¼ cup shredded carrots, 2 tbsp chopped peanuts and 2 tbsp chopped scallion.
Bake until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, about 8-12 minutes.
Slice and serve hot.
Day 3 -- Quinoa Salad w/ Chicken, Pine Nuts & Raisins *Makes leftover Quinoa for Salmon Cakes
Make 2 cups cooked quinoa according to package instructions. *Reserve half for use in day 5.
Season leftover chicken tenders with 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add chicken and grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Chop and set aside.
Meanwhile, chop and add 1 tbsp pine nuts into a small skillet set over medium-high heat, toasting until just golden, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Drizzle pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and add in 2-3 cloves minced, cooking for 1 minute.
Fluff quinoa and toss with garlic oil, toasted pine nuts, ¼ cup shredded carrots, 2 tbsp golden raisins and chopped fresh basil.
Season with salt, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve topped with chopped Dijon chicken.
Day 4 -- Basil Pesto & Tomato Grilled Cheese
In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp pine nuts and 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread all 4 slices of bread with basil mixture. Top bottom slices with thick slices of tomato and shredded fontina cheese. Top with remaining slices, pesto side in.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.
Butter top halves of sandwiches and place, buttered-side down, into pan. Grill, pressing down, until bottom is crisp. Butter other sides and flip, grilling until golden brown and crisp.
Slice and serve with a simple salad made with remaining lettuce, carrots, and tomato. Drizzle salad with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Day 5 -- Zucchini, Quinoa & Salmon Cakes *Uses leftover Quinoa
Grate zucchini and squeeze to remove excess water. Drain can of salmon.
In a food processor, combine drained salmon, 1 egg, 1 clove garlic, grated zucchini, 2 chopped scallions, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine.
In a medium bowl, mix in 1 egg and leftover quinoa. Form into cakes of desired size.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add quinoa cakes and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, mix together ¼ cup Greek yogurt with ½ tsp minced garlic, and lemon juice, salt and crushed black pepper to taste.
Serve salmon cakes hot with a dollop of Greek yogurt mixture.