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, I made a quick and easy creamy Italian dressing that I drizzled on a Chicken Chop Salad and used as the base for a Veggie Corkscrew Pasta Toss. This week, I'll be making the most of a chicken, serving the pan-seared legs over leftover Israeli couscous and using the breasts for a Chicken & Pepper Gyro and a Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad.
Here's the rest of the plan:
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Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) White wine vinegar Chicken stock Baking soda Eggs Greek yogurt Butter Honey Dijon mustard Cumin Coriander Cayenne Oregano Toasted sesame seeds Kosher salt Pepper
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 6-8 large sea scallops 1 4 lb chicken, quartered or cut into 8 pieces 1 cup Israeli couscous 1 head garlic 1 red onion 1 shallot 2 yellow onions 1 sweet red bell pepper 2 stalks celery 2 plum tomatoes 1 tomato 1 bunch fresh mint 1 bunch fresh parsley 2 lemons 2 Meyer lemons 1 can chickpeas Tahini dressing Dried cranberries 1 cup Israeli couscous 2 good-quality pitas 2 slices thick-cut multi-grain bread
Day 1 -- Seared Scallops over Israeli Couscous Salad *Makes leftover Israeli Couscous for side with Meyer Lemon Chicken Legs
Cook 1 cup Israeli couscous according to package instructions. Drain and toss with extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, one minced shallot, a handful of dried cranberries, ¼ cup thinly sliced celery, and ¼ cup chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *Set ½ aside for use in day 2.
Meanwhile, thoroughly pat scallops dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add ½ tbsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Sear scallops for 1½ - 2 minutes before turning and cooking for another 1-2 minutes (should be crisp on both sides and opaque throughout).
Serve scallops over warm couscous salad w/ a wedge of lemon.
Day 2 -- Meyer Lemon Chicken in the Skillet *Uses leftover Couscous and makes leftover Chicken Breasts for Gyros and Chicken Salad
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together the zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp dried oregano, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper.
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish or plastic bag. Pour marinade over and let sit for 5 minutes.
Heat cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil. Remove chicken from marinade and add to hot pan, skin side down (reserving marinade in the dish). Cook until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.
Turn chicken and pour on marinade. Add a few splashes of chicken stock and stir to scrape up any bits from pan.
Place skillet in the oven and roast, uncovered, until chicken is completely cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and add another splash of chicken stock, scraping up bits from the pan.
*Reserve breasts along with ½ the pan juices for use in day 3.
Serve legs and thighs over warmed couscous salad and drizzle with pan juices.
Day 3 -- Chicken & Pepper Gyro *Uses leftover Meyer Lemon Chicken Breast
Heat skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add 1 sliced yellow onion and 1 sliced red bell pepper, cooking until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add in 2-3 cloves minced garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, remove skin from 1 chicken breast and chop meat into 1-inch chunks. Add to pan with onion mixture along with a pinch of cayenne and leftover pan sauce. Toss to coat and heat through.
Warm pitas and serve stuffed with roasted peppers, onions and marinated chicken.
Day 4 -- Open-Faced Chicken Salad Sandwich w/ Greek Yogurt *Uses leftover Meyer Lemon Chicken Breast
Remove skin from remaining breast and use two forks to shred the meat.
Mix shredded chicken breast with ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, 2 tbsp chopped celery, 2 tbsp dried cranberries and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve scooped into multigrain bread with fresh lettuce.
Day 5 -- Pan-Fried Falafel Salad recipe adapted from Martha Stewart *This recipe uses canned chickpeas, but if you have time, for slightly better results, you can use dried chickpeas that you soak overnight.
Pulse ½ cup chickpeas in a food processor until chopped. Remove and set aside.
Add in another ½ cup chickpeas, 1 clove smashed, garlic, ½ onion cut into chunks, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tbsp chopped mint, ¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp coriander, 1/8 tsp baking soda, juice of ½ lemon, ½ tsp salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Process until a thick paste is formed, about 30 seconds.
Mix in bowl with chopped chickpeas, 1 egg, and 1½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Drop heaping tablespoons into pan and press down to flatten, forming 2 inch-round patties. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.
Serve hot over torn lettuce with chopped tomato and sliced red onion. Drizzle with tahini dressing.