I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but cooking for two often 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 meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and leftovers.
Last week, Beer-Braised Brats were served with cabbage slaw then chopped up and stuffed into Loaded Potatoes. This week, a Thai-Inspired Pork Loin is served over vermicelli noodles before becoming the topping for a Flatbread Pizza.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 with leftovers
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Day 1 - Shrimp Spring Rolls w/ Peanut Sauce recipe adapted from Jeff Mauro
Heat 1 tsp peanut oil in a skillet and cook 1 clove minced garlic until softened. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup peanut butter, the cooked garlic, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tsp chili paste, and 1-2 tbsp water. Whisk together, adding more water if needed. Taste and season as needed.
In a large pot, bring 3 cups of water, 1 cup white wine, 2 bay leaves, the juice and zest of 1 lime, and 1 tbsp salt to a simmer. Add 8 shrimp and cook, covering, until the shrimp are just pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Scoop out and add to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Slice in half widthwise.
Add 2 oz of thin vermicelli noodles to the same poaching liquid (keep it hot but not simmering) and cook until just al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Peel and julienne 1/2 cucumber, 1 carrot, and 1 bell pepper. (Reserve half for use in day 4.)
Mix the remaining half of the julienned vegetables with 2 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp rice vinegar.
Thinly slice 1 jalapeño.
One at a time, quickly dip each rice-paper wrapper in warm water. Layer with 4 slices of shrimp, a slice of jalapeño, a sprig of cilantro, some vermicelli, a few vegetables, and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts. Gently fold in sides and wrap as you would a burrito. Repeat to make 4 wraps. *Reserve half of the peanuts for use in day 5.
Slice in half and serve with peanut dipping sauce.
Day 2 - Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches
Hard-boil 4-5 eggs. Remove shells and chop. Stir in 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly toast two pieces of flatbread. Slice in half to form 4 pieces of bread. Dollop egg salad onto two pieces and top with chopped tomato. Add tops to form sandwiches.
Slice in half and serve.
Day 3 - Coconut-Marinated Pork Loin w/ Vermicelli *Makes leftover Pork and Peanut Sauce for Thai Pork Pizza
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp lime zest, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp grated ginger, and Sriracha to taste. *Reserve 1/3 for use in day 5.
Use a sharp knife to butterfly the pork loin. Cover with plastic wrap and pound to 1/2-inch thickness. Pour most of the marinade over pork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (can be marinated overnight), reserving about 1/4 for drizzling on top.
Meanwhile, cook 2 servings of vermicelli according to package instructions and use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to cut zucchini lengthwise into wide, thin strips. Brush zucchini ribbons with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Brush a grill or grill pan with oil and set to medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning once, until pork is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side for the pork. Add the vegetables and cook, about 3-5 minutes per side. Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing. *Reserve half the pork for use in day 5.
In a small saucepan, heat remaining marinade along with 1-2 tbsp water. Simmer, adding more water to thin out if needed.
Serve sliced pork and zucchini over vermicelli and drizzle with marinade. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and sriracha.
Day 4 - Tortellini w/ Mozzarella & Cherry Tomatoes
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook two servings of tortellini to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and add 2 cloves minced garlic, cooking about 1 minute to soften. Sprinkle in crushed red pepper.
Slice cherry tomatoes in half and dice 1/2 the mozzarella into cubes. Toss cheese cubes and tomatoes with hot tortellini, drizzle with garlic oil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Top with Parmesan.
Day 5 - Thai Pork Flatbread Pizza *Uses leftover Pork and Peanut Sauce
Spread naan with leftover peanut sauce (thicken with more peanut butter if needed) and top with chopped leftover pork, leftover sliced red bell pepper, sliced mozzarella cheese, and chopped peanuts.
Heat grill to high and brush grated with oil. Add flatbread and cook, closing the top, until bread is golden browned and cheese is bubbling.
Slice and serve topped with leftover sliced carrots and cucumber and chopped fresh cilantro.