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 got the most out of Marinated Flank Steak and made an Onion Jam that topped a Steak Sandwich and a Portobello Burger. This week, I'll be making a Basil Pesto for a Caprese Sandwich and tossing the extra sauce with Tortellini and Broccoli later in the week.
Here's the rest of the plan:
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Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Balsamic vinegar Red wine vinegar Light cream Cooking spray Eggs Reduced-fat sour cream/Greek yogurt Salsa Parmesan Butter Cumin Cayenne pepper Garlic powder Crushed red pepper Kosher salt Pepper
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers ½ lb shrimp 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella 1 bunch basil 1 lime 1 red onion 1 yellow onion 1 head garlic 1 beefsteak tomato 1 bunch broccoli 1 oz pine nuts 1 can black beans 1 can corn (can also use fresh or frozen) 8 oz can crushed tomatoes 1 package cheese tortellini 1 baguette 6 corn tortillas Pizza dough (our make your own)
Day 1 -- Fajita Shrimp Salad w/ Crispy Tortillas Strips *Makes leftover Black Beans & Corn
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss shrimp with lime zest, a drizzle of oil, 1 clove minced garlic, ¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Let marinate for 10-15 minutes in fridge.
Meanwhile, use a knife or a biscuit cutter (about 2½ inch diameter) to cut the center out of 6 corn tortillas. Take the small cut-out circles, brush both sides with oil and cut into thin strips. Sprinkle with salt and bake until brown and crisp, about 5-10 minutes. *Reserve the larger corn tortillas with the center cut out for use in day 3.
Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add shrimp and grill until slightly charred and pink on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Turn over and grill until shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute.
Rinse and drain black beans and corn. Toss together ½ cup each with ½ chopped red onion and 2-3 leaves chopped basil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. *Reserve remainder for use in day 3.
Toss chopped lettuce with black bean and corn mixture. Add grilled shrimp and top with crispy tortilla strips. Serve with lime wedges, salsa and a dollop of sour cream.
Day 2 -- Caprese Baguette w/ Basil Pesto *Makes leftover Basil Pesto for use in Pesto Cream Sauce
In a food processor, blend ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1½ tbsp pine nuts and 1 clove garlic. Slowly drizzle in 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and crushed red pepper to taste
Cut half the mozzarella and the whole beefsteak tomato into thick slices. *Reserve half the mozzarella for use in day 5.
Slice baguette into two sandwich-size portions. Cut open and spread top and bottom with pesto mixture. *Reserve half pesto for use in day 3.
Top with mozzarella, tomato slices and basil leaves. Season and salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Day 3 -- Huevos in the Hole w/ Black Beans & Corn adapted from thepioneerwoman.com *Uses leftover Corn & Black Beans and Corn Tortillas
Layer the leftover corn tortillas on top of each other into two stacks of three.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and melt 1-2 tbsp butter. Place the stacks onto the griddle and carefully crack an egg into the center of each. Season with salt and pepper and let cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove the tortillas and add more butter to the griddle. Carefully flip the egg over and cook until egg is desired doneness.
Serve topped with salsa, sour cream, and leftover black bean and corn mixture.
Day 4 -- Tortellini & Broccoli in Pesto Cream Sauce *Uses leftover basil pesto
Cook tortellini according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, rinse broccoli and cut into large, bite-size florets.
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan with a steamer. (If you don't have a steamer, put the broccoli directly into the boiling water.) Add the broccoli and cover; reduce heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes. The broccoli is done when you can pierce it with a fork.
Simmer 2-3 tbsp light cream with ¼ cup leftover pesto in a skillet until slightly thickened. Stir in 1 tbsp grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss with 2 servings cooked tortellini and ½ cup steamed broccoli.
Day 5 -- Grilled Margherita Pizza
Make a quick tomato sauce by heating a saucepan over medium-low heat and sautéing ½ chopped yellow onion in olive oil. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, and stir in 3 cloves minced garlic, cooking for another minute. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Add in canned tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes and stir in chopped fresh basil. Taste and season as needed.
Meanwhile, on an oiled plastic cutting board or inverted baking sheet, roll out pizza dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Preheat a grill to medium-high.
When the grill is hot, carefully transfer the dough onto the grates, holding the dough by the corners and draping it onto the grill.
When the dough puffs slightly and grill marks appear, use tongs to flip onto the coolest part of the grill.
Brush the top with olive oil and scatter sliced mozzarella over the dough. Add dollops of the tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves on top, not covering the entire pizza. Drizzle with olive oil and slide back toward the heat.
Grill, turning frequently, until cheese has melted and top is bubbly.
Slice and serve hot with crushed red pepper and parmesan.