I love cooking for my fiancé and myself, 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 used avocados on a delicious Shrimp Cobb Salad and a creamy Linguine in Avocado Sauce. This week, I'm making a springtime favorite, Lamb Ragu with Fresh Mint, and using the leftover ingredients to make adorable Lamb Sliders. (It's National Burger Month, after all.)
Here's what's cooking:
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- Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
- Cooking spray
- Red wine vinegar
- Butter (unsalted)
- Chicken stock
- Soy sauce
- Fat-free Greek yogurt
- Crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt
Grocery List based on servings for 2 with leftovers
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 1 orange
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 red onion
- 1 head garlic
- 1 bulb fresh ginger
- 2 carrots
- 1 lemon
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 bunch spinach leaves
- Golden raisins (1/4 cup)
- Sliced almonds (1/4 cup, optional)
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 whole-grain slider buns
- 1 package pappardelle
- Whole wheat couscous (2 servings, 1/2 cup)
- 1 bottle red wine
Day 1: Ginger Chicken Thighs over Sautéed Spinach
*Makes leftover Ginger Chicken for use in Spiced Couscous and leftover spinach for use in Mediterranean Frittata
Place chicken thighs in a deep dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice, the zest of 1 orange, 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger and 4 cloves minced garlic. Toss to coat and let marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook spinach in a skillet coated lightly with olive oil over medium heat. Add 2-3 cloves sliced garlic, salt, crushed red pepper and set aside.
*Reserve 1/3 of the spinach for use in day 5.
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook chicken thighs until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side depending on size.
*Reserve half the chicken for use in day 3.
Serve chicken hot over sautéed spinach.
Day 2: Pappardelle with Spring Lamb Ragu
Heat saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil. Brown 1/2 lb ground lamb, draining excess oil. Add 1/2 chopped onion and 2-3 cloves minced garlic, cooking until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 cup red wine and reduce by half, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add in crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to low, simmering for 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup torn mint leaves and add salt if needed.
Meanwhile, cook pappardelle according to instructions.
Gently toss pasta with sauce and top with fresh mint and parmesan.
Day 3: Spiced Couscous with Shredded Chicken recipe adapted from Food Network
*Uses leftover Ginger Chicken
Bring 1½ cups water to a boil and season with 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 pepper. Add sliced carrots and cook until crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
Place couscous and leftover shredded chicken in a large bowl and pour in 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Cover and let sit 5 minutes, fluffing couscous with a fork when done. Mix in carrots and more cooking liquid if needed.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. Add in raisins, almonds and 1/8 tsp cinnamon, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Mix in 1 tbsp chopped mint.
Divide chicken and couscous among serving bowls and top with raisin/almond mixture and a dollop of Greek yogurt (if you have harissa or other hot sauce on hand, feel free to add that as well).
Day 4: Lamb Sliders with Feta Mint Tzatziki
*Makes leftover Tzatziki for Mediterranean Frittata
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.
Mix leftover ground lamb with 2 tbsp chopped red onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper. Form into 4 mini patties.
Cook burgers until browned on one side, about 6-8 minutes. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare tzatziki. Grate 1/2 cucumber and set in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 5 minutes before straining. Mix 1/2 cup Greek yogurt with strained cucumber, 1 clove grated garlic, 1 tbsp of fresh mint, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper.
*Set 1/3 aside for use in day 5.
Mix 2 oz crumbled feta into tzatziki.
Build sliders by placing burgers, sliced tomato and sliced red onion into toasted buns.
*Reserve 1 tomato and 1/4 red onion for use in day 5.
Top burgers with Feta Mint Tzatziki and serve with leftover sliced tomatoes and cucumber tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Day 5: Mediterranean Frittata
*Uses leftover Tzatziki
Whisk together 4 eggs, 1 tsp parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Heat a nonstick, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil.
Add 1/4 chopped red onion, 2-3 cloves minced garlic and leftover spinach, cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour over egg mixture and stir. Sprinkle in crumbled feta, chopped tomatoes and torn mint leaves.
Cook until bottom is cooked and top begins to set, about 3-4 minutes. Place in broiler and cook for another 3-4 minutes until brown and fluffy.
Slice and serve topped with leftover tzatziki (add more Greek yogurt to thicken if needed) and freshly ground black pepper.