What's Cooking This Week?

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I love cooking for my fiancé and for myself, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up aimlessly wandering the supermarket and wasting half the ingredients that I've bought (and I HATE food wasters...I'm lookin' at you!). Enter What's Cooking This Week -- My Weekly Meal Plan & Grocery Guide. Now, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.

Last week I made a delicious Spiced Pork Loin and turned the leftovers into Cubans. This week, I'm taking inspiration from one of my favorite restaurant salads -- Jose Tejas's Mesquite Grilled Chicken Salad -- and moving on from there.

Here's what I'm making this week:

  • Salmon w/ Lemon Dill Sauce & Baby Brussels Sprouts
  • Spice-Rubbed Chicken Salad w/ Buttermilk Ranch
  • Bacon, Sprout & Tomato Pasta
  • Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas
  • Buttermilk Pancakes w/ Maple Bacon

    Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Cooking spray Butter Mayonnaise Flour Eggs Baking soda Milk Maple syrup Parmesan Salsa Cayenne Paprika Cumin Garlic powder Onion powder Kosher salt Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 2 salmon filets, pins removed 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 medium yellow onions 3 cups baby Brussels sprouts 1 lemon 1 lime 1 bunch fresh dill 1 bunch fresh parsley 1 head romaine 3 vine-ripened tomatoes 1 container buttermilk 1 container plain Greek yogurt 1 package shredded extra-sharp cheddar 1 can black beans 2 large whole wheat tortillas 1 box whole grain angel hair pasta

    Day 1 -- Broiled Salmon w/ Lemon Dill Sauce & Baby Brussels Sprouts *Makes leftover Baby Brussels Sprouts for Pasta

    Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil.

    Add ½ onion chopped and halved sprouts, cooking until golden-brown, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *Reserve half for use in day 3.

    Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

    Arrange filets on sheet and season with salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle with oil and broil until just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

    Meanwhile, whisk together ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon, 1 clove minced or grated garlic, 1 tbsp chopped dill, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Taste and season as needed.

    Drizzle salmon with yogurt sauce and serve with warm sprouts.

    Day 2 -- Spice-Rubbed Chicken Salad w/ Buttermilk Ranch *Makes leftover Spice-Rubbed Chicken, Grilled Onions, and Buttermilk Ranch for use in Quesadillas & Side Salad

    Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.

    Add 1 sliced onion, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, tossing to cook.

    Pound chicken to thin out. Mix together ½ tsp each of cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sprinkle onto both sides of chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.

    Drizzle with olive oil and add chicken to grill pan, oiled side down. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side. Squeeze half a fresh lime over cooked chicken and slice. *Reserve half the grilled chicken and onions for use in day 4.

    Meanwhile, mix together 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill, 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    Toss half a head of chopped lettuce, 1 tomato and shredded cheddar. Add sliced grilled chicken and onions.

    Serve salad with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. *Reserve extra dressing for use in side salad.

    Day 3 -- Bacon, Sprout & Tomato Pasta *Uses leftover Baby Brussels Sprouts

    In a large sauté pan, cook 3 strips chopped bacon. Remove from skillet and set aside.

    Empty excess oil and add leftover Brussels sprouts to heat through.

    Cook 2 servings pasta according to instructions. Drain and add to skillet with sprouts.

    Add bacon, 1 chopped tomato, 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, and grated parmesan. Season with freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine.

    Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese.

    Day 4 -- Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas *Uses leftover Grilled Chicken & Onions and Buttermilk Ranch

    Heat a skillet pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add leftover sliced chicken and onion mixture to warm through. Add in 2 cloves minced or grated garlic and ½ cup drained and rinsed black beans.

    Spread mixture over half of each flour tortilla. Top with diced tomato and shredded cheddar and fold to close.

    Heat a grill pan or panini grill over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add quesadillas and cook until golden-brown on both sides.

    Cut into wedges and serve with sliced lime, a dollop of Greek yogurt and salsa. Chop romaine and serve with leftover buttermilk ranch.

    Day 5 -- Buttermilk Pancakes w/ Maple Bacon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Line a baking sheet with foil and place wire rack on top. Add bacon to rack and brush with maple syrup. Bake until golden-brown and crisp, 18-20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together 1 cup buttermilk, ½ cup flour, 1 egg, 1 tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt until well blended.

    Heat a griddle over medium heat and coat with butter or cooking spray. Spoon batter into pancakes of desired size and cook until batter is bubbly. Flip and cook on other side.

    Serve hot with butter, syrup and maple bacon.

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