I love cooking for my fiancé and planning meals for us, 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 ingredients 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 my leftovers.
Last week, leftover French Onion Soup made the dip for Roast Beef Sandwiches. This week, Italian Meatloaf is served alongside sweet potatoes and remade into a garlic-mayo-topped Stuffed Meatloaf Sandwich.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
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Day 1 - Fish en Papillote w/ Garlic Broccolini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 1 julienned carrot, 1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine.
Season fish with salt and pepper and place each into the center of a piece of parchment paper. Top with vegetables and 2 slices of thinly sliced lemon (seeds removed). Add a pat of butter and a splash of white wine to each filet.
Create half-moon-shaped packages by folding parchment paper over fish and making small overlapping folds along edges. Crimp around the edges to tightly seal.
Place packages on a baking sheet and bake until parchment puffs and fish is cooked through and flaky, about 12-14 minutes, depending on thickness.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add broccolini. Blanch for 2 minutes then place in a bowl of ice water.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Drain broccolini and add to skillet, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic, salt, & pepper and cook for another minute or two. Finish with a squeeze on fresh lemon.
Serve fish directly in sliced-open packages alongside sauteed broccolini.
Day 2 - Easy Mushroom Risotto *Makes leftover Mushroom Risotto
In a saucepan, heat 7 cups chicken stock over medium-heat. Ladle 1 cup into a bowl and add dried porcini mushrooms to reconstitute.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add in sliced fresh mushrooms, 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley and 2 tbsp butter, cooking until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Strain porcini mushrooms and add to skillet. Remove from heat and set aside.
Coat a large saucepan with 2 tbsp oil and add 2 diced shallots and 2 cloves minced garlic, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in 1½ cups rice, stirring until coated, and cook for 1 minute to lightly toast. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and cook until it is mostly evaporated. Add 1 ladle of chicken broth and stir until absorbed. Repeat process, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, until risotto is creamy, but slightly firm, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Taste and season as needed. *Reserve half for use in day 4.
Serve hot topped with chopped fresh parsley.
Day 3 - Italian Turkey Meatloaf w/ Baked Sweet Potato *Makes leftover Stuffed Meatloaf for Sandwiches
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, melt 1 tbsp each butter and flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes before whisking in ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle a bit of gravy into a small bowl for brushing. Remove remaining gravy from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine turkey, 1 egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 grated yellow onion, 1 grated carrot, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tbsp ketchup. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well and divide in half.
Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and use one half of the mixture to shape the bottom of the meatloaf. Top with diced pancetta and sliced fresh mozzarella, then use the other half to seal the stuffing. Pour the reserved gravy over the loaf and bake until cooked through, about 35-45 minutes, basting as needed. *Reserve 1/2 of the mozzarella and pancetta for use in day 3. *Reserve 1/2 of the cooked meatloaf for use in day 5.
Meanwhile, wash and scrub sweet potato. Pierce with fork and microwave until tender. Slice in half to make two portions. Split open and top with butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Slice meatloaf and drizzle with warmed brown gravy. Serve with sweet potato halves.
Day 4 - Pancetta & Mushroom Stuffed Arancini *Uses leftover Mushroom Risotto
Cook diced pancetta in a pan until crisp. Mix with leftover risotto.
Dampen your hands with water and grab about a little less than a golf-ball size scoop of risotto. Stuff a piece of cubed mozzerella into the center and form the risotto into a ball around it. Roll to make sure cheese is completely enclosed. Repeat until all balls are formed.
Set up a breading station with flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh lemon zest. One at a time, roll the risotto balls into flour mixture, then dip into egg, turning to coat completely, and finish by rolling into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly to make sure it adheres. Repeat until all balls are coated. Refrigerate for at 15-30 minutes before frying to ensure the balls hold their shape.
In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan, heat about 3-4 inches of vegetable or peanut oil to 375 degrees. Use a slotted spoon to drop the balls, about 3 or 4 at a time, into the oil. Fry, turning as needed, until golden brown and crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Place on paper towel to drain excess oil as you continue frying the rest.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 tsp Dijon, 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over mixed greens and 1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion. Toss to combine. *Reserve a handful or two of undressed greens for use in day 5.
Serve arancini over dressed greens and top with grated Parmesan.
Day 5 - Meatloaf Sandwiches w/ Garlic & Herb Mayo *Uses leftover Stuffed Meatloaf
Reheat leftover meatloaf in the oven and slice into thick pieces.
Meanwhile, mix 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and 1 clove minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Split open rolls and toast until lightly browned. Spread tops with mayonnaise and place sliced meatloaf inside. Top with mixed greens and close to form sandwiches.