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, homemade dumplings were served with Turkey Piccata and reused as a main course in a Brown Butter Spaetzle dish. This week, an Apple & Cabbage Slaw is served alongside Panko Crusted Pork Chops and used to top Chicken Sausage Subs.
Here's the rest of the plan:
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Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Cooking oil (canola or peanut) Cooking spray Apple cider vinegar Butter Flour Eggs Milk Parmesan cheese Honey Dijon mustard Panko breadcrumbs Nutmeg Dried thyme Cayenne Kosher salt Pepper
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 3 bone in pork chops (can also use boneless) 1 package sweet chicken sausage 1 medium butternut squash 4 oz cheddar cheese (1 cup shredded) 2 oz crumbled Gorgonzola 2 oz walnuts 1 package mixed spicy baby greens 1 lemon 1 head garlic 1 yellow onion 1 shallot 1 head red cabbage 2 green apples 1 box elbow macaroni 1 loaf French or Italian bread
Day 1 - Panko-Crusted Pork Chops w/ Apples & Cabbage *Makes leftover Fried Pork for Pork & Bitter Greens Salad and leftover Apples Slaw for Chicken Sausage Subs
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil.
Thinly slice 1 onion, 1 head of cored red cabbage, and 1 peeled green apple. Add to saucepan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup water and 3 tbsp cider vinegar. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until completely softened, about 25-30 minutes. Taste and season as needed. *Reserve a third for use in day 4.
Meanwhile, set up a breading station with shallow separate bowls of flour, beaten eggs, and panko bread crumbs mixed with parmesan, salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
Season chops with s+p on both sides and dredge in the flour. Shake off excess before coating in egg, then gently dip into breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat.
Heat skillet over medium-high and coat with oil. Add chops and cook, flipping once, until golden-brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes per side for ½ inch thick chops. *Reserve 1 chop for use in day 2.
Serve chops hot with a wedge of lemon and sautéed cabbage mix.
Day 2 - Pork, Gorgonzola, & Bitter Greens Salad w/ Cider Vinaigrette *Uses leftover Fried Pork
Lightly toast walnuts in a dry pan set over low heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Whisk together 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon, 2½ tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss 2 servings of mixed greens with sliced green apple, leftover chopped pork, crumbled Gorgonzola, and toasted nuts. Drizzle with cider vinaigrette and serve.
Day 3 - Broiled Squash Mac 'N Cheese *Makes leftover Mashed Squash for Butternut Squash Bisque
Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add in 1 tbsp butter, a pinch of dried thyme, and 1 minced shallot. Cook for a minute before adding 1½ tbsp flour, stirring to make a roux. After another minute or two, add a peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash, 1 cup chicken stock, and 1½ cups milk. Reduce heat to low and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Mash contents and season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. *Reserve half for use in day 5.
Meanwhile, cook 2 servings of pasta to al dente.
Add 1 cup grated cheddar to remaining mashed squash mixture. Taste and add up to ¼ cup grated parmesan. Combine with drained pasta and add to baking dish.
Top with panko breadcrumbs and cooking spray. Place under broiler on high until top is browned and dish is bubbling.
Serve hot with leftover mixed greens tossed with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Day 4 - Chicken Sausage Subs w/ Apple Slaw *Uses leftover Apple Slaw
Heat grill pan to medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add 2 sausage links and cook, turning, until browned and cooked through.
Cut bread into long sandwich rolls of desired size. Slice open and brush with oil. Add to grill pan, oil side down, to brown and crisp. *Reserve leftover bread for use in day 5.
Fill sandwiches with sausage links and top with Dijon mustard and leftover cabbage & apple slaw.
Day 5 - Butternut Squash & Sausage Bisque *Uses leftover Mashed Squash
Puree leftover squash and reheat in a saucepan along with ½ cup of chicken broth, adding up to another ½ cup of chicken broth or milk to reach desired thickness/creaminess.
Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add 2 crumbled sausage links to brown. Mix in 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Drain of excess oil and add to bisque.
Serve hot with lightly toasted bread for dipping.