I love cooking for my fiancé and myself, 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 ingredient's 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, a Thai-Inspired Pork Loin was served over vermicelli noodles and reused to top a Flatbread Pizza. This week, boneless chicken thighs make the filling for both Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce and a Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
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Day 1 - Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi in Brown Butter Sauce
In a large bowl, mix together 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp parmesan cheese. Incorporate flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough is sticky, but can be shaped (use as much as 1 cup).
Heat a pot of salted water to point of boiling.
Spread flour on a work surface and roll dough to form a log. Cut lengthwise to into 3-4 pieces and roll each piece out into 1/2-inch wide strips. Dust with a little flour then cut gnocchi into about 1 inch pieces. Press the tines of a fork into each piece to create an impression.
Add gnocchi, a few at a time, to pot and boil until they float at the top. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat until all gnocchi are made.
Heat a few pats of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the butter begins to brown and develops a nutty aroma. Add gnocchi and cook, tossing, to crisp and brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese and a drizzled of pan butter. Add fresh basil if desired.
Day 2 - Baked Eggplant Rollatini *Makes leftover Tomato Sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange sliced eggplant in a single layer. Spray tops and bake, flipping once, until golden brown, about 10 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, lightly coat a saucepan with olive oil and sauté 1/2 chopped yellow onion until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in 2-3 cloves minced garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 can crushed tomatoes and season with salt, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Finish with chopped fresh basil. *Reserve half for use in day 4.
To make the filling, mix 1/4 cup ricotta with 1-2 tbsp parmesan, 1 egg yolk, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spoon ricotta mixture onto narrow end of each eggplant and top with a basil leaf. Roll up to form logs.
Coat baking dish with 1/4 cup sauce and arrange eggplant seam side down in a single layer. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake 10-15 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese has browned.
Meanwhile. toss baby spinach with chopped tomato, sliced red onion, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1-2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.
Serve eggplant rollatini with spinach salad.
Day 3 - Chicken Enchiladas w/ Pumpkin Sauce recipe adapted from Martha Stewart *Makes leftover Spicy Chicken Thighs
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Season boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to pan to brown on all sides. Before flipping, sprinkle with 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp Mexican spice blend. Cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and let slightly cook before shredding with two forks.
Ditch some of the fat from the pan and add 1/2 diced yellow onion. Cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in 2 cloves minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute before returning the shredded chicken to the pan. Add a few splashes of chicken stock and cook to heat through. *Reserve half the mixture for use in day 5.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees.
In a blender, mix together 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed for less heat), 1/2 tsp Mexican spice blend, and 1¼ cup water. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Pour about 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
Lay 4 corn tortillas on a work surface and fill with chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam-side down, into baking dish.
Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 can black beans. *Reserve remaining beans for use in day 5.
Serve enchiladas with a dollop of sour cream and a side of black beans.
Day 4 - Eggs in Purgatory *Uses leftover Tomato Sauce
Heat leftover sauce in a large, oven-safe skillet and crack 4 eggs inside. Cover and let simmer until eggs are set, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover. Let stand about 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice ciabatta roll into 4 pieces and lightly toast. Transfer each egg onto a slice of toast and top with sauce. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
Day 5 - Chicken Fajita Soup *Uses leftover Spicy Chicken Thighs
Use two corn tortillas to make baked tortilla strips.
Heat a pot over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add in 1/2 diced red onion and 1/2 diced jalapeno, cooking until softened. Add in 1/4 tsp Mexican spice blend, 1 can diced tomatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, and remaining black beans. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Add in leftover chicken thighs and 1/4-1/2 cup frozen corn. Cook for 10-15 minutes until chicken is heated through and flavors have blended.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, and fresh lime.