I love homemade meals with my fiancé, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't have a game 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.
In honor of National Burger Month, I'm adding a burger to the mix each week. Last week I made Teriyaki Burgers w/ a Pineapple Salsa that I used again for Black Bean & Pepper Quesadillas. This week, I'll be on the grill with Turkey Cheddar Burgers w/ Blue Cheese Slaw that I'll repurpose in a Buffalo Chicken Salad.
Here's what else I'm making:
Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Cooking spray Butter Mayonnaise Fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt Milk Dry white cooking wine Worcestershire sauce Hot sauce Parmesan cheese Crushed red pepper Oregano Kosher salt Pepper
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 2 6 oz filets skinless halibut (or any white, flaky fish) 1 lb lean ground turkey 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders 1 yellow onion 1 red onion 1 head garlic 1 shallot 1 tomato (for burger topping, optional) 1 small box cherry tomatoes 1 bunch basil 1 heart romaine 1 package coleslaw mix 2-3 summer squash (zucchini, yellow) 1 lemon Small block extra sharp cheddar ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes 1 tube or small can tomato paste 2 sesame seed buns 1 package whole grain spaghetti 1 bottle dry red wine (for bolognese, optional)
Day 1 -- Turkey Cheddar Burgers w/ Blue Cheese Slaw *Makes leftover Blue Cheese Slaw for Buffalo Chicken Salad
Whisk or blend ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt and ½ cup crumbled blue cheese and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper and adjust seasonings if needed. In a large bowl, combine coleslaw mix and blue cheese mixture, tossing to coat. Add more milk to thin if needed and set aside.
Meanwhile, form ½ lb turkey meat into 2 3/4-inch-thick burgers. Using your thumb, make a deep depression in the center of the patty. Season both sides with salt and pepper. *Freeze remaining turkey meat for use in day 5.
Heat grill to high. Brush the burgers with the oil and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Add slices of cheddar during the last minute of cooking and cover to melt.
Lightly toast buns and serve burgers hot with lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced red onion and blue cheese slaw.
Day 2 -- Halibut w/ Tomatoes, Squash & Basil recipe adapted from bonappetit.com *Makes leftover Roasted Vegetables for side with grilled chicken
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (If grilling, build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.)
Thinly slice squash, 1/4 cup shallots and 1/4 cup basil leaves. Halve about 20 cherry tomatoes.
Place 4 14"x12" sheets of parchment paper (or aluminum foil if grilling) on the counter. Divide vegetables among parchment sheets, arranging to one side of sheet in thin layers (layer squash, shallots, then basil, sprinkling the tomato halves around the outside). Sprinkle shallots and sliced basil over, dividing equally. Scatter tomato halves around squash.
Drizzle each sheet with 1 tbsp dry white wine and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (add 1/2 tbsp. water to each if grilling). Season with salt and pepper. Place a fish fillet atop 2 of the portions, seasoning with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle other 2 portions with parmesan.
Fold parchment over mixture and crimp edges tightly to form a sealed packet. *Set vegetable packets in fridge for use in day 3.
Place fish packets on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Bake or grill fish until just cooked through, about 10 minutes (a toothpick poked through the packet will slide through the fish with ease). Carefully cut open packets (steam will escape).
Serve hot topped with a chiffonade of basil leaves and a wedge of lemon.
Day 3 -- Grilled Chicken w/ Basil Sauce *Makes leftover Grilled Chicken for Buffalo Chicken Salad and uses leftover Roasted Vegetables as side
Cover chicken with plastic wrap or parchment paper and, using a flat mallet or bottom of a pan, lightly pound chicken to thin out. If using thick chicken breasts, butterfly first.
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and toss with olive oil, lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice and 2-3 cloves minced garlic. Set in fridge until ready for use.
Meanwhile, blend 1/2 cup lightly packed basil, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly add in 2 tbsp olive oil, blending as added. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Set grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and grill chicken until browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side depending on size of chicken. *Reserve half chicken for use in day 4.
Grill or roast (in 400 degree oven) leftover vegetable packets until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Drizzle chicken with basil sauce and serve with side of roast vegetables.
Day 4 -- Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad *Uses leftover Grilled Chicken and Blue Cheese Slaw
Chop leftover chicken into bite-sized chunks.
Preheat a skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. Add in 2 tbsp hot sauce, a splash of Worcestershire and chopped chicken, tossing to coat. Cook until chicken is heated through.
Wash and chop romaine lettuce and toss with leftover blue cheese slaw.
Top lettuce with shredded cheddar, halved tomatoes and buffalo chicken.
Day 5 -- Weeknight Bolognese
Defrost leftover turkey meat.
Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add ground meat and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, breaking up into crumbles with wooden spoon.
Stir in 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tbsp oregano and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook for another minute before adding in 1/2 cup red wine (or water) to deglaze pan, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Stir in crushed tomatoes and 1 tbsp tomato paste, seasoning with salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add in another splash or two of wine and chopped fresh basil and allow to reduce for another 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook 2 servings pasta to al dente according to instructions.
Toss cooked pasta with parmesan and bolognese and serve topped with fresh basil and more parmesan.