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 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 crispy Pork Milanese was served over arugula then reused in a Spicy Udon dish. This week, a spicy tomato sauce is tossed with Whole Wheat Penne and is used as a dip for Ham & Provolone Panini.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
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Day 1 - Smothered BBQ Chicken w/ Steamed Broccoli *Makes leftover Grilled Chicken & Honey BBQ Sauce for use in Chicken Sandwiches
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and coat lightly with oil. Add 2 tbsp minced red onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp cider vinegar ,1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and ½ tsp ground mustard. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook on low for 10-15 minutes. Taste and season as needed.
Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. If using 2 large chicken breasts, cut each in halve horizontally to form 4 pieces total. Use the back of a pan to flatten out a bit, forming breasts of even thickness. Season breasts with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Brush with bbq sauce during last minute of cooking. *Reserve half for use in day 3.
Top each remaining breast with a of slice ham and a slice of provolone cheese. Place under broiler or close hood of grill until cheese is melted and bubbling.
Cut broccoli into florets. Bring 1 inch water to a boil in a saucepan fitted with a steamer. Add the broccoli, cover and steam for 5-6 minutes until tender but crisp. Toss with olive oil, lemon zest, salt, freshly ground black pepper. *Reserve a few uncooked florets for use in day 4.
Drizzle smothered chicken with more bbq sauce and serve with steamed broccoli. *Reserve remaining sauce for use in day 3.
Day 2 - Italian Deli Chop Salad
Layer a few slices of ham and cheese together and roll into tubes. Slice into large chunks.
Chop lettuce and tomatoes into large bite-sized pieces. Add to bowl with sliced red onion, chopped broccoli florets, hot giardiniera, and sliced ham & cheese rolls.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide chop salad into 2 and serve drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
Day 3 - Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwiches *Uses leftover Grilled Chicken & Honey BBQ Sauce
Reheat bbq sauce and chicken on stovetop or in oven.
Slice Kaiser rolls open and brush insides lightly with oil or butter. Place, oil-side down, onto a hot grill pan or skillet to lightly toast.
Cut chicken into pieces to fit sandwich rolls. Dip pieces into hot bbq sauce to coat. Add a bit of hot sauce for kick. Place on rolls and top with lettuce, a slice of tomato, and a few slices of red onion.
Serve with chips and pickles.
Day 4 - Penne w/ Hot Giardiniera Tomato Sauce *Makes leftover Hot Giardiniera Tomato Sauce for Panini
Cook 2 servings penne to al dente according to package instructions.
Heat saucepan over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add in 1/2 chopped yellow onion and cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in 1 clove minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add in 1 can crushed tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in a pinch of sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in desired amount of chopped hot giardineira. *Reserve 1/2 cup for use in day 5.
Toss pasta with tomato sauce and top with parmesan.
Day 5 - Ham & Provolone Panini w/ Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce *Uses leftover Hot Giadineira Tomato Sauce
Brush 4 slices of sourdough bread with oil or butter. On the dry side, pile slices of ham and cheese. Close to form sandwiches, butter-side facing out.
Heat a panini-pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Add sandwiches and cook, pressing down, until golden brown and crisp on bottom. Flip and cook until golden brown and crisp on other side.
Reheat leftover tomato sauce.
Slice and serve with a pickle and hot giardineira tomato sauce for dipping.