What's Cooking This Week? Kimchi Bibimbap, Hangover Chicken Soup & More

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, crisp pancetta topped both a Minestrone Soup and Tomato & Goat Cheese Flatbread. This week, kimchi is used in both Crispy Bibimbap and a Kimchi & Bacon Grilled Cheese.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Crispy Bibimbap with Kimchi
  • New Year's Eve
  • Hangover Chicken Soup w/ Brown Rice & Spinach
  • Chicken & Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
  • Kimchi & Bacon Grilled Cheese

    Pantry Items

  • Oil (olive, extra virgin, canola, peanut)
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Cooking spray
  • Butter
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chicken stock
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sriracha
  • Korean red chile paste (gochujang)
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 package center-cut bacon
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jar kimchi
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 head romaine
  • 1 large bunch spinach
  • 1 bunch bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 8 oz cremini or shitake mushrooms
  • 1 package brown rice
  • 4 slices thick-cut bread (whole wheat)

    Day 1 - Crispy Bibimbap with Kimchi

    Cook 2 healthy portions of rice according to package instructions.

    In a small bow, mix 1 tbsp Korean chile paste*, 1 tbsp water, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp sesame seeds. Mix with rice and add to a cast-iron skillet drizzled with peanut oil and set to medium heat. Add cooked rice, spreading into an even layer across the pan. Cook until bottom is crisp, about 5-10 minutes. *Can substitute sriracha.

    Meanwhile, chop 3 slices of bacon and cook until just crisp. Remove excess fat from skillet and add 4 oz sliced mushrooms. Cook until browned and tender, adding about 1 tsp sesame seeds during last minute of cooking. Remove from pan. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, and 1/4 cup bean sprouts. Season with crushed red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Drizzle pan with a bit of canola or peanut oil if needed. Add 1 cup packed spinach and season with 1 tsp soy sauce. Cook until just wilted. Remove from pan and cook 2 sunny-side up eggs.

    Divide crisped rice into bowls. Add 1 shredded carrot, spinach, kimchi, chopped bacon, mushrooms, and bean sprouts into separate sections so you can see each on top of the rice.

    Add a fried egg to the center of each bowl and top with chopped scallions.

    Day 2 - New Year's Eve

    Happy New Year! Try one of these local-restaurant-inspired appetizers.

    Day 3 - Hangover Chicken Soup w/ Brown Rice & Spinach *Makes leftover Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

    Heat a large pot over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil.

    Add 1 chopped carrot, 2 ribs chopped celery, and 1/2 chopped yellow onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of good chicken stock and ½ cup rice. Reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is cooked, about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, drizzle chicken thighs with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through. *Reserve half for use in day 4.

    Add remaining spinach and shredded chicken thighs, simmering until spinach has wilted.

    Ladle into bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

    Day 4 - Chicken & Mushroom Lettuce Wraps *Uses leftover Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

    In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp honey, and 1/2 tsp sriracha.

    Heat a wok or skillet to high-heat and drizzle lightly with peanut or canola oil. Add 1/2 diced yellow onion and 4 oz diced mushrooms. Cook, tossing, until softened. Stir in diced leftover chicken thighs, 2 cloves minced garlic, and soy sauce mixture. Toss to coat and cook until chicken is heated through and mixture has thickened.

    Gently tear leaves from half the head of Romaine, removing the ribs to form cups. Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce wraps and serve topped with shredded carrot, bean sprouts and sliced scallions. Add a drizzle of sriracha for spice.

    Day 5 - Kimchi & Bacon Grilled Cheese

    Cook 4 slices of bacon until crisp. Top 2 slices bread with shredded cheddar, chopped kimchi (about ¼ cup per sandwich), and sliced bacon. Top with other slices and press down to seal sandwiches. Spread tops with butter or mayonnaise and add to a grill pan, buttered-side-down, set over medium-high heat.

    Grill, pressing down and flipping once, until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Spread on butter or mayonnaise again before flipping.

    Slice and serve.

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