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, Pan-Roasted Chicken was served with Zucchini Latkes and remade into Chicken Paprikash. This week, Roasted Butternut Squash is tossed in a Creamy Penne Pasta and re-used in Butternut Squash Soup.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
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Day 1 - Garlic Flank Steak w/ Grilled Asparagus & Baby Potatoes *Makes leftover Flank Steak for Steak House Salad Flatbread
In a shallow dish or freezer bag, mix together 2 cloves minced garlic, ½ tbsp grill seasoning, 1/2 tsp brown sugar, a dash of hot sauce, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Add steak and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper and let marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat grill pan to high heat. Add steak and cook to desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on size of steak). Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. *Reserve about half the steak for use in day 4.
Meanwhile, add potatoes to a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender. Bring a grill pan to medium-high heat add 1/2 bunch of asparagus spears. Drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning, until tender. Remove from pan. Lightly smash cooked potatoes and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add to grill pan to slightly crisp.
Serve steak with steak sauce, grilled asparagus, and smashed potatoes topped with sour cream.
Day 2 - Penne w/ Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis *Makes leftover Roasted Squash for Butternut Squash Soup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, seed, and cut butternut squash into 3/4-inch cubes and toss together with a chopped onion. Add to baking sheet along with a few sage leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool. *Reserve half the squash for use in day 4.
While the vegetables are cooling, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook two servings of penne to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid. Lightly toast walnuts in a dry pan set over medium-low heat. Cook, tossing frequently, until aromatic, about 5 minutes.
Add the pasta, 1/2 cup of reserved cooking liquid, a splash of chicken stock, and 2 oz crumbled goat cheese to a large bowl, tossing until cheese melts to create a creamy sauce. Add more water as needed. Toss in squash mixture and 2 oz chopped walnuts. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan.
Day 3 - Steak House Salad Flatbread *Uses leftover Flank Steak
Heat a grill or oven to 425 degrees.
Brush 2 pieces of naan with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 clove minced garlic. Add flatbread directly to a grill, pizza stone or baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cook until crust is crisp and golden brown.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp honey, and 3 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, mix arugula, thinly sliced red onion, and 1 chopped tomato. Drizzle with vinaigrette, reserving some, and toss to combine. Thinly slice leftover steak on the bias.
Top each crisp naan with salad, steak, and crumbled goat cheese (1 oz for each pizza). Drizzle with reserved vinaigrette, slice and serve.
Day 4 - Creamy Butternut Squash Soup w/ Fried Sage *Uses leftover Roasted Butternut Squash
Heat a large sauce pot over medium-high heat and drizzle lightly with oil. Add 1/2 chopped onion, 1 diced carrot, and 1 diced celery rib. Cook until softened, but not browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir in leftover roasted squash to warm through. Add up to another cup of stock as needed. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree until smooth. Return to pot and stir 1/4 cup of half and half and a pinch of cinnamon. Taste and season as needed.
Meanwhile, pinch off a few leaves of sage and fry in a skillet of olive oil until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Serve soup topped with croutons, fried sage leaves, freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of half and half.
Day 5 - Roasted Asparagus w/ Poached Eggs, Parmesan & Tomato Salad
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and trim remaining asparagus spears. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 minutes until slightly crisp but still tender.
Poach desired amount of eggs. Meanwhile, cut tomatoes into large wedges and toss with thinly sliced red onion, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Lightly grill or toast a piece of flatbread drizzled with olive oil. Cut into long thin strips for serving.
Serve eggs atop grilled asparagus and top with shavings of parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Serve alongside tomato salad, grilled flatbread, and hot sauce, if desired.