What's Cooking This Week?

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Photo by thebittenword.com
Last week's Hanukkah-inspired menu was insanely delicious. We even had a few friends over one night for some Hanukkah-inspired drinking games; Dreidel has never been so fun. Since I'm going home for the New Year soon, this week I'll be trying to use up what's left in my fridge and pantry.

Here's what I'm making:

  • Linguini w/ Clam Sauce
  • Spinach & Walnut Pesto Chicken Bake w/ Roast Broccoli
  • Southwestern Breakfast Quesadillas
  • Pesto Chicken Wraps
  • Broccoli Mac & Cheese

    Pantry Items
    Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
    Cooking spray
    Butter
    Flour
    Low-fat milk
    Low sodium chicken stock
    Parmesan cheese
    Sour cream
    Salsa
    Canned black beans
    Canned baby clams
    Clam juice
    Walnuts
    Whole wheat linguini
    Pasta shells
    Couscous
    Salt
    Pepper
    Garlic powder
    Cayenne pepper
    Crushed red pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
    1 red onion
    1 bag raw broccoli florets, available packaged in produce section
    1 head garlic
    1 lemon
    2 plum tomatoes
    1 package baby spinach leaves
    8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
    Whole wheat or spinach wraps
    White wine

    Day 1 - Linguini w/ Clam Sauce

    Cook pasta according to instructions to al dente.

    Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Remove from heat and add 2-3 cloves minced garlic and crushed red pepper. Add ½ cup wine and return to heat, cooking for 2-3 minutes.

    Strain clams, adding the juices from the can to the skillet. Add in cooked pasta and strained clams, tossing and adding more clam juice if necessary. Cook until clams are just heated through so they remain tender.

    Serve pasta hot with grated parmesan.

    Day 2 - Spinach & Walnut Pesto Chicken Bake w/ Parmesan Broccoli
    *Makes leftover chicken for Chicken Pesto Wraps

    Lightly toast ½ cup walnuts in a skillet over medium heat.

    In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup packed spinach leaves (stemmed), ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup parmesan cheese, the toasted walnuts, 1 medium clove garlic, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    Spread half the pesto on bottom of dish. Lay chicken tenders on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with remaining pesto.

    Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove foil and sprinkle with ½ cup shredded cheddar.

    Preheat broiler and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.

    Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to instructions.

    Sauté broccoli w/ olive oil, fresh garlic, salt and crushed black pepper, finishing with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of parmesan.
    *Reserve ½ cup uncooked broccoli for use in Day 5.

    Serve chicken over couscous to sop up the juices with a side of parmesan garlic broccoli.
    *Reserve leftover chicken for use in day 4

    Day 3 - Southwestern Breakfast Quesadillas

    Preheat a large grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.

    Prepare scrambled eggs to liking, seasoning with salt and pepper.

    Fill half of 2 whole wheat or spinach tortillas with scrambled eggs, shredded cheddar, chopped tomato, black beans, and chopped red onion. Season with salt and pepper.

    Fold over to close and grill until tortilla is browned and crisp.

    Slice and serve with salsa and sour cream.

    Day 4 - Pesto Chicken Wraps
    *Uses leftover Pesto Chicken Bake

    Reheat leftover pesto chicken bake. Slice and add chicken to 2 whole wheat or spinach wraps.

    Add in slices of tomato, thinly sliced red onion and leftover spinach leaves.

    Roll, half and serve.

    Day 5 - Broccoli Mac & Cheese

    Boil pasta shells according to instructions. During last 3 minutes of cooking time, add ½ cup broccoli florets. Drain and set aside, tossing with a bit of olive oil to prevent from sticking.

    Meanwhile, heat a medium pot over medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. Whisk in 1½ tbsp flour and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Once roux bubbles, add 1 cup milk and 1/3 cup chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, simmering until thickened, about 5 minutes.

    Off the heat, add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Stir in cooked pasta and broccoli and serve.

    Enjoy...



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