What's Cooking This Week? Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps & More

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Photo by ~Nisa
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 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.

Last week, pan-roasted turkey cutlets got double action in a Turkey Saltimboca and in a twist on the classic BLT. This week, both Thai Peanut Chicken and Quinoa are used to make another meal.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Thai Chicken Pizza
  • Quinoa Salad w/ Pine Nuts & Raisins
  • Basil Pesto & Tomato Grilled Cheese
  • Zucchini, Quinoa & Salmon Cakes

    Pantry Items
    Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
    Balsamic vinegar
    Cooking spray
    Parmesan cheese
    Eggs
    Greek yogurt
    Dijon mustard
    Paprika
    Sriracha
    Kosher salt
    Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
    1½ lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
    1 can wild caught salmon, skin and bones removed
    1 head garlic
    1 small zucchini
    1 bunch scallions
    1 bunch fresh basil
    1 bag shredded carrots
    1 head lettuce
    1 lemon
    2 oz chopped peanuts
    1 oz golden raisins
    1 oz pine nuts
    1 bag/jar quinoa
    8oz shredded fontina cheese
    1 jar Thai peanut sauce (or make your own)
    4 slices good-quality bread of choice
    1 package pizza dough (try Trader Joe's or make your own)

    Day 1 -- Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    *Makes leftover Peanut Chicken for Thai Chicken Pizza

    Chop chicken into bite-size chunks and toss with peanut sauce.
    *Reserve 4 tenders for use in day 3.

    Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add chicken, tossing, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
    *Reserve ½ for use in day 2.

    Gently tear leaves from half the head of Romaine, removing the ribs to form cups.

    Toss the cooked chicken with another dash of peanut sauce, ¼ cup shredded carrots and 2 tbsp chopped peanuts.

    Spoon mixture into lettuce wraps and serve topped with chopped scallion and Sriracha.

    Day 2 -- Thai Chicken Pizza
    *Uses leftover Peanut Chicken

    Heat oven to 500 degrees.

    Roll out dough to pizza of desired shape/size and place on pizza stone or a pizza pan/nonstick baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

    For crisper flatbreads, cook, without toppings, for about 3 minutes. Flip over -- the bottom should be just beginning to brown.

    Spread the dough with peanut sauce and top with the leftover chopped chicken, 2-3 oz fontina cheese, ¼ cup shredded carrots, 2 tbsp chopped peanuts and 2 tbsp chopped scallion.

    Bake until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, about 8-12 minutes.

    Slice and serve hot.

    Day 3 -- Quinoa Salad w/ Chicken, Pine Nuts & Raisins
    *Makes leftover Quinoa for Salmon Cakes

    Make 2 cups cooked quinoa according to package instructions.
    *Reserve half for use in day 5.

    Season leftover chicken tenders with 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

    Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add chicken and grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Chop and set aside.

    Meanwhile, chop and add 1 tbsp pine nuts into a small skillet set over medium-high heat, toasting until just golden, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

    Drizzle pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and add in 2-3 cloves minced, cooking for 1 minute.

    Fluff quinoa and toss with garlic oil, toasted pine nuts, ¼ cup shredded carrots, 2 tbsp golden raisins and chopped fresh basil.

    Season with salt, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    Serve topped with chopped Dijon chicken.

    Day 4 -- Basil Pesto & Tomato Grilled Cheese

    In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp pine nuts and 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Spread all 4 slices of bread with basil mixture. Top bottom slices with thick slices of tomato and shredded fontina cheese. Top with remaining slices, pesto side in.

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

    Butter top halves of sandwiches and place, buttered-side down, into pan. Grill, pressing down, until bottom is crisp. Butter other sides and flip, grilling until golden brown and crisp.

    Slice and serve with a simple salad made with remaining lettuce, carrots, and tomato. Drizzle salad with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Day 5 -- Zucchini, Quinoa & Salmon Cakes
    *Uses leftover Quinoa

    Grate zucchini and squeeze to remove excess water. Drain can of salmon.

    In a food processor, combine drained salmon, 1 egg, 1 clove garlic, grated zucchini, 2 chopped scallions, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine.

    In a medium bowl, mix in 1 egg and leftover quinoa. Form into cakes of desired size.

    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Add quinoa cakes and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.

    Meanwhile, mix together ¼ cup Greek yogurt with ½ tsp minced garlic, and lemon juice, salt and crushed black pepper to taste.

    Serve salmon cakes hot with a dollop of Greek yogurt mixture.

    Enjoy!



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