What's Cooking This Week? Baked Potato Soup (Lightened) & More

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Photo by whitneyinchicago
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, we celebrated Christmas Eve with Spinach Bread and used the leftover spinach for Salmon Cakes. This week, mashed potatoes will be served with Blackened Shrimp and used again for Baked Potato Soup.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Blackened Shrimp & Mashed Potatoes
  • New Year's Eve
  • New Year's Day Hangover Brunch: Pancakes & Bacon
  • Lightened Baked Potato Soup
  • Shrimp Cobb Salad

    Pantry Items

    • Oil (canola, olive, peanut)

    • Cooking spray

    • Skim Milk

    • Buttermilk

    • Eggs

    • Flour

    • Sugar

    • Baking Powder

    • Maple syrup

    • Light sour cream/Greek yogurt

    • Dijon mustard

    • Mayonnaise

    • Creole seasoning

    • Kosher salt

    • Pepper

    Grocery List
    Based on servings for two with leftovers

    • 1 ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

    • 1 lb bacon

    • 1 lemon

    • 1 head lettuce

    • 2 plum tomatoes

    • 1 red onion

    • 2 oz blue cheese

    • 2 oz reduced-fat cheddar

    • 1 lb red potatoes

    • 1 bunch green onions

    • 1 bag shredded carrots

    • Fresh berries, for pancakes

    Day 1: Blackened Shrimp & Mashed Potatoes
    *Makes leftover Mashed Potatoes for Baked Potato Soup

    Peel potatoes and cut larger ones in half. Place in pot and cover with water. Boil until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add in ¼ cup milk, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt, chopped scallions, salt and pepper. Mash until desired consistency. Taste and reseason if necessary.
    *Reserve 1 cup for use later in the week.

    Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium-high.

    Toss shrimp with olive oil and creole seasoning. Salt as needed. Add to grill pan and cook until opaque and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes per side.

    Serve shrimp with a side of mashed potatoes and a lemon wedge. Garnish with chopped scallions.

    Day 2: New Year's Eve

    Champagne & Cocktails for everyone!

    Day 3: New Year's Day Hangover Brunch: Pancakes & Bacon

    Melt 2 tbsp butter and whisk together with 1 egg and ½ cup milk.

    In a separate bowl, combine ½ + 2 tbsp cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt and ½ tbsp sugar.

    Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

    Heat griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.

    Ladle 3 tbsp of batter for each pancake, and cook until golden brown, flipping when bubbly.

    Meanwhile, cook desired amount of bacon strips.

    Top pancakes with fresh berries and serve with a side of crispy bacon and warm maple syrup.

    Day 4: Lightened Baked Potato Soup
    *Uses leftover Mashed Potatoes

    Cook two slices of bacon until crisp and crumble. Set aside.

    Heat a pot over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add in ½ chopped red onion and cook until softened.

    Add 1 cup chicken stock and 3/4 cup milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Whisk in leftover mashed potatoes (1 cup) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until warmed through.

    Top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar and chopped scallions.

    Day 5: Shrimp Cobb Salad

    Toss shrimp with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to grill pan and cook until opaque and cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

    Meanwhile, hard boil two eggs and cook 4 slices of bacon.

    Whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.

    Serve grilled shrimp atop chopped lettuce topped with tomatoes, chopped eggs, crumbled bacon, sliced red onion, blue cheese crumbles and shredded carrots. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.


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