What's Cooking This Week? Christmas Eve Spinach Loaf, Savory Bread Pudding and More

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Photo by Christine Rondeau
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, a Butternut Squash Mash was served alongside Broiled Sausage and used for a rich Lasagna. This week, leftover Christmas ham is used for a cheesy Ham Bread Pudding.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Xmas Eve Spinach Bread
  • Christmas Dinner
  • Leftover Ham Bread Pudding
  • Spinach & Salmon Cakes w/ Lemon Yogurt
  • Green Eggs & Ham Sandwiches

    Pantry Items


    • Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)

    • Balsamic vinegar

    • Cooking spray

    • Butter

    • Flour

    • Eggs

    • Milk

    • Parmesan cheese

    • Dijon mustard

    • Mayonnaise

    • Seasoned breadcrumbs

    • Smoked paprika

    • Crushed red pepper

    • Old bay seasoning

    • Kosher salt

    • Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
    Fresh pizza dough (storebought or homemade)
    1 onion
    1 head garlic
    1 lemon
    1 tomato
    8 oz bag shredded mozzarella
    2-3 oz fontina
    1 large baguette
    12 oz chopped frozen spinach
    1 can wild salmon
    1 small jar pesto
    Also needed: Leftover baked ham from Christmas (can also buy chopped baked ham or bacon)

    Day 1: Christmas Eve Spinach Bread
    *Makes leftover Spinach for Spinach & Salmon Cakes

    Make my holiday spinach bread recipe.
    *Reserve ½ cup cooked spinach for day 4.

    Day 2: Christmas Dinner

    Merry Christmas! Eat lots and be merry.

    Day 3: Leftover Ham Bread Pudding
    *Uses leftover Christmas Ham

    Slice a third to a half of the baguette into 3/4 inch thick slices. Brush with butter and toast under a preheated broiler until crisp.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Saute ½ chopped onion until softened. Mix in ½ cup chopped ham and cook until ham begins to brown. Stir in 1 small clove minced garlic and cook for another minute.
    *If you have any leftover veggies like asparagus, sprouts, or broccoli, chop it up and throw some of that in too.

    Meanwhile, whisk together 1 egg, 1 cup milk 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add in toasted bread and toss to coat. Mix in 3/4 of the ham mixture.

    Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and add in bread mixture. Sprinkle top with reserved ham and shredded fontina. Sprinkle the top with parmesan and season with freshly ground black pepper.

    Bake 35-50 minutes until custard is set and bread is golden brown and puffed.

    Serve hot.

    Day 4: Spinach & Salmon Cakes w/ Lemon Yogurt
    *Uses leftover Spinach

    Heat a pan over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add ¼ cup chopped yellow onion and cook until softened. Mix in 1 clove minced garlic and cook for another minute. Set aside to cool.

    Use a fork to shred the chunks of salmon and mix in 2 tsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, onion mixture, 2 tbsp breadcrumbs, 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese lemon zest, leftover spinach (drained), 1 egg, salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 10 minutes.

    Heat same skillet over medium-high heat and recoat with oil and butter. Form salmon mixture into patties of desired size and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.

    Meanwhile, season greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and paprika.

    Serve salmon cakes hot with a dollop of yogurt.

    Day 5: Green Eggs & Ham Sandwiches
    *Uses leftover Christmas Ham

    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook sliced ham (or bacon) until golden brown and caramelized on both sides. Recoat with cooking spray and cook 4 eggs over easy. Season with salt and pepper.

    Slice baguette into two sandwich sized rolls ad spread insides with butter. Place butter-side down on a preheated grill pan and toast until insides are golden brown.

    Spread the tops with pesto and fill sandwiches with ham, eggs, and sliced tomato.

    Slice and serve hot.



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