What's Cooking This Week? Asparagus & Mozzarella-Topped Chicken & More

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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, Mustard Glazed Salmon was reused in an egg-topped Salmon Hash. This week, Balsamic Chicken is topped with mozzarella and asparagus and used again for a Chopped Chicken Salad.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Asparagus & Mozzarella-Topped Chicken
  • Chopped Chicken Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Cherry Tomato & Asparagus Farfalle
  • Chicken, Broccoli & Dijon Bolis
  • Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Melts

    Pantry Items

  • Oil (olive, extra virgin, canola, peanut)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Cooking spray
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Honey
  • Brown sugar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Pickle spears, optional for serving
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

    Grocery List
    based on servings for 2 with leftovers

  • 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 8 oz center-cut bacon
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • 1 package shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 package mixed greens
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 5 oz whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1 package farfalle pasta
  • 4 slices whole grain sandwich bread

    Day 1: Asparagus & Mozzarella-Topped Chicken
    *Makes leftover Balsamic Chicken for Chopped Salad and extra asparagus for farfalle pasta

    Cut the stems off asparagus spears and place in a shallow pan with just enough water to cover. Season with salt and bring to a simmer, cooking until spears are slightly tender, about 2 minutes.
    *Reserve half the asparagus for use in day 3.

    Meanwhile, use the back of a pan to pound 1 lb chicken tenders to ½ inch thickness. Place in a plastic bag and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar and ½ tsp brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

    Heat a grill pan over medium, high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add chicken, reserving the excess marinade, and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken and add asparagus spears to grill, adding a bit more oil if needed. Cook, turning, until lighly charred but still crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    *Reserve half the chicken for use in day 2.

    Heat broiler to high.

    Place cooked chicken on a baking sheet covered with tin foil and top with asparagus spears and thin slices of mozzarella. Broil until cheese is golden and bubbly.

    Meanwhile, heat leftover marinade in a small saucepan.

    Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve with a small side salad (or steam 1 cup broccoli and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Day 2: Chopped Chicken Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
    *Uses leftover Balsamic Chicken

    Chop leftover chicken and toss with mixed greens, thinly sliced red onion, halved cherry tomatoes and shredded cheddar.

    Whisk together 1 tsp Dijon, ½ tbsp honey, 1 tbsp balsamic and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over salad.

    Day 3: Cherry Tomato & Asparagus Farfalle
    *Uses leftover Asparagus

    Cook 2 servings of pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve ¼ cup cooking liquid.

    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with olive oil. Chop leftover asparagus into bite-sized pieces and add to pan with 1-2 cloves minced garlic. Cook until light browned and tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add in halved cherry tomatoes and season with salt and crushed red pepper.

    Toss in pasta and desired amt of parmesan cheese, adding reserved liquid as needed.

    Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper and more parmesan.
    *Can also add 2-3 slices of chopped bacon to recipe.

    Day 4: Chicken, Broccoli & Dijon Strombolis
    *Makes leftover Honey Dijon Dressing for Bacon & Avocado Melts

    Heat oven to 425 degrees.
    Whisk together ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ cup honey and 2 tbsp white wine vinegar. Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    *Reserve half for use in day 5.

    Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Heat grill pan or skillet over medium-high and coat with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook until all pieces are browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and add in a bit of oil and 1 cup chopped broccoli, cooking until tender. Add in 1-2 cloves minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken back in and toss to mix.

    Divide pizza dough into 2 pieces. On a baking sheet, roll dough into long, thin ovals. Fill with chicken and broccoli mixture, shredded cheddar and shredded mozzarella, placing down the center and being sure to leave room along the sides. Drizzle with Dijon and fold the long sides over the filling, pinching at the seams to seal.

    Bake until crust is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

    Let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving with any extra dressing.

    Day 5: Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Melts
    *Uses leftover Honey Dijon Dressing

    Cook 4-6 strips of bacon until crisp.

    Meanwhile, slice avocado and season with salt, pepper and a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Halve cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

    Butter 4 slices of bread and top 2 slices with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and bacon. Drizzle with honey Dijon dressing and close to form sandwiches.

    Heat a grill pan to high and add sandwiches, pressing down to crisp. Grill, flipping once, until golden browned and crisp on both sides.

    Slice and serve with a pickle.

    Enjoy!



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