What's Cooking This Week? Squash Gratin, Skirt Steak & More

skirtsteakdinner.jpg
Photo by BrownGuacamole
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, mango salsa topped Mahi-Mahi Tacos and Pork Tenderloin. This week, a creamy polenta is served with Bacon & Eggs and Grilled Skirt Steak.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Tilapia Filets w/ Herb Butter & Mixed Greens
  • Savory Breakfast Polenta
  • Grilled Skirt Steak & Asparagus over Creamy Polenta
  • Steak Sandwiches w/ Basil Mayo & Cold Asparagus Salad
  • Creamy Spaghetti Squash Gratin

    Pantry Items

  • Oil (olive, extra virgin, canola, peanut)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Cooking spray
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Eggs
  • Fat-free sour cream or Greek Yogurt
  • Brown sugar
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Soy sauce
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers

  • 2 6-8 oz tilapia filets
  • 1 lb skirt steak, trimmed
  • 4 slices bacon (I like center-cut or turkey)
  • 1 package shredded cheddar
  • 1 bunch spring mix or baby arugula
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 box instant polenta
  • 1 baguette or 2 good-quality crusty rolls

    Day 1 - Tilapia Filets w/ Herb Butter & Mixed Greens

    Mix 2 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil and 1 tsp lemon zest until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

    Preheat a nonstick grillpan to high heat and coat with cooking spray. Season tilapia filets with salt and pepper. Grill until fish is a light golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.

    Top with a dollop of herb butter and serve with mixed greens tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
    *Reserve a handful of mixed greens for use in day 4.

    Day 2 - Savory Breakfast Polenta recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
    *Makes leftover creamy polenta for Skirt Steak

    Cook 1 cup dry polenta according to package instructions. Once thickened, whisk in ¼ cup milk, 2 tbsp butter, and ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese.
    *Reserve half for use in day 3.

    Meanwhile, cook 4 slices bacon in a skillet until crisped. Remove from skillet, drain excess fat, and add ¼ cup diced yellow onion, cooking until softened. Stir in 1 clove minced garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from pan and cook 2-4 eggs according to preference (I like over easy).

    Crumble bacon and mix with onions and garlic. Serve polenta in a bowl topped with onion-bacon mixture and fried eggs. Top with chopped fresh basil and crushed black pepper.

    Day 3 - Grilled Skirt Steak & Asparagus over Creamy Polenta
    *Uses leftover Creamy Polenta and makes leftover Grilled Steak & Asparagus

    Place skirt steak in a shallow bowl or plastic bag and add in 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp brown sugar, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper according to taste. Allow to refrigerate for 30 min.

    Wash and trim asparagus, then toss with oil, salt and pepper. Heat grill or grill-pan to high heat and add asparagus, grilling until lightly-browned and crisp. Remove from pan and add steak, searing on both sides and cooking to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest before slicing.
    *Reserve half of steak and asparagus for use in day 4.

    Reheat leftover polenta mixed with a pinch of smoked paprika.

    Dollop onto plates and place sliced steak on top. Serve with grilled asparagus and a wedge of lemon.

    Day 4 -Steak Sandwiches w/ Basil Mayo & Cold Asparagus Salad
    *Uses leftover Grilled Steak & Asparagus

    Cut tomato into wedges and season with salt and pepper. Toss with chopped leftover asparagus and bit of oil and red wine vinegar. Taste and season as needed.

    Mix 2-3 tbsp mayo with chopped basil, 1/2 small clove minced garlic, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Reheat leftover steak or use cold if desired. Cut baguette into two rolls of desired size and slice open. Lightly toast and spread with basil mayo. Pile on leftover steak and top with fresh greens.

    Serve steak sandwhiches with cold asparagus salad.

    Day 5 - Creamy Spaghetti Squash Gratin recipe will make leftovers.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Use a fork or skewer to pierce all around the squash to prevent it from bursting. Place the whole squash in a baking pan and bake for about 45 min to one hour. Let cool and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds, then use a fork to scrape out and separate the strands of "noodles." Keep oven at 375.
    *You can also pop it in the microwave for about five to 10 minutes first to reduce baking time.

    Meanwhile, melt 2 tsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¾ cup chopped yellow onion and cook until softened. Mix in 1-2 cloves minced garlic and cook for another minute. Season with salt and crushed red pepper.

    Combine the squash with onion mixture, 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt, and 1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. (If you have any other vegetables or ingredients on hand, feel free to mix them in; mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, ham, bacon).

    Top with parmesan cheese and bake 15-20 minutes until golden browned and bubbly.

    Enjoy!


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