This week required very little shopping; and yet when I went out on Saturday I didn’t really save very much. With a plan (but no real list), the cart wasn’t filled but we picked up a few favorites and lunch-necessitites. What really hit me was the price. It’s been a while since I’ve seen 99 cent sales on things I regularly buy (brands aside); and winter prices for fruit often result in little or no savings.

I bought a bag of romaine lettuce from CosCo – which means 6 heads of romaine. For 2 people – that’s a lot of salad to finish in 2+ weeks; but that’s the goal. I also picked up a big box of button mushrooms. While they’re more forgiving regarding time, I hope to fry up a few servings of mushrooms to add to various leftover-centric lunches.

Saturday: Chicken thighs + green salad

Add a sprinkling of pepper and sea salt to the meat. Sautée the chicken thighs in a thin drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil. Add just a light dusting of your favorite dried herbs (oregano, thyme). Carefully flip the chicken thighs to get a good browning all over. When they’re brown, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350. Test for temperature (160 F). When done, remove the pan from the oven and the thighs from the pan. Set aside. Put the pan back on the heat. Deglaze with a drizzle of white wine and chicken stock (equal portions up to 1 cup). Stir to remove the brown marks on the bottom. Add sprigs of fresh herbs, diced garlic or ginger. Stir. Allow to boil down until it’s a sauce. Put the sauce in a dish and remove the sprigs. Strain or purée if you prefer. Serve the chicken thighs with the salad and a drizzling of sauce.

Sunday: Chicken pub strips & french fries

Dredge the chicken tenders in flour, then egg, then a wet batter. Repeat. Put the strips in a pan with a good glug or two of oil. Flip once the batter is brown. Remove and drain on papper towel. Wash the potatoes and cut into strips — do not remove the skin. Coat lightly in olive oil and rosemary. Place on a sheet and bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.  Serve with a mix of curry sauce (or spice) and mayonnaise (or sour cream).

Monday: Pan sauteed pork chops, rice & green salad

Salt and pepper the very lean pork chops. Sear the pork chops in a drizzle of oil.  Once a good color develops, flip. Once both sides are colored, add: 1 cup wine, 1 cup chicken stock, 1 diced head of garlic, small handful of summer savory. Put a lid on the pot and allow to gently boil for 10 minutes.  Take the chops out of the liquid when they reach 160 F.  Take out the chops and keep warm. Boil down the sauce and scrape the bottom well. Add a dolop of butter and season to taste. Put the sauce in a serving cup and put the chops back into the pan to dry them out a bit and bring them back to temperature. If they stick, add oil. If they sizzle, they’re done. Serve with basmati rice to soak up the sauce and green salad.

Tuesday: Hamburger helper & green salad or peas.

Does this even need a recipe? Seasoned and cooked hamburger with egg noodles in creamy beef broth. I use the box mix because it’s quick and we love the taste. For leftovers (there’s always leftover sauce and noodles), fry up a pan of button mushrooms until they are golden and add them to the sauce. Yum.

TO DO: Take fish and pork out of the freezer to thaw.

Wednesday: Lemon-herb fish & potato wedges, green beans/peas

I make this one a lot. It’s a nice alternative to store-bought fish sticks. The recipe is for haddock, but most white fish fillets are forgiving enough for this recipe.

TO DO: Make pork marinade, cut & trim pork & let soak in the fridge in a bowl.

Thursday: Pork, carrot and Broccoli stirfry with rice

Adding more vegetables to the stirfry than it calls for, but otherwise it should be good.

TO DO: Pack the jars + ingredients, buy extra. Tripple the recipe.

Friday: Takeout + 2 minute lime cheesecake