Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One ingredient list, Two Meals!

Readers! I've missed you. A busy few weeks here.

And do you know what brings me joy during busy weeks?

2-in-1 MEALS!

Whether you have rehearsals and an ailing husband like me... or you're running to every kind of sports practice, studying for class or just swamped with work, we all need a little bit of a dinner break.

The worst thing you can do when you get overwhelmed... is slack on good food. When you're running around helter skelter, essential nutrients are exactly the thing you need! Not processed gunk!

SO! Don't sacrifice quality when you're tied up.

Instead... make a meal like this one! One day in the kitchen, two different meals.

I have this goal to cook "big" three times a week, have leftovers thrice and then eat out for date night with G. This meal fits really well into that plan, changing up the "leftover" meal to something a little different with just two extra ingredients.

Day 1 : Pan Seared Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables and Figs
serves 2 (with leftovers for Day 2!)

2 c butternut squash, cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 c dried figs, slice half of them in two
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbs balsamic vinegar

-Combine above ingredients and pour out onto a baking sheet or roasting pan of your choice and place in a 475 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring every 10.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
salt and pepper to taste
flour for dredging
4 tbs butter
3 tbs olive oil
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c chicken stock
3 tbs honey

- In a large frying pan or skillet, melt 3 tbs of olive oil and 2 tbs of the butter over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken, dredge in flour and add to the pan, searing for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- To sauce : Add vinegar, stock and honey to the pan, whisking to incorporate and scraping up brown bits. Bring to a boil, check for seasoning, place chicken back into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate once more.
- Whisk in the remaining 2 tbs of butter into the sauce. Plate up veggies and chicken, pour sauce over and serve. (If making pizza below, reserve 3/4 c of the vegetable/fig mixture and 1/2 c of chicken, shredded.)

Day 2 : Roasted Veggie and Fig Goat Cheese Pizza with Shredded Chicken and Balsamic Reduction

1 large pizza crust or 2 small
olive oil for brushing
5 oz plain goat cheese
3/4 c reserved roasted vegetables
1/2 c reserved shredded chicken
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
3 tbs honey

- Preheat the oven according to your pizza's instructions. Bring vinegar and honey to a boil and reduce until syrupy, about 5-8 minutes. Set aside.
- Brush crust with olive oil. Crumble goat cheese over crust. Top with chicken and vegetables and bake for desired time. While pizza is cooling, drizzle with reduction and serve.


  1. Your use of your "leftovers" is incredibly creative! And very impressive.

    I think that the first day menu is perfect for fall and the pizza, perfect any time. I wonder if I could make it with tempeh as a chicken alternative?

  2. I would definitely try it with tempeh!!

  3. I never plan for left overs just try to scrabble something together if I have them. This shows what a bit of planning and much less scrabbling can produce. Looks great. GG

  4. There are few things I admire more in life than someone who can make leftovers into something else. This looks delicious! I love balsamic with butternut squash and root vegetables...I love this farro recipe that involves balsamic and butternut squash: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/farro-and-roasted-butternut-squash-recipe.html

  5. I love your three cooked meals plan with left overs and a date night. Something I need to aspire too, as well. That pizza looks and sounds terrific! Hope your ailing hubby is on the mend.

  6. This is a great plan! I'm doing something similar this week. I roasted lots of veggies last night for a meal with chicken. Tonight, the leftover vegetables are going into quesadillas. The pizza with goat cheese sounds amazing!