Nourish

Your Weeknight Meal Planner: Comfort Cravings, Answered

Get inspired for the week ahead with our top picks from this week’s menu.

Ok winter, we get it. Even though March is right around the corner and we should be able to start dreaming about spring, you still rule the forecast. Since delicate salads and chilled soups are just about the last thing we want to eat right now, we’re embracing comfort foods in all their delicious glory. This week’s menu includes past and upcoming favorites designed to give you all the cozy feels. Start off the week with a pot pie–inspired chicken soup topped with golden puff pastry croutons. On Tuesday, try a cheesy, saucy baked ziti with a Greek twist. Next, go old-school with a Southern spin on grilled cheese. A fragrant cod and coconut curry will warm you up on Thursday. Finish out the week with a decadent combo of butter-based steaks and cinnamon-honey sweet potato fries (say that three times fast).

Dinner is about to make your soul very, very happy. Now, on to the recipes!

Monday: Creamy Chicken Soup

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
¼ cup shredded carrots
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 5-inch squares puff pastry
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup peas
1 parchment paper
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Roughly chop carrots (they’re already shredded, but chopping into even smaller pieces helps them cook more quickly in Step 4, and ensures you’ll get some carrots in every spoonful of soup). Peel onion and finely chop. Mince garlic. Line a baking sheet with foil for the next step.

2. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, place on prepared baking sheet, and rub all over with 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Roast until cooked through and no longer pink, 10–12 minutes (move on to Step 3—but don’t forget to come back). Transfer chicken to cutting board and set aside to rest, about 5 minutes, then shred using 2 forks or roughly chop. Set aside for Step 5.

3. While chicken roasts, cut puff pastry into 2-inch pieces (don’t worry about making them uniform—you’re going for a rustic look). Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper, then add puff pastry pieces in a single layer. Brush tops lightly with olive oil and season with pepper as desired. Bake (with chicken) until croutons are puffed and golden brown, 7–10 minutes.

4. While croutons bake, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add carrots, onion, and garlic; sauté, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Add flour, butter, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring continuously, until flour is lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-high; simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, 5–6 minutes.

5. Finish soup To pot with soup, still over medium-high heat, stir in peas and shredded chicken. Cook, stirring, until soup has thickened slightly and flavors have melded, 2–3 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired; remove pot from heat.

6. Plate creamy chicken soup Let creamy chicken soup cool slightly, then ladle into serving bowls. Top with puff pastry croutons and garnish with pepper as desired.

Tuesday: Greek Baked Ziti

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
12 ounces ground beef
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ounces ziti pasta
¼ cup tomato paste
⅛ ounce oregano
2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Mince garlic.

2. Pat beef dry with paper towel. Heat½ tablespoon olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and sauté, stirring, until softened, 3–4 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and garlic to combine, 1 minute. Add beef and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until browned, 5 minutes.

3. While beef cooks, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in ziti and cook until almost al dente, 5–6 minutes (it will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and return to pot, off heat.

4. While ziti cooks, to pan with beef, still over medium-high heat, stir in tomato paste and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5–7 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse oregano and strip leaves, discarding stems, then mince. Once thickened, remove pan with sauce from heat and stir in half of oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add ziti to pan and stir to combine.

5. Reshape aluminum tin, if bent, and place on a baking sheet. Pour in ziti and sauce and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle over mozzarella and feta. Bake until cheeses are golden and bubbling, 7–10 minutes. Use the downtime to get ahead on dishes or set the table.

6. Let Greek baked ziti cool slightly, then divide between serving plates. Garnish with remaining oregano.

Wednesday: Pimiento Grilled Cheese

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 Granny Smith apple
1 roasted piquillo pepper
2 packets chipotle mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plain mayonnaise
2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
2 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices brioche pullman
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
3 ounces baby arugula
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

See the full recipe on plated.com!

Thursday: Thai Cod Curry

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
½ cup jasmine rice
6 ounces baby bok choy
1 lime ⅛ ounce ginger
1 clove garlic
½ ounce coconut flakes
½ tablespoon red curry paste
⅓ cup shredded carrots
1 5.46-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
10 ounces cod
canola oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a small pot, combine rice, ¾ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once, reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until water is fully absorbed, 10–12 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, then cover again to keep warm until ready to serve.

2. While rice cooks, halve bok choy lengthwise and rinse thoroughly (it tends to hide a lot of dirt between its leaves); cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, keeping bulbs and leaves separate. If you have a zester and want to infuse your rice with even more flavor, rinse lime and zest up to ½, then halve. Trim and discard skin of ginger and mince. Mince garlic.

3. Place coconut flakes in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside for serving. Wipe pan clean and place over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon canola oil. When oil is shimmering, add red curry paste, ginger, and garlic; sauté, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.

4. To pan with aromatics, still over medium-high heat, add carrots and bok choy bulbs. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes more. Open coconut milk and add to pan, along with 1½ cups water. Coconut milk solids naturally separate from the liquids during transit, but come together during cooking. Vigorously shake the can before opening, or pierce the solids with a spoon before pouring into the pan to avoid a messy splatter. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium; simmer until flavors have melded and curry has thickened slightly, 7–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

5. While curry simmers, line a baking sheet with foil. Pat cod dry with paper towel, place on prepared sheet, and rub all over with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Roast until cod is opaque and cooked through, 7–10 minutes. Meanwhile, once curry has thickened, add bok choy leaves and juice of ½ lime to pan, still off heat; stir to wilt leaves slightly. Taste and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

6. To pot with rice, add lime zest (if using). Stir to combine, then divide between serving bowls. Using a fork, flake roasted cod into large pieces. Spoon Thai red curry into bowls with rice and top with cod. Garnish with toasted coconut. Cut remaining lime into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over, if desired.

Friday: Sage Butter–Basted Steak

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 sweet potatoes
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2½ teaspoons honey
⅛ ounce sage
1 clove garlic
2 steaks
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

See the full recipe on plated.com!

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