Leftover Love: Recipes that serve double duty on busy weeknights

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This meal plan will get you through the week with minimal effort and maximum output. Like an old-fashioned love song remixed, two nutritious recipes that serve double duty supply four busy weeknight dinners. At the #HeanyHouseKitchen I always allow for one night of takeout, whether that’s sushi Wednesday or Friday night pizza after a Costco trip (did you know #Costco is the 14th largest pizza chain in the US without even being a pizza chain?). Anyway, after a week of meals that will look like you slaved away in the kitchen all day, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

All it takes is a thought-out shopping list and a little prep time for a few main ingredients that will go a long way—the whole week through, in fact. Get out your pretty washi tape (or masking tape will do) and start labeling your way to an organized meal plan for the week.

4 meals to make this week (easy)

Shopping list:

1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes
1 bunch kale
3 onions
Olive oil
32 ounces vegetable stock (one box)
1 dozen eggs
1 pound tail of monkfish
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound lentils (I used French lentils in this recipe but you can use yellow, red or brown)
1 ½ tablespoons Ras El Hanout (A Morrocan spice blend; find it in the spice aisle at the grocery store)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Truffle oil and/or truffle salt (optional)

Instructions to make all four meals:

1. Peel and dice 1 ½ pounds of sweet potatoes.

2. Rinse and remove stems from kale, chop.

3. Dice onions.

4. Heat large skillet to medium, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ of sweet potatoes, then ½ of kale, and ½ of onions. Season with salt and pepper. Remove half and set aside.

5. In a Dutch oven or large pot, sauté other half of sweet potatoes and onions, then set aside.

6. In the Dutch oven, add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté other half of kale and onions, then add 32 ounces of vegetable stock and 1 pound of lentils; simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

7. Remove half of lentil mixture and set aside.

8. Add back to the Dutch oven the reserved sweet potatoes, 1 ½ tablespoons of Ras El Hanout, and 1 cup of water. Cover and simmer on low for about 20 more minutes. (The Moroccan Stew is now finished and can be cooled, packed away, labeled and placed in the fridge for later in the week.)

9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

10. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 8 eggs with a dollop of yogurt, salt and pepper. Add to hot skillet with 1/3 of sweet potatoes, kale and onions. Cook until edges are set, 3-5 minutes.

11. Place stainless skillet in the oven to finish frittata, 15-20 minutes, or until center does not jiggle. Remove and top with chevre if serving immediately or wait to add the cheese if serving later. (The frittata is now done to slice and serve—I like to use a pizza cutter—or pack up and save for later in the week. Serve with a salad and bread if desired.)

12. Turn oven up to 400 degrees.

13. Slice monkfish tail into 4 pieces, season with salt and pepper.

14. Heat a stainless steel skillet to medium-high, adding 2 tablespoons of butter.

15. Sear all sides of the monkfish, being careful not to turn each piece until it easily lifts from pan.

16. Finish monkfish in the oven with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter set atop each piece. Pan roast about 12-15 minutes.

17. To serve, plate lentil and kale mixture. Garnish with sundried tomatoes and artichokes if desired. Top with monkfish and enjoy right away.

18. Poach eggs: Heat a small or medium pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar. Swirling water with a spoon, remove from heat and gently add in one egg, continuing to swirl the water, cooking egg about 3 minutes. Remove and repeat with 3 more eggs. (Poached eggs can be set aside and refrigerated for later in the week or save this step for the night of this meal.)

19. To serve hash, plate sweet potatoes, kale and onions and top with one poached egg on each plate. Finish with a small drizzle of truffle oil or truffle salt,
if desired.

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Original: Buttery Monkfish Over French Lentils and Kale

Serves 4

Monkfish is also known as poor man’s lobster. One big filet will feed the whole fam. Easy on the wallet, but rich in taste, this fish is sweet and beautiful served buttery. Though it sure is an ugly bugger were you to meet one at the bottom of the ocean! (Google it for fun dinner fodder.)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, diced
¼ bunch of kale
½ pound lentils, rinsed and drained (I used French lentils in this recipe but you can use yellow, red or brown.)
½ 32-ounce box of vegetable stock

Directions:

1. In a Dutch oven, add one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté kale and onions, then add vegetable stock and lentils; simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Slice monkfish tail into 4 pieces, season with salt and pepper.

4. Heat a stainless steel skillet to medium-high, adding 2 tablespoons of butter.

5. Sear all sides of the monkfish, being careful not to turn each piece until it easily lifts from pan.

6. Finish monkfish in the oven with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter set atop each piece. Pan roast about 12-15 minutes.

7. To serve, plate lentil and kale mixture. Garnish with sundried tomatoes and artichokes if desired. Top with monkfish and enjoy right away.

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Remix: Moroccan Lentil Stew

Serves 8-10

Ever wonder how restaurants turn out a gourmet meal in 12 minutes or less? Food prep. Ingredients are prepped, stored and at the ready to “fire,” which just means to “cook.” Use the basis of this plan for weeks to come and you’ll be the master chef of your domain in no time.

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ 32-ounce box of vegetable stock
1 cup water
½ pound sweet potatoes, diced
¼ bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
½ pound lentils
(I used French lentils in this recipe but you can use yellow, red or brown.)
1 ½ tablespoons Ras el Hanout (A blend of North African spices found in Moroccan cooking typically comprised of cardamom, clove, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn and turmeric)
*This makes a hearty vegetarian meal but adding chopped chicken breast, chicken thighs or sausage are options as well.

Directions:

1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, sauté onion with ½ tablespoon olive oil.

2. Add 16 ounces vegetable stock and one cup of water with lentils, sweet potatoes and kale, plus 1 ½ tablespoons of Ras El Hanout. Cover and simmer on low
for about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

3. The Moroccan Stew can be cooled, packed away, labeled and placed in the fridge for later in the week. Freeze any leftovers to reheat on a busy, cold day.

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Original: Sweet Potato and Kale Hash with Poached Egg

Serves 4

This is your prep work powerhouse meal. The sweet potatoes diced, and kale and onions chopped during the prep of this dinner will supply the other three meals, so allow yourself the time, and reap the rewards the rest of the week.

Have a picky eater who doesn’t prefer sweet potatoes? Swap out the sweets for any kind of potatoes and use throughout the recipes the rest of the week.

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
½ pound sweet potatoes
¼ bunch of kale
4 eggs
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Truffle oil and/or truffle salt, if desired

Directions:

1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onion, sweet potatoes and kale. Season with salt and pepper.

2. To poach eggs: Heat a small or medium pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar. Swirling water with a spoon, remove from heat and gently add in one egg, continuing to swirl the water, cooking egg about 3 minutes. Remove and repeat with 3 more eggs. (Poached eggs can be set aside and refrigerated for later in the week.)

3. To serve hash, plate sweet potatoes, kale and onions and top with one poached egg on each plate. Finish with a small drizzle of truffle oil and/or truffle salt, if desired.

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Remix: Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata with Chevre

Serves 4-6

Like many environmentally health conscious Americans, we tend to eat vegetarian most of the week, having meat or fish only once a week. Sometimes I add turkey or chicken sausage to this recipe for more protein, but it’s delicious vegetarian too. It only needs a link or two, so you can slice up and reserve the rest of the sausage to add to the Moroccan Stew later in the week if desired, or freeze for later.

Ingredients:

½ pound sweet potatoes
¼ bunch of kale
½ onion, diced
8 eggs
Dollop of yogurt (optional)
1 4-ounce package chevre or top with another favorite cheese such as feta, gouda or ricotta
1 link of sausage (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 8 eggs with a dollop of yogurt (optional), salt and pepper.

3. Add to hot skillet with ½ of sweet potatoes, kale and onions. Cook until edges are set, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Place stainless skillet in the oven to finish frittata, 15-20 minutes, or
until center does not jiggle.

5. Remove and top with chevre if serving immediately or wait to add the cheese
if serving later. (To slice and serve, I like to use a pizza cutter. Or pack up and save for later in the week. Serve with a salad and bread if desired.)

 

This article originally appeared in the March issue of Susquehanna Style where I serve as editor-in-chief. Find more great recipes here: www.susquehannastyle.com/Food/

Photography by Donovan Roberts Witmer, The Premise Studio

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