The Fresh 20 menus: Fattoush salad with chick peas.

I mentioned in my last post that I subscribed to The Fresh 20 and suffice to say it continues to STRAIGHT UP BLOW MY MIND. Theoretically, yes, I could sit myself down and make my own menu plan but it is wholly worth it to pay $5 to have someone else take the trouble. I actually did the prep work ahead of time this week and oh boy did it ever make me happy to see my refrigerator afterward.

prep

This week was pretty heavily Mediterranean which is entirely fine with me. It’s interesting that last week offered cabbage rolls and this week offers stuffed peppers, which I specifically mentioned as being pretty high on my “meh” list along with cabbage rolls. But I am going to make them anyway, oh yes indeed.

We’ve really enjoyed the first three menus from this week (baked chicken and vegetable couscous salad; Dijon-roasted salmon and fattoush with brown rice; and chicken gyros with crispy garlic chick peas). The lemony Greek orzo soup for tonight is already made; I threw it together last night since the chicken gyros required so little preparation. And soup is always better the second day, anyway.

soup

I’m going to skip the hummus and pita tonight’s menu calls for. We have some nice fresh bread that will be good with soup and I’ll probably make a quick green salad. Tomorrow we’ll wrap it all up with the stuffed peppers and some sauteed zucchini.

Lastly, I want to share the recipe for the fattoush, which is not really the fattoush I’m accustomed to from Lebanese restaurants but was nonetheless excellent. I used brown rice rather than quinoa because we already had some, but you can go your own way. This recipe serves four, or two for dinner with plenty left over for lunch the next day.

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 whole wheat pitas cut into triangles, about 16 pieces total
Kosher salt
1 cucumber peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large dice
3 oz cherry tomatoes, about 1/2 cup
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 – 14.5 oz can of organic, no salt added chick peas, drained
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
1/4 cup feta cheese, about 1 oz crumbled
4 cups of baby spinach leaves, about 4 handfuls

Method
Heat a large, nonstick sauté pan over medium/high heat and add in olive oil. Once the oil is hot add in the pitas, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Cook the pita for 5-6 minutes, until lightly browned and toasted on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside. While pitas are cooking, combine the cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, red onion, chick peas and cooked quinoa (or brown rice) in a large salad bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and quinoa then stir to combine. Add the feta, spinach and toasted pita to the vegetables and stir lightly to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes for the flavors to blend. Toss again before serving.

fattoush
Fattoush with dijon-roasted salmon, artistically blurred because meat/fish photos are not pretty.
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