A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
I used to think the same thing. I ate so many boxes of macaroni and cheese, and other frozen crap dinners in college. When I first moved out on my own after college I found myself eating a lot of pasta and “quick” dinners that were not healthy.
Part of my newfound excitement about this new dietary plan is that I can really explore new food options. Take Meg and my typical Monday night routine. We each work, and then Meg teaches dance classes until 9PM. I get home from work, take our dogs for a walk and workout. After finishing up some laundry, or cleaning up the house a bit, or sitting down for an enjoyable game of Madden 2012, I am not in the mindset to prepare a complicated menu. But since I want to try some new food options, I opt for the tapas-style plate. The past 2 weeks have been Mediterranean inspired plates. And what makes them so quick and easy is that many of the ingredients are right off the shelf from the store or the farmers market.
Hummus: The great thing about hummus is you can use it as a dip for bread and veggies, or you can use it as a spread for sandwich, and it comes in every flavor you can think of (and even some you never thought of, like the jalapeno hummus we got at the Wakefield Farmers Market). We always have a few containers in our fridge for a quick side.
Pita bread: Another versatile staple in the fridge, pita bread is great warmed up with some peanut butter and honey, or for sandwiches, or just dipped in hummus. We actually found that the Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat version is very Weight Watchers friendly, a mere point per pocket.
Taboule salad: This is a great side, and we just buy a container at the store. Good for adding on top of salads too.
Orzo: I simply add some feta cheese to some orzo and have a great little salad (a bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt is all you need to add). You can dress the orzo up or dress it down, but it is a good pasta to have on hand.
Garbanzo beans: The love of this blog. Garbanzo beans can be used for so many recipes, and in moving away from a beef and chicken diet, these beans offer a source of protein. They are great on a salad. We have used them to make falafel, though that is still a recipe in the works. And below is a version of a simple garbanzo bean salad that takes literally 5 minutes to make.
Garbanzo bean salad
Drain one 16oz can of garbanzo beans. Add 8oz of chopped black olives, half a diced red pepper and half a dice cucumber. Toss in some feta cheese (as much or as little as you like). Prepare the dressing with 2oz of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and dried oregano. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Marinate in the fridge or serve right away. Leftovers are a super salad topper.