Weekly Meal Plan: Middle-Eastern Inspired Menus
So August has been a wash out so far. We’ve not known until we’ve woken up if we’re getting a gazpacho or a French onion soup kind of day, and meal planning has turned into a bit of a nightmare! So, after much deliberation I’ve decided to theme this weeks Weekly Meal Plan with Middle Eastern flavours. I find the spiced, vibrant colours of Middle Eastern-cuisine are perfect for this sort of weather as they seem to highlight the environment around them. If things are sunny and bright the fresh, crunchy salads and leafy, vibrant herbs really sing. At other times, the spiced food takes on a comforting note, bringing a bit of exoticism to an otherwise rainy, cloudy day.
This weeks #MeatFreeMonday meal idea is all about roasting veggies with something to make them just that little bit more special. A honey-chermoula paste meats aubergine wedges and sweet orange peppers in this grain bowl, topped off with a bright, fresh, salad-come-salsa generously spooned on top.
I love this bright, vibrant (I’m going to be using these words a lot!) one pan supper. The key here is to get good merguez from your local butcher. This is fine for me as a light meal, but if you’re after something a bit bulkier, serve it with a side of your favourite Middle Eastern grain such as couscous or freekah.
Wednesday: Middle Eastern Welsh Lamb & Aubergine Nachos
Inspired by a similar beef recipe in Nigella’s latest cookbook, this is a great one if you fancy eating something in front of Netflix, rather than at the kitchen table to mark the half way point through the working week. I love how the aubergine chunks soak up all the lamb juices and gentle spices like little sponges, and the bright bursts the pomegranate seeds bring to every bite.
You know me, I love a good recipe with chicken thighs, and this utter gem comes from Rick Stein’s brilliant cookbook From Venice to Istanbul. My go-to sides with this are my Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate & Pistachios and a nice green salad.
Following my preferred theme of serving fish on a Friday, this one pan of Prawns in Orange, Tomato & Cardamom is I think oft unfairly overlooked, adapted from the original Honey & Co. cookbook. As with all of my saucy, Friday night prawn dishes, serve with crusty bread to mop up all those juices, and a nice, chilled bottle of wine to kick off the weekend.
A few more recipes to try this weekend: Mini Marinated Mozzarella in a Jar, Bulgar Wheat with Kale and Slow Cooked Cherry Tomatoes, How To Make Your Own Labneh, Fruit Salad with Rose Syrup and Pistachios, Fattouch with Radishes and Sumac, Baby Spinach, Walnut & Pomegranate Salad, Hummus, Crispy Kale & Thyme Roasted Tomato Toast, Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate & Pistachios.