Crunchy Creamy Fresh Nutritious
Cook one morning: eat healthy and delicious all week
BY MAGAZINE COO MARGO MAIER-MOUL
Just like you, wherever you are, here in the city, we’re on the go in the summer.
There are so many great things to do with visiting friends and family, outdoor concerts, gallery hopping, theater and dance festivals.
The ideal summer lunch is fast and fun
- it travels well to parks or beaches
- it’s satisfying without being heavy to digest
- it’s nourishing and delicious
And maybe most important: It doesn’t take too much of my time to prepare and it definitely must not require turning on the oven or stove!
The hands down winner around our house is known as “meze plate,” which according to Wikipedia, is an Eastern Mediterranean selection of appetizers or small dishes.
A variety of tastes and textures
Our version is more Manhattan than Mediterranean, but you can make it your own by matching up a selection of your favorite tastes. It’s simple to keep this meal vegan and/or gluten free for yourself or guests.
Here’s what a very typical meze plate at The Magazine has on it:
- carrot sticks
- red and yellow bell pepper strips
- lightly steamed asparagus spears
- half an avocado with a lemon wedge
- hummus and/or baba ghanoush (garbanzo bean and/ or eggplant dips)
- brown rice
- a few olives
The beauty of this lunch is that with only a very small amount of advance planning, it pulls together in a flash. I use rice left over from breakfast or from dinner the night before. I cut up the vegetables and steam asparagus while I’m buzzing around the kitchen in the morning.
Set yourself summer free: keep vegetables on hand
Excellent hummus and baba ghanoush can be purchased (exercise your smarts, though – look for preservative and chemical free organic products. Read the label!) You can also make these yourself even a day or two ahead of time (recipe links below).
Once you get in the rhythm of shopping and chopping for your meze plate lifestyle, you always have several days lunch prepared.
Have fun and be creative — add, subtract and substitute at will!
- roasted cauliflower (cut into florets, toss with salt, ground pepper, olive oil, into a 350 degree oven, turn every 10 – 15 minutes until nicely brown 40 – 50 minutes)
- raw or blanched broccoli
- raw celery
- sliced heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- feta cheese or goat cheese
- pita bread
- black sesame brown rice crackers
- stuffed grape leaves
- marinated artichokes
- dressed baby lettuces
- quinoa (recipe below)
- tabbouleh (tabouli)
- caponata (olive and caper spread)
- polenta triangles
- almonds, walnuts or brazil nuts
- black and green olives
- muhammara (red pepper and walnut dip, recipe below)
Baba ghanoush http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/eggplant_dip_baba_ghanouj/
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.