I have this thing about freezer meals — I just don’t love things that have been defrosted and reheated most of the time; so I’ve been trying to think of easy meals that I can prepare once the baby arrives. Specifically, meals that come together in 30 minutes or less, and utilize fresh ingredients. I’m still planning to make some frozen things to have on hand (like my favorite cookie dough), but our freezer is small, so I think I’m going to be limited in what I can really prep and freeze.
And I don’t know about you, but when I’m exhausted and have zero energy for cooking, I tend to get into this rut of ordering out and not eating well, which really just makes me feel even worse after awhile. So a quick meal like this that will last through multiple shifts? I think it might just be a lifesaver.
This week I went back and revisited one of my favorite easy meals — tabbouleh (or, my interpretation of tabbouleh). This recipe is so simple and healthy, plus it makes a lot of food and saves well in the fridge — all of which add up to a good meal for post-baby. You could totally even throw some of the leftover tabbouleh over lettuce, dress it up with a dijon/oregano/red wine vinaigrette — and voila! it’s a delicious salad. Put a dollop of hummus on top and you’ll really be in business.
Tabbouleh with Tzatziki (+ Hummus and Pita)
serves 4-6 generously
- 1 cup bulgur wheat (feel free to substitute quinoa here to make it gluten-free)
- 1 large chicken breast (to make this veg, omit the chicken and add in cooked chickpeas for protein)
- 1/2 – 3/4 English cucumber, diced
- 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
- optional: couple large handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped; kalamata olives; cooked chickpeas; crumbled feta
- olive oil
- juice of 1-2 lemons
- small handful of fresh mint leaves, minced
- salt and pepper
- Cook bulgur wheat (or quinoa) according to package instructions.*
- Grill or roast chicken breast with some olive oil, salt and pepper — then dice. (I roast mine at 350° for 30-35 minutes).
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl, season with fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper, then toss to combine. (Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper — you’re seasoning a lot of food here!)
*I generally just cover the wheat with 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a bowl, then place a dish or lid over the top and let it steam until the chicken is done cooking (about 30 minutes). Once it’s ready, I’ll dump it into a strainer and press out any excess moisture before adding it in with the rest of the veggies.
- 1/2 – 3/4 large English cucumber, grated
- 8 oz greek yogurt (I use Fage 2%)
- juice of one lemon
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- small handful fresh mint leaves, minced
- salt and pepper
- Place grated cucumber into a clean towel and squeeze over the sink to release excess water.
- Once well-squeezed, combine cucumber with rest of ingredients in a small bowl, season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, then stir to combine.
Spoon tabbouleh into pitas and top with tzatziki and your favorite hummus. So delicious!