I spent the day cooking up a feast of Middle Eastern delights, specifically, recipes from Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem. I normally do all of the weeks’ cooking ahead of time, and I have been getting bored of hard boiled eggs and roasted chicken thighs.
Week after week after week.
Also, our CSA vegetables are starting to pile up in the fridge, which is a bone of contention in my marriage. Fortunately, Jerusalem is full of paleo and primal friendly recipes. Middle Eastern food is, in general, paleo friendly. Lots of delicious salads and vegetables. Amazing grilled meat. Lots of olive oil. Lots of deliciousness. And one of the great things about living in the States for a few months is access to high quality ingredients.
First, I needed to get rid of several weeks’ worth of zucchinis. There’s an excellent recipe for zucchini turkey burgers that turned out perfectly. I doubled the recipe, rightly suspecting that everyone in the family would love the flavorful patties.
Jasmine loved ‘em. Bertrand loved ‘em. And Grace probably will too when I get around to feeding her one. Whole30 complaint.
Next, I had to use up some cubed butternut squash I’d bought thinking to steam for Grace, but had sat in the fridge for a week. Blech. This roasted butternut squash with tahini recipe is also 100% Whole30 compliant.
So good. I thought I’d have several servings for lunches next week, but we ate it straight out of the oven. Oops. It was delicious. Just as delicious was the leftover lemon tahini sauce, which will serve as dips for vegetables this week. Seriously. Make extra sauce and then eat it with a spoon. it’s that good.
Also, beets. The beets have been sitting in our fridge for almost two weeks now, and they were starting to make Bertrand cranky. I bought a few extras this morning to make sure I’d have enough, which may have been a mistake. Turns out, the beet puree recipe makes about 3 cups of beet dip.
I ended up adding a lot more yogurt and a lot more za’atar than the recipe called for; however, the recipe was absolutely delicious. Even my weird-food-adverse husband liked it. And yes, that is one of my kids’ bowls in the photo. All of my pretty dishes are sitting with our personal effects in Antwerp. So it goes.
And finally, I made the date syrup called for by the beet puree.
Soak half a dozen pitted dates in water for a few hours. Reserve the liquid, then blend the dates with an immersion blender, adding reserved liquid as necessary. Easy peasy.
Tomorrow, I’ll finish up with the more mundane parts of the cook-up. Boiled eggs. Chicken stock. Plenty of rice for Bertrand, Grace, and Jasmine to eat over the course of the week. Not sure I’m a fan of splitting the work up over a couple of days, but for now, I’m happy to be sitting down and blogging instead of working in the kitchen.