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My Ideal Spring Weeknight Meal

April 19, 2011

One of the things I want most in a new apartment is a balcony. It doesn’t have to be big–just enough room for a chair and maybe a small table.

Why? Because on beautiful spring nights like this one, I want to eat dinner outside. Sitting next to an open window just isn’t the same as enjoying a meal under the sun. Thankfully, I have a big back deck right now and I’m taking full advantage of it, sitting outside with a book until all the light has faded from the sky.

The warmer weather means I’m craving lighter foods and when Dad came home from Costco with a tub of falafel, I immediately knew what this week’s dinners would look like.

I’m generally skeptical of processed, packaged foods. If it comes in plastic, I don’t want to eat it. But every rule has an exception and these Meal Mart vegan (and kosher–happy Passover!) falafel balls are worth cutting through plastic wrap. While heating falafel in the oven isn’t quite the same as enjoying falafel hot and fried from a restaurant, these are likely healthier and cheaper.

I drink water with dinner 100% of the time but when the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company asked if I wanted to sample its summer shandy, I had to say yes. Shandy, a mix of beer and citrus soda, was one of my favorite drinks in London because of its sweet taste.

This bottled shandy, however, tasted like lemon beer. If I was out socializing with friends, I’d probably have finished the bottle but since I was just at home, I tossed the bottle after a few sips and poured a big glass of water. No thanks!

An epic spring dinner more than made up for the lackluster liquid. I served the falafel on top of a massive Greek salad made with chopped romaine, tomatoes, onion and cucumbers, all tossed in balsamic vinaigrette.

The only thing missing? Feta! I didn’t realize it had been left out until the salad was almost gone — oops! Considering I have an entire tub of falafel — and is there anything better than a tub of falafel?! — feta will definitely make an appearance next time.

On the side were some very ‘Semi-Homemade’ pita chips, carrots and Athenos hummus.

Why ‘Semi-Homemade’? Since there weren’t any pita chips in the house, I sliced up a big pita and brushed the pieces with a little olive oil and salt. They went into the oven with the falafel for a few minute and came out nice and crispy. I’m sure Sandra Lee has already tackled this simple trick. (edit: oh yes, she has!)

A big, healthy, filling, easy salad is my ideal weeknight dinner. What’s yours?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2011 7:47 pm

    a balcony would be awesome!

    Are you living in DC right now still? I think i’m going to be moving up there soon! I’m looking for a roommate!


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