When its summertime in Tel Aviv, you walk a lot, sweat a lot, and eat a lot of fresh produce. On menus throughout the city’s chic cafes, big, bold, flavorful salads abound. They’re delicious and satisfying but don’t leave you feeling weighed down in the summer heat.
As it steams up over here in the States, we decided to challenge ourselves to cool down and eat like Israelis do: fresh, healthful dinners that — bonus! — require as little cooking as possible. So, here are five nights of meals — plus a full shopping list — to guide you in your meal planning all summer long.
If you aren’t already writing your supermarket shopping lists in categories based on the layout of your local market, I highly, strongly urge you to start doing so. Yes, it involves a little extra prep time — but you’ll reap the rewards when you have a smoother and easier shopping trip. Plus, you’ll be less likely to forget items, or wander and buy unnecessary ingredients or foods.
Bon appetit — or b’tayavon, as they say in Hebrew.
Dinner 1: Hummus Bowl
Menu: Hummus bowl with roasted chickpeas, pita, and Israeli salad.
How to do it: Buy a large tub of plain hummus (I recommend Trader Joe’s organic hummus or Whole Foods classic hummus).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse a 14 oz. can of chickpeas; spread out on a baking sheet in single layer. Top with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
Top store-bought hummus with roasted chickpeas.
Serve with store-bought pita (or pita chips) and Israeli salad.
Dinner 2: Falafel Salad
Menu: Loaded Falafel Salad from What’s Gaby Cooking
How to do it: Buy a bag of frozen Trader Joe’s falafel or prepared falafel from the supermarket.
Assemble salad according to directions — minus the part where you make the falafel from scratch — and top with falafel.
Dinner 3: Salmon & Salad
How to do it: Follow the easy-peasy recipes above.
Dinner 4: Pita Pizza Party
How to do it: Follow the recipe for the pita pizzas, but “cheat” by buying some store-bought tomato sauce. Choose whatever toppings you’d like — or none at all!
Dinner 5: Zoodle Night
Menu: Tahini Zucchini Noodles with Chicken from The Spruce Eats
How to do it: Buy some spiralized zucchini noodles and some already grilled chicken breasts. Assemble ingredients according to directions.
And go ahead — treat yourself (if you’d like) with some Non-Dairy Banana Ice Cream for dessert.
1 seedless English cucumber
1 package Persian cucumbers
2 plum tomatoes
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 bell pepper
2 small heads of lettuce or 1 bag prepared salad mix
1 head of garlic
1 medium watermelon
1 bunch scallions
1 package spiralized zucchini noodles
4 bananas, peel removed, cut into chunks and frozen (optional)
1 14 oz can chickpeas
1 jar marinara or tomato sauce
1 bag mini chocolate chips (optional)
4 oz feta cheese
6 oz container Greek yogurt
1 bag (16 oz) shredded mozzarella
1 lb salmon fillet
1 lb grilled chicken (or raw chicken to cook)
1 package frozen falafel or prepared falafel
2 packages whole wheat pita