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Eat Like an Israeli This Summer

Eat Like an Israeli All Summer

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


Menu:
Easy 5 Ingredient Baked Salmon from The Stay At Home Chef and Watermelon Feta Salad from Serious Eats

How to do it: Follow the easy-peasy recipes above.


Dinner 4: Pita Pizza Party


Menu:
Pita pizzas from Martha Stewart and quinoa tabbouleh.

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.


Shopping List


Produce:
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

Fresh mint

Fresh parsley

Fresh dill

3 lemons

1 package spiralized zucchini noodles

4 bananas, peel removed, cut into chunks and frozen (optional)

Dry goods:
1 14 oz can chickpeas

tahini

1 jar marinara or tomato sauce

1 bag mini chocolate chips (optional)

quinoa

Dairy:
4 oz feta cheese

6 oz container Greek yogurt

1 bag (16 oz) shredded mozzarella

Other stuff:
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

 

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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