Middle Eastern inspired meat or vegan spastravaganza menu

Harissa with garlic and peppers

As mentioned in my post yesterday, part of my spastravaganza day was lunch. The spa I like to go to has a three-course spa lunch menu, so I decided that that was the right way to go when pampering at home too. I love food from the Middle East, so this is an inspired menu. Except for the dessert. I can only make one dessert and didn’t feel like a pampering day was the right time to experiment with new recipes, so it’s a bake-free option!

Some of the health benefits of this menu include protection against stress and certain diseases, weight management, and it can help with some symptoms like pain and inflammation.

Listed below the recipes are the nutritional values and some of the health benefits. I calculated the nutrition based on brands and amounts used.

Important notes

  • All recipes are vegan except for the main which has meat and vegan options.
  • Pre-make all the dishes ahead of time, even the day before and heat it up as needed.
  • All recipes make four servings.

First course

 Chorbat el ads (lentil soup) – vegan

Indian Curried Lentils

  • 3/4 cup of red or yellow lentils
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Red lentils

  1. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the chopped onions for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped garlic, turmeric and cumin and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
  3. Stir in the lentils, add the stock and cook for 35 minutes. Stir several times during cooking, especially towards the end, so that the lentils don’t stick to the pot.
  4. Toss in the parsley, stir in and lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes more.

If you want the soup smooth, you can blend it.

Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving

  • Calories:132
  • Fat: 4.2 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Second course

Harissa chicken or tofu on quinoa tabbouleh

Harissa

Ingredients 

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 540g of hard tofu, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of harissa paste, buy it or you can make my recipe
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

Ingredients for tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and then cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock (I use this to cut down on oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, diced

Directions for chicken

harissa chicken tabbouleh

  1. Marinate the chicken breasts in the harissa and let sit while you cook the quinoa.
  2. Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and let it cool in a bowl.
  3. Once it’s cool, add the tabbouleh ingredients to the bowl and toss thoroughly to coat the quinoa. Put in the fridge to chill.
  4. While the tabbouleh is chilling, heat a pan or grill over medium heat. Add the sunflower oil, spices, and marinated chicken.
  5. Stir the chicken until coated in the additional spices. Turn a few times until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
  6. Serve the chicken with the chilled quinoa.

Directions for tofu

Quinoa tabouleh

  1. Cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and let it cool in a bowl.
  2. Once it’s cool, add the tabbouleh ingredients to the bowl and toss thoroughly to coat the quinoa. Put in the fridge to chill.
  3. While the tabbouleh is chilling, heat a pan over low-medium heat. Add the sunflower oil, harissa, spices, and tofu.
  4. Stir the tofu until coated in the spices and harissa. Turn a few times for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the tofu with the chilled quinoa.

Approximate nutrition information for one serving size

  • Calories: with chicken: 318 | with tofu: 209
  • Fat:  with chicken: 6.3g | with tofu: 7.4g
  • Carbohydrates: with chicken: 34g | with tofu: 36g
  • Protein: with chicken: 32.4g | with tofu: 18g

Optional third course

Salted almond butter fudge – vegan

fudge with cacao topping

Ingredients for the fudge

  • 1/4 cup raw smooth almond butter
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

Ingredients for the chocolate topping

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • Pinch of sea salt plus some for garnish

Directions

Cacao

Lightly grease a standard size loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

For the fudge

  1. Spoon the almond butter into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small pot, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. Heat on low until the oil melts. Slowly pour the mixture into the bowl with the almond butter, stirring as you go. Stir until completely smooth and combined.
  3. Spoon the almond butter mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it out. Place the uncovered in the freezer until the fudge is solid, about one hour.

For the chocolate topping

  • In a small pot, add the oil and melt the oil over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt until it’s smooth. Let sit to thicken a little bit.
  • Slice the cold slab of fudge into 1-inch squares and place on a large plate lined with parchment paper. Spoon 1 teaspoon of chocolate sauce on top of each square.
  • Place back in the freezer until the chocolate is solid. Sprinkle with some flaked sea salt, if desired.

Approximate nutritional information for 1 serving

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbs: 6.1g
  • Protein: 2.5g

Overall approximate nutrition information for one serving size for all three courses

  • Calories: with chicken: 600 | with tofu: 491
  • Fat:  with chicken: 19.5g | with tofu: 20.8g
  • Carbohydrates: with chicken: 54.1g | with tofu: 56.1g
  • Protein: with chicken: 43.4g | with tofu: 26.5g

Some health benefits

garlic-onions

  • Garlic: improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and immunity, and helps reduce stress
  • Onions: improves bone density and cardiovascular functioning, and is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Bell pepper: An antioxidant, has weight management properties and can help protect against certain diseases.
  • Hot pepper: Protects against stress and certain diseases, help with pain management and inflammation.
  • Lemon: Helps improve skin, digestion, and ulcers; also used for eye care and respiratory disorders.
  • Quinoa: Is an antioxidant and helps with intestinal health
  • Lentils: Improve cholesterol and blood sugar, boost immunity, give you energy, and aid in weight management and digestive health.
  • Protein, carbs and fat:  Are the essential building blocks for your body’s functioning.

40 replies »

  1. Wow absolutely to die for ! I love middle eastern food ! I could have it any day!! You make everything look and sound so good! Well done Sam

    Like

    • I eat dal every day too for lunch! It’s so delicious! I just make it slightly differently than this .I’ve only made it this way a few times so far. I have my every day recipe up too, I spelled it dhal. Do you make it this way too? Thanks so much for your comment. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

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