Halfway To Dinner

How to Make a Week of Meals with One Flatbread Recipe

April 11, 2016

You may have enjoyed injera before at Ethiopian restaurants—that chewy, sour, crepe-like flatbread onto which the food is arranged. The traditional version requires days of fermentation, but this shortcut version from my new book, Everyday Whole Grains, takes less than 20 minutes while retaining the integrity of the classic.

It’s worth making several batches of injera on the weekend (for a family of 4, try making 4 batches); I promise this is doable, especially if you have two good nonstick skillets that you can man concurrently. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container or large resealable plastic bag, and have fun the rest of the week.

For Sunday dinner, I like to enjoy the injera with a simple lentil dal, shaved vegetable salad, some smashed potatoes (or not, if I’m too busy), and store-bought mango chutney. The hubs, kids, and I fill our plates with what we want and create our own combinations, some filling the injera like a taco and others tearing off little bites to scoop up the food.

On Sunday, make:

And pick up these items to get you through the week:

  • Lemons and limes
  • In-season fruit
  • An English cucumber
  • Large red onion
  • Hearts of romaine
  • Red or yellow bell pepper
  • Flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint
  • An avocado
  • Two or three jalapeños
  • Honey
  • Hummus
  • Part-skim ricotta cheese
  • Cotija cheese (or feta)
  • Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Bacon

And enjoy these easy meals with all that great injera:

  • Fattoush-ish salad: Tear up some injera into irregular pieces, arrange on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and bake at 350° F for 25 to 30 minutes until crisp. Toss into a salad made with torn romaine; half the cucumber, sliced; loads of parsley and mint; crumbled cotija; and lemon vinaigrette.
  • Whole-grain fajitas: Sear up sliced chicken thighs with sliced red onion and bell pepper; season with cumin, salt, and lots of black pepper. Slide into injera, and top with sliced jalapeños. Add some of that cheese, too, if you like.
  • Ricotta and smashed fruit stacks: It’s a breakfast for dinner that will make you happy. Whisk together 11/2 cups ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons honey, and zest of 1 lemon. Place fruit in a bowl, and smash with a fork. Build short-stacks—1 injera, a smear of ricotta mixture, some fruit; repeat. Serve with bacon, and die of joy.
  • Vegetable wraps: Some nights, you need the easiest dinner in the world. And on those nights, thankfully there are vegetable wraps. Spread store-bought (or homemade) hummus onto injera. Toss sliced cucumber, shredded romaine, and crumbled cotija with lemon vinaigrette. Wrap up in the hummus-lined injera.
  • Global mash-up nachos: I can’t get through a week without some version of nachos on the table. Cut several injera into wedges, arrange on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and bake at 350° F for 25 to 30 minutes until crisp. Dollop leftover dal onto the chips, and top with cotija cheese. Pop under the broiler for a couple of minutes to warm. Sprinkle nachos with chopped avocado, diced red onion, and sliced jalapeños. Bring out to the table with lime wedges for spritzing.

What bread to you make to get you through the week? Let us know in the comments!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Ann Pittman

Written by: Ann Pittman