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Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Tzatziki dip is a traditional cool, creamy, and tangy cucumber dip flavored with garlic. It is the perfect compliment to grilled meats and vegetables. It’s served on the side with warm pita bread triangles for dipping, and is also used as a condiment for souvlaki and other Greek dishes. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill just before serving.

Prep / Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 cups greek yogurt, strained
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the yogurt in a bowl.
  3. Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and mix well.
  4. Finally, add the cucumber, chopped fresh dill & mint.
  5. Chill for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill just before serving.

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This makes a light, healthy recipe. Great for parties.
(Based on a recipe from The Food Network website.)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons mint, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pocketless pitas
  • 1/2 cup hummus

Directions:

  1. Whisk the vinegar, mint, red pepper flakes, 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken and marinate about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, cucumber and the remaining 1 clove garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Toss with the vegetables.

  4. Brush the pitas with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Grill, turning once, until marked. Place a pita on each plate and spread with hummus. Top with chicken salad.

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This recipe is so easy, and makes a wonderful breakfast, lunch or dinner. I serve mine with plain Greek yogurt on top, but sour cream or salsa could be used as well.

Servings: 4-6 slices

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound russet potatoes (about 2) — or 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes — peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 large eggs

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees and move the oven rack to the middle position.
  2. Heat oil in a 10-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onion, red pepper and a dash of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are soft (8-10 minutes).
  3. Whisk eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add mixture to the skillet and cook, using a rubber spatula to stir gently in a circular motion, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. Place skillet in the oven and bake until the top is puffed and the edges pull slightly away from the pan (3-5 minutes). Use a rubber spatula to loosen the tortilla from the skillet, place on a cutting board, and slice into wedges. Buen Aprovecho!

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While visiting Greece with my hubby I fell in love with two dishes: Greek yogurt with fresh honey and Greek salad. Greek salad has become somewhat of a staple for me. It is easy to make, doesn’t require too many ingredients, can be altered depending on what you have in the fridge, and is always satisfying. I’ve altered this traditional recipe to include a grain called Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), which is easy to cook, nutritious, and has a lovely, fluffy texture.

Servings: 2 large salads

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups cooked Quinoa (You can buy Quinoa at your local grocery store and follow cooking instructions. I like to cook mine using chicken broth instead of water).
  2. 1 large cucumber, cut into bit-size pieces
  3. 24 oz. cherry tomatoes, stemmed & halved
  4. 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  5. 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
  6. 2 cups fresh spinach
  7. 1/2 cup goat’s milk feta cheese, crumbled
  8. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  9. 6 tsp. finely chopped fresh marjoram
  10. 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  11. 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  12. olive oil, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook Quinoa using the directions on the box you buy. Substitute vegetable or chicken broth with water for optimal flavor. After cooking, place lid over pot to keep warm.
  2. Chop cucumber, tomatoes and onions.
  3. In a large bowl, add spinach, chopped vegetables, olives, and feta cheese.
  4. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, marjoram, mustard, and lemon peel. Whisk in olive oil. Toss gently with the spinach mixture.
  5. Add warm Quinoa to the bowl and then mix all ingredients together. Serve.

Notes: Leftovers can be added to scrambled eggs for a lovely breakfast. You could also add chicken to this dish for extra protein.

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Recipe Source: Emeril Lagasse – Food Networ

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Water to cover eggs
  • Pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Season with a pinch of salt. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Allow the eggs to sit for 11 minutes.
  3. Drain and cool the eggs for 2 minutes in ice water. Drain and peel the eggs.

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This is a nice, light yet satisfying soup… and by HOT & sour, I mean SPICY & sour!

Ingredients:

  • 10-15 birdseye chilis thinly sliced
  • 2-5 dried red chilis
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass (used to flavor the soup)
  • 2 pounds fresh oyster mushrooms, or other type of mushroom in bite-size pieces
  • 2 “kaffir” lime leaves (use lime zest if you can’t get it)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 4 limes, juiced (discard lime, use juice)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced bamboo shoots or coconut shoots
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons “chilis in oil”
  • Optional: tofu, chicken or shrimp (about 1 lb), in bite-size pieces

Directions:

  1. The fresh chiles should be bruised in a mortar and pestle. The dried chilies should be heated first, then crumbled into the fresh chilies.
  2. Beat the lemon grass with the mortar and pestle
  3. Heat about 3 cups of water to boiling point, add all the ingredients, and stir constantly until cooked.
  4. Garnish with fresh cilantro

Variation : use three cups of thin coconut milk instead of water, the result is tom kha soup

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This is the only way I like to eat brussel sprouts: cut in half and seared until golden brown on the outside, perfectly tender on the inside. When purchasing brussel sprouts, pick sprouts that are small in size, firm and tightly closed.

For vegan & anti-inflammatory purposes, remove cheese (tastes just as good!)

Servings: 4
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 10 small brussel sprouts
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Wash the brussels sprouts well & dry with paper towels
  2. Trim the stem ends and remove any sagging or damaged outer leaves
  3. Cut in half from stem to top
  4. Place sprout halves in a large bowl. Toss sprouts with olive oil until lightly coated. Add a pinch of salt & a pinch of pepper. Toss.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (Don’t overheat or the outside of the sprouts will cook too quickly)
  6. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down in a single-layer, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes. The bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to test if they tender. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side.
  8. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese.
  9. Best if served immediately.

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