Showing posts with label parsley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parsley. Show all posts

Traditional stuffed peppers and tomatoes - Gemista

Stuffed peppers and tomatoes is a very traditional and popular summer dish in Greece while the vegetables are in season. This is also one of my favorite Greek dishes. The tomatoes are medium size, firm, ripe and juicy. The peppers are small and so tender that you don’t need to peel the skin when cooked. I have experimented with different type of peppers. There are only two types that can be stuffed; bell peppers and cubanelle peppers. Cubanelle peppers have thinner skin than the regular bell peppers. I find them the closest to the peppers I find in Greece.

My mother used to make mainly peppers and tomatoes, but the peppers were the only ones I would eat. Sometimes she’d stuff eggplants too. The eggplants in Greece are also small; what we call here in the US baby eggplant. When my mother made this dish during the summer, she made it mainly vegetarian. On occasion she’d use ground beef. The vegetarian version is with rice and different vegetables. When I make the vegetarian version, I use chopped carrots, and if I stuff zucchini or eggplant, I will incorporate the flesh in the stuffing along with herbs like parsley and dill.

There are many different versions of gemista – or yemista. My mother in law used raisins and pine nuts in the vegetarian version. The raisins give them a sweeter taste and the pine nuts some crunch.

I often make this delectable stuffed peppers, tomatoes and eggplant dish. Living in the US we can find these vegetables year round, (they are being shipped here from warmer climates). Sometimes I will make them vegetarian style, and other times I will use ground turkey. I usually make enough so that I can give some to my daughters. They also freeze well, especially the peppers. Tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini are best eaten first if you are planning in freezing some. You can place the uncooked stuffed peppers in a separate dish, cover them tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil and freeze them. When you need them you can take them out, pour some olive oil, a little bit of tomato sauce, season and bake them in the oven. They will taste as good as the day you made them. Another option is to cook all of them, and freeze the stuffed peppers in an airtight container. When you need them, you can take them out of the freezer early in the morning, then warm them up in the oven for about ½ hour till heated through. Now you have dinner ready in minutes.

These will take an hour to prepare and about two hours to cook in the oven. But it’s worth all the effort. Enjoy them with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a slice of feta and some fresh crusty bread on the side. A glass of red wine will also go nicely.

Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers, Tomatoes and Baby Eggplant

Makes 13 servings about 15 oz each serving

½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 lbs ground turkey
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped dill
1 cup chopped eggplant (the flesh)
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (the flesh)
½ cup rice
3 large tomatoes
5 cubanelle peppers
5 baby eggplants
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
14 oz diced tomatoes

Directions
Wash, clean and peel the baby eggplant (as you see in the picture).   Hollow out the eggplant and chop the flesh. Set aside. Wash the tomatoes. Hollow out the tomatoes and chop the flesh. Set aside. Wash the cubanelle peppers, cut the top, and remove the seeds. Set aside. Wash, peel and chop the onion. Set aside. Wash, peel and shred the carrots. Set aside. Wash and chop the parsley and the dill. Set aside.

In a large skillet add the 1/2 cup olive oil, and the chopped onions. Sauté till lightly browned. Add the ground turkey. Sauté till cooked through. Add the carrots and the flesh from the eggplant and sauté. Add 1 cup of the diced tomato flesh. Add the 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup water and cook till the rice is slightly cooked. Add the salt and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large oven proof pan, 13x10 assemble the vegetables. Take one by one and fill with the mixture. When the pan is full and all the vegetables are stuffed, drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, the remaining cup of the chopped tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes. Add 1 can (14 oz) of water. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours, uncovered, till the vegetable are tender and slightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and serve.

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 15.708 oz (445.3g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272
Calories from Fat 124
Total Fat 13.8g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 26mg
Sodium 139mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.8g
Dietary Fiber 10.5g
Sugars 9.8g
Protein 13.8g







Melitzanosalata-Roasted Eggplant Spread

Roasted eggplant in the oven, then peeled and smashed into a spread.
This is an excellent appetizer for dinner parties but it’s also great to have as a side salad during Lent. My mother used to put sliced tomatoes in this dish and we would have it as a salad. The roasted process can also be done in the bbq. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 14 servings appr. 3 oz each or 2.5 tbsp.)
2 eggplants
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic

Directions
Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Prick with the fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Roast in a 425° F oven for one hour till soft and looks shriveled up. Let them cool. Peel the eggplants and place in a dish. Smash them with a fork. Add the shallots, parsley, 1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and crushed garlic. Blend together. Drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita bread or crackers.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2.917 oz (82.7g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 38
Calories from Fat 19
Total Fat 2.1g
Saturated Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 45mg
Potassium 187mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.9g
Dietary Fiber 2.8g

The eggplant out of the oven

The eggplant peeled.  Cut off the stem before smashing


The final product.  Enjoy!





Smyrneika Soutzoukakia in Domatosaltsa - Sausages from Smyrna in Tomato Sauce and as appetizers with Tzatziki sauce

Smyrneika soutzoukakia or sausages from Smyrna is a very traditional dish in Greece. Its originality comes from Smyrna thus the name Smyrneika. Smyrna – which is now called Izmir - is situated in the outskirts of Turkey across from the island of Chios, Greece. You can get to Smyrna from Chios by ferryboat in only 30 minutes. The dish is brought to Greece by Greek refugees from Asia Minor in the early 1920’s when the Greek and Armenian genocide took place.

Smyrneika soutzoukakia are served, traditionally, over rice, mashed potatoes or French fries and are usually made with ground beef. My mother and sister in law used to mix the rice with the ground beef. I have a Greek – quite old cookbook - that states the same. In this recipe, I decided to omit the rice, and instead of serving them over rice, I served them over orzo. I also used ground turkey instead of ground beef. You can use ground beef if you would like. It tastes equally good.

You can serve the soutzoukakia (sausages) with tzatziki sauce as an appetizer, with my domatosaltsa (tomato sauce) that I specifically created for them, or you can cook them in the domatosaltsa (tomato sauce) and serve them over orzo, rice, mashed potatoes. I have also served them in the past with gluten free orzo, and instead of regular breadcrumbs in the meat mixture I used gluten free breadcrumbs. The sausages can also be fried once you lightly coat them in flour.  I don't usually fry any foods, so these ones I baked them in the oven.  Enjoy!

Smyrneika Soutzoukakia - Ground turkey sausages from Smyrna

Makes 30 servings (approximately 1.3 oz each)

2 lbs ground turkey
½ cup shredded onion
2 tsp. crushed garlic
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tbsp. olive oil to coat the cookie sheet

Peel and shred the onion and the garlic. Set aside. Wash and chop the parsley.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, the bread crumbs, the parsley, the shredded onion and garlic, the cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper and the 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Mix well together and shape into 3" long sausages. About 1.3 oz each.

The sausages (soutzoukakia) before they go into the oven

Preheat oven to 400° F. Use the ½ tbsp. of olive oil and brush a cookie sheet. Place the sausages on the cookie sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes turning around in between, till lightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve.

After they come out of the oven

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.284 oz (36.4g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 74
Calories from Fat 38
Total Fat 4.2g
Saturated Fat 0.7g
Cholesterol 31mg
Sodium 124mg
Potassium 97mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.7g
Dietary Fiber 0.2g
Sugars 0.2g
Protein 8.6g

Domatosaltsa For Smyrneika Soutzoukakia

Tomato sauce specific for Smyrneika soutzoukakia to dip or to serve with the soutzoukakia over rice, orzo or mashed potatoes.

Makes 6 servings (approximately 8.3 oz each serving)

¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
14 ½ oz diced tomatoes
15 oz tomato sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cumin

In a large saucepan, sauté the diced onion in the olive oil. When the onion is transparent, add the diced garlic. Sauté for a minute or two, but don't burn it. Add the diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce (the can and the cup) and one cup water. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Add the cumin, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and parsley. Add the oven baked cooked sausages.  Cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Serve over orzo, or rice or mashed potatoes.  Or serve the domatosaltsa (tomato sauce) on the side as a dipping sauce for the soutzoukakia.

Served over orzo in domatosaltsa (tomato sauce)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 8.148 oz (231g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 131
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 8.9g
Saturated Fat 1.3g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 983mg
Potassium 643mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.8g
Dietary Fiber 3.6g
Sugars 7.9g
Protein 2.8g

Tzatziki Sauce
Makes 28 servings (approximately 2 tbsp. each serving)

16 oz reduced fat sour cream
8 oz Greek, Non-Fat, Plain Yogurt (oz)
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 tsp. garlic
2 tbsp. dill
2½ tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt

Blend all ingredients together, refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (31.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 43
Calories from Fat 32
Total Fat 3.6g
Saturated Fat 1.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 30mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.3g
Dietary Fiber 0.1g
Sugars 0.4g
Protein 1.4g

Served with Tzatziki sauce and with the Tomato sauce as appetizers

Note:  The sausages freeze well by themselves.  The same with the tomato sauce.  You can freeze them if you are making a big batch of either of these dishes (except of course the tzatziki sauce).  I froze them in the past and heat them up in either the microwave or in the oven.  Or I would defrost the sausages and the tomato sauce and then cook them in low heat till heated through.   


If you try this recipe and like it please comment below. If you like what you see on this blog, feel free to follow it. If you have any questions post them in the comments box.






Greek Tomato Salad - Horiatiki Salata

Greek Tomato salad-Horiatiki Salata (pronounced haw-reah-tiki  sah-lah-tah) with feta cheese

 Here is my version of the Greek Tomato Salad.  This the traditional Greek tomato salad that I grew up with.  There are many variations of the salad here in the US and in Greece.  Different areas have their version of the "Horiatiki Salata".  This is a very simple salad if you need something quick to go with your dinner.    But if you prefer you may garnish it with one or two Greek Kalamatta olives (like some restaurants do in Greece) or chopped parsley, and substitute the scallions with red onion.  Enjoy!


Makes 8 servings

2 large tomatoes
½ cucumber (you can use either English or regular cucumbers)
2 scallions
8 oz feta cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp dried oregano

Cut the tomatoes into wedges.  Clean and slice the cucumber and scallions. Cube or slice the feta cheese. Sprinkle with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss  and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 103 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 142
Calories from Fat 112
Total Fat 12.4g
Saturated Fat 5.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 25mg
Sodium 319mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.0g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Sugars 2.4g
Protein 4.6g





Grilled Vegetables in Balsamic vinaigrette

Here is a nice side dish for the summer.  Serve along any type of grilled meat.  

Makes 8 servings (approx. 7 oz each serving)

4 cups eggplant
3 cups squash
2 cups zucchini
2 cups red onion
1 cup parsley
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Wash the vegetables, and peel the skin into stripes.  Cut them into 2" pieces.  Place them in a large pan.  Wash and chop the parsley and the dill.  Toss with the rest of the veggies and marinate them with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Refrigerate. When ready to grill, put them in aluminum foil boats and grill for about 20 min till veggies are tender. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (182.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 194
Total Fat 21.6g
Saturated Fat 2.9g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 162mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.2g
Dietary Fiber 3.9g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 2.9g


Marinated in the balsamic vinegraitte
Wrapped in foil ready for the grill
After they are grilled.  

Enjoy!





Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce)


Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) is a traditional Greek winter food.  When I was working full time I would make this dish, on weekends – usually on a Sunday - and have left overs the next day.  It’s a dish that I avoided making often because of the time it consumed.  Of course, you are not going to make this dish every week, or you will get tired of it, like any other type of food that you eat often.  There is a less consuming type of cabbage rolls that you can make; and that is without preparing the filling on the stove; but instead mixing all the ingredients together raw.  The only thing you will need to do is boil the cabbage leaves.  I found that type of preparation though, a bit heavy on the stomach.  My mother will always cook the filling on the stove (as per recipe below).  In the past I used to mix it raw, but when I quit work, I decided to make it the way my mother used to make it.  And Dah! No heartburn, no acid reflux, no heaviness on the stomach (this is on individual preference; it does not affect some people like others).  So from then on, I decided, since I love this dish so much, to cook the filling. 

There is also another way of cooking the cabbage rolls, and that is baking them in the oven in tomato sauce.  Instead of cooking them on the stove, you layer the cabbage rolls in an ovenproof pan, in a single layer, pour a 14 oz can of tomato sauce on top, mixed with 1 cup of water, add the ½-cup olive oil, and bake at 350° for about one hour to an hour and a half.   This way is also very delicious.  But for now enjoy this wonderful dish in the Avgolemono sauce. 

Cabbage rolls in Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) 

Ingredients (Makes 46 servings)

46 cabbage leaves

To boil the cabbage:

8 quarts of water for 1 large cabbage
2 large cabbages about 3lbs each

For the filling:

1 ½ lbs ground turkey
1 cup rice
½  cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
1 tsp salt or according to taste
½ tsp ground pepper
1 ½ cups water

For cooking:

2 1/2 cups water – enough to cover the cabbage rolls
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt

Avgolemono - Egg and lemon sauce:

1 egg
½ cup lemon juice

Directions:

Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.  Place it in a large pot with water and boil.  As the cabbage leaves soften, remove the leaves by cutting them at the core.  Place them in a colander to strain.  When all the leaves are cooked, leave them in the colander to strain and cool.  Make sure that you don’t over boil the leaves, otherwise when you try to roll them, they will tear.  

In a large frying pan, add the olive oil, and saute the onions and the ground turkey.  Add the rice, salt, parsley, dill, pepper, and water and let it cook for 5-10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  The rice will not be fully cooked.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 

At the bottom of a dutch oven, place the small cabbage leaves, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. 
Take one large cabbage leaf, cut the core, and place a teaspoon of the filling on it.  Roll once covering the filling, then fold the sides and continue to roll till you make a nice oblong shape (see picture below).  Place it in the dutch oven and repeat, till done.  These will make about 2 rows of cabbage rolls – 46 pieces total.  Cover the cabbage rolls with the rest of the small cabbage leaves that you have leftover. 

Place the pot on the stove and pour the ½ cup olive oil, ½ tsp salt and 2 ½ cups water and let it simmer for 1 hour till cooked.  When slightly cooled, prepare the egg and lemon sauce. 

Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce):

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white.  Place the egg white in a bowl.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon, about ½ cup.  Beat the egg white till frothy.  Add the egg yolk and continue beating.  Add the lemon juice while still beating and slowly pour the mixture into the cabbage rolls.  Swish the pan around so that the egg and lemon sauce will distribute evenly.  Serve. 

 Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 serving (55.0 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6.7g
Saturated Fat 1.2g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 71mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 0.6g
Protein 4.6g
The raw cabbage

The filling

Layering the bottom of the pan with the small cabbage leaves

Assembling the cabbage rolls

Adding the filling

Rolling the cabbage 

Folding the cabbage

The cabbage roll in the final folding stage

Layering the pot with the cabbage rolls - tightly together

Layering with the remaining cabbage leaves on top

The cooked cabbage rolls with Avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce) 

The finished product.  Delicious!




Gluten Free Meatloaf with Middle Eastern Spices


My daughter found out that she is allergic to gluten.  Therefore, when I decided to make this meatloaf, I had to use gluten free breadcrumbs.  I used Udi's gluten free whole grain bread that I crushed in the food processor.  You can substitute regular breadcrumbs for this recipe, or any other type gluten free breadcrumbs.  I have tried it both ways and either way comes out delicious.  I served this with Sweet potato mash with paprika and chill powder  (recipe below).  Enjoy!

Makes 8 servings (approximately 4.5 oz each)

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 oz Udi's bread (crushed in a food processor)
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup shredded onion
2 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup olive oil

Peel and wash the onion. Place it in a food processor and pulse until shredded. Set aside. Clean the garlic and crush with a garlic press. Set aside. Wash and chop the parsley. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

In a blow mix together the ground turkey, the shredded onion, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, the bread crumbs, paprika, cumin, thyme, turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix well. In an ovenproof pan place the meatloaf mixture and pour over the 1/2 cup olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 2 hours.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (128.2 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 343
Calories from Fat 221
Total Fat 24.6g
Saturated Fat 4.7g
Cholesterol 87mg
Sodium 287mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.7g
Dietary Fiber 0.8g
Sugars 1.2g
Protein 24.4g





Crust-less Broccoli and Turkey Bacon Quiche


Makes 16 servings

7.7 oz smoked turkey bacon chopped (approx. 1 cup)
2 red onions chopped (about 1.5 cups)
¼ cup olive oil
1 red pepper sliced (about 1 cup)
3 cups fresh broccoli chopped
2 tbs chopped parsley
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups low moisture park skim milk mozzarella (16 oz)
1 cup egg beaters
+ (plus) 4 eggs
1.5 cups skim milk

Chop the turkey bacon and sauté in a frying pan. Remove from pan when browned and add the 1/4 cup olive oil. In the oil, add the chopped red onion, the diced red pepper and the broccoli flowerets. Sauté until the pepper is slightly softened, and the broccoli turns bright green color. Remove from the heat.

In another bowl, combine the shredded mozzarella cheese, the milk, the eggbeaters and the eggs. Add the broccoli/turkey mixture to the cheese/milk mixture. Stir together and pour into two 9" plates evenly. Bake at 350 degree F oven for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 4.536 oz (128.6g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193
Calories from Fat 128
Total Fat 14.2g
Saturated Fat 6.3g
Cholesterol 75mg
Sodium 436mg
Total Carbohydrates4.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.8g
Sugars 2.3g
Protein6.5g



Mexican Bean salad with a Greek twist

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday. 

I made this dish the other day to go along with the chicken fajitas. Beans are a popular dish in Greece but not the black beans or the corn. There are bean salads made with cannellini beans. I ended up incorporating some Greek ingredients into this dish. Instead of cilantro or lime juice, I used parsley and lemon juice. I also added the cannellini beans to the mix. We ended up with a wonderful bean salad that gave us both a bit of Mexican flair with a Greek twist. Enjoy!

Mexican Bean Salad with a Greek twist

Eight (8 servings) approximately 7 oz each

1 can – 15oz black beans
1 can -15.5oz cannellini beans
1 can – 15 ¼oz corn
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ c fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped shallots
½ cup grape tomatoes cut in half or quartered – depending how big they are
¼ tsp cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the beans and the corn under cold water. Place them in a bowl. Mix together the beans, the corn, the olive oil, the lemon juice, the grape tomatoes, the parsley, the shallots, salt and pepper and the cumin. Refrigerate till ready to serve or leave at room temperature.  

Nutrition Facts  Serving Size 
1 serving (186.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 447
Calories from Fat 49
Total Fat 5.4g
Saturated Fat 0.9g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 26mg
Total Carbohydrates 77.9g
Dietary Fiber 23.4g
Sugars 4.5g
Protein 26.4g






Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Peas in tomato sauce

Peas in tomato sauce with dill or with fennel is another common, vegetarian Greek dish. It’s mostly a summer dish, since the peas are available fresh in their pods. I remember when I was young, my mother showed me how to peel the pods remove the peas and then peel the skin off the pods so that they will cook along with the peas. It was a dish, even though I disliked vegetables, one that I loved. The fresh tomato sauce and the fresh dill made it even tastier. The fresh bread, that we used to pick up from the bakery, along with a slice of feta and a fresh tomato salad completed the summer meal.  

On other occasions, my mother cooked the peas with beef tenderloin. It was more of a Sunday meal, one she used to serve over hot rice.  

Here is my version of peas in tomato sauce with pork tenderloin instead of beef. I also experimented with fennel instead of dill. I’ve tried it both ways and both ways is equally tasteful. If you don’t like the taste of fennel you can omit it altogether and add fresh dill to the dish. The dill (or fennel) is what actually gives the dish that savory flavor.


Makes 14 servings (approximately 8 oz each serving)

2.5 lbs pork tenderloin cut into 2” chunk pieces
½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
15 oz can tomato sauce (1 can)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (1 can)
2 cans water
1.5 cups sliced fennel (1 large fennel bulb)
2 12 oz bags of frozen peas
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped fennel leaves
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Wash and pat dry the pork tenderloin. Cut into 2” chunk pieces. Set aside. Peel, wash and chop the onion. Set aside. Peel and chop the garlic. Set aside. In a dutch oven, over high heat add the olive oil, the onions and garlic. Saute till transparent. Add the pork pieces. Saute a little longer. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce along with 2 cans of water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 1 hour. Don’t add salt, since salt will toughen the meat and will need to cook longer.

When the meat is almost done, during the last 5 minutes add the sliced fennel, the fennel leaves, the peas, the parsley and salt and pepper. Cover and let it simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or orzo. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese or romano cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 
1 serving (219.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 93
Total Fat 10.3g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 59mg
Sodium 392mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.0g
Dietary Fiber 4.2g
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 24.7g


If you try this recipe and like it please comment below. If you like what you see on this blog, please feel free to follow it. Thank you.
 
 

 

Phyllo Dough Spinach Roll

It is quite common in Greece to make just Spinach pie or just Cheese pie. And they are very delicious.  This recipe is a nice alternative to the Cheese-Spinach pie for people who don't want to have any dairy.  Enjoy!

12 servings (approximately 1.5-2 oz each serving).

The following ingredients will make 3 phyllo spinach rolls.

12 oz bag of frozen spinach (thawed and strained well to remove any excess water)
12 sheets of phyllo dough
¾ cup chopped green onion
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp parsley (either fresh or dried)
1 tsp dill (either fresh or dried)
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbs olive oil for brushing between the phyllo dough sheets


Defrost the spinach and squeeze any excess water with your hands. Set aside.

In a saucepan heat the 3 tbs of olive oil. Saute the green onions and add the spinach. Heat through. Remove from heat. Add the parsley, dill, ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well together. Set aside.

In the meantime, line a cookie sheet with wax paper that’s brushed with olive oil. Set aside. 

Separate 12 sheets of phyllo dough (you can re-freeze the leftover phyllo dough as long as you wrap it in saran wrap first, then in aluminum foil).

Take 1 sheet of phyllo at a time and brush it from the 4 tbs of olive oil that you have set aside for that purpose. Take another sheet of phyllo dough and place it on top of the other and brush with olive oil. Repeat with the 3rd and 4th sheets of phyllo dough, while brushing with olive oil in between sheets.
 



Take 1/3 of the mixture and place it alongside the prepared sheets of phyllo dough. 




Fold the sides to hold in the filling. 



Then start from the end towards you, and roll away from you. 


Once you complete the roll, brush with olive oil and place it in a cookie pan lined with wax paper, that’s also brushed with olive oil. 

Repeat the above steps for the other two rolls. 



Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven 30 minutes till golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting. 



Right out of the oven.
 Cut and serve.
Enjoy!



 
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (50.9 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97
Calories from Fat 67
Total Fat 7.4g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 69mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Sugars 0.3g
Protein 1.6g

Fall Squash Vegetable Soup

I made this soup for dinner tonight, and it turned out so well, that I had to post it. It was a cold and rainy day so it was most appropriate for a nice hot bowl of soup. The chili powder and the freshly ground pepper gave the soup an extra kick which also contradicted with the sweetness of the squashes. It was a nice combination of spices and sweet and savory. Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich and you have yourself a meal. Enjoy!

Makes 12 cups

4 cups cooked butternut squash
3 cups cooked acorn squash
1.5 cups cooked sweet potato squash
1 cup cooked buttercup squash
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 cups skim milk
6 cups chicken stock
2 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp freshly ground pepper
1.5 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup water (optional)

Preparation:
If you are making this soup from scratch here are the directions:

Butternut squash: wash, peel, seed it and cut into cubes. Microwave for 10 minutes till soft.
Acorn squash: wash, cut it half, seed it and place it in a microwavable dish and microwave for 10 minutes till soft. When cooked, scoop out the filling and discard the skin. 
Sweet potato squash: wash, peel, seed it and cut into cubes. Microwave for 10 minutes till soft
Buttercup squash: wash, cut in half, seed it and place it in a microwavable dish and microwave for 15 minutes till soft. When cooked scoop out the filling and discard the skin. 

Peel, wash and chop the onion. Set aside. Peel and chop the garlic. Set aside. In a Dutch oven, over high heat, pour the ¼ cup olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic and sweat it till the onion is transparent, but not burned.   Add the cooked squashes and the milk. Lower the heat. With a hand held food blender, smash the squashes into a creamy texture. Add the chicken stock, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium high and heat through. If it becomes too thick add a cup of water. Heat through. Remove from heat. Add the chopped parsley, stir, and serve.  

Notes:
1) You can substitute any of the squashes with sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, or pumpkin.
2) If you don’t want to make the soup from scratch, you can buy canned/cooked squash.
3) It freezes wonderfully for any leftovers you might have. 
4) You can also cut the recipe in half. The above ingredients make 12 cups. 



Nutrition Facts  Serving Size 1 serving (254.3 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 105
Calories from Fat 37
Total Fat 4.1g
Saturated Fat 0.6g
Cholesterol 1mg
Sodium 604mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.4g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Sugars 5.1g
Protein 2.9g

Orzo with arugula and dried cranberries


This is a nice summer dish that can accompany any meat.  You can substitute the arugula with spinach.  I tried it, and it tastes good both ways.  Before serving I sprinkled the salad with sliced roasted almonds that you can get at any grocery store.  You can even serve it warm in the winter time.  

Enjoy!!!


Makes 6 servings (The nutritional information below is for 2 oz of dry orzo. For some reason the website that I put in the ingredients it only takes the orzo as a dry ingredient. 2oz of dry orzo is about 6oz of boiled orzo).

1 cup dry orzo
1 cup chopped arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tbs diced shallot
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 oz Pecorino Romano shaved cheese
½ cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Boil the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Wash and pat dry and chop the arugula. Add to the orzo. Dice the shallot and the parsley and add to the orzo. Add the olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, the dried cranberries and the shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. Toss together and refrigerate till it’s time to serve. You can add ½ cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds.



Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2.053 oz (58.2g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210
Calories from Fat 97
Total Fat 10.8g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 253mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Sugars 1.9g
Protein 5.3g


Fried Cod in Beer Batter



Makes six servings (about 6 oz each)

1.3 lbs cod fillets

Beer Batter

¾ cup flour

¾ cup beer

2 tsp fresh dill finely chopped

2 tsp fresh parsley finely chopped

½ cup canola oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste (you can add the salt and pepper in the batter. I don’t put much salt on this dish, since fish to begin with is salty).

Rinse the cod fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

In a bowl and with a whisk, mix together the flour, the beer, the fresh dill and the fresh parsley. Mix well, so there are no lumps.

In a non-stick frying pan, add the ½-cup canola oil. Let it heat through, but not too hot. Coat the cod fillets with the beer batter, and drop carefully in the hot oil. When the fillets crisp on the outside, lower the heat and let the fillets cook for a couple more minutes. Make sure that the oil is not too hot, as the batter will burn and the fish will not cook inside. If unsure, take a piece out of the frying pan and cut it with a fork. If it’s flaky, then the fish is cooked. If not, put it back in the frying pan and let it cook a little longer. The cooking time depends on how big the cod fillets are. If the fillets are small then the cooking will take less time, if big it will need more time to cook through.

When all the fillets are fried, place them in a platter lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. When ready to serve, remove the paper towel or place them in another platter, drizzle some fresh squeezed lemon juice and serve with lemon wedges.



Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 5.732 oz (162.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334
Calories from Fat 173
Total Fat 19.2g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 54mg
Sodium 79mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.2g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Protein 24.3g

Greek Fried Potato Salad


Makes about six servings (about ½ cup each serving)

4 cups boiled potatoes cut in quarters

¼ cup canola oil for frying

2 tbs chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped green onions

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste (about ¼ tsp each – all according to taste)

Boil the potatoes in the microwave or over the stove. For this dish I used about six potatoes, mixed sizes. I peel them, wash them, quarter them, and boil them in the microwave for about 20-30 minutes. The potatoes should be firm to the touch, not mushy but also not undercooked.

When the potatoes are boiled, drain them in a strainer and let them cool, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In a frying pan, add the ¼-cup canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, piece by piece, but do not overcrowd the pan. Let them fry until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove from the frying pan and place them in a bowl lined with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. When all the potatoes are fried, let them cool in the bowl.

When the potatoes are cool to the touch, transfer them in another bowl without the paper towel. Add the chopped parsley, green onions, the 3 tbs olive oil, and the lemon juice, along with salt and pepper. Toss and cover, or serve immediately.





Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (121.9 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173
Calories from Fat 103
Total Fat 11.5g
Saturated Fat 1.3g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 8mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.5g
Dietary Fiber 2.6g
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 1.8g

Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)

For my first recipe post, I picked the most difficult of the Greek dishes to make.  But I love Spinach and Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita).  And so does my whole family.  Since I was making it for all of us, I thought it would be nice to post it on my blog.  Enjoy!!!

Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)              

52 servings or 1.5 oz each piece approximately

15x10 ovenproof glass pan (pan measures inside the rim)

1 Pkg (16 oz) phyllo dough (Athens brand or any phyllo dough will do)
2 pkg (12 oz each) frozen cut leaf spinach
½ cup green onion chopped
½ cup shallots chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
16 oz low fat cottage cheese
1 and ½ cups crumbled feta cheese (12 oz)
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs
¾ cup olive oil (for brushing the phyllo dough sheets between layering)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Defrost the frozen spinach and drain any excess water by squeezing between your hands.  Set aside.  Chop the green onions, shallots, and parsley.  Set aside. In a frying pan, over a hot stove, pour the 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the green onions and shallots till transparent.  Add the frozen spinach and parsley.  Heat through.  Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the hot stove. 
            
In a bowl, mix together the low fat cottage cheese, the crumbled feta and the eggs.  Add to the spinach mixture.  Make sure the spinach mixture is cool or the eggs will curdle.  Add the ground pepper, salt and ground nutmeg.  Set aside.
          
Have the ¾-cup olive oil handy with a brush.  Brush the 15x10 pan with olive oil generously.  Open up the package of phyllo dough.  There should be two small packages in the box.  Take the one out and open it up.  Have to work quite fast with phyllo dough since it dries quickly. In order for it not to dry out, cover it with a damp towel.  Take one phyllo dough sheet and place at the bottom of the pan.  Brush with oil. 

       The picture, above, shows with a few phyllo dough sheets already layered and brushed with oil.

Take another phyllo sheet and continue layering at the bottom of the pan brushing with olive oil in between.  Make sure the whole pan is completely covered with some of the phyllo dough extending at the ends of the pan (once the filling is poured in you will be able to fold the excess phyllo dough and hold the filling inside). 
       This picture, above, shows with the one package of phyllo dough layered. 

When you are finished layering the first package of phyllo dough pour the spinach/cheese mixture. 
                    This picture, above, shows with the spinach mixture.

Now fold the ends of the phyllo dough on top of the filling. 
                                    With the ends folded in.

Continue layering with the phyllo dough sheets brushing with olive oil in between the sheets. 

                          Completed with all the phyllo dough sheets

When finished, take a serrated knife and cut the pie into diagonal pieces. 


Place in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for one hour and 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Serve when cool. 
                                  Hot right out of the oven.

ENJOY!!!


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size                             1serving(47.8 g)
Amount Per Serving
            Calories                       93
Calories from Fat                      55
Total Fat                                   6.1g                       9%
Saturated Fat                             1.8g                       9%
Cholesterol                              21mg                       7%
Sodium                                 178mg                       7%
Total Carbohydrates                   6.1g                       2%
Dietary Fiber                             0.5g                       2%
Sugars                                     0.4g
Protein                                     3.6g