Tag Archives: Greek

Roasted Greek Chicken Salad

Greek Chicken 1

Looking for a lighter dinner that isn’t bland and boring?

This roasted Greek chicken with onions and peppers and homemade tzatziki is sure to please everyone in the family. You can eat it over a bed of lettuce or stuffed inside of pita bread.

I like to roast the chicken, peppers and onions in the oven to get nice crispy charred edges, but you could also cook them in a skillet.

Greek Chicken 3

Homemade pita bread and hummus is great served with this salad. Instructions can be found HERE.

Tzatziki is a garlic yogurt dip with grated cucumber and dill. It is a great topper for this salad.

Greek Chicken 2

RECIPE:

Greek Chicken 1

Roasted Greek Chicken Salad

Marinade:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Greek seasoning (or 2 tsp oregano + 1 tsp thyme)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

4 boneless chicken breasts, diced
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
Feta cheese, crumbled
Tzatziki
Hummus
Pita bread, cut into wedges

Mix marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Add diced chicken to marinade in bag. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight. Drain chicken in a colander; discard marinade.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken and sliced onion and red pepper on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables just begin to char. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end of cooking time, if needed.

To cook in a skillet: Sauté in large skillet for 5 minutes; drain any excess liquid. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Heat 1 Tbs oil in skillet. Add peppers and onions to skillet; cook until tender. Return chicken to skillet and heat through.

Serve over lettuce with feta cheese, tzatziki, hummus and pita bread wedges. Chicken can also be eaten inside of pitas with hummus, tzatziki and feta cheese.

Tzatziki
½ large seedless cucumber (or 2 mini cucumbers)
2 cups whole-fat plain Greek yogurt (Fage Total 4% brand is great)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dill
Dash white pepper
Salt

Grate cucumber (unpeeled), sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander until most of the liquid leeches out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Combine yogurt and cucumber with remaining ingredients. Add additional salt (about ¼-½ tsp) to taste. Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.

Pita Bread
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Additional flour for kneading, if necessary

If you have a baking stone, place it (ungreased) in the oven while preheating (if you are using a regular baking sheet, place in oven only 1 min before adding bread). Preheat oven to 475°F for at least 15-20 minutes.

Combine all  ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well and then knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour if needed until dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 small balls. Leave in covered bowl. Roll 1 or 2 dough balls into circles about 6-inches across and ¼-inch thick. Place on hot baking stone, one or two at a time. Cook 2 minutes, or until dough puffs up. Turn over and cook about 1 minute longer. Remove from baking stone with a spatula. Place on a plate and flatten pita slightly with spatula (don’t completely flatten, or insides will stick together). Cover with a towel while other pitas are cooking.

Cut in half and fill to eat. Or cut  into wedges and serve with hummus and/or tzatziki for dipping.

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Greek Seven Layer Dip

Greek 7 Layer Dip 1

Seven Layer Dip gets a fresh summertime make-over. Or make it with eight layers (pictured above) if you want to really get fancy.

This is a great way to dress up plain hummus. Similar to the traditional Mexican 7-Layer Dip, but lighter and with fresher ingredients. With the huge variety of hummus available these days, you can adapt this recipe to suit your taste. My favorite hummus (after homemade) is the Supremely Spicy Hummus: it has a real kick!

Greek 7 Layer Dip 2

Start with layers of hummus and tzatziki, and then add whatever fresh ingredients you are in the mood for. I usually include most or all of the following layers:

    • Hummus
    • Tzatziki (Homemade recipe HERE)
    • Thinly sliced mini cucumbers
    • Sliced Kalamata olives
    • Chopped artichokes
    • Sliced sun-dried tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes)
    • Sliced green onions
    • Feta cheese, crumbled

Greek 7 Layer Dip 3

Serve with pita chips, crackers, fresh-cut vegetables, or wedges of homemade Pita Bread. (Pita Bread recipe HERE)

 

RECIPE:

Greek 7 Layer Dip 1

Greek Seven Layer Dip

In a glass pie plate, tart dish or bowl, layer the following:

    • Hummus
    • Tzatziki
    • Thinly sliced mini cucumbers
    • Sliced Kalamata olives
    • Chopped artichokes
    • Sliced sun-dried tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes)
    • Sliced green onions
    • Feta cheese, crumbled

Serve with pita chips, crackers, fresh-cut vegetables, or wedges of homemade Pita Bread.

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Grilled Greek Chicken

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The weather here has turned from dreary, cold and rainy to beautiful, sunny and warm. So I am putting away the soup recipes for a couple of weeks, and firing up the grill. This chicken is marinated in a dressing made from lemon juice, olive oil and Greek spices (including fresh oregano-which is still hanging on in my garden!). The tomato cucumber salad is a nice accompaniment to the grilled chicken, providing a tangy balance to the chicken.

When I prepare chicken or other meat to grill, I always make double and freeze half in a separate Ziploc bag for a quick meal another day. You can either cook all of it and freeze the extra cooked chicken (either whole or diced) to add to future recipes, or freeze the extra raw chicken in the marinade, and then thaw and grill it another day.

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After making the marinade, I put a small amount (about 1/4 cup) in a separate Ziploc bag and marinated some fresh asparagus, and then grilled it alongside the chicken. I put the asparagus on the grill at the same time as I turned the chicken over, and they were done at about the same time. Zucchini/summer squash would be another great vege to marinate and grill.

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We ate the grilled chicken and asparagus with this Greek tomato and cucumber salad topped with feta cheese. Most of my garden is done for the year, but I do still have some green tomatoes slowly ripening on my kitchen counter. A couple of nice red ones made for a great fresh end-of-summer salad. You can find the recipe for the salad HERE.

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RECIPE:

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Grilled Greek Chicken
———–(adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Marinade:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup  lemon juice
1 tsp fresh lemon zest**
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1 tsp Greek seasoning (or additional oregano)
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp black pepper**

Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate in refrigerator 6-8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30-45 minutes before cooking.

Preheat grill to medium-hot and grill chicken 15-18 minutes, or until well browned and firm but not hard to the touch. Actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken, the heat of your grill and the temperature outside, so don’t overcook.

**or omit lemon zest and black pepper and substitute 1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning

FOR GRILLED GREEK ASPARAGUS (OR OTHER VEGETABLE):

1 lb fresh asparagus (or zucchini/summer squash or other vege of choice)
1/4 cup marinade from above recipe

Place asparagus or sliced vegetable into a Ziploc bag. Add marinade (be sure to place marinade in vegetable bag before adding it to the chicken bag). Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (longer is fine too). Grill for 5-6 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

 

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End of Summer Produce: Greek Tomato Salad

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We are still getting a few ripe tomatoes off of our garden tomato plants, but with nights getting cooler and days getting shorter, most of our tomatoes still look like this:

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So here is one last summer tomato salad. When we start getting frost warnings, which could be any time now, I will bring in all of my green tomatoes and make some Green Tomato Salsa.

RECIPE:

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Greek Tomato Salad

3-4 tomatoes, chopped
3 small pickling cucumbers or 1 English seedless cucumber,
——– chopped (peeled if skin is tough)
½ red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
½ tsp Greek seasoning, optional
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper and onion. Stir together remaining ingredients, except feta. Pour over salad. Serve right away, or refrigerate. Stir in feta just before serving (or serve on the side to be sprinkled on).

 

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Homemade Pita Bread

Pita bread is an easy bread to make, even for bread-making beginners. If you use instant yeast, you don’t even need to let the dough rise before rolling and baking it. Just a short 10 minute rest, and you are ready to bake!

I use a rectangular pizza stone to bake mine, but you can also use a regular baking sheet or cook them in a small skillet on the stove.

I use a pastry cloth (really just a well-used piece of plain canvas) dusted with flour to roll out my pitas. Once you get the hang of it, you can roll out one or two pitas while your other pitas are baking. Just don’t lose track of time. They cook quickly (2 minutes on one side, 1 minute on second side) and you don’t want them to burn. Keep any rolled pita doughs covered until ready to bake.

Terrible lighting and a bad picture; but a great pita! Some day I think I will do a post called, “Bad Pictures. Good Food.” I have plenty of those taking up space on my hard drive!

Cut pitas in half and fill with this Greek Pork with Tzatziki, or anything you want, really. They are great for a summer fresh-from-the-garden-tomato and bacon sandwich.

Or leave pitas whole and break into pieces (or cut into triangles) and serve with tzatziki and/or hummus as an appetizer.

RECIPE:

Pita Bread

2 ½ tsp instant yeast**
1 ½ cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Additional flour for kneading, if necessary

Combine yeast, water, flour, salt and sugar. Add additional flour if needed to make a soft, but workable dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

If you have a baking stone, place it (ungreased) on a lower rack in oven while preheating (if you are using a regular baking sheet, place it in the oven only 1 min before adding dough). Preheat oven to 500°F.

Divide dough into 12 small balls. Leave in covered bowl. Roll out each ball into a circle about 6-inches across and ¼-inch thick.

Place on hot baking stone (or baking sheet), one or two at a time. Cook 2 minutes, or until dough puffs up. Turn over and cook about 1 minute longer. With spatula, partially flatten pita (don’t completely flatten, or the insides will stick together). Place on a plate and cover with a towel while other pitas are cooking.

Cut in half and fill to eat. Or leave whole and break into pieces (or cut into triangles) served with hummus and/or tzatziki for dipping.

**NOTE: If you are not using instant yeast, combine regular yeast and water; let sit for 5 minutes, until combined and active. Mix in flour, salt and sugar. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise for one hour. Roll into balls and proceed as above.

Yield: 12 whole pitas

 

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Greek Pork with Tzatziki in Pitas

Sometimes I think that I should be a paid spokesman for Ziploc. More often than not, dinner at my house either starts in a Ziploc bag full of marinade, or ends up in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.

I am not a fan of bland meat. Honestly, I prefer my meat to taste like something other than meat (except for the occasional really good-quality steak, and even then I tend to be a heavy seasoner). Which is probably why I lean towards Asian cooking so often. Soy sauce, ginger and garlic are a great cure for flavorless chicken breasts.

This dinner is not at all Asian, but does start in a Ziploc bag full of strong flavors. Mediterranean cooking is also one of my favorite styles, with heavy use of olive oil, vinegar, oregano, feta cheese. No wimpy flavors here!

These filled pita pockets can be made with chicken or pork, but I prefer pork-either a pork tenderloin or a pork loin. The loin is a little tougher cut of meat, but if you leave it in the marinade long enough (overnight, at least), it will be tender when cooked. The sautéed pork is combined with peppers, onions, feta cheese and tzatziki and can be served in pita bread pockets or on a bed of lettuce for great salad.

RECIPE:

Greek Pork with Tzatziki in Pitas

2-3 lb boneless pork loin or pork tenderloin, cubed
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs chopped fresh oregano (or 1 Tbs dried)
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp ground cayenne red pepper

1 sliced Onion and 1 sliced Red Pepper
————— (or 1 bag frozen onions/peppers)
Pita Bread
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Tzatziki

Combine cubed pork with marinade ingredients (next 10 ingredients) in a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Drain pork in a colander. Sauté in a large skillet for 5 minutes; drain any excess liquid. Cook 10 minutes longer, or until pork is cooked through and nicely brown. Add peppers and onions to skillet; cook until tender.

Serve pork in pita bread halves with feta cheese and tzatziki.

OPTIONAL SERVING VARIATION: Serve cooked pork, onions and peppers on a bed of Romaine lettuce, topped with the tzatziki and feta cheese.

—–

Tzatziki

1 32-oz container plain yogurt (not nonfat) **
½ of a large seedless cucumber
salt
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dill
Dash white pepper

Line a colander with cheesecloth (or a coffee filter) and place over a bowl. Strain yogurt in cheesecloth in refrigerator for several hours (or overnight) until very thick. Grate cucumber (unpeeled), sprinkle with salt and drain in colander until most of the liquid is removed. Combine yogurt and cucumber with remaining ingredients. Add additional salt (usually about ½ tsp) to taste. Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.

**You can substitute Greek Yogurt (about 16 oz) for the regular yogurt, and skip the straining process

 

While you can always use pre-made, tomorrow I will share my recipe for homemade pita bread. They really make a huge difference, and are not difficult to make.

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Mediterranean Frittata

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like eggs. I have a really hard time choking down a plate of plain scrambled or fried eggs. If you add a few slices of toast and a jar of salsa, I can get through them. Or I’m even happier if those raw eggs are mixed with some butter, sugar, flour and chocolate chips before baking: that is my kind of eggs!

But while I don’t like eggs, I do love quiche. Something to do with all of that cheese, cream and bacon hiding the egg flavor (and texture). So this frittata (crustless egg casserole) is right up my alley: it is chock-full of non-egg tasting ingredients. Artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese. Not a plain bite of egg to be found!

I made a large 9×13” casserole, so that I could eat it for breakfast all week (and maybe even share a square or two), but you could easily halve the recipe below and bake it in a square 8×8” pan.

This could also be prepared the night before, refrigerated, and then baked in the morning for an easy, delicious holiday breakfast. And Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

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The extra Parmesan cheese on top is optional, but I always go for maximum cheese with my eggs.Jan2010 040-1

It bakes up nice and puffy, with delicious browned cheese bits on top.Jan2010 048-1

A fabulous, healthy, non-egg-tasting, high-protein start to your day!

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RECIPE:

Mediterranean Frittata
______
(Adapted from TwoPeasandTheirPod)

18 eggs
16 oz container cottage cheese
1 cup (about 4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp Greek seasoning**
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 (15 oz) cans/jars artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
3 oz pkg sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined. Stir in cottage cheese, feta cheese, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

Combine spinach mixture with chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and parsley. Stir to combine (this will help cool the spinach before adding it to the egg mixture). Stir vegetables into eggs.

Spray a 9×13” casserole dish with non-stick baking spray. Pour egg mixture into pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until set in center. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

**NOTE: I get my Greek Seasoning from Penzeys, but you could also substitute a combination of oregano and marjoram.

 

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