Greek Chicken

greek chickenThis is a simple but delicious way to serve up some chicken. It works great for all of the chicken pieces since you want to serve it with the marinade. The marinade is enough for two pounds of chicken, even though I only cooked one pound this time, and makes great leftovers.

greekchicken3Ingredients:
2 pounds chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, wings)
1/2 cup pited and sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup large pimento stuffed Spanish olives
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon parsley

1 cup feta cheese, optional

greekchicken2In a large baking dish lay the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large bowl mix together everything else. Carefully pour the marinade over the chicken and allow to marinate for 6 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat the oven to 425F. Place a sheet of tinfoil over the pan and place into the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 15 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear from the chicken. Serve with some of the delicious olives and tomatoes, I served a side of mashed potatoes along with it. Sprinkle with feta if you choose (I’ve made both with and without and do like the feta!). Enjoy!

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Greek Salad with Asparagus

Greek Salad with AsparagusGreek salad with all of the fresh olives and tomatoes is always a favorite of mine. I wanted to make it a bit more seasonal and use some of the wonderful asparagus that we can get locally here this time of year. Cooking and blanching the asparagus for a few minutes keeps it crunchy, but gives it a bit more mild flavor. I’ve topped it with a light vinaigrette dressing and some goat’s cheese in place of the more traditional feta.

greeksalad2Ingredients:
2 medium heads of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 pound asparagus, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup crumbled goat’s cheese
ground pepper, to taste

For the Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 a medium lemon
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

greeksalad1Start a pot of water over high heat and allow the water to come to a medium boil. Place the asparagus in and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain water from the pot and place the asparagus in a water and ice bath and allow to cool.

While the water is starting, chop up and arrange the vegetables in a large bowl. When the asparagus is cooled, chop into 1/4″ pieces and add to the bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Sprinkle the dried basil on top.  Mix the dressing into the salad and top off with some goat’s cheese and fresh ground pepper. Serves 4-6.

10 Minute Greek Salad

10 minute greek saladAs much as I love to cook and be in the kitchen, there are days where I don’t have much time and need something healthy and filling. This is a simple salad with big flavor and everyone I’ve served it to has enjoyed it. Most of the time spent is cutting up the vegetables!

greeksalad1Ingredients:
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large cucumber, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, diced
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (more if you prefer)
pepper, to taste

10 minute greek saladDrain and rinse off the chickpeas well, then place in a large bowl. Chop up all the vegetables and add to the bowl. Add in the lemon juice, vinegar, and pepper, then stir well. Top off with feta cheese. Quick and easy lunch or side dish. Serves 3-4 as a meal, 4-6 as a side.

Greek Pastitsio

Greek PastitsioPastitsio is a common Greek dish. Pretty much every family has their version of it – the most important part of it is using real ingredients. Cinnamon and nutmeg with the beef give it such a warm and inviting flavor. It’s a perfect dish for potluck, and both children and adults enjoy it.

pastitsio2

Ingredients:
16 ounces gluten free ziti pasta noodles
1.5 pounds ground beef
16 oz tomato sauce
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups milk
1/4 cup brown rice flour
3 eggs
ground pepper, to taste

pastitsio3Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare the noodles per the package directions (Noodles should still be a bit firm to bite, but not chewy.)

While the pasta is cooking start the beef. In a large skillet brown the beef with the onions and salt. When the beef is browned, add the cinnamon, nutmeg and tomato sauce and mix together well.

In a medium sized pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in about 3-4 tablespoons of the rice flour and mix well. It should be thick. Add in the milk and rest of the flour whisk well, removing any lumps (If the sauce isn’t thick enough add a bit more flour). Bring to a light boil then reduce the heat to low. Mix in the parmesan cheese and ground pepper.

pastitsio4After you’ve drained the water from the noodles, add about 1/3 cup of the sauce to the noodles and mix well. Take half the noodles and cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Next add all the meat sauce. Then add the rest of the noodles, and top off with the rest of the sauce.

pastitsio5Place it in the oven for 40-45 minutes. The top will be starting to brown when it’s done. Serve hot – serves 6-8. Enjoy!

 

Chickpeas With Spinach

chickpeasI really like chickpeas. I also really like Greek food. So this dish delivers both of those to me, along with getting me to eat another big serving of green veggies. As much as I like salads – I need other ways to get enough veggies in my diet, and I need them to keep me full. I did make rice to go along with it, but I can eat this by itself, or with quinoa or other gluten free grains. I did enjoy it more with some feta cheese on top!

bIngredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15oz cans)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or 1 15 oz can)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
8 cups fresh spinach (or 10 oz frozen)
1 lemon, juiced

Optional: feta cheese for sprinkling on top

aWarm up the olive oil in a large skillet for a minute, then add the onions and garlic. Cook the onions for a couple minutes until they become tender. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, oregano, and paprika. Cover and simmer it for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.

cAdd the spinach. I couldn’t fit it all in at a time, but I sure did try. Let some of it cook down and add in the rest. Once the spinach is all inside the skillet, add the lemon juice and cook for another 10 minutes. If your spinach is really large, feel free to tear it a bit while adding it to the pan. Sprinkle with a bit of feta cheese before serving if you’re wanting a bit more salt.

dNotes: I use fresh spinach over frozen, as it gets really watery. If you use the frozen, I’d recommend letting it thaw out a bit and letting it sit on a paper towel to get a bit of the excess water out.