Main Course

Stewed Eggplant in Tomato Sauce

eggplant and tomato sauce

My posts have been fewer as I have been on vacation, but to be honest, I probably would have been online more often if I had better internet access. But I do not- which might be a good thing actually when you are on vacation…. Although I admit I do post on my instagram profile whenever I get a signal on my phone.

Now many times vacations are associated with plenty of food or eating out all the time, but for us, this year we are staying in a coastal town in Peloponnesus where I spent many summers when I was a child. The place is a pretty town, with a long child-friendly beach and several restaurants with the typical Greek summer foods and plenty of fresh fish. Read more »

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Greek Style Beans with Tomato Sauce and Feta Cheese-Fasolia Yiahni

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Beans, not the green kind but the ones also known as pulses or legumes are such an important part of the Greek diet. Whether they are used in soups. patties, roasted or stewed, the flavor is something that is highlighted along with the other ingredients. Greeks don’t hide their beans in pasta sauce nor do they mix them in salads. Beans take center stage in the Greek cuisine. Read more »

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Juicy Honey Lemon Chicken and Carrots

Honey lemon chicken and carrots

Following a Mediterranean diet does not necessarily mean that you should only eat specific recipes coming from Greece, Italy or Spain. It involves eating a variety of foods and ingredients that characterize the Mediterranean diet.

So occasionally I like to mix traditional recipes with other recipes That are not necessarily Greek, but yet are made with ingredients that are part of the Greek diet.

This particular recipe I started making about 8 years ago, I had bought some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and didn’t know what to do with them so I tried this recipe. Chicken cooked in olive oil with lemon and honey, along with garlic, onion and carrots- easy ingredients found in any Greek kitchen. The combination of honey and lemon is used often in Jewish cooking and provides a sweet and sour combination and I’ve often seen versions of this dish recommended for Rosh Hashanah. Read more »

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Greek Inspired Chickpeas Cooked in Tomato Sauce

Garbanzo chickpeas

I would like to continue where I left off from my previous post about beans; it is significant that a simple eating habit such as eating a cup of beans can help us lower our cholesterol levels, but also maintain our blood sugar levels as well as help us lose weight since beans are filling due to the fiber and protein. And let’s not forget the antioxidants.

Here in Greece we are in the holy week, the last week before Easter. While traditionally the religious fast starts about 40 days before Easter, most Greeks nowadays will not be fasting for all those days, however the majority of Greeks still fast (avoid animal products with the exception of some seafood) the week before Easter, so it seemed fitting to share this easy bean recipe. Read more »

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Traditional Greek Roasted Salted Cod with Onions, Tomatoes and Raisins-Bakaliaro Plaki

bakaliaro plaki

This recipe is one of my mother’s specialties and I have fond memories of eating it back in Chicago when I was a little girl. This is basically salted cod cooked in tomato, onions and raisins and accompanied by potatoes. Yes, I know-I know, it is another strange dish for a kid to like, but like I’ve said my mother only cooked Greek, and that’s what I grew up on.

The dish is known as being a Peloponnesian dish (from the area of Peloponissos in Greece) where my mom and dad are from. It is of the few Greek dishes that use fruit in a savory dish. The story goes that salted cod was first imported by the English and in exchange they were given Greek raisins. Korinthos another area in Peloponissos, was and is known for their raisins and according to George Mazos a Corinthian black raisin producer and owner of Golden Black, Greeks were in fact supplying the English with raisins so it seems that the two ingredients were somehow combined to create this wonderful dish. Now, although fish was available on the coastal areas of Greece, for the mountainous regions even on some islands fish was not so accessible, so salted fish was common as was salted cod which also lasted for a long time. Read more »

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp with a Touch of Ouzo

Lemon garlic ouzo shrimp

I like having frozen shrimp on hand, it cooks quickly and with the addition, of simple basic Greek staples you have a complete meal. Combine with some carbs such as pasta, rice or orzo and you have a nice meal. Add a salad or some cooked vegetables and you are set.

Greeks often combine shrimp with feta (as I did here) but it also goes well with ouzo. For this recipe I added the olive oil and lemon (ladolemono) plus garlic and dill. Read more »

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Juicy Roasted Greek Meatballs – Keftedakia

keftedakia Greek meatballs

For someone who prefers mostly vegetable based dishes, there is one red meat dish that I will always say yes to: Keftethakia. Bite-size (or a little bit larger) meatballs made from ground beef or usually ground pork or sheep or a mixture, along with all those tasty Greek herbs (especially fresh mint as both my grandmothers used) and then fried in olive oil, today it is mostly beef.

The meat was ground at home if you were lucky enough to have a meat grinder. There was plenty of stale bread added, along with a few eggs which stretched the meat to feed a lot more people. Read more »

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Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Greek Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

I do not know one Greek person who does not like this dish. It is comforting, delicious and reliable. It was a typical Sunday noon dish and along with a salad and some cheese it makes up a complete meal, fit for company.

Today, chicken may seem a “lesser” dish to offer to guests, but that was not always the case years ago in Greece. Chickens were not so easy to come by, you either had your own hencoop which you occasionally “sacrificed” a chicken for a meal, but that was not very often as they would rather keep the chickens for their eggs. You also could find some live chickens at the open market, but they were not cheap as there were simply not many of them. There were no commercial chicken houses. And after you bought the chicken or took it from your backyard you had to deal with whole other process of preparing it for cooking… So not really an easy dish in the old days. Read more »

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Greek Chicken Cooked in Tomato-Kotopoulo Kokkinisto

Greek Chicken-Kotopoulo Kokkinisto

So I’m back! Every time this year I attend the Food and Nutrition Conference organized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (former American Dietetic Association). As I am the President of the International Affiliate (American Overseas Dietetic Association), I attend the conference and participate in several of the activities there. I’ll be sharing my experiences in the next post, but for now I need talk about one of my favorite Greek meat recipes: Kotopoulo Kokkinisto. While I look forward to visiting the U.S., after a few days I do miss the tastes of Greece, and one of them is the kokkinista dishes. Kokkinisto, refers to the method of cooking in tomato sauce. Read more »

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Greek Orzo (kritharaki) with Shrimp and Feta

Greek Orzo with shrimp and feta and ouzo

Comfort food almost everywhere usually involves some sort of pasta. Orzo known as kritharaki or manestra in Greek is usually cooked and consumed together with some sort of meat or protein making the classic dish yiouvetsi (go here for a simple version), and often served for Sunday lunch.

For this recipe I did not cook some big piece of meat, and I did not even need to use the oven. Having been under the weather for a few days I was looking for a meal that was easy to make, hearty and comforting. Read more »

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