Appetizers

Greek Spinach and Leek Fritters – Spanakokeftethes

Spinach fritters Greek

I’m back from an exciting event the Mediterranean Diet Roundtable, where I had the honor to speak about the Mediterranean Diet, its portrayal in the U.S. and show how easy it is to follow it. The event was basically a first discussion on how the Mediterranean diet can be applied in a variety of settings from hospitals to schools. I’ll be writing about that later, but for now I would like to share this recipe I “discovered” during my stay in New York. I had dinner at a restaurant near my hotel that just happened to be Mediterranean with a strong Greek influence. I noticed on the menu spinach fritters, which I ordered and were great. Read more »

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Greek Island Parsley-Garlic Dip

parsley dip pesto Greek

Easy and quick is what I need right now. After being sick on and off for several weeks,  I’m slowly trying to catch up. So when I needed some sort of appetizer one day, this was it.

This is a dip from the island of Syros (one of the Cyclades islands). Parsley is its main ingredient but you will definitely taste the garlic. This dip resembles in preparation as skordalia (Greek garlic dip) and taramosalata where you add a steady stream of olive oil to the dip, so you end up with a pesto like texture, rich and flavorful, however there is no cheese or nuts s in pesto. Read more »

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Greek Style Stuffed Mushrooms

feta stuffed mushrooms

These are the easiest appetizers you will ever make. We make these at least once a week, on a weekday! That’s how easy they are.

The filling is made with easy to find ingredients, and you can play with the amounts. You can also make the filling earlier and keep it in the fridge. I use barley bread crumbs, or you can use whole grain breadcrumbs as well. I used a Greek soft goat cheese (katiki), but you can also use cream cheese, and I’ll be trying yogurt in the future. I find that goat cheese adds more flavor though. These are pretty healthy, I use olive oil and plenty of herbs and feta for flavor. Read more »

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Greek Feta-Phyllo Bites. Cheese Saragli

feta phyllo bites saragli

Saragli is basically a type of syrupy sweet that resembles baklava. The phyllo is rolled in a long tube and then cut in pieces and baked. Obviously this is not baklava but a savory version, called cheese saragli.

I first noticed them when my brother’s mother in law made them for parties and get-togethers. They were really tasty, they looked nice and everybody liked them. Crunchy phyllo with little chunks of feta and a bit of spiciness from the kefalograviera cheese (cheese used for saganaki), what’s not to like? She shared her recipe with me and here it is. Read more »

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Top 9 Greek-Mediterranean Inspired Appetizers

greekthanksgivingappetizers

I have to admit, I like Thanksgiving even though here in Greece there is not much celebrating as it is not a holiday. Surprisingly though for me the holiday did not a have a special significance until I moved to Greece thirteen years ago. In the states we celebrated Thanksgiving but more likely with lamb or chicken and Greek style potatoes, rather than turkey and cranberry sauce. But in Greece things changed… Read more »

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Southern Style Biscuits made with Olive Oil and Greek Yogurt

Olive Oil Southern Biscuits

I attended last week (as I do every year) the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, as an active member and Past President of their international affiliate, it can get pretty busy. And this year I was also a presenter , my session focusing on working overseas.

The conference took place in Atlanta and needless to say I was looking forward to trying the food. Read more »

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Red Pepper Dip with Feta Cheese and Greek Yogurt

redpepper dip

A new study from English researchers published in the British Medical Journal Open, showed that people who consumed 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables experienced a higher level of mental well-being. According to researchers, high mental well-being is more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it is a state in which people feel good and function well. Optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience and good relationships with others are all part of this state. Read more »

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Greek Spicy Feta Cheese Dip – Tirokafteri

spicy feta dip Greek

According to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes eating full fat cheese is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes by 23%… I like this study.

I often get this question about the amount of cheese consumed in the Mediterranean Greek diet: is it healthy? Don’t Greeks eat a lot of cheese?
Well yes, they do. In fact, depending on the source Greeks consume the most cheese per person in the world. Feta is probably responsible for this, as we eat it with almost every meal. Cheese is in essence the main source of protein in the traditional Greek diet, since the main course was usually vegetables or legumes. Read more »

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Olive Oil and Wine Greek Savory Cookies

EVOO cookies

During vacation we would spend hours on the beach, swimming, sleeping, playing or just doing nothing. For all those hours we would eat fairly lightly, eating fruit we brought with, a small meze with an ouzo and something salty to munch on. I found at our local bakery these simple savory koulourakia that were basically made from flour, olive oil and wine. Read more »

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Cantaloupe – Feta Bites

melonfeta

It is really hot in Athens these days, it reminds me of the vacations we would take every summer in Greece. My first memories of Athens is when we stepped out of that plane, you could feel the heat hitting your skin. We were so happy to be there that we didn’t mind the heat or the smog, we were in Greece! And in those days there really wasn’t air conditioning either, so you experienced a real summer not a sheltered one. In the evenings we would sleep with the balcony doors open and some people would even sleep out on their balconies, yes even in Athens. And with this heat fruit is the only thing you want to eat … and yes maybe a little cheese. Which is what we are eating today. Read more »

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