Tag Archives: feta cheese

Red Quinoa w/Broccoli & Feta Cheese

Well I’m now in my third week of the new job. Still exhausted from standing for 8 hours a day, in shoes! The blogs won’t be done every day as before but I am working on it.

I had some red quinoa in the pantry and since we haven’t had it in a while I came up with a quick side dish. I had just bought some fresh broccoli so I incorporated it into the mix. This was a pretty simple recipe and it came out great. We have enough for leftovers! I served it with roasted chicken breasts and it was delicious. We prefer to eat it hot/warm but it can also be eaten cold. It’s your choice.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed

2 cups water or chicken broth

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons roasted garlic butter (see recipe)

½ cup fat-free crumbled feta cheese

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan add the rinsed quinoa and water/broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for about 20-25 minutes. Or until all the liquid is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile  in a medium saucepan add the olive oil and garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add the chopped broccoli and sauté for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and chop finely on a cutting board.

3. Add broccoli and roasted garlic butter to cooked quinoa and mix well, till butter is melted in. Add the feta cheese and mix well. Serve!

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Layered Greek Dip

This is such an easy and quick dip to throw together. There are only 5 ingredients! Nice! I love Greek food and we don’t get to go out for it too often. Probably because where I live in south Florida there are very few good Greek restaurants. We did find a great one in St. Augustine called Athena’s. But I’m not driving over 3 hours for Greek food! Anyway this is just a snack food anyway but it’s healthy too.

This is best in a round nine-inch pie plate but if you don’t have one, just use something else. A long oval dish is fine also. You want something that has sides so everything stays where it should.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

7 ounces prepared hummus (any brand you like)

4 ounces crumbled light Feta cheese (use regular if you are not watching calories)

½ cup chopped tomatoes

¼ cup chopped cucumbers (best to use the English ones and leave the skin on)

2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

oregano

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spread the hummus onto bottom of a 9″ pie plate or other serving dish.

2. Cover with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

3. Sprinkle with a little oregano if you wish.

4. Serve with baked pita chips!

Devilish Oven Fried Chicken w/Green Beans

I swore I would do the blog in the morning, so that when 7pm rolled around I wasn’t scrambling to get dinner ready and writing my blog at the same time. But here I am at 7:15pm writing the blog. I get so swamped in the morning. Between getting up with my husband at 7am, make his lunch & breakfast for him to take to work, feed the cats, clean the litter boxes, take the garbage out for pickup, do two more loads of laundry, check my email, eBay and whatnot…Oh and I wanted to do my daily walk as well at around 10am. HA! It was noon by the time I did that. So once the morning was gone the thought of writing the blog was too. I spent the afternoon job hunting as usual. No luck. So here I am now writing about a yummy dish I made last night. The original version of this recipe is from Rachael Ray (my fave!) and I changed it to suit what I had in the house. It originally called for 4 chicken legs w/thighs. I had 5 chicken thighs. The recipe also called for removal of the skin! I know! I left it on. That is pretty much it on what I changed. Though next time I am adding more hot sauce. Recipe only called for 1 tablespoon, not enough. I would add about ¼ cup next time. I served it with a side of green beans. The beans were the frozen kind in a ‘steamer’ bag. I was steaming them for about 5 minutes in the microwave till I heard the bag pop! No, it’s not supposed to do that! So I took them out of the microwave. In the meantime I had sautéed a shallot and 3 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil. I drained and dumped the beans into a microwave container and added the shallots and garlic. Then I added about 4 ounces of crumbled light feta cheese. Then I put it all back in the microwave for another minute or so. By then the chicken was done! Whew! So without anymore babbling here is the chicken recipe!

Green beans with shallots, garlic and feta cheese!

Chicken thigh with the delish green beans!

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup Dijon mustard

¼ cup reduced-fat plain greek yogurt

¼ cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce)

4 large whole chicken legs separated from thighs (I used 5 thighs)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

4 teaspoons italian seasoning (only if you don’t have seasoned bread crumbs)

salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, yogurt and hot sauce. Add the chicken, turning to coat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you aren’t ready to cook right away cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

2. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

3. In another large bowl, toss together the panko bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Skip this if you have seasoned panko. Add 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to crumbs. Working with 1 chicken piece at a time, coat in the panko mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Chicken all dressed up for the oven!

Red Quinoa with Feta & Sundried Tomatoes

Here it is again everyone! QUINOA!!! Woo Hoo!! While in Whole Foods last weekend I wanted to get some more quinoa. Looking in the bulk aisle for it I came across the regular white/beige quinoa. And sitting right next to it was this beautiful red quinoa! Didn’t even know it existed. Then again I didn’t know quinoa existed until a few months ago. I checked the nutritional information and it had almost double the fiber of the regular kind! Sold! I bought a half pound of the stuff,  just in case we didn’t like it. I should have bought more! It is so much tastier than the regular. It had a little crunch to it and a nutty taste as well. I then searched online for a different recipe than I made last time.  I found a great one on the Cooking Books blog. She had gotten it from a cookbook called The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno and adapted it to her taste. I again adapted it to my taste.  It called for cilantro and I left it out (My husband isn’t a fan unless it’s in salsa or guacamole) and vegetable broth. I had chicken broth and used that. The recipe called for 8 sun-dried tomatoes, cut up. I found it needed more. So next time I will add more. I think about ¼ cup will do it. I liked how much feta cheese she said to put in, “as much as you’d like”. Ok, sounds good to me! Sounds good to my husband! I think it was about ½ cup in total, could be more though. I didn’t measure. But one thing I should have done was cut the recipe in half. It made a lot of quinoa for two people. We do have leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

2 minced shallots (you can use a small onion or even a few green onions if you don’t have shallots)

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable broth (or any broth you have), or water

1 cup dried red quinoa

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can adjust to your taste)

1 teaspoon salt

fresh ground black pepper

½ cup (or so) of crumbled low-fat feta cheese (adjust to your taste)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the shallots are soft.

2. Add the broth/stock and bring to a boil. Add the red quinoa and cayenne pepper. Stir and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Or until all the liquid is fully absorbed. (It took longer than 30 minutes on my stove, so keep an eye on it after 30 minutes)

3. Stir in salt and pepper and feta cheese. Serve hot or cold. Make sure you mix in the feta good so it melts a bit! Yum…

Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish.

Greek Green Beans

Ok as promised here is the recipe for the green beans I made with the orange roughy yesterday. I used frozen green beans. I actually use frozen veggies quite a bit. This way I always have something in the freezer to go to when I’m out of fresh stuff. I usually have those ‘steamer’ bags of veggies but this time I had bought one of the larger bags, 16 ounces. For two of us that is too much to make at once so for this recipe I used half the bag or 2 cups. This is also a quick and easy side dish for any entrée. It is also a low-calorie side dish. While the beans were being nuked I sautéed the onions and garlic and it worked out great. So without any further ado here is the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups frozen green beans (any kind you like)

2 tablespoons water

1 small onion, chopped small

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons butter substitute (you can use real butter if you want)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place green beans in a small microwave container with lid. Add the water. Cook on HIGH for 6 minutes.

2. Meantime in a small pan sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Cook until soft and just starting to brown a little. About 6 minutes. Add the basil, oregano and pepper flakes. Stir well.

3. The beans should be done now. Drain the excess water from container. Add the butter/butter substitute and onion mixture. Mix well.

4. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.

5. Stir in feta cheese and serve.

Makes 2 servings (1 cup each)

Quinoa with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Lately I’ve read many recipes with couscous and quinoa (keen-wa). I found one today that is very easy to make and sounds really good. I am going to try and make it tonight and I will report back on it. The recipe calls for fresh spinach but if you don’t have fresh on hand use frozen, just make sure you thaw it good and squeeze out the extra liquid. You can also add chopped tomato (regular or even sun-dried!). Be brave, experiment. Remember, it’s your kitchen! (Got that from the Next Food Network Star finale last night. Yay Aarti!) I will also be using light or fat-free feta cheese in this recipe but as always feel free to use regular if you wish. This is a great side dish in the summer, it’s simple and not so heavy, and it’s full of protein from the quinoa! All good! So give it a try and as always, let me know if you try it and how it turns out!

Quinoa, cooked

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup uncooked quinoa

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin

1 cup fresh spinach (or frozen, thawed and squeezed dry)

½ cup crumbled light or fat-free feta cheese

Quinoa with spinach and feta

DIRECTIONS:

1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. In a small saucepan, add the quinoa and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to simmer until water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic in the oil until the garlic turns light brown. Be careful not to let it burn.Lower the heat if necessary. When the quinoa is done cooking add it to the skillet along with the spinach. Stir together until the spinach wilts or is heated through if using frozen. Add the crumbled feta cheese and stir to combine.

Makes 2-4 servings

Quinoa with spinach and feta & garlic soy pork chop

Mediterranean Dip With Toasted Pita Chips

This dip is a little bit Greek and Italian, hence the Mediterranean reference. It’s a much healthier dip than the ones laden with mayonnaise and sour cream. Not that those dips aren’t good, it’s just that we can’t eat them all the time. This dip uses canellini beans which have fiber, a good thing. It can be served with toasted pita chips or crostini, or any sturdy chip. I will also include a recipe to make your own Toasted Pita Chips. It’s so easy! And if you use the low carb pita chips you can save more calories and add more fiber! But if you don’t have to worry about calories or fiber go all the way with the full fat stuff! (I wish I could!)

DIP

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (15oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 ounces feta cheese (I use light Feta)

1 container (6-7 oz.) plain Greek-style yogurt (any brand is fine)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

1 large clove garlic, minced

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor put the beans, feta cheese, yogurt, garlic and lemon juice. Puree until smooth.

2. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped dill. Season with the salt and pepper as you like.

Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 2 cups


TOASTED PITA CHIPS

INGREDIENTS

8 Pita Rounds

olive oil

dried oregano

garlic powder

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Split the pita rounds horizontally, then cut each piece in half. Or just cut into wedge shapes and separate the pita. Depends on how big you want the chips

2. Brush with olive oil and season with the oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Bake on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

**UPDATE: 7/12/10** I just made this dip and chips. Delicious! So tasty and the chips came out great! Though I may have put too much salt on them, but then again, I love salt.

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