Tag Archives: light feta cheese

Tabouli with Quinoa

Usually I am not a big fan of mint. No mojitos for me.  And definitely none of that flourescent green mint jelly when I have lamb! That is wrong to my taste buds on so many levels. Luckily my husband is not a fan either. So many recipes have mint in them and most of the time, to me anyway, it’s too much. So when I tried Tabouli years ago I was surprised to find that there was mint in it! Imagine that! I liked it in spite of that! And now with my new favorite food, quinoa, I can have that delicious tabouli salad with a more healthy twist! It’s a refreshing and filling salad for lunch or a side dish or just for snacking in the afternoon. I will also add crumbled feta cheese to mine for a little extra zip. You can use goat cheese if you want too, anything you like really. Just don’t go crazy and kill all the good with too much cheese. Moderation! This recipe is also one time where you should have the fresh parsley rather than dried.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

¼ cup fresh parsley, without stems

2/3 cup green onions (scallions), cut into ¼” pieces

1½ cups peeled cucumbers, cut into ¼” pieces

1½ cups chopped tomatoes, cut into ¼” pieces

1 garlic clove, minced (no garlic powder on this)

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon dried mint (optional)

½ cup crumbled light or fat-free feta cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Put quinoa in a fine strainer and rinse under running water until water runs clear. Drain well. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Quinoa will be fluffy. Chill in the refrigerator or rinse cooked quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer under COLD running water. Drain well.

2. Toss remaining ingredients with quinoa and serve!

Makes 5 cups (1 cup per serving)

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Mediterranean Omelette

Last Sunday I started out making a Greek omelette then I added a few Italian ingredients and changed the name to Mediterranean Omelette. I used real eggs in this but you can, as always, use an egg substitute. Usually on the weekends I make egg salad for John but he likes it warm (yuck) and I like it cold. So this past weekend I decided to make a large omelette we could share. It was so good I wanted more. And I am not a breakfast person! Though the gyro omelettes we had in St. Augustine at Athena’s Greek Restaurant were incredible! Nothing like it anywhere! Ok I digress…This omelette was nice and easy and since we both liked all the ingredients I could make it in one pan and just split it.

INGREDIENTS:

4 large eggs

½ cup fat-free half and half

½ cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1/3 cup red onion, chopped small

1/3 cup tomato, chopped small

1 clove garlic, chopped fine

1 teaspoon fresh basil chopped/torn

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

½ cup Light Feta Cheese (crumbled)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter/butter substitute

DIRECTIONS:

1. Beat the eggs and half and half till light and fluffy. Set aside.

2. Heat a medium skillet  and add butter and olive oil. Melt on medium heat till a little bubbly.

3. Add the onion and sauté till soft. (A few minutes) Add garlic and sauté a few more minutes.

4. Add the spinach and stir well into the onion and garlic, till warm. (a few minutes)

5. Add the egg mixture. Add the tomato and stir well.

6. Cook the eggs, letting the liquid run to the edges, constantly pulling edges away till almost all liquid is dry. Add the basil and oregano and feta cheese.

7. Gently fold over half the omelette and press gently to seal. If you wish to flip it go ahead, but this is a large omelette and it may be hard to do.

8. Cut in half and serve!

Serves 2

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Scallops ala Mediterranea

I love coming up with dishes made with those delicious bay scallops. They are so versatile and full of protein and goodness! This dish was another dinner when I had no idea what to make and just looked in the fridge and freezer to see what was there. And voilà! A great hearty protein filled dinner that was easy to make. I used a can of mushrooms in this recipe because I had them in my pantry, if I had fresh I would have used them instead. I am also a big fan of the chicken sausages out there on the market. I used the sun-dried tomato ones in this recipe. So good and less of the bad things usually in sausage. I use al Fresco brand quite a bit. They are gluten-free and no preservatives added either! If you can’t find any ingredient you can always substitute it with something you do have. No worries! The dish looks a bit like the Italian flag in color! Green, white and red! Very colorful if I do say so myself! And it is even good as leftovers, though there usually isn’t too many leftovers in my house!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound bay scallops

1 medium sweet (Vidalia) onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (draining isn’t necessary as the liquid is good for this dish)

2 chicken & sun-dried tomato sausages, sliced and cut into bite size pieces

1 cup crumbled light feta cheese (or fat-free if you can find it)

¼ cup light sour cream

4 ounce can Portobello or shiitake mushrooms

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tablespoons olive oil

Locatelli Romano cheese to top finished dish (remember we love cheese!)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large sauté pan heat olive oil and sauté onions for a few minutes till they start to soften. Add garlic and sauté till it starts getting a little translucent.

2. Add scallops and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove scallops from pan and set aside.

3. Add the chopped sausage to pan, cook for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir well, cook another 5 minutes.

4. Add the mushrooms to mix and lower the heat to medium low and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often.

5. Add the scallops back to pan, stir well. Add the tomatoes and sour cream. Stir well till heated. Add the feta cheese, stir and serve! Top with the romano cheese as needed!

Serves 2-4 (depends on how hungry you are!)

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