My Big Fat Greek Dinner

Ah yes, tis the season for a big old BBQ and dinner on the back deck. Luckily the long weekend was able to provide that for us all to enjoy. I mean it could have been warmer but I try not to be negative. I will admit I love the smell when you are walking down the street or sitting on your own back deck and you can get the subtle smell of your neighbours BBQ. There is absolutely nothing better.

To me the long weekend has always been spent at my cottage, my family always using this weekend as “opening weekend”. Ultimately this means bring clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, grab some work gloves and rubber boots because there is work to be done. As much fun as this sounds, it really makes for some great memories with the family and we all look forward to it every year.

I have always been a lover of Greek food, I think I can thank my mom for that, since I was a kid she has been making her traditional Greek salad (recipe below). It wasn’t until last year when she finally shared the secret recipe to making this salad. I kid you not, I struggle getting a Greek salad at a restaurant after having my moms for so long.

 

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Trust me when I say this, you will require a breath mint after this meal, there can never be enough garlic in one meal.

Enjoy!

Mackenzy

 

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Chicken Souvlaki

Chicken, chopped in strips

1 tbsp Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp dried oregano

Add all ingredients to a bowl or bag and let marinade.

You can either BBQ, bake or pan fry the chicken. When I cooked it recently I baked it and it was delicious.

 

Greek Potatoes

Potatoes, washed and chopped into cubes

Dried Oregano

4 garlic cloves, minced

Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place chopped potatoes into pan, drizzle olive oil over potatoes, sprinkle oregano to lightly cover top of potatoes, add minced garlic to the mixture and toss around.

Cook until a fork easily goes into a potato.

Greek Salad

My Mom’s Traditional Recipe 

Peppers, different colours, chopped in large pieces

Red onion, chopped in large pieces

Cucumber, chopped in halves

Tomato, chopped in large pieces

Black olives

Feta

Dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

Oregano, sprinkled lightly on top of dressing mixture

Add all vegetables to bowl.

Mix up dressing and add to salad and toss.

The longer it sits the better.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup of greek yogurt

Half a cucumber, chopped very fine (or grated)

A handful of fresh dill, minced

The juice of half of a lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for a couple of hours prior to the meal.

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Happy Super…bowl of Moroccan Lentil Salad

‘Tis the season for wings, beer and watching men in tight pants.

Luckily I was cheering for the Seahawks so I was pretty happy with their win on Sunday (43-8). Russell Wilson deserved the win as a young quarterback in the industry. He kept his head in the game and made some solid passes to his teammates. P.s. I am pretending to have some knowledge of the game right now.

The main attraction to the game was the Halftime Show who featured Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Bruno Mars put on a great show attracting more of an audience than the game itself  with 115 billion viewers compared to 111 billion for the game. Interesting fact, Bruno’s brother was the drummer for the show. Great job Bruno and Brother!

Instead of going with the norm and making nachos and wings for the game, I decided to opt for something more ‘me’. My mom shared the recipe for Moroccan Lentil Salad so I made my great attempt to make it. My love for lentils, chickpeas, and black beans has grown extensively this year. I will make any excuse to make something involving one of these.

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This recipe was super easy and super delicious. The lentils offered a significant amount of protein and held all the flavour possible. I don’t know about anyone else but anything with feta cheese just calls my name. Also, the freshness of the parsley and tomatoes in this salad reminded me of spring.

I was lucky enough to have spent the past weekend with my parents. My mom came baring her newest recipes to share with us and provided us with a meal on Friday night, including qunioa salad in a lettuce boat, pesto salmon, and this moroccan lentil salad. My mom and I have always shared the passion for cooking and we take any opportunity we can to create a delicious meal together.

If you have 30 mins, take the the time to prepare this delicious vegetarian salad. You’ll feel full, happy, and healthy!

Enjoy!

Mackenzy 

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Moroccan Lentil Salad

1/2 cup of dried brown lentils

2 1/2 cups of water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 plum tomato, diced

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1 1-ounce feta cheese, finely diced

3 tablespoons snipped fresh mint

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 garlic clove, pressed

Mixed baby salad greens (optional)

Paprika (optional)

Place lentils in colander; rinse and pick out any stones or other debris. Bring water to a boil in saucepan; add lentils, salt and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, 20-15 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain lentils; remove and discard by leaf. Set lentils aside to cool.

In bowl combine lentils, tomato, onion, feta, mint, and parsley. In small bowl whisk together oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and garlic until blended. Drizzle dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat. If desired, serve salad over salad greens and sprinkle with paprika.