All posts filed under: Eleni’s Recipes

Arakas Latheros (Pea and Potato Stew)

Think you need to cut carbs to lead a sound diet? Think again. Vegetables are a great source of healthy carbs, and the combinations are endless. Arakas latheros (pea stew) is a Mediterranean staple with peas prepared in rich tomato sauce, herbs, carrots and potatoes. Arakas latheros is healthy, flavorful and simple as it is delicious. Save Print Pea and Potato Stew Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Lenten/Vegetarian Serves: 4-6   Ingredients 16 ounces peas (frozen or fresh)* 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced 6 cloves garlic, chopped 1 large carrot, sliced (about 1 cup) 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1⁄4 cup white wine (optional) ¾ cup vegetable broth ½ cup fresh dill, chopped 2 teaspoons oregano Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions In a large pot, heat olive oil over low heat and add onions and carrots. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for 5 more minutes. Add potatoes …

Greek Olive Tapenade

Chunky texture with robust flavor, mixed Greek olive spread is the perfect dip to keep on hand. The only con about this dish is that I never make enough of it. Spread on sandwiches or serve with your favorite cracker type, vegetable, or bread. Save Print Greek Olive Tapenade Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Dip Prep time:  5 mins Cook time:  5 mins Total time:  10 mins   Ingredients 2 cups (16 ounces) pitted Kalamata olives ¼ cup (2 ounces) pitted green olives* 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 basil leaves, lightly chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Instructions Drain the olives and finely chop into consistent small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the olives, garlics, basil, and oregano. Mix well.** Stir in olive oil and red wine vinegar and serve. Notes **For an extra bite and color, use pimento stuffed olives.**You can also pulse all your ingredients in a food processor, but I have found chopping by hand works best and creates a better texture. 3.5.3229 …

Vegan Paximadia

Nistisima Paximadia (Vegan Biscotti) is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth during Orthodox Lent. Made by substituting bananas in lieu of dairy products, this treat is arguably better than the real thing. Save Print Vegan Paximadia Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Vegan/Dessert Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  40 mins Total time:  50 mins Serves: 4 loaves   Ingredients 1 cup vegetable oil ¾ cup orange juice 1 ½ cups sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 small overripe banana 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 teaspoons baking powder 5-5 ½ cups sifted flour 1 cup dark chocolate chips or sliced almonds (if preferred) Instructions Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets and set aside. Peel the banana and mash well into a large mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl and beat well with a whisk or an electric hand mixer. Beat well until smooth. Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder) and add slowly fold into mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Make sure the ingredients are combined …

Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup uses a little this and a little of that. My papou (grandfather) Pete Saltas would make it using whatever vegetables he found in the kitchen. Some call this the “kitchen-sink soup” because everything and anything goes in (except the kitchen sink). To make this soup, start by giving the base vegetables a quick sauté, then just keep adding veggies to create layers of flavors. Don’t put everything in the pot at once and try to let each vegetable or vegetable combos cook alone for awhile before adding the next one. And as you should always do with soups or stews, the trick is to simmer your meal low and slow so flavors blend together. A Greek cook might call this process pantremeni, which means “to be married.” Start with tougher vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and cabbage, and then add those that take less time to cook such as mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini. For the broth, use a combination of vegetable stock, tomato sauce, olive oil and water. Depending on your own tastes, you …

Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

When you’re short on time and don’t want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition, quickly whip up sautéed mushrooms and onions. With the versatility of mushrooms, you can serve this dish in almost any way you can imagine–eaten plain, on toast, atop steaks, in pasta–sautéed mushrooms and onions is a winner every time. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound mushrooms ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon Oregano 1 sprig fresh thyme ½ cup vegetable oil or white wine Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped Directions: 1. Thoroughly wash and drain the mushrooms. 2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once warm, add mushrooms and thyme. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook in pan for 3-5 minutes. 3. Add onions and garlic and allow to cook together for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Add the vegetable oil, give the pan a stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook on low to medium heat for 8-10 …

Grandma Noodle Soup

Grandma’s chicken noodle soup is easy, creamy, delicious, and full of great flavors. Best on a cold winter day, or when you’re in need of a hearty comfort meal. Ingredients: 32 ounces chicken broth* 1 pound Grandma’s wide egg noodles** 1 cup chicken breast, diced or shredded into bite sized cubes 3 stocks celery, diced (about ¾ cup) 1 cup carrots, sliced into rounds ½ yellow onion, diced salt and pepper, to taste 2 fresh lemons, juiced *If soup looks too thick, add more broth, or water. When reheating the soup, you will also need more broth or water, as the soup will thicken as it sits. **Grandma’s wide egg noodles are typically found in the frozen section at grocery stores. Directions: 1. Bring chicken broth to boil and add the diced chicken breast and bring to a boil. 2. Add the celery, carrots, and onion to the pot and cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. 3. When the chicken is nearly done, stir in the lemon juice. 4. Add the egg noodles, …

Vasilopita (New Year’s Cake)

When the clock strikes 12:01 into the New Year or any time on New Year’s Day, many Greeks will slice into a vasilopita, a New Year’s cake made with the typical fixings of a cake (flour, sugar, eggs), and spiced with orange juice or the baker’s choice of add ins (raisins, walnuts, mastiha are all common). A layer of powdered sugar dusts the top of the cake once cooled. Traditionally, a coin is inserted into the cake either before or after baking. When it comes time to serve, the fortunate individual who finds a coin in their slice (careful when eating!), will have luck for the rest of the year. Happy New Year! καλή χρόνια Ingredients: ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature ½ cup canola oil or vegetable oil 1 ½ cups sugar 3 eggs 1 ½ cups orange juice (preferably fresh if available) 1 orange zest 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon nutmeg Powdered sugar, for dusting Directions: 1. Preheat oven …

Tirokroketes (Fried Cheese Balls)

Gooey on the inside, crunchy on the outside, tirokroketes (fried cheese balls) is an  irresistible appetizer that will leave guests wanting more. For this dish, I use three different types of cheese: feta, graviera, and gouda. The three types play well together and creates great flavor. Eat plain, dunk in your favorite dipping sauce, or squeeze a lemon on top before serving and enjoy! Save Print Tirokroketes (Fried Cheese Balls) Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Meze/Appetizer Serves: 14-16 balls   Ingredients 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled 4 oz graviera cheese, grated* 4 oz gouda, grated 1 egg and 1 egg white ¼ cup milk ½ teaspoon paprika pepper, to taste all-purpose flour, for dredging vegetable oil, for frying Instructions In a mixing bowl, add the feta, graviera, gouda, eggs, and milk. Combine mixture well and season with pepper and paprika. If the mixture looks too runny, add in bread crumbs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to allow the mixture to firm up. When the cheese mixture is ready, add some …

Zucchini Bread

You can always tell it’s the end of the summer by the amount of zucchini bread being made or gifted. The motivation to utilize zucchini in different ways is much higher towards the beginning of the summer, and then suddenly it seems like the zucchini production has tripled and we’re all juggling zucchini. That’s when zucchini bread comes into play. Packed with shredded zucchini, chopped walnuts, and all the right spices, zucchini bread is a delicious and quick way to use up any garden zucchini. Plus, this bread freezes well so you can enjoy zucchini the tastes of summer all year long. Ingredients: 3 cups zucchini, grated (skins on) 3 large eggs 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar (compacted) 1 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon vanilla 3 cups flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 3 teaspoons cinnamon 1 cup chopped walnuts *1 cup chocolate chips (optional) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour loaf pans (batter should make two 8×4 inch pans). 2. Beat …

Greek Bruschetta

Sunday dinners are my favorite. Sundays mean I have more time to carefully prepare a dinner for my family, rather than rushing after work to whip something up. I like to thoughtfully put a meal together. Sunday also means my yiayia is usually over at our house. One night, not even ten minutes before dinner was to be served, my yiayia asked me if we were having dakos (an appetizer with a rusk bread, tomatoes, and soft mizithra cheese). I shook my head no, and the playful smile left my yiayias face. That look of disappointment is something I never want to see again—I had to do something about it—and fast. Though dakos is easy to make, I didn’t have the ingredients for the dish on hand. As I frantically combed through my kitchen I found pita bread, tomatoes and feta cheese—basic staples in a Greek kitchen. Plus, out of luck, a coworker had sent me home with fresh basil that day. That was all I needed to make a Greek style bruschetta. Bruschetta is like …