All posts tagged: lent

Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup)

Considered a national dish of Greece, fasolada represents the country’s frugal and healthy style of cuisine all in one bowl. Made with a hearty combination of white beans, chopped vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, a handful of herbs, and a robust sauce, fasolada is a meal meant to last for days. Though fasolada is traditionally a thick soup, I like more sauce to mine, as I do with most soups and stews, because that equals more opportunity for bread dunking. And who doesn’t love carbs soaked in sauce? Complement fasolada with a salty side dish, such as anchovies, feta cheese or your favorite olive type. Save Print Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup) Recipe type: Vegetarian/Lenten Serves: 6-8 bowls   Fasolada, the national dish of Greece. Ingredients 16 oz white navy beans (I prefer medium or large sized) ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 yellow onions, diced 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds 4 celery stalks plus their leaves, chopped 5 garlic cloves, minced 16 oz tomato sauce (or tomato passata) 2 tablespoon tomato paste 6 …

Kolokithopita (Zucchini Pie)

KOLOKITHOPITA (ko-lo-kee-THO-pee-tah) is similar to the popular spanakopita (spinach pie) and basically just substitutes zucchini for spinach. My own recipe calls for the addition of more herbs and a sassy combination of cheese to make it stand out. Just combine zucchini, onions and three different herbs for this aromatic and savory pie. What a fantastic method of using in-season vegetables and herbs! Adding feta and Parmesan puts the icing on the cake—or should I say, the filling in the kolokithopita pie. Save Print Kolokithopita (Zucchini Pie) Recipe type: Main/Side/Vegetarian Serves: 9×13 pie   Greek zucchini pie Ingredients 4-5 medium zucchini, grated (about 2 pounds) 6 green onions, finely chopped ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped ½ cup fresh dill, chopped 1 cup fresh mint, chopped 2 cups feta cheese, crumbled ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 4 eggs, beaten Salt and pepper, to taste 1 package of phyllo dough (I use store bought) ½ cup olive oil, for oiling the pan and phyllo sheets Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and grate the zucchini (skins on, stem discarded). …

Fakes (Greek Lentil Soup)

As a nutritionist (I minor in nutrition and master in googling information), I recommend FAKES SOUPA or simply FAKES (pronounced fah-kess). This Greek staple is definitely a favorite in my diet because I know just how incredibly healthy lentils are. If I woke up tomorrow and suddenly stopped liking fakes (not possible), I would still eat the soup for the health benefits alone. Lentils may seem small but they are a massive nutritional powerhouse. They’re packed with protein and fiber and are low in fat. They’re rich with vitamins and minerals. They can reduce LDL cholesterol and can cut the risk of heart disease. They provide a great energy boost. It’s a nice bonus that lentils taste really, really good. Add vegetables like onions, celery and carrots, and you have a healthy bang for your buck. You can fuel up on fakes any time of year. A big bowl of fakes will comfort you when it’s cold and will keep you full during days that are meant for fasting from meat. Fakes require little effort …

Spanakorizo (Spinach and Rice)

Spanakorizo has become an instant favorite of every single mouth I’ve fed it to. The style my mom grew up with included tomato paste and you’ll often see other recipes that will include a tomato sauce to the dish. That is something you can add on your own as well as you find new flavors you like. I don’t include a tomato sauce in mine, and I have officially won over my mom with this one. Served as a side or main dish, it’s simplicity and taste will surely be on the menu for many occasions to come.   Save Print Spanakorizo (Spinach and Rice) Author: Eleni Salad Recipe type: Main Course/Vegetarian Cuisine: Greek Serves: 4-6   Whip spanakorizo up in a matter of minutes. Served as a side or main dish, it’s simplicity and taste will surely be on the menu for many occasions to come. Ingredients ½ cup long grain white rice ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ yellow onion, finely chopped 2 green onions, finely chopped 5 cloves of garlic, minced 2 bunches of spinach, …

Briam (Roasted Vegetables)

Where do you see yourself in five years? That’s a standard go-to question for interviewers, strangers trying to get to know you, and family members when you’re graduating High School or College. So, you make something up like I did. If you asked me that question five years ago, walking on the moon would’ve been a more likely answer than what I’m doing now–writing about vegetables. Five years ago I hated vegetables. I would spend hours at the dinner table avoiding anything green and colorful, meanwhile wishing I were up in space eating packaged space food. Thankfully, my dad is so stubborn about Greek food it was only a matter of time I finally began eating and enjoying healthy Greek dishes. Now I even write about how much I enjoy vegetables. One of my favorite Greek vegetable dishes is Briam. It’s a traditional dish that’s simple, tasty, and can be enjoyed year round, though it is mostly considered a summer dish when the freshest vegetables come farm to table, or from your garden. You can find many …

The Wednesday & Friday Fast

The fastest way (no pun intended) to cause your coworkers, friends, and even family to think you’re a weirdo is to tell them that you are fasting. They all might assume that you’re ultra religious, you’re on the latest fad cleanse or that you’re heading into surgery tomorrow. But what if you followed a fasting diet and none of that were true? Remember, in chapter one of my blog I told you we will share healthy lifestyle tips and ideas to follow that will balance out our crazy Greek lifestyles. This week I will talk about fasting. But it will be fasting with a purpose. It doesn’t have to be religious, but if you choose to make it religious, that’s up to you. The fact is, even small amounts of fasting provide health benefits. Trust me, you are not going to starve. I have a cousin who is a Greek Orthodox Monk, and he follows a strict Orthodox fast for six months out of the year. I won’t suggest you do that either. Some fasts …

Horta (Greens)

We Greeks all know HORTA (χορτα). The Greek comedian Basile cracks me up with his stories of remembering his family road trips when his yiayia would suddenly break the silence with a shriek:  “Χορτα, χορτα!” The car screeched to a stop and the family followed yiayia into a nearby field to hack away at common roadside weeds. To her they were a treasure. Later that night, Basile and company ate endless amounts of horta at the laden dinner table. I don’t know what type of horta Basile’s yiayia saw but in springtime in Utah, Greeks still pull over for vrouves or seenapies (two members of the wild mustard family) springing up among other types of local greens. In Crete, over 300 types of horta grow in the wild, each with its own different flavor and each available during different seasons. Horta is still served with nearly every meal. When I first learned the word horta I immediately learned another Greek word at the same time—οχι (no). Thanks to horta, I hated nearly all vegetables. Macaroni and cheese is way cooler than horta, any school …