Tag Archives: Greek

Mediterranean Dip

26 Apr

Two to Three nights a year, my family enjoys snack night for dinner.   These special occasions include Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and Super Bowl Sunday.  It is pure gluttony.  We eat with total abandon!  We all really look forward to these nights because anything goes.  However, there are a few must haves on the menu.  These include my guacamole (my 8 year old is an avocado fiend) and something with Velveeta.  We all know it isn’t a party without Velveeta.  I usually make an assortment of cold dips and hot dips.  Our proteins are usually Little Smokies and chicken wings.  But that’s not all my friends.  I have a chocolate popcorn recipe reserved just for these events.  And you know we have to have nachos.  Because I am a mom, I cut up peppers and fruit to balance out the fat.  But these go largely untouched.  And I don’t care.  This is one night were we all break the rules.  I mean we get to eat with our hands!  Plates are strictly optional.  Everyone is two -fisting it, with one fist holding dessert!  A kids dream, to eat dessert and dinner at the same time!!!!!  No one sits because we have to rotate around the table to sample everything.  Bowls, hot plates, dip bowls, chip bags and sweets litter the table to the fullest.  These are nights I never have to get after any one to eat or to stop talking.  In fact there isn’t any talking because all our mouths are crammed with deliciousness!  Alas, this doesn’t last long.  We fill up quickly.  Party comes to a halt.  We find ourselves feeling a bit down.  Partly because we are literally weighed down by all the cholesterol laden, high fat food.  And partly because this meal held such anticipation.  Come on, this is snack night after all.  We’ve cheated the norm!   Everyone backs away from the table in horror.  No one can look at whats left because then you have to face the reality of what’s been consumed.  My dog will get a few Smokies.  I keep what’s salvageable.  Somethings I cannot look at again without vomiting, therefore must be disposed of immediately.  The word Velveeta must not be ushered for another year!  Yes, we move heavily to our next activity, which hopefully involves sitting.  Rolaids is now our friend.

This year, I’ll be adding Mediterranean Dip to the rotation.  It is has a rich taste without the guilt.  Unless of course I eat it all by myself, which is certainly not out of the question.

Mediterranean Dip

8 oz package softened cream cheese

6 oz Greek style yogurt

3 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp Greek seasoning

Hummus (10oz)

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

1 cup chopped kalamata olives

1 small  cucumber diced

2 roma tomatoes diced

chopped parsly

In a bowl combine the softened cream cheese and the Greek yogurt until combined and spreadable.  Add in the garlic and the seasoning.  Spread  onto a serving plate.  Top with Hummus.  I used a traditional flavor, but you could use whatever flavor you like.  Top hummus with diced cucumber, diced tomatoes, olives and feta.  Garnish with parsley.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chicken Souvlakia (Greek Kabobs) with Tzatziki Sauce and Greek Potato Salad

6 Apr

Last time we went to visit my in laws, my mother in law shared some pages from her childhood diary.  It was great!  She revealed little snippets of her life, like what she did for fun,to  who’s house she went to play and even what she ate.  What struck us a hilarious is how often she ate ham.  There were several passages where she wrote “we had ham  It was good”.  I figured if a child recorded it in her diary, then it MUST have been really good ham!

But this got me thinking about my kids.  If they had diaries, would they record what they ate?  Perhaps they would if it were an especially delicious dessert.  But sadly, I don’t believe too many dinners leave an impression on them.  They eat my dinners because they are a means to end.  The end being dessert.   Then I thought to myself, my mother in law seemed to eat a lot of ham.  What do we eat often.  Black beans come to mind.  Mexican, Pasta, Chicken.  That last one stuck with me.  We do eat  poultry often.  How can I wow them with chicken??  The gears started turning.  Since I am Greek, I figured I should stick with what I know.   Traditionally, souvlakia is made with pork.  It is delicious!!  If you’ve never tried it, I highly suggest  you either find a great local Greek restaurant or make it yourself!   The marinade is fairly versatile, can be used with chicken easily enough.   The most time consuming part of this recipe is allowing the chicken (or pork if you wish) to marinate.  Once this is done, the meal comes together quickly.  I recommend the attached Greek Potato Salad.  And you MUST use Tzatziki Sauce!!!  I tested this meal on my 3 kids.  While they aren’t too picky, they never hold back on their critiques!  They loved it!  They ate every morsel.  I will even venture to say they’d write about it in their food diaries if they had one.   I hope you take time to try this dish.  Perhaps it will leave you saying “I had chicken.  It was good!”.

Chicken Souvlakia

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp oregeno

pepper

Tzatziki Sauce

1 6oz container of plain, Greek style yogurt

1 half cucumber peeled, seeded and grated

1 clove of garlic

1 tbs olive oil

2 tsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Cut chicken breast into chunks.  In a large ziplock bag combine marinade ingredients.  Add chicken and refrigerate 1-2 hours.  Preheat grill.  Thread chicken onto pre-soaked wooden skewers.  Discard marinade.  Grill kabobs on medium high for 8-9 minutes per side or until juices run clear.

For the sauce:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 4

  

Greek Style Potato Salad

3 medium baking potatoes, cleaned and cubed ( I leave the peels on, but this is a personal preference)

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 cucumber peeled and diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbs Feta Cheese

Boil potatoes in water 10 minutes until fork tender.  Drain and return to pan.  Add olive oil and stir to coat.  Place potatoes in your serving bowl.  Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and Feta Cheese, stir until combined.

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