Greek island food

October 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

greek wrap

After a couple days with my friends in Rome, I hoped on a cruise that sailed through the Mediterranean. Our first stop was in Santorini, Greece, the idyllic island with the famous blue domed churches. We climbed a staircase for about 20 minutes in the hot sun and had to dodge donkeys on the way. The view from the top was spectacular and perfect for a honeymooning couple.

We walked around the island and when hunger struck, I tried to find a falafel. For some reason, every donair shop was out so I just got a plain vegetable wrap. The pita was warm, chewy and soft and the vegetables were crisp and refreshing. The tahini and tzatziki sauce were tasty on the fries.

Lily in Santorini

A few days later we stopped on the famous party island of Mykonos. We found a nice restaurant in the village near the pier and enjoyed a feast. I ordered a few items that I had never tried before and was very excited for the authentic meal. We got a delicious beet salad with yogurt and dill that was creamy but very light.

The next appetizer that I tried was the zucchini fritters. They were in a thick batter and a bit chewy with a crunchy exterior. They were much heavier than the beet salad. One of my favourites was the fried feta which came with onions, peppers and zucchini fried in with the cheese which we ate on bread. Wow, it was amazing. The cheese thickened a bit and was slightly stringy and the flavours of the veggies were infused into the cheese.

mykonos meal

The last item that we ordered was a big flop. We ordered a strong cheese which came on top of bread with slices of tomatoes and tzatziki on the side. We all found the cheese unbearably overpowering and let it be. The cheese was so strong that I could not even get the taste out of my mouth the next day. I had an amazing time in Greece and have always loved their food. I can’t wait to find these new recipes.

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Apple Carrot Beet Juice

June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

apple beet carrot juice

For Mother’s Day, I got a beautiful new juicer and it has become my best friend. I have fallen back in love with juicing and make this staple drink regularly. I usually add apples or beets to most juices to add sweetness and cut any strong flavour from other veggies. The ginger adds quite a kick and is great for detoxing the system.

Ingredients:
5 carrots
1 small beet
2 apples
1 stalk kale/chard
1/2 inch piece of ginger

Juice the ingredients in a juicer and enjoy!

Mixed Green Salad with Beets, Blueberries and Walnuts

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Salads that eat like a meal, like this one here, can be healthy snacks that tie down your appetite between meals. The combination of the sweet beets and blueberries with the savoury feta and walnuts, creates contrasting flavours that satisfies the palate. In the summer when I want something light for dinner, I often make this salad.

Prep time 10 minutes
Makes 1 salad

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) mixed greens
1/4 cup (60 ml) boiled and sliced beets
1/4 cup (60 ml) cherry tomatoes
1/8 cup (30 ml) feta (optional)
1/8 cup (30 ml) blueberries
1/8 cup (30 ml) roughly chopped walnuts.

Method:
1. Arrange the ingredients on a salad plate in the order listed above.
2. Drizzle with your favourite dressing and enjoy.

Root Vegetable Hashbrowns

February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

These root vegetable hash browns are much healthier than eating just regular potatoes. For this recipe I use beets, purple and red potatoes and carrots. These hash browns are full of flavour and much lighter than the regular ones. Plus you still get that satisfying feeling after you eat them. I serve these on the side of tofu omelettes and sometimes eat them alone as a snack.

Cooking time 45 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) beets
2 cups (500 ml) purple potatoes
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) carrots
3 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp (1 ml) tumeric
1/8 tsp (1 ml) oregano
1/2 tsp (3 ml) salt

Directions:
1. Rinse and scrub the root vegetables with a brush.
2. Boil water in a kettle and transfer to a stock pot, this uses less energy.
3. Bring the water to a boil and add the beets.
4. Cook for the beets for about 10 – 15 minutes and then add the potatoes.
5. When a thin knife slides into the potatoes easily and when the potatoes are still firm add the carrots.
6. Cook for about 3-5 minutes and then drain the vegetables. Cut
7. Heat a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat and add the olive oil.
8. Add the beets and cook for about 3 minutes.
9. Add the potatoes and drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Grab the handle of the pan and toss the vegetables, this will make the veggies crispy on the outside.
10. Add the carrots and another 1 tbsp of olive oil. Toss the vegetables.
11. When the vegetables are nearly roasted add the spices, toss and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers with Beets, Kale and Walnuts

February 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

These peppers take a bit of time to make but when you sit down to eat them, you realize that they are worth it. To save time cook the beets in advance. I boil a batch of beets and store them in my fridge so they are ready for use. It is important to cut the ingredients in this recipe into really small pieces so that the peppers will stuff easily and not break. You can enjoy these peppers for a snack by themselves or  serve as a main with a side.

Makes 6 halves
Prep time 25 minutes
Baking time 20 mins
Preheat oven 375 degrees

Ingredients:
3 peppers cut in half and seeded
tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) cumin seeds
2 tbsp (30 ml) diced onions
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped kale or broccoli
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiled beets cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup (125 ml) corn
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts
1 tsp (5 ml) oregano
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) cooked quinoa or rice
1 cup (250 ml) grated vegan or dairy mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:
1. Bring water to boil in a kettle. Place the peppers in a bowl and add the boiling water. Soak for about 15 minutes or until the peppers soften but are still firm. Drain the peppers and place on an aluminum foil lined baking tray.

2. Add olive oil to a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat. When hot add the cumin and cook until it starts to pop. Then add the onions and sauté until they caramelize.

3. Add the kale/broccoli and cook until soft. Then add the rest of the veggies and cook they are soft.

4. Add the walnuts and spices. Mix the veggie mixture and cook for about another minute.

5. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add 1/2 cup of cheese. Add the rice and stir.

6. Carefully stuff each pepper and place back on the tray. Sprinkle each pepper with cheese.

7. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the peppers are roasted. Lightly broil to melt the cheese.

Balsamic and grated red beet mung bean dahl served on a bed of quinoa

May 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

Grated red beets add colour and flavour to this contemporary spin on the traditional Indian staple dahl, lentil stew. Dahl can be eaten as a main dish or served as an accompaniment to any Indian meal.

Serves 4
Cooking time 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup (250 ml) organic dried mung beans
7 cups (1.75 L) water
1 cup (250 ml) quinoa
2 cups (500 ml) water
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 ml) black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp (2 ml) cumin seeds
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp (5 ml) minced ginger (optional)

¼ cup (50 ml) chopped red onion
1/3 tsp (1 ml) turmeric
½ cup (125 ml) red beet grated
1 tbsp (15 ml) sea salt
balsamic vinegar
½ cup (125 ml) chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions:
1.a Measure 1 cup of dried mung beans

1.b  Rinse mung beans in a medium pot and add 7 cups (1.75 L) water.

1.c Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook until lentils split, 20-25 minutes.

2. Rinse quinoa in a medium pot, add 2 cups (500 ml) water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until done, 15 minutes.

3. Grate 1 small beet and set aside.

4.a In a small saucepan on medium heat add oil. When oil is hot, add black mustard seeds and cumin.

4.b When the seeds start to pop, add the garlic and ginger (optional) and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the red onion and sauté until brown approximately 1 minute.

4.c  Add turmeric and stir quickly being careful not to burn the onion mixture. Immediately add grated beets and stir.

5. a Add beet mixture and sea salt to pot of lentils.

5.b Turn off heat and stir in cilantro (optional).

5.c Serve on a bed of quinoa. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and garnish with grated red beets and chopped cilantro.

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