Lemon & Feta Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes get a bright, sunny lift from lemons and feta cheese. Russet potatoes are tossed in an olive oil dressing that has both lemon zest and juice, mustard, Parmesan cheese, dried thyme and oregano then baked until crusty and browned.

To finish, they’re tossed with more lemon juice and crumbled feta cheese.

All together they make a perfect trio.

Lemon and Feta Roasted Potatoes

Do you want to know my secrets for getting the potatoes so dark and crusty? … 

Read More »

Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Lemon Chicken Salad

A Greek inspired pasta salad with bright and sunny flavors! Lemon-marinated chicken is tossed with pasta, feta cheese, tomatoes, zucchini or cucumber, red onion and almonds in a tangy lemon dressing.

The lemon dressing also serves as a marinade. A small amount of it is removed and poured over the chicken before grilling or baking. It’s made of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and zest, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, thyme and oregano. So good, you could almost drink it. It helps tenderize the chicken and keep it juicy.

I don’t know if I ever shared my secret for juicy chicken every, single time without fail…. 

Read More »

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked Greek Meatballs

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

The delectable meatballs come together quickly in one bowl and bake up nicely on an olive oil greased baking sheet. They brown and take on a little crispiness with tender, flavorful insides that stay moist thanks to the Greek yogurt and onion. You can’t taste the Greek yogurt in the final product and you can substitute with sour cream or milk if you like. While they’re baking you can throw together the couscous, tiny orbs of pasta that cook in mere minutes.

The couscous is one of the easiest sides in existence to make using just one-bowl and ten minutes of time to prepare including prep. It’s made by combining finely chopped baby spinach, red onions and couscous in a bowl then pouring hot water over it. Cover the bowl and five, magic minutes later you can fluff it up, mix in a little Parmesan, give it a squirt of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil for a side dish that’s ready to serve with just about anything. It’s good in a pinch and tastes like you went to more trouble than you really did.

Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce traditionally made with Greek yogurt. For a richer sauce I make mine with sour cream or sometimes a mix of both, plus dill, garlic and lemon. It’s cool, creamy, tangy, and a little sweet from the dill weed. You should make the sauce first so the flavors have a little time to marry.

You can serve these layered in bowls the way I did – and loved – or stuff them into pita pockets or wraps. You can just make the meatballs (or use the leftovers) and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with pasta. They would make great appetizers too! Stick a toothpick in them with the sauce on the side for dipping and you’re good to go.

They will disappear fast no matter how you chose to serve them.

Like all tasty things it’s hard to eat just one.

Greek Meatballs with Spinach Couscous

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach, and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

INGREDIENTS:

tzatziki:
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced, remove the seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 - 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
a couple pinches each salt and pepper
meatballs:
olive oil, for greasing pan
2 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, sour cream or milk
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
couple pinches of nutmeg or cinnamon
1 cup crumbled feta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides generously with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. Add the remaining meatball and use a fork or your hands to combine. Form into balls one to one and a half inches wide. Place on baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake 12 - 18 minutes until cooked in the middle. Break one open to check.
  4. Meanwhile make the couscous. The recipe is below this one.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 + 1/2 cups couscous (like this )
1 + 3/4 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
a handful of pine nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make stacks of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips lengthwise then cut the strips across into tiny pieces.
  2. Add them to a heat safe large bowl with the onion and couscous.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with a plate or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit five minutes.
  4. After five minutes fluff up the couscous with a fork.
  5. Add the parmesan, lemon and oil and work it in with a fork until it's evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Greek Mac and Cheese

Greek Mac 'n' Cheese

This mac & cheese starts with classic white cheddar cheese and then hands it a Greek twist with feta cheese, baby spinach, roasted red peppers, dill weed and cinnamon. Yes, you read that right. Cinnamon. It joins forces with all the other flavors and kind of fades into the background so it doesn’t jump right out at you.

At first bite you taste the creamy richness of the sauce peppered with the salty bite of feta followed by the brininess of jarred red peppers and tender baby spinach. There’s a little touch of sweetness from the dill weed and cinnamon. All of it wrapped around chewy elbow macaroni.

I’ll let you in on a macaroni & cheese secret. One I learned from my Mom. Because I like you lots and lots. Instead of mixing the cheese sauce into the macaroni and then pouring it into your casserole dish, put the macaroni in the casserole dish and pour the sauce over top. It will turn out a lot creamier and less dry. I think it’s because the macaroni doesn’t have a chance to soak up the sauce as much as when it’s mixed in. I tested this theory when I first started making mac & cheese – mine wasn’t turning out as good as my Mom’s – this is why. You can use this technique with any mac & cheese recipe. It will look you have too much sauce but it will soak in as it bakes. Trust me.

Anyhoo, this takes more time to prep than it does to bake. It’s time well spent. Trust me. You start by sauteing onion, garlic and red peppers then you make the cheese sauce while the macaroni cooks. The cheese sauce has butter, flour, dijon, milk and lots of white cheddar cheese. The feta, spinach, dill, cinnamon and cooked aromatics get mixed into the sauce then poured over the cooked pasta, topped with panko for a little bit of crunch and baked.

Twenty five minutes later the most comforting and delicious tasting mac & cheese you will ever want to meet will come out of your oven.

Trust me.

Greek Mac and Cheese

Greek Mac & Cheese

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 servings as a side dish

Greek Mac & Cheese

This mac & cheese starts with classic white cheddar cheese and then hands it a Greek twist with feta cheese, baby spinach, roasted red peppers, dill weed and cinnamon.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots or 1 small red onion, diced
1 (jarred) roasted red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 + 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
3 cups baby spinach leaves
8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and saute the shallots, red pepper, garlic, a big pinch of salt and a dash of black pepper until tender, stirring often about 7 - 8 minutes. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same pan over low heat melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring 4 - 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and mustard then turn the heat up. Bring to a simmer, still stirring and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Turn heat down to low and whisk in the dill weed, cinnamon, nutmeg and cheddar. Stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the onion mixture, feta and spinach. Taste and season lightly with salt and heavy with black pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water to al dente. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 or similar sized casserole pan.
  5. Drain the pasta and add half to the buttered casserole pan. Ladle half the sauce over it. Add the rest of the pasta and then top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top with panko.
  6. Bake 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let sit 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Adapted from Saveur

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-mac-and-cheese/

Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad

A simple summer salad with quinoa, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and olives dressed in lemon and olive oil with fresh herbs like dill, mint and parsley. All the flavors I crave at this time of the year.

Whether fresh from the backyard garden or the farmer’s market… 

Read More »

Greek Pita Bread, Chickpea and Feta Salad

A Greek twist on one of my favorites, Panzanella or bread salad. With toasted pita bread, chickpeas, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and red onions tossed all together with a sunny lemon vinaigrette. A flavor fest…. 

Read More »