Skip to main content

Greek Rice Salad

Much like George (Can't stand ya) Costanza, I think I was born with an "opposite" gene. My sense of direction ( or lack of) is legendary. Whenever I walk out of a store or restaurant, nine times out of ten, I will walk in the opposite direction, while the person accompanying me will just stand there and watch, sadly shaking their head. Cold medication will keep me awake all night. "Action" movies will put me to sleep. When my son was younger, we would often go to these action- packed movies and I would always  fall asleep. Every single time.

So, while most people are still enjoying the cozy, hearty, stick-to-the-ribs, comfort foods of winter, I am craving all things summery: tropical fruits, corn on the cob, cilantro, summer rolls, lobster and anything Vietnamese, Mexican or Greek inspired.

I don't think I have ever mentioned it here before, but I used to cook in a Greek restaurant. Everyday I would have the same thing for lunch: rice mixed with Greek salad and a mini-chicken skewer with a  spoonful of tzatziki on the side. Seriously, I must have had this exact thing at least 100 times. I discovered that mixing rice and Greek salad together is really a delicious combination. Rice on its own can be kind of boring, and I find a lot of  salad dressings are too tart for my personal taste, but when you combine them together they really balance each other out.

Greek Rice Salad
(I don't really measure anything when making a salad, just a handful of this, a sprinkle of that)
cooked rice, brown or white
grape tomatoes, sliced in half
cucumber, peeled and chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
red onion, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
feta, crumbled
Kalamata olives
chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Mix together with Greek dressing.

Greek dressing

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
4 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3/4  tsp.  dried oregano
4 Tbsp. canola oil
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar, if desired
Combine in a glass jar with lid. Shake well.

Popular posts from this blog

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Button Bones

Button bones are very similar to spareribs, but have a flat, circular bone. A quick Wikipedia check tells me that they are  taken from the bottom 5 or 6 bones located underneath the rib cage. I think button bones sound like something in a children's nursery rhyme - "Have you seen the button bones.. the button bones...the button bones... La La Laaaaa

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Button Bones
servings: 4
recipe source: Beer. Butter. Bacon

2 tsp. Sambal Olek
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. Sriracha
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper
1 lb. pork button bones
sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnishing
Pour all ingredients in a large plastic zip lock bag. Marinade in fridge 6-8 hours. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet 40-50 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Turn often during cooking.

Tags: Asian, Button Bones, Pork

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic

Traditionally, Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple dish made with heavy cream, lots of butter, lots of Parmigiano Cheese and pasta.  Delicious? Yes!   Figure friendly? No!   A couple of months ago, I would have had no problem inhaling a big bowl of this buttery, cheesy goodness, but times have changed and I am now really trying to be aware of every bite of food that I eat. Whenever I am contemplating eating higher calorie foods, I ask myself - " Is it worth the calories?" The answer is almost always no. I have discovered that I can make a healthier, lower calorie version of almost any dish that I am craving, that tastes just as good- if not better- than the original.

Light Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic
serves: 3 to 4

1 tsp. olive oil
2 whole heads of garlic, roasted and peeled
4 oz. light cream cheese, cut into cubes ( let cream cheese come to room temp.)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano, plus extra …

Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms

Pasta alla Carbonara - literally translated is"Coal Miner's Spaghetti" in Italian. Carbonara is a classic Italian dish  that is quick, relatively simple and requires only a few key ingredients; pasta, cured pork, eggs and cheese.
Timing is everything when it comes to making the perfect carbonara. Toss the hot pasta with the raw eggs and cheese, add a bit of the starchy cooking liquid and stir vigorously until a creamy sauce is achieved. This is the tricky part -  the pasta has to be as hot as possible, but removed from the heat or it will scramble the eggs. If the pasta isn't hot enough, the eggs won't be cooked and you will be left with a soupy mess. Salmonella is never a popular guest at a dinner party.

Have a hot date coming up? Pull this one out of your bag of tricks and you are going to look like a culinary rock star. Move over Mario Batali!

Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms
(serves 2 -3)

3 strips center cut bacon, chopped
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1/2 small…