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This past week, my husband Klint and I enjoyed a Greek inspired meal at my sister’s house with her family.  I actually did some research on traditional Grecian cuisine and culture to make up this delightful menu, that’s great for your heart, taste buds and swimming suit season.

I’ve also included a handy grocery list below to make it even easier to whip up this meal anytime!

MEDITERRANEAN SALAD ~ IN A LETTUCE BOWL

GRILLED GREEK CHICKEN SKEWERS

PITA CHIPS with TZATZIKI YOGURT DIP

and ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS

The grocery list to create entire meal…including items for an optional dessert (sorry, I forgot the pics of the best part of the meal, the dessert was Orange & Raisin Creamy Rice Pudding):

Greek Meal Grocery List

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 large english or hothouse, seedless cucumber (usually wrapped in plastic or regular deseeded cucumber)
  • 1 head of lettuce (bibb or iceberg, to line bowl)
  • 3.5 oz pkg reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1 pkg multigrain or wheat pita bread (look for about 160 calories per pita flat)
  • 1 cup (or 3 cups if making dessert) container plain, nonfat, Greek yogurt
  • 1 jar kalmata olives, pit removed (or 4 oz can sliced black olives)
  • 1 – 15 oz can garbanzo (chickpea) beans
  • 28 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 breasts 4.5 oz each)
  • Fresh dill, parsley and basil (or dried)
  • 1 container hummus, any flavor (I used store-bought, Athenos roasted red pepper, or make my recipe: https://repurposedlife.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/roasted-red-pepper-and-garlic-hummus/ )
  • 12 wooden skewers

Pantry Staples (if you don’t have you’ll need to add to grocery list)

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Milk, nonfat
  • Head of fresh garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cooked brown rice, raisins, sugar, milk, vanilla extract, almond extract and 1 orange (if making dessert)

MEDITERRANEAN SALAD ~ serves 8

prep time: 20 minutes + refrigeration

  • 2 cups CUCUMBER, ENGLISH/SEEDLESS, chopped (about 3/4 of whole cucumber)
  • 12 oz CHERRY TOMATOES, halved
  • 1/2 medium RED ONION, chopped
  • 1 large GREEN PEPPER, chopped
  • 15 oz GARBANZO BEANS (CHICKPEAS), (1 can – rinsed & drained)
  • 20 olives KALAMATA OLIVES, halved, pit removed
  • 3.5 oz FETA CHEESE, REDUCED FAT, crumbled
  • 1/2 LEMON, JUICED
  • 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, 100% first cold pressed unrefined
  • 2 tbsp RED WINE VINEGAR
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, finely minced or grated
  • 1 3/4 tsp OREGANO, FRESH, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp BASIL, FRESH, snipped
  • 2 tbsp PARSLEY, FRESH, chopped, (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

1. Whisk olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently to coat. Taste and add more seasoning, salt or pepper if to taste. Refrigerate until serving (great made ahead and refrigerated for a few hours).

3. Layer a large salad bowl with lettuce leaves (such as bibb lettuce) and fill with salad to serve. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serving size: about 3/4 cup salad.  Each person can take a lettuce leaf to serve salad on if desired.

Not a fan of olive or feta? Omit olives and add extra tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  Just as delicious!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 160 calories, 8g fat, 2g sat fat, <5mg cholesterol, 15g carb, 6g fiber, 3g sugar, 6g protein

GRILLED GREEK CHICKEN SKEWERS ~ serves 6

prep time: 10 minutes + marinating time

cook time: 12-16 minutes grilling

  • 28 oz CHICKEN BREASTS, BONELESS, SKINLESS, (or 6 breasts)
  • 3/4 cup BALSAMIC VINEGAR
  • 1 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 4 cloves GARLIC, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium RED ONION, roughly chopped
  • 1 LEMON, JUICED
  • 1 1/2 tsp OREGANO, dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp SALT, SEA
  • 1 tsp BLACK PEPPER, GROUND
  • 12 WOODEN SKEWERS

1. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place in a large, plastic zip top bag with remaining ingredients. Seal and rotate to coat chicken well with marinade. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Soak wooden skewers in water (so they don’t burn on grill).

2. Thread each marinated chicken breast half on a skewer. Place on an oiled indoor or outdoor grill. Season with salt and pepper as they cook. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side, or until no longer pink. Serving size: 2 skewers.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 150 calories, 2.5g fat, 50mg cholesterol, 7g carb, 0g sugar, 27g protein

PITA CHIPS with TZATZIKI YOGURT DIP ~ makes 36 pita chips

prep time: 10 minutes

bake time: 6-8 minutes

  • 1 pkg MULTIGRAIN or WHEAT PITA BREAD
  • 1 cup PLAIN GREEK YOGURT, NONFAT
  • 2/3 cup CUCUMBER, SEEDLESS/HOTHOUSE, shredded (or remaining 1/4 of cucumber from salad)
  • 1 tsp GARLIC POWDER
  • 2 tsp FRESH LEMON JUICE (from other half used in salad)
  • 1 tbsp MILK, NONFAT
  • 3/4 tsp SALT, SEA
  • 1/4 tsp BLACK PEPPER, GROUND
  • 1 tbsp FRESH DILL, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tbsp FRESH PARSLEY, chopped, (or 1 tsp dried)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut each pita bread, with a knife or pizza cutter, into 6 wedges.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and starting to crisp.

2.  Whisk all remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl until well combined.  Taste, and add extra seasonings to taste, if desired.  Garnish with fresh parsley sprig. Makes about 1 1/2 cups dip.

Layer pita chips on a large platter with yogurt dip and store-bought or homemade hummus.

NUTRITION INFO / 3 PITA WEDGES: 80 calories, 1g fat, 18g carb, 2g fiber, 3g protein

NUTRITION INFO / 3 tbsp YOGURT DIP: 10 calories, 0g fat, 1g carb, 2g protein

 

ORANGE & RAISIN CREAMY RICE PUDDING ~ serves 8

prep time: 8 minutes

cook time: 30-35 minutes (can make a day in advance)

  • 2 cups BROWN RICE, COOKED (or leftover)
  • 2 cups NONFAT MILK (or unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 cups PLAIN GREEK YOGURT, NONFAT
  • 1/4 tsp SALT, SEA
  • 1 1/2 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND
  • 1/2 cup SUGAR
  • 1/4 tsp NUTMEG, GROUND
  • 1 ORANGE, zested and segmented
  • 2/3 cup RAISINS OR DRIED CRANBERRIES
  • 1/4 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT
  • 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 1/4 cup PURE OR RAW HONEY

1. In a medium sauce pan heat cooked rice, milk and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, orange zest and raisins. Continue cooking for about 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and thickened.

2. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts, pour into a boil and let come to room temperature. Fold in yogurt and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.

3. To serve, pour equal amounts, about 1/2 cup rice pudding, into 8 cups (I like to use stemless wine glasses) and drizzle with 1 tsp honey and top with orange segments, if desired.

VARIATION: Top with slivered or sliced almonds.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 220 calories, 1g fat, 130mg sodium, 46g carb, 3g fiber, 28g sugar, 9g protein

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