Bagels with “smoked salmon” and fried capers

Bagels with "smoked salmon" and fried capers

A surprising and delightful vegan alternative to smoked salmon

Several weeks ago we received a complimentary review copy of The Buddhist Chef, 100 simple, feel-good vegan recipes written by Jean-Philippe Cyr, the creator of The Buddhist Chef. Published by Penguin Random House Canada, this book arrived at exactly the right time. We have just begun the Orthodox Nativity Fast, during which time we essentially eat a vegan diet (although there are certain seafood which are permissible during the fast). We were hoping that this book would offer new ideas and inspiration, and it did not disappoint.

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Tiganites (Τηγανίτες)

Tiganites

Fried dough, sometimes called Greek-style pancakes, topped with honey

How fitting that we are posting this recipe for tiganites, sometimes referred to as Greek pancakes, in early November. Fitting, because November is when much of the olive harvesting in Greece is occurring. Our mother remembers that when the men of the village set out to begin their long and hard days of manually picking olives from the trees, they were sent off with their satchels loaded with tiganites. These disks of fried dough helped to sustain them and nourish them for the day. Tiganites, she explained, were a great option when options were limited as they are made from ingredients that even the poorest family likely had on hand.

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Zucchini bread (Κέικ με κολοκύθι)

Zucchini bread

A wonderful, sweet way to enjoy summer squash

Zucchini bread

 

If you’ve been following Mia Kouppa since the beginning you’ll know that most of our recipes are inspired by our parents and their humble, authentic, and delicious traditional Greek cooking.  Of course, our parents don’t use actual recipes and so our job has been to painstakingly and with great attention to detail,  measure, document, photograph, video and share their wonderful way with food.  We know that we owe much, if not most, of our success to them and we are so grateful.

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No-knead bread with halloumi, mint and orange

 

No-knead bread with halloumi, mint and orangeA crispy crust and a perfect crumb of cheese, herbs and citrus

No-knead bread with halloumi, mint and orange

 

Bread is life.  We don’t care how many diets exist which denounce bread as an evil scourge on waistlines, we love it.  For us, bread is what makes a meal complete, like when we make green beans with potatoes and use bread to sop up all of the delicious sauces.  Or when we finish our horiatiki salad and use bread to soak up the liquid left behind; olive oil, oregano, the juices from the tomatoes and little crumbs of feta.  Divine.  Life is too short to be denied carbs.

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Tiganopsomo with feta (Τηγανόψωμο με φέτα)

Tiganopsomo with feta

Crispy and thin fried bread stuffed with feta

Tiganopsomo with feta

 

We suppose that there is a sub-set of the population, those who shun carbs and avoid bread-y things like the plague, who really won’t appreciate a recipe which not only stars dough, but fried dough at that! But we think that the rest of you (which includes us), will welcome this recipe for crispy, fried bread stuffed with feta and will thank us for every lovely calorie.

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