Spinach and feta pork roll-ups (Χοιρινό με σπανάκι και φέτα)

Spinach and feta pork roll-ups

Pork roll-ups filled with Greek flavours!

Sometimes our parents like to get fancy. Lovers of food and cooking, to this day they still enjoy watching Greek and non-Greek cooking shows (Akis is a favourite) and perusing through recipes that they find in the local Greek paper or behind those daily calendars that they get from church or our local Greek supermarket. Of course, they don’t actually follow the recipes that they happen upon, because let’s face it, that’s not how they function. Instead they get inspired, and over the years have come up with some pretty delicious and even unexpected things. We remember their sudden interest in Asian cuisine and the resultant homemade egg rolls. We have no idea how or why they decided to make egg rolls, but once they did, egg rolls and their accompanying jarred plum sauce became staples at every family gathering. Their popularity resulted in our aunts and koubari and other family friends making egg rolls too and so there you had it; a buffet table filled with dolmades, moussaka, keftedes, and egg rolls. Of course.

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Artichokes and peas in an egg-lemon sauce (Αγκινάρες με αρακά αυγολέμονο)

Artichokes and peas in an egg-lemon sauce

A stew of artichokes, peas and potatoes in a rich and tangy egg lemon broth

This recipe is pretty intense. Not in preparation; you’ll see that it’s no more difficult than many of the other recipes we’ve posted. No…it’s intense in the feelings and thoughts it elicits. Some good; this dish is delicious and today we love to eat it. But some, less good; when we were kids we thought it looked and tasted like throw up, and cried when it was for dinner.

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Chickpea fritters with a lemon tahini sauce (Ρεβυθοκεφτέδες με σάλτσα ταχίνι)

Chickpea fritters with a lemon tahini sauce

Vegan fritters made of chickpeas and fresh herbs, served with a tangy lemon tahini dipping sauce

Hungry people everywhere seem to be flocking, more than ever, to menu items which feature plant-based goodness and stuff-that-isn’t-meat-but-is-made-to-taste-and-look-like-meat.  Because of that, we think that this vegan recipe for chickpea fritters served with a lemon tahini sauce is going to make many of these hungry people, very, very happy.  Why?  Because these chickpea fritters are naturally beyond delicious.

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Vegan stuffed eggplant (Παπουτσάκια νηστίσιμα)

Vegan stuffed eggplant (Παπουτσάκια νηστίσιμα)

A vegan version of a classic Greek dish made with eggplant, lentils and olive oil mashed potatoes.

We wish you could all read Greek! Because if you did, you would realize that the name for this recipe is so much more wonderful in Greek.  The literal translation for παπουτσάκια (pronounced pa-poo-tsa-kia) is little shoes. How utterly adorable and perfect is that! And how much more charming than stuffed eggplant.

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Beans and rice

rice and beans edited-2

This post, and recipe for beans and rice is sponsored by Purolator Tackle Hunger.  We were compensated for our time, and all opinions in this post are our own.

Beans and rice

 

How wonderful is it when the stars align? That’s exactly what happened when we were asked to participate in the Purolator Tackle Hunger game day food drive, which partners with the Canadian Football League to help raise hunger awareness and collect non-perishable food items and cash donations for food banks across the country.  Since its beginning in 2003 the Purolator Tackle Hunger® program has helped deliver the equivalent of more than 13 million pounds of food to food banks across Canada.

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Greek marinated chicken thighs

Greek marinated chicken thighs

Chicken thighs infused with Greek flavours!  So delicious!

Thighs.  For many of us, the mention of thighs immediately causes us to think of swimwear shop changing rooms, gaps that are unattainable and hot wax followed by searing pain.  Well, we’re here to redirect your attention, because some thighs are better than others.

Chicken thighs are a good and generally accessible source of lean protein; although they do have more calories and fat than white chicken meat,  they tend to be more tender and flavourful.  Still, because of the caloric and fat content, you may not want to be eating chicken thighs every day.  So, when you do decide to enjoy them, a great recipe is important.  We’ve got you covered with this recipe for Greek marinated chicken thighs.

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Pasta topped with fried egg

Pasta topped with fried egg

Egg noodles topped with an egg fried in olive oil

Whenever we’re in a rush and need to get a meal on the table quick, we tend to turn to either a pasta dish like spaghetti with olive oil and mizithra, or an egg dish, like an omelette full of Greek flavour.  Pasta and eggs are the start of so many quick, nutritious and easy meals.  In this recipe these two go-to staples are combined to create a recipe that was a regular in our home growing up.

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Grilled steak (Στέικ)

Grilled steak

A deliciously seasoned steak, perfect for barbecue season

Grilled steak

 

There are two types of people in the world, those who gravitate towards the ease and convenience of a gas grill, and those who believe that grilling must be done with charcoal, smoking chips, and some extra time.  There are certainly advantages to both, and truth be told, we wouldn’t deny a meal cooked on either type of barbecue.

Growing up our father had a large round charcoal grill with a green lid  which was kept ready and waiting in the backyard of our apartment building.  This was used when he had many things to cook, either because we were having company, or because it just made sense to prepare several meals in advance given that the charcoal was already burning.  Common sense at all times.

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Fried fish (Ψαράκια τηγανητά)

Fried fish

Tiny fried fish that you can eat from head to tail

Fried fish

 

Summers in Greece mean hours spent in outdoor tavernas, with a clear view of the ocean and the warm sun embracing you.  The heat, the pace of vacation life, the hours before or right after the afternoon siesta all contribute to a feeling that time is endless, and life is best lived unhurried.  But all that relaxation sure works up an appetite, so that taverna table is usually most often filled with mezes and frosty glasses of ouzo or frappé.  Given the scene, some of the best mezes are those that came from the sea you are looking onto.  Octopus, shrimp, calamari are always welcome, as are these tiny fried fish.

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Shrimp saganaki (Γαρίδες σαγανάκι)

Shrimp saganaki

Shrimp cooked in a rich and spicy tomato sauce with ouzo and feta

Shrimp saganaki

 

In Greek cooking there are a whole slew of dishes which are categorized as saganaki.  One of the most popular is cheese saganaki, that meze of fried cheese set aflame with the help of a little ouzo or Metaxa, which causes restaurant patrons to exclaim Opa! in delighted unison.  The term saganaki actually refers to the small, two-handled frying pan in which the food is cooked called a sagani, a derivative of the Turkish word sahan, which means copper dish.  Remember long ago when we told you that Mia Kouppa would also make you smarter?  You’re welcome.

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