Plakopites

Plakopites

A traditional savoury crepe-like recipe from the Peloponnese

We have previously posted photos on our Facebook page of our dad making plakopites. Reading through the comments, we heard from so many people who were asking (begging) for the recipe, so we anticipate that this is going to be a pretty popular post. Most individuals told us that they remembered their parents or their grand-parents making these savoury crepe-like treats, which are typically served in a pile with grated mizithra and a bit of olive oil between each one. Many of the comments also suggested that this was a recipe people had forgotten about; plakopites are pretty regional, common in the Peloponnese, and very old-school fare.

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Red lentil and bulgur wraps with a tahini slaw

Red lentil and bulgur wraps with a tahini slaw

Vegan wraps filled with spicy red lentil and bulgur mix topped with a tangy vegetable slaw

There is so much going on here! These spicy wraps are exploding with flavour, nutritious ingredients and pretty colours. Inspired by a recipe we found on The Kitchn website, which credited Trader Joe’s as their inspiration, this is our version of a vegan wrap that we believe is going to become a favourite of yours.

We came up with this recipe last spring when one of us catered a lenten brunch for our church youth group. By making the wrap filling and the slaw the day before, the morning of the event, all that was left to do was assemble them. Delicious, and convenient!

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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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Fried potatoes and egg (Τηγανητές πατάτες με αυγό μάτι)

Fried potatoes and egg

Home cut french fries tossed with crumbled feta and topped with an olive oil fried egg.

Our dad is the egg guy of the family. Although our parents usually cook together, and can each manage to make any number of dishes alone, there are certain recipes that belong almost exclusively to each of them. Our mom is the Queen of rizogalo for example, and our dad is the one who often turns to eggs to feed hungry mouths. This recipe which combines home cut fries, feta and an olive oil fried egg is one that he would make for us relatively often. Simple, satisfying, and a pretty well-balanced meal.

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Rice with mizithra and burnt butter (Ρύζι με μυζήθρα και καμμένο βούτυρο)

Rice with mizithra and burnt butter

A simple and delicious rice dish with the nutty flavour of burnt butter and the salty goodness of mizithra cheese

If you’ve been following along on our Mia Kouppa trails over the past few years you will have learned a few things about us, and our parents. You would know that we are two sisters, who also have an awesome older brother, that we each have two darling girls, xeno (that is, non-Greek) husbands, and feathered and furry pets. If you haven’t been with us for very long, or tend to skip right to the recipe (that’s okay…we do it sometimes too!), then welcome! We’re so happy to have you join us!

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Zucchini salad (Κολοκυθοσαλάτα)

Zucchini salad

A simple salad of boiled summer squash dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar

We love everything about fall. The colours, the warm knit sweaters, the cool crisp air, the fact that you can call it fall or autumn. We love that everyone is busy pumpkin-spicing everything, and baking all manner of apple wonderfulness. But, we love summer too and despite the fact that it’s October and Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner, we’ll hang on to summer just a little while longer if you don’t mind.

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Spanakopita no. 2 (Σπανακόπιτα no. 2)

Spanakopita no. 2

Home made phyllo dough filled with spinach, herbs and feta

Spanakopita no. 2

 

Summer is almost over! How can that be?! As always, the months when school is out, the days are at their longest, and the sun smiles down warmly, pass all too quickly.  We try to hold on to the season by enjoying every moment left and by looking back at our June picnics, July getaways and August pool parties and barbecues, recognizing that although quick, our summer was blessedly full.

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Salted sardines and anchovies (Σαρδέλες)

Salted sardines and anchovies

Salt preserved sardines and anchovies prepared for meze

Salted sardines and anchovies

 

We are grateful to our parents for so many things.  They supported us, financially, emotionally and nutritionally, throughout all of our schooling.  They showered us with love, attention and encouragement every day, and they balanced their praise with enough well-deserved disapproval to keep us humble and in check.  This of course does not mean that we are perfect, but as parents, they kind of are.

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Cretan dakos (Κρητικός ντάκος)

Cretan dakos

A traditional Cretan salad of tomatoes, feta and herbs on top of a barley rusk

Cretan dakos

 

Oh Crete, how we love you!  We’ve both had the great pleasure of visiting this largest and southernmost island of Greece,  spending weeks exploring the cities, beaches, gorges and of course, the tavernas and restaurants.  Cretan cuisine, like all Greek cooking, is based on fresh, local ingredients and the regional specialties often showcase food items you can only find there.  Fortunately however, much of what is loved and devoured in Crete can be replicated off the island, and this dakos salad is a perfect example of that.

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