A traditional Greek side dish or main meal of okra stewed in tomato sauce, bamies latheres me domata
Μπαμιές λαδέρες με σάλτσα ντομάτα. Yes, there are people out there (and here) that love okra. We are of those people, and we think you might be too, even if you don’t know it yet! Once you embrace the idea of trying okra, and you make our recipe for Greek okra stewed in tomato sauce, we think that it will become your new favourite side dish. In fact, this recipe is so good, we often make it as the main meal – we just eat more of it! Serve with some bread and some feta and olives and you have a meal fit for a King or Queen (also, speaking of Queen, check out this heirloom variety of okra called Silver Queen).
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A Greek potato salad made with fresh herbs and a light lemon vinaigrette.
We were well into our teenage years before we realized that North American potato salads were typically rich with mayonnaise. Our parents used mayonnaise quite sparingly in their cooking, and in fact one of the only recipes we remember which used lots of mayo was the classic Russian salad. Beyond that, mayonnaise was something we saw spread on pieces of white toast sandwiching a slice or two of bologna at our non-Greek friends’ homes.
We grew up with potato salads, like this Greek potato salad with herbs, which were fresh tasting, light, mayonnaise-less and easy to bring along to a picnic. With the warmer weather fast approaching and our herb gardens growing, now is the perfect time to make this family favourite.
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Easy roasted potatoes make a perfect side dish.
Sometimes we spend so much time, and focus so much attention on the centerpiece of a meal that the sides take a back seat. We get it. One can get excited over a gorgeous maple glazed smoked ham, perfectly marinated souvlaki or a show-stopping prime rib roast. But guys, there is enough food excitement to go around! Sides are like the must-have accessories that take a simple black dress from wow, to WOW.
In terms of sides, there is probably no ingredient more relied on than the humble potato. Sure, broccoli is great (yes, it is great!) and rice is lovely, but potatoes are unbeatable. Talk about versatility! Whether mashed, fried, roasted or boiled, potatoes are everyone’s favourite – unless you hate potatoes in which case don’t waste your time here – hop on over to this page.
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An amazing way to get all the flavour of spanakopita with our sheet pan spanakopita quesadilla
The flavours of spanakopita are out of this world. Anyone who thinks that they don’t like spinach has never had it mixed with feta and ricotta, the combination of which is then wrapped and baked or fried into a crispy package. There are so many different recipes for spanakopita and we have yet to try one we haven’t loved.
The only downside to making spanakopita is the time commitment. Opening your own phyllo is an art and it takes patience and practice. Using store-bought phyllo sheets is much simpler, but still requires a bit of care as you lay your sheets out and make little spanakopita triangles. But using tortillas? Well, this just is a game-changing technique!
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Sauteed mushrooms with cream is the perfect topping or side to any number of things
Every once in a while our parents venture away from their tried and true Greek recipes to introduce something new into the mix. There was their study into homemade egg rolls and vegetable fried rice – both delicious and both recipes we absolutely have to share one day. They went through a phase when they made broccoli “like the French do“, that is, covered in cheese and baked. We’re not sure where they got that idea (probably a soap opera), but it was delicious, and short-lived. Our mother decided that her usual method of preparing broccoli, with olive oil and lemon, was far superior to broccoli au gratin. We tend to agree. And then, there was their discovery of stuffed mushrooms.
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A vegan tray bake made of spaghetti squash topped with a variety of roasted vegetables.
We’re relatively new to the world of spaghetti squash. This is not a gourd we grew up with and when we first showed it to our parents their only question was, “Will it make a good pita?”. Greeks like our parents love using squash to make things like pita and fritters, not as substitutes for pasta.
We love spaghetti squash! It’s not that we are trying to cut out carbs (we live for bread), but we genuinely love the way it tastes. We also love how magical it is to see a once solid vegetable transform into delicate strands of golden yellow. One of our favourite ways to serve spaghetti squash is topped with roasted vegetables. This makes a perfect light meal, but also works as the side to something like grilled salmon or steak. Or, you can keep your meal vegan by serving the spaghetti squash and roasted vegetables with some chickpea fritters
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A delicious plant-based salad starring roasted cauliflower, chopped kale and with a wonderful vinaigrette
Do you have people in your life that hate cauliflower? Despise kale? Shun away from salad on most days? Then this is the recipe for them! Our intention is not to sound flippant. On the contrary, with all due respect, we think you should serve our roasted cauliflower and kale salad to these cauliflower, kale and salad haters. It’s fun to see their face transform from cringe to shock as they take a bite and realize that cauliflower, kale and salad aren’t that bad after all.
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A delicious and beautiful side salad made with red cabbage and apple.
We’re only a few days into January and we’re already exhausted by the fact that we’ve got so much riding on this year. In addition to all our work, blog, and family goals, we have our own personal goals too. We join the masses who, when the clock chimes midnight, commit to healthier living. We’re not unhealthy in general. We don’t smoke, we don’t drink excessively, we don’t eat dessert every day…but we know we can do better. Maybe we could take the stairs instead of the elevator. Maybe, when we finally get into bed, we can go to sleep instead of scrolling through Instagram. Maybe when we eat koulourakia, we can stop at two instead of seven. Or maybe, if we eat more salad, we don’t have to do any of that!
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Kale, quinoa and apple salad is the perfect Fall salad
Those of you who grew up in Greek households would probably not be surprised to learn that quinoa didn’t feature prominently (at all) in our childhood diets. In fact, it was only while in university, exposed to so much, that we learned of this ancient Incan food. That was long before the United Nations declared 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa”. One of us was exploring a downtown health food store, an activity which felt other-worldly. At that time, natural health food stores and organic food was something that only the most eclectic concerned themselves with. We were by no means eclectic. We were simply curious, fascinated, and hungry.
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Peach, tomato and feta salad is a refreshing and delicious summer side or light meal.
This is great summer salad! The colours are reminiscent of a flirty summer dress (or a Hawaiian shirt) and the taste is bright, sweet, salty, crisp and absolutely perfect.
Typical fruit salads are great, but we also love to have fun with ingredients. Some of you may not have thought to combine peaches with tomatoes or to serve feta in the same bowl as sweet fruit. But, if you’ve been around these parts long enough you know that feta pairs beautifully with the fresh tastes of summer, like watermelon! You can see that combination in action here, and here.
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