Dates stuffed with almond butter and coconut

Dates stuffed with almond butter and coconut

A healthy, quick snack to satisfy any sweet craving

Dates stuffed with almond butter and coconut

 

Sometimes the craving for something sweet hits so quickly, and so aggressively that you find yourself scrambling in the kitchen, looking for something that was already baked, or a candy bar, or a bag of chocolate chips that you spontaneously decide are not necessary for the chocolate chip cookies you were planning to make.  If you don’t have access to these options, you dip into the sugary cereal you know you shouldn’t be feeding your kids, or you make some cinnamon toast, with more brown sugar than cinnamon, or toast.  Or, you pause, remember your health and waistline and choose a piece of nature’s candy instead.   You know, a bowl of grapes or a ripe peach.  Bah! Who are we kidding?? When that urge for sweetness hits, fruit just isn’t going to cut it unless its been morphed into a pie, or unless that fruit is a date.

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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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Grilled vegetables (Λαχανικά στη σχάρα)

Grilled vegetables

A medley of marinated and grilled vegetables 

Eat your vegetables!  Who hasn’t heard this, or uttered it, over and over again.  Sometimes getting your kids, your spouse, yourself to eat vegetables seems like an uphill battle.  Let’s face it, not everyone goes crazy for luscious greens like vlita or okra, or is satisfied with a meal whose main star is cauliflower. In fact, today we crave vegetables but there was a time when we would plan covert operations to stealthily dispose of the grossness that our parents put before us; our spanakorizo disposal tactics were legendary.  Still, even in the throes of our vegetable-hating youths, we never rejected vegetables that were marinated and grilled, and which usually happened to be served along with grilled souvlaki or steak.

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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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Spinach salad with peaches and dates

Spinach salad with peaches and dates

A fresh summer salad with fruit sweetness and walnut crunch

Summer is salad season, and we love that!  When it is too hot to turn on the oven, or when we would much rather be frolicking in the sun or strolling around our beautiful city, a no-nonsense salad which ticks off so many boxes is just the answer.  Delicious. Check.  Nutritious. Check.  Quick and easy. Check. Inexpensive.  Check.  Too good not to share…check!

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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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Sauteed green peppers (Πράσινες πιπεριές τηγανιτές)

Sauteed green peppers

A simple side full of green bell peppers, red onion and a few herbs

If you’re a gardener, you might be like our family who feels that there are some basic vegetables without which a garden could never be complete.  Oh sure, we like to experiment and occasionally try to grow watermelons, asparagus, and brussel sprouts, with varying degrees of success, but some things are non-negotiable.  Bell peppers are included in that category of must-grows.

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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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Vanilla milkshake (Μιλκσέικ βανίλια)

Vanilla milkshake

A simple vanilla milkshake with the perfect ratio of ice cream to milk

So here’s something that you should know about our mother.  Like many other people of her generation, raised in Greece during times of economic hardships, our mother has always been quite sensitive to signs of health and wellness.  For instance, according to our mother, anyone who looks even slightly underweight is cause for concern.  Perhaps they aren’t eating enough.  Perhaps they are sick.  Perhaps they need her to intervene.

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