Semolina halva with petimezi, or grape syrup, is a perfect veganGreek dessert
Σιμιγδαλένιος χαλβάς με πετιμέζι. We are so excited to share this recipe with you! We realize that it’s the first recipe we post using the very special Greek ingredient called petimezi (peh-tee-MEH-zee) , or grape syrup / molasses. Petimezi is pure, concentrated grape juice made from grape must and is perhaps the world’s oldest sweetener. It is a delight!
We love to get creative with halva. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can get very creative with the extra ingredients that will make your halva unique and special. This recipe is inspired by another dessert made using petimezi called moustalevria, a thick pudding made of grape must. Moustalevria is oven served with walnuts and sesame seeds, and so we have incorporated those two ingredients here as well. We hope that you love our semolina halva with petimezi as much as we do!
A healthy, quick snack to satisfy any sweet craving
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.
Shrimp cooked in a rich and spicy tomato sauce with ouzo and feta
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.
A complete and delicious meal of lemon chicken and vegetable studded rice
For us, this is the ultimate comfort food; a meal where the ingredients cook together slowly so that the flavours meld and develop, while you sit back and spend quality time with family and friends as things get perfect in the oven. This oven-baked chicken and rice dish is that kind of food. Although there is some active stove top work to do before you can pop everything into the oven and forget it, the work is minimal, and easy. The result, is most definitely worth it.
Chicken kokkinisto with pasta is simple ingredients slow-cooked to create the perfect Greek comfort food
There is a whole world of Greek food called kokkinista (κοκκινιστά), and we love them all. The term kokkinista means reddened, and the concept behind these dishes is simple; take a protein or vegetable, cook it slowly in a rich tomato sauce, serve it over something that can help sop up this lovely sauce, and realize that great food does not need to be fancy or complicated.
A perfect mess of vegetables that tastes better than you could hope
Feeling somewhat bloated and heavy after the holidays? Resolved to eating healthier, including more vegetables in your diet, and to limiting processed foods? Committed to cutting out all sweets, and eating only food which serves a vitamin and mineral fuelled purpose? Well, we’re here to help! And to remind you that we have a whole category of dessert recipes like galaktoboureko, baklava and koulourakia, because cutting out all sweets is dumb (unless your doctor tells you to cut out all sweets, in which case it’s very, very smart).
A vegetarian meze that is slightly sweet, light and crispy; perfect two-bites!
We think that phyllo is the answer to most of life’s food problems. Although rolling out your own phyllo is a skill which is honed over years of practice (or much quicker if you have a great recipe like this one), store bought phyllo is a breeze! Seriously! Don’t listen to the stories about how it dries out too quickly or tears easily. In fact, once you get used to working with store bought phyllo, you’re going to find yourself searching for things to wrap up in it! True story!
This nutritional powerhouse of a soup will have you feeling great, and full!
If you are a regular reader of Mia Kouppa, you may already be aware that we have a love affair with black-eyed peas. We are actually fond of all things bean and legume, but the darling black-eyed pea holds a special place in our hearts…because it is so darn cute. Take a good look at these beans, with their perfect small shape and perfectly situated black “eye” and we’re pretty sure you will agree, they are adorable! Still, if you’re more mature than us and not that interested in appearances, we think we can convince you to love black-eyed peas anyways, because they are delicious, versatile and so, so good for you.
A pot of goodness that will satisfy your whole family
This may actually be one of our favourite meals. Not only does this dish of chicken, cooked alongside potatoes and peas in a rich tomato sauce satisfy all sorts of comfort cravings, it also comes together pretty easily. Nothing too fancy in terms of technique or ingredients, this is humble, real Greek food. This is the type of meal we grew up on, and this is the type of meal that we turn to today, when we want something that tastes like home.
A deliciously quick and simple way to enjoy the flavours of spanakopita
Ask any non-Greek, or Greek, what one of their favourite Greek foods is and you will often hear spanakopita. There’s a very good reason for that! Spanakopita, in all of its variations, is a delicious treat; perfect as a meze and at the same time substantial enough for a light meal. The problem (if you are trying hard to find one) is that spanakopita is encased in phyllo, which you may not have on hand (if you are opting for the store bought variety) or which you may not have time to make (if you are going for the do-it-yourself variety). Alas, every problem has a solution, and in this case the solution is pasta.