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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Mung bean soup (ψιλοφάσουλα σούπα ή ροβίτσα )

Mung bean soup

A hearty and humble soup made of nutrient packed mung beans

One of us loves beans; loves to eat them, loves to buy them, and loves to store them in her pantry in pretty glass jars where their various colours, adorable shapes and infinite possibilities can be admired. It was this love of beans, and a commitment to capturing as many of our parents’ recipes as possible, that had us inquire about a soup which we had vague and disturbing memories of. We remembered a childhood where a soup of little green beans was served, and the sadness which it elicited. When we asked our parents about it, they immediately knew what we were talking about. Psilofasola (also called rovitsa) is a Greek soup made of mung beans (pronounced moong) and it is a staple around Kalamata, Messinia, which is near where our parents were raised.

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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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Fide soup (Fithe soup) (Σούπα φιδέ)

Fide soup

A simple pasta soup made with thin noodles and flavoured with a touch of olive oil

Growing up Greek, our chicken noodle soup was called fide. To be honest, it was a little different than your traditional chicken noodle soup; for one thing, it had no chicken. It also had no chicken broth, no vegetables and no herbs. In fact, fide (also spelled fithe) is nothing more than a noodle soup, cooked in water, flavoured with olive oil, sometimes sprinkled with a bit of mizithra, and ready to comfort every bit of your soul.

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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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Sugar doughnuts (Ντόνατς με ζάχαρη)

Sugar doughnuts

A traditional Greek doughnut: large, light, and perfectly sweet

Do you know how excited we are to share this recipe with you?  We’re not sure you can fully appreciate our glee; we are so proud that we are finally including this classic Greek dessert (and often breakfast), into our repertoire of Mia Kouppa recipes.

Large, light, and perfectly sprinkled with crunchy sugar, these are the classic Greek doughnut.  Confused?  Curious?  Maybe, and we don’t blame you.  It seems that often, when someone refers to Greek doughnuts they are talking about loukoumades, those  fried balls of dough that are typically covered in honey.  Loukoumades are delicious!  But, just like pastitsio is not Greek lasagna (we’re practically begging you to get on board with that) we argue that referring to loukoumades as Greek doughnuts does a disservice to both.  Loukoumades are loukoumades, and Greek sugar doughnuts, are these!

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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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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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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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