Tag Archives: Spinach

Keeping things Green and Healthy

I feel healthy this week.

Though after watching Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson I am craving a twinkie! Or a chocolate bar…. However I have been making vegetarian meals most of this week! And vegetarian food makes me happy.

Just as I am sure beef is making my parents happy.

You know, as they no longer have their picky non-meat-eating daughter living with them!

So this evening I wanted to make a quiche… well a quiche or a chicken pot pie. But I didn’t feel like thawing my chicken out so quiche it was!

I feel like my quiche lacked some egg though. It was very veggie filled but, but was low on egg.

Spinach, Asparagus, and Feta Quiche prior to Baking

This being odd as I followed the recipe. Which I got from Two Peas & Their Pod, the direct link to the recipe can be found here. If you’ve not visited Two Peas & Their Pod you’d best do so soon! Great site!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 asparagus spears, ends removed and chopped into ¾ an inch
  • ½ cup (285g) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) almond milk
  • ½ cup (50g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup (56g) shredded mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pie crust

Instructions:

  1. In a medium frying pan sauté asparagus until soft and set aside with thawed spinach.

  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs with milk. Add feta, mozzarella, and salt and pepper until combined.

  3. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and place in a lined 9 x 9 baking dish.

  4. Place vegetables in the pie crust and pour egg mixture over vegetables and place in oven for forty-five minutes. The crust and egg should be golden-brown by then.

  5. Once cooked allow quiche to sit for around five minutes and then enjoy!

I also think I missed out on a bit of salt. Oops.

Asparagus, Spinach, and Feta quiche

It did taste good though. Well quiche tastes fabulous with ketchup so of course it tasted good.

My dad introduced me to ketchup with quiche and now I can’t eat quiche without it. I also love paninis and ketchup. Yum!

So my meal filled me right up and I have enough for breakfast tomorrow too!

I almost feel like sending some quiche over to Angola to treat my dad to some of this puppy. But we all know that wouldn’t make it to him in a quick enough fashion to still be edible. Sorry dad! 

Saved a Slice for Dad

Anyway, if you like quiche for supper (or breakfast) and you want to keep it healthy, go for this beauty and definitely enjoy it!

I would have put some paprika powder and red chili flakes in it if I thought of it, but this was still good!

So please enjoy!

Happy eating!

Advertisements

Spana-what? Greek Spanakopita for Dinner!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend! Was yours also a long weekend with Mayday – international labour day?
Well all weekend long I’ve been thinking about making Spanakopita, but I got lazy. Thankfully my mom knows when I’m getting lazy and asked whether I am up to making dinner. If I don’t give a proper response or make a certain face, she then pipes in that we should have takeout. For this I am glad that she knows me so well.

Thankfully I was able to make the Spanakopita today! Have you ever heard of Spanakopita? If not let me explain it to you. It is a Greek pastry made with spinach and feta, wrapped in phyllo pastry and then baked. You can find it at any Greek restaurant worldwide. If not, you should really wonder what sort of restaurant you are at!

Spanakopita

So I got the recipe from the wonderful website Budget Bytes, a great food website for uni students who want to eat proper food besides KD Mac n Cheese or ramen and want to keep it rather cheap. The direct link to the Spanakoptia recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• ½ yellow onion, chopped finely
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup (225g) cottage cheese
• ¼ cup (25g) parmesan cheese
• 1/8 teaspoon allspice
• Pinch of salt and black pepper
• 2 large eggs
• 16 oz (453g) frozen spinach, drained and dried
• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 2 Tablespoons flour
• 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 190ᵒC (375ᵒF).

2. In a small frying pan, sauté yellow onion and garlic cloves on low heat until fragrant and soft. Remove from heat.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, allspice seasoning, salt and pepper, and two eggs.

4. Once mixed well, combine onion, garlic, and spinach with cheese mixture and set aside.

5. Dust a clean work space with flour and roll out sheet of puff pastry. Roll out pastry to be a 30 cm by 30 cm square (12”x12”). Drape the rolled dough over 9 inch pie dish.

6. Spread spinach mixture inside pastry-lined pie dish. Spread corners of the pastry back over top of spinach filling. If they do not reach each other it is okay.

7. Brush egg wash over pastry and place in oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Enjoy!

I don’t know about you, but for my family we can’t enjoy any Greek food without tzatziki! Tonight wasn’t any different. The spinach pastry tasted absolutely FABULOUS with the tzatziki, actually it made it TEN times better. Mom even told me that I may have made the best tzatziki she has ever had. Even better than a restaurant? She said yes!

Spanakopita and tzatziki

Now that is some tzatziki if mine is better than any restaurant grade stuff!

Interested in this fabulous recipe? Just look below!

Ingredients:

• ½ large cucumber, unpeeled
• 1 cup (245g) plain Greek yoghurt
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 Tablespoon dried dill

Instructions:

1. Grate cucumber and drain through a fine mesh sieve, preferably overnight in the fridge. (I drained it by hand in a half hour and then squeezed the last bits of liquid from a paper towerl)

2. Combine the yoghurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and dill in a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight, (or until needed as I did)

3. Transfer grated cucumber into yoghurt mixture and stir to combine. Serve chilled.

Heaven in a bowl is this.

Anyway, I didn’t quite follow the tzatziki recipe, well I did, I just utilized a whole other yoghurt type. Usually I would prefer to have the basic Greek yoghurt, but I got Bulgarian yoghurt. Have you ever heard of that before? I sure haven’t!

Plain Bulgarian Yoghurt

I got the recipe for the tzatziki recipe from the Wanderlust Kitchen, however the direct link for the recipe can be found here.

It is a real hit and you all should truly try it. You can enjoy tzatziki with bread, pitas, or any specific Greek treats!

I hope you all make this entire dish and enjoy it thoroughly just as we have!

Happy eating!

Quick & Easy Arugula & Penne Pesto Salad

I watch far too many cooking shows. I’ve always watched them though.

I remember way back when I would have sick days as a child, I’d watch cooking shows. And I’d be super relaxed watching them. However at this time in my life was a time where I didn’t even know how to turn on the oven to make corndogs. Keep in mind that I only really learnt how to cook at the age of seventeen.

Shocking right? Well growing up in third world countries and having a housekeeper or your mom always cook for you leaves you uneducated in the kitchen. At least I sure was!

Well in this day of age when I watch cooking programs I also learn from them.

For this evenings meal I decided to apply some of my new found cooking techniques to the meal.

This evening I made a simple salad with roasted pepper in it. Well it’s the pepper that I roasted just like they do on cooking programs!

Roasting a Bell Pepper
Roasting a Bell Pepper

I got the recipe from Gimme Some Oven, the original recipe can be found here. And when I say original it is because I did tweak this recipe some.

Arugula and Penne Pesto Salad
Arugula and Penne Pesto Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (115g) whole wheat penne
  • 2 bell peppers
  • ½ cup (74g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup (150g) fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ cup (62g) coriander pesto
  • 2 cups (80g) arugula/spinach mix salad

Instructions:

  1. Cook penne as directed on packaging.

  2. Meanwhile turn heat on a small burner to low and place bell peppers (one at a time) on the burner. Allow to brown (it may bring up a burnt smell so keep an eye on the pepper), rotate often until brown enough for your likings.

  3. Chop roasted bell peppers and place in large bowl.

  4. Combine roasted peppers with arugula/spinach mix, mozzarella, and tomatoes.

  5. Once penne has cooked, drain and rinse in cold water for twenty minutes until cool.

  6. Add cooled penne with vegetables and mix with coriander pesto.

  7. Enjoy!

As you can tell, I roasted my pepper on the oven burner! I actually know how to do a few things on the burner as my friends once taught me how to cook the “ghetto” way.

This recipe was FANTASTIC, super easy and just great. You may need some salt, but otherwise it was great!

But have any of you heard of coriander pesto? It is divine! You can add this to wraps, salads, sandwiches, the works. It is so tasty!

Coriander Pesto

You can use any pesto for this salad though. Actually are there other types of pesto? Besides the original one and this coriander one? Are you curious about what sort of pesto’s there are? If so I just googled it, here is a link including eleven different types of pesto’s!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my mom and I did! It is a great easy and healthy recipe for those nights when you need a quick meal!

Happy eating!

Spinach Lasagna with a “Secret” Ingredient

It is finally a traditional Meatless Monday! Usually I skip the whole meatless thing and end up making something completely different. If I recall, most of my Monday dishes tend to be shrimp dishes at that. At least they were when I would only cook for myself in Holland.

Well this week we are starting off with a good and healthy meal! Lasagna!

Simple. Easy. Healthy. What more could one ask for?!

All a girl needs is a meal with garlic and she is happy! (Well at least this girl is.)

And making a tomato sauce for your lasagna smells amazing. Chopping your garlic and onions, sautéing them in olive oil in a pan, getting it all aromatic – yummmm. That’s like the natural perfume of the kitchen. Best. Smell. EVER.

Until you burn your garlic. That doesn’t smell too good.

Anyway, I got the recipe from Relish though I did tweak it ever so slightly. The direct link to the recipe can be found here. This recipe made a great dinner and it was quick to make! Probably all due to the no-bake lasagna noodles!

Pre-Baking
Pre-Baking

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (400g) whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups (625g) ricotta cheese
  • 2 packages (750g each) frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • ½ package (20g) fresh arugula
  • 1 egg (or 2 small eggs)
  • 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound (453g) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup (73g) parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions:

  1. To prepare sauce, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent.

  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and spices/herbs and stir well. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. If sauce becomes too dry, pour water in one of the cans of tomatoes and mix into tomato mixture until a sufficient amount of liquid has been added. (I only poured half a can of water.)

  3. Preheat oven to 375ᵒF (190ᵒC).

  4. Meanwhile as sauce is simmering away, begin to prepare spinach ricotta mixture. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, arugula, and an egg in a large bowl; mix well.

  5. Coat the bottom of baking dish with a third of the tomato sauce. Cover with 3 noodles without overlapping (break noodles to fit well in dish), half the ricotta mixture, and half the mozzarella slices. Add half remaining sauce, 3 noodles, remaining ricotta mixture and remaining mozzarella. Top with remaining 3 noodles, remaining sauce, and Parmesan cheese.

  6. Place on baking sheet and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

Can you guess my secret ingredient? Arugula! Or “rocket” as the Dutch call it! My absolute favourite green leafy vegetable would have to be arugula. It has such a lovely taste that I could add it to any sandwich or wrap.

As for the mozzarella, I ended up using two types of mozza. Now I know all of you have heard of buffalo mozzarella, you know that round moist ball of cheese that is incredibly creamy? Well I also used low-moisture mozzarella, this being a normal square of cheese that just so happens to be mozzarella. I have used this same cheese to make tequeños a few months ago as well. Which reminds me, I need to make those again and show you lot what they are and how to make them.

So, how does one photograph lasagna in the best way? I mean once removing it from the pan you made it in? It comes out so sloppy! Anything within a deep dish comes out in the most unattractive way ever! So how do people photograph lasagna in the best way possible? I could only take a photo from within the dish.

Spinach and Arugula LasagnaHow messy is that! Ugh. Nevertheless the meal was great! And super healthy as there was a minimal amount of salt in it! Low sodium meals is a great way to eventually try and lower your high blood pressure. This being something I had most of my childhood due to my heart issue. Honestly, because of that I cannot handle the taste of super salty dishes anyway. I even buy low sodium soy sauce!

Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we all have!

Happy eating!

I’ve Returned to the Kitchen with some Chicken

Travel: gotta love it, you get to see old friends and family, make new friends in the process, and best of all you get to be lazy and eat out trying new foods and restaurants!

I love traveling, I love trying new things, though I also love being home and cooking my own meals.

So mom and I just returned from the Netherlands last night around ten o’clock. Our trip to the Netherlands was great. I got to see my family, old school mates, and try new restaurants. I’ll be rating those restaurants on TripAdvisor as well. I should really make a living from rating meals and restaurants…

Anyway, I missed home cooked meals. So I’ve got all sorts of wonderful things planned for the next few days. This evenings meal consists of a Lemon Butter Chicken dish. This butter chicken is not a curry. Just a wonderful meal with a lot of butter and lemon juice.

I usually do not cook with a lot of butter (mostly because my father does not like it) but also because I have horrible images of a very well-known Dutch chef sliding a bunch of butter into whatever meal we were making and then sucking his butter coated finger. He is a great man and chef, has a very lovely and known restaurant in the Netherlands, but when I worked with him I experienced his love of butter. And now I am stuck with such a memory of him enjoying raw butter on his index finger.

Anyway, I got the recipe from DamnDelicious, an amazing website with all sorts. I also follow the writer, Chungah on Instagram. She has the two cutest Corgi’s ever! The direct link for the recipe can be found here though.

I almost followed the recipe to a complete T, just that I minimized the amount of chicken and used the breast of a chicken rather than the thigh. Also, I didn’t minimize the amount of liquid for the gravy. I kept the original recipe for the liquid. I love sauce and gravy that I am almost sad when there is barely any for the meal.

Lemon Butter Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 breasts of chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (235ml) chicken broth
  • ½ cup (120g) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (25g) parmesan, grated
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups (450g) fresh spinach, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ᵒF (204ᵒC)

  2. Season your chicken with paprika powder and salt and pepper.

  3. In a large oven safe pan at a medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter then place chicken in pan. Sear sides till golden brown (approx. 2-3 minutes) and set aside.

  4. Melt remaining butter in pan and add garlic and sauté until fragrant, then add chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan, lemon juice, and thyme to pan.

  5. Bring to a boil but reduce the heat allowing butter mixture to simmer. Add chopped spinach to mixture and mix until wilted and sauce has thickened slightly.

  6. Replace chicken to pan and pop pan into oven to roast chicken until completely cooked through. Cook for about 30 minutes.

  7. Once ready serve over rice with sauce drizzled over chicken and rice.

  8. Enjoy!

Lemon Butter Chicken on a bed of RiceIf you like a creamy garlic/lemon flavoured dish, you should certainly like this! Especially if you can handle butter!

My mom wasn’t the biggest of fans of this dish, but I didn’t mind it!

I’m sure it was healthier than some of the meals I had while in Holland! I didn’t eat THAT unhealthily, but I sorta did. I mean our last lunch meal was from a snack bar! My mom had the typical Dutch kroket while I went for kipcorn! Kipcorn being a chicken stick.

Broodje Kipcorn met fritjesAnyway I hope you will all enjoy this dish!

Happy eating!

Lentil Curry Meatless Monday

It has been a very long time since I’ve had a Meatless Monday and you know what? Today I’ve got a Meatless Monday Meal for y’all! Woohoo!

So my dad thinks he should go on a diet and his version of a diet is meat and veg. Well since I do not eat most of the meat he likes I thought I would give him a protein packed vegetarian meal. The best protein packed ingredient that I know he also enjoys would have to be lentils so that is what I made for dinner tonight, something very lentil filled.

I got the recipe from here but I was very dissatisfied by the way it was written. Both the instructions and the grammar were atrocious. Though it could just be that I dislike poor spelling and grammar. So if you are like me and dislike poorly written recipes just read below and you will see my version of the recipe!

Spinach Lentil Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) dried red lentils
  • 5 cups (565g) spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup (115g) red onion, diced
  • 1 small green chili
  • 2 cups (470ml) water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • A pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Sauté the red lentils, spinach, half the garlic, red onion, and green chili in a large pan until spinach has wilted. Then pour water and bouillon cube into pan and allow lentils to cook. When lentils are finally soft drain water (though keep it to adjust consistency of curry).

  2. With a handheld food processor or potato masher mash cooked lentils and vegetables to a semi-purée with chunks. Add salt for more flavour.

  3. Use stock water to make a more curry-like consistency.

  4. In a small frying pan fry the remainder of the garlic, add cumin, mustard, and red pepper flakes. Cook until a smooth hot consistency.

  5. Pour hot garlic-mustard mixture into lentils and mix well.

  6. Serve with rice and/or naan.

Lentil Spinach CurryI’m sure cumin seeds and mustard seeds would have made a better combination for the flavouring but I just used American mustard and cumin powder from a jar. Why buy something you won’t end up using another day?

I do not know if you all know of my background in the hospitality industry, but I had a teacher who would call the handheld food processor a dildo and now to this day I call that device the dildo. Thanks Mr. Young! There are a few items that I sexualize due to my teachers actually. Mr. Young made certain kitchen devices sexual while Mr. C would make the professional coffee machine in the restaurant dirty. I guess it is a good way to remember what to do and how to clean things. Kind of like acronyms to help you remember certain things in school.

Anyway this was my meal for the day and it went pretty well. I am definitely full and believe my parents are too. Lentils definitely rock and keep us well fed!

If you all end up making this I hope you enjoy it too! Curry is always nice for a cold day for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.

Happy eating!

New Meal for a New Year

Happy hump day! Actually happy New Year too, because I learnt that one can say that all of January if one hadn’t said it yet to someone. Frankly I find that kind of weird, but I do remember people greeting me with a “happy new year” through much of January while I was still at school.

I feel really bad for being lazy and never writing on here. That’s a lie, I feel bad for being lazy in general. I feel like I haven’t cooked in ever! I planned on making a meal last week and instead I fell asleep in front of the laptop – who does that!?

I hope you all have been enjoying 2015 so far by doing amazing things, do any of you have New Year’s resolutions that need to be completed? I didn’t make any resolutions, I just hope to be more on point when it comes to studying. Today I did get some studying into my day! And as you may be able to tell, I cooked this evening!

Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach

Today I made a Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach. Although my mom isn’t too fond of sundried tomatoes, she went for seconds!

I got the recipe from here and pretty much followed it to a tee.

Ingredients:

  • 5oz (300g) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups (565g) fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente for as long as directed on packaging. Add a tablespoon of oil into the water to keep spaghetti from sticking.

  2. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook garlic until golden brown (approx. 3 minutes). Transfer garlic to paper towel to drain of oil.

  3. In a large skillet drain oil from smaller skillet and begin to fry chopped garlic. Add chopped sundried tomatoes and spinach and sauté with balsamic vinegar. Bring up heat to medium-high and cook until spinach is wilted.

  4. Toss spaghetti with sundried tomatoes and spinach mixture. Stir in ½ cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta cheese and most of toasted garlic chips.

  5. Plate up and top with ½ teaspoon of feta cheese, additional salt and pepper, and three or four garlic chips. Serve warm.

Spaghetti with Sundried Tomatoes and SpinachThis to me is such a nice meal for Spring and Summer. So perfect for us in the Southern Hemisphere as it is the peak of Summer in South Africa! We have had some pretty hot days!

I hope you all love this meal as much as my mother and I did! It really was lovely. Anything garlicky is great though. I love garlic.

Anyway I hope 2015 is great for you and your family and enjoy the year of the Sheep, especially if this year is your year in the Chinese Zodiac!

Happy eating!

Green Food Made Right

Who loves healthy cuisine which is bright green in color?  I’m sure I can answer that one for you – me!

I am sure there is something wrong with me for liking bright (almost toxic) green foods. But they are just so pretty. To think Aqua is my favourite color with my love for bright green in food!

So for tonight’s meal we went for a simple healthy and bright green pasta sauce on spaghetti. Yum!

Keepin' It Green

I got the recipe from here and followed it to a Tee, but just had to share its amazingness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup (45g) fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup (225g) spinach, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a small food processor combine avocado, basil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper if desired.

  2. Add green sauce to pasta (if you’ve made some) and combine Parmesan cheese to pasta and sauce mixture.

  3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

How easy is that!? And so delicious. And you know what is even better? Before you mix Parmesan cheese to the pasta the sauce almost tastes like guacamole! This I love very much.

Avocado Pasta Sauce

Because I LOVE guacamole. Actually scratch that, I love avocados. Period. I would LOVE to have an avocado tree.

Imagine just walking through the back yard when you’re craving for a full and fleshy avocado for a snack or even a salad and being able to! That does sound heavenly. Shame it takes several years to actually be able to grow avocados on a tree! UGH.

Oh and if you’re wondering, the spaghetti I used was this fantastic gluten free stuff we got from Woolworths.

Gluten Free SpaghettiWhy doesn’t NL have this much gluten free goodness in our grocery stores? Good thing I’m in South Africa now!

Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy this meal as much as my mom and I did!

Eet smakelijk!

P.S. If you ever have a water shortage it would be best to refrain from making pasta in a food processor or at all as most of the tools used to make pasta (and a sauce) need to be rinsed if not washed immediately. Tools such as the strainer, food processor, cheese grater, as well as pans and plates. But with a water shortage this cannot be done.

Big mistake on my part!

But do enjoy your meal!

Panorama of Walk Haven dog Heaven
Panorama of Walk Haven dog Heaven

Green Spinach and Chickpea Salad

Today is quite a sad day for the Dutch. At 6 o’clock in the evening (noon eastern time) the first airplane containing the first forty people from the downing of MH17 arrived in the Netherlands. Thousands of people laid flowers for the fallen and lined the roads while the hearses drove to Hilversum. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news as I have you can view it here.

With all the stress of the initial homecoming of the unknown people, I made dinner later than usual. But with the heat, I tried to make it with as little heat as possible. I seriously hate summer without an airco.

I made this healthy protein-packed salad. Perfect for the protein that I need in my body and super delicious. Plus it is green and I love the color green when it comes to food.

Cilantro and Spinach Chickpea Salad

I got the recipe from here. Perfect perfect salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (1- 130g can and 310g can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups (450g) spinach
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. In a food processor, add the spinach and pulse a few times until chopped very small. Add the processed spinach, drained chickpeas, and chopped onion into a large bowl.

2. In the food processor (no need to rinse the bowl!), add the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, sugar, garlic, cumin, and oil. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3. Pour the dressing on top of the spinach chickpea mixture and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for about 10 minutes to blend the flavours. Serve with rice and enjoy!

This salad is absolutely amazing. I am happy knowing that I have so much leftover! Yum yum!

Mom, since I know you’re reading this you should suggest Taryn make it tonight or tomorrow at Iftar (the meal which you eat dinner after a day of fasting).

Anyway if any of y’all make this fabulous salad, I hope you enjoy it!

Also, if you are also celebrating Ramadan then you should add this to your evening meal. I think it will work wonderfully with the rest of your meal.

Enjoy your meal!

Friday Night Chicken Gyros

Ah Greek food, the most amazing thing to ever be made in this world.

I remember being in our all-time favourite restaurant in the Netherlands a few years ago and telling both my parents that I have decided that I need to marry a Greek man, an Indian, or a Trinidadian. They asked me why and I told them flat out that if I marry a man from Greece, India, or Trinidad I can become great friends with their mothers and learn the cuisine I love so much. But really all I truly need to marry is a man from Greece or Trinidad, because Trinidadians can be of Indian decent and may know both Indian and Trinidadian cuisine.

But since I have yet to find prince charming from either Greece or Trinidad & Tobago, I thought it would be best just to enjoy some Greek cuisine for a meal.

Easy Chicken Gyros

So how about them gyros?

I may never get over how Anglophones say “jieros”, because in the Netherlands it is spelled as giros and well in Dutch we have a heavy sounding (almost phlegm-filled) G sound that to my Anglophone ex-boyfriend, is pronounced like “hiros”.

Anyway, I got the recipe from here, but as always its been tweaked here and there.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (283g) breast of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (225g) baby spinach
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of fresh parsley
  • 3 gorditas (or pitas)

Tzatziki

  • ¼ cup (61g) Greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breast on chopping board and slice into thin chunks of meat. Then place sliced chicken in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs, as well as salt and pepper. Mix until well coated and set aside to marinate.

  2. Wash cutting board (or get a new one) and begin to mince garlic for tzatziki, then slice red onion for filling of pita.

  3. Heat a small frying pan on the stove top and add marinated chicken to pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. While chicken is being cooked, grab a small bowl and mix yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

  4. When chicken is cooked, take off heat and set up gyro to your liking (mine was set up by placing the spinach on the “gordita”, then adding the fresh parsley leaves, adding the thinly sliced red onions, a few strips of chicken, and then adding a dollop of tzatziki to the mix)

  5. Now enjoy!

Because this recipe is only enough for three gorditas, it is most likely enough to feed one hungry person or being served as an easy snack for three.

I was quite happy with three, though I may be a little sleepy now!

Spinach and Chicken filled Gyro

Now usually gyros are not made with spinach, but I thought why avoid healthy green leafy goods when they are as delicious as they are good for you? Yum!

On a side note though, I am sure those of you who have a keen eye for detail may have noticed in my initial photo there is a pot in the background.

You’re right, there is! I am growing herbs. Every evening around dusk I water my pots and the following day I see my babies have grown a little more. Fresh Herbs

In the white pot I’ve got basil growing, the light gray pot is filled with chives (and some other foreign plant), and in the dark gray pot I’ve got flat leaved parsley! I can honestly say that growing chives is the hardest as they need the most water or they begin to brown on the ends. It’s like they’ve got split ends, except they are crisp from the sunlight!

So that’s me with my partial green thumb! And my delicious Greek meal!

Hope y’all enjoy your meals just as I have!