Tag Archives: feta

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Feta Rice

Once again, I’ve been missing. I’ve been home for two weeks over the last two months so I really haven’t been able to cook much, hence not really able to post. Last week, I was away for work and while I was gone, my power went out for two days due to a storm. While I was kind of happy to not be suffering through 90 degree weather without air conditioning, I wasn’t happy about having to toss out everything in my fridge, including tons of frozen chicken breasts, a whole carton of eggs, an unopened bottle of coffee creamer and a whole box of turkey burgers. Not a good feeling. I wasn’t in the mood to cook this weekend so I decided to bring you a dish I made before I headed out of town: Grilled Lemon Chicken with Feta Rice.

Chicken breasts are marinated quickly in a little lemon juice, oil and garlic before being grilled until perfectly cooked. A quick side of precooked brown rice, lemon juice, oil, feta, and basil is the perfect bite to accompany this chicken. I have to tell you, this was one of the best things I have made in a long time. And I make a lot of really good food. There was just something about this. Not just the amazing flavor but also the incredible ease. Take about a perfect summer dinner. Make it!

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Combine chicken, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil, and garlic in a zip-top bag; turn to coat. Let stand 5 minutes.

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Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; grill 6 minutes on each side.

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While chicken cooks, heat rice according to package directions. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add rice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, feta, and basil; toss.

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Serve rice with chicken.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta

I was traveling for work last week and had a lot going on which meant hardly any exercise and lots of bad eating. I actually don’t mind traveling for work but at the same time, I love being in a normal routine at home of making good food and hitting the gym. The one morning I actually made it to the gym? It was packed with every machine taken. I did some exercises in my room instead but that didn’t really do me much good for the rest of the week. So this week, I’m back on track. (I feel like I’m always saying that.) Salad…and more salad. Luckily, I came home to the latest Cooking Light magazine in my mailbox which had this Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Feta. It seemed meant to be.

Chicken breasts are marinated briefly in simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being grilled. Strawberries, arugula, and red onion are mixed with a little more oil and vinegar before being topped with the chicken and tangy feta cheese. This salad is simple and a little bit perfect. Strawberries and balsamic already pair so well together but added with the marinated chicken and spicy arugula, it just makes this salad so hearty and flavorful. I’ve been craving strawberries lately so this was a great way to enjoy them before they are perfectly in season. Salads can be good like that.

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Combine 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut into slices.

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Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add strawberries; toss to coat.

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Add arugula and onion to strawberry mixture; toss gently to combine.

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Sprinkle feta over salad. Divide salad among 4 plates; top evenly with sliced chicken.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Regular balsamic vinegar

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Asparagus with Tomato and Feta

Here we go again with Thanksgiving. Where does the time go? Well, hopefully you’ve got some fun and happy plans. Me? I’ll be keeping it small but my day is planned: coffee, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, eat a little food, watch football, eat a little more food. Oh and drink bourbon or wine somewhere in between, depending on how I feel. Well, I struggle with vegetables sometimes and rather than steamed broccoli or boring green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts, how about something untraditional like this Asparagus with Tomato and Feta instead?

Grape tomatoes and asparagus are roasted in the oven and topped with white balsamic vinegar and feta cheese, adding tons of flavor and color to these healthy spears. Sure, this dish may look a little more like Christmas than Thanksgiving but so what? ‘Tis the season, right? Whatever veggie you dish up with your turkey tomorrow, I certainly home you enjoy it, eat a bunch, pop a button on your pants, and appreciate every second of it. Be thankful, because I’m thankful for each one of you.

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Preheat oven to 425°F. Place tomatoes and olive oil on a jelly-roll pan; toss. Bake at 425°F for 4 minutes.

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Add asparagus; bake 9 minutes.

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Top with vinegar, salt, pepper, and crumbled feta cheese.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Orzo Salad with Peas and Feta

My 4th of July plans are pretty low key this year and I plan on curling up with a good book, a turkey burger and a cocktail. But so many people will be heading to the beach, the lake, the park, the pool or a friend’s house for fireworks and that means needing food. Maybe you’ll be having a burger like me or something else grilled. Maybe you’ll take this holiday weekend to consume as much ice cream as you can. Or maybe it’s the time to eat salads and I don’t mean the leafy green kind. I mean the potato-y, mayonnaise-y, pasta-y kind. This Orzo Salad has been a long time staple of mine which is my go-to dish whenever there is a potluck at work, a picnic or any impromptu get-together.

Quick-cooking orzo, frozen peas, and feta cheese are mixed together with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. That’s it. This pasta salad is so fast to make and easy to throw together at the last minute. This salad doesn’t have a lot of ingredients so the vinegar comes through nicely without being too overpowering and the peas add a subtle sweetness which pairs so well with the pasta. I used basil instead of parsley because I had it on hand but any herb would work here. The herbs provide a bold freshness which only complements this pasta. Orzo cooks in about nine minutes so if you have a box on hand, this is something that you can pull together quickly. Give this a try anytime you need a quick side whether it’s a holiday weekend or not. I bet it’ll become your go-to recipe too.

If you like this, also check out Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil.

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Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well to coat.

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Cover bowl and chill for 1 hour.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Reduced-fat feta cheese

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomato

Ahh, eggs.  I swear I could eat them everyday.  And I almost do.  Until recently, I wouldn’t eat any egg that had even a hint of a runny yolk.  As in no over-easy eggs, no “dippy” eggs (aka sunny side up), no eggs Benedict.  Then all of a sudden, I became obsessed with vegetarian eggs Benedicts.  So now, I’m no longer grossed out.  Well, I am a little.  But I’m getting over it quickly.  Because of this new revelation, I am now suddenly even more drawn to eggs than ever because now I have so many more options (how many times can you eat fried, scrambled, or deviled eggs?)!  These Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomato are slightly dippy in the middle but filled with tons of other flavors making this a not-so-standard breakfast.

Onions, spinach and tomatoes are mixed together with spices before being spooned into ramekins, topped with a fresh egg and feta cheese and baked.  This dish is filled with flavor and puts plain old scrambled eggs to shame.  Serve this with a side salad and you could have this for lunch or dinner.  I left mine in the oven a little longer than the recipe said but not because of the runny yolk, but because I wasn’t sure if the whites were cooked fully.  I haven’t quite mastered the “baking” of eggs yet so I never quite do it right.  But this is a really fantastic alternative to eggs which would be festive for a holiday breakfast one day this week.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat  oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add  spinach and sauté until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from  heat.

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In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper,  paprika, and, if desired, hot sauce. Add onion-spinach mixture  and stir to  combine. Divide among 4 oiled 10-ounce ramekins.

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Crack an egg into the center of each ramekin, then sprinkle on feta.

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Bake until whites are set but yolks remain soft, 12 to 15 minutes.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Reduced-fat feta cheese

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Country Living magazine

Phyllo Pizza with Feta, Basil, and Tomatoes

I have to tell ya, I’m really getting into this pizza on Fridays thing.  And since I’ve been trying all different kinds of pizzas, I’m used to eating pizza that doesn’t have a lick of tomato in it at this point.  But now I’m resorting to making a pizza that doesn’t even use pizza dough?  Who am I?  The great thing about phyllo dough is it can easily be used in both sweet and savory dishes (à la Baklava and Spanakopita) so why not make it the basis of a pizza?  This Phyllo Pizza with Feta, Basil, and Tomatoes does just that perfectly.

Sheets of phyllo dough are layered with a combination of mozzarella, Parmesan, and feta cheeses and topped with slices of fresh tomatoes, basil and scallions. Fragrant oregano gives this pizza a traditional Italian herby feel while the phyllo and feta keep it grounded with classic Greek flavors.  A simple pizza with nothing more but tomatoes and basil is always going to be a hit to me but the addition of phyllo and feta here make it extra special.  Don’t worry if you get confused by the directions like I did, just layer the cheese and phyllo sheets and even if you mess it up, it’ll still taste perfect.  This pizza is a real winner!

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine mozzarella, feta, Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl.

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Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise. Working with 1 phyllo sheet half at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), place phyllo sheet on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat phyllo sheet with cooking spray. Repeat with 2 more layers of phyllo.

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Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Repeat layers 5 times, ending with 2 phyllo sheets.

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Coat top phyllo sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture. Pat tomato slices with a paper towel. Arrange tomato slices on top of cheese, leaving a 1-inch border.

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Sprinkle with onions and the remaining 6 tablespoons cheese mixture. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until golden.

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Sprinkle with basil leaves.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Reduced-fat mozzarella

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

Do you ever come across a recipe and think If only I liked (fill in the blank), I’d love this! Well when I came across this recipe for Chorizo-and-Goat Cheese-Stuffed Peppers I thought, if only I liked goat cheese and if only I ate chorizo and if only this used basil instead, this would be right up my alley! Well, when in doubt, substitute!  I recreated these appetizers using what I wanted instead to come up with something similar yet my own.  Introducing Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers!

Turkey sausage and peppers are cooked together before adding in creamy cream cheese and tangy feta cheese.  The whole mixture is scooped into mini-sweet peppers and baked creating a perfectly small, appetizer-sized stuffed pepper.  The flavor of the turkey sausage, mixed with the difference cheeses and sweet peppers make for an overall perfect appetizer in my opinion.  Yes, removing the seeds of the peppers and making them into cute little boats may be a bit time consuming but the rest of the dish is easy as pie and quick to come together.  The hardest part is waiting the fifteen minutes for these suckers to be done.  The best part of the hardest part? Eating the left over sausage mixture out of the pan with a spoon while you wait.

Sausage-and-Feta Cheese-Stuffed Peppers (makes 24 appetizers)

Adapted from Coastal Living Magazine‘s Chorizo-and-Goat Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

  • 24 baby peppers or mini-peppers
  • 1 lb turkey sausage or pork sausage (hot or sweet, up to you!)
  • 2 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut about 1/4 inch from top of peppers to form a “boat” (see picture below). Seed peppers, if desired, and finely chop pepper tops. Combine chopped peppers and sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until sausage is browned. Drain well, if necessary. Add feta and cream cheeses, stirring until well blended. Spoon or pipe sausage mixture into pepper boats. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts and peppers are tender. Garnish with basil, if desired.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut about 1/4 inch from top of peppers to form a “boat.” Seed peppers, if desired, and finely chop pepper tops.

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Combine chopped peppers and sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until sausage is browned. Drain well, if necessary.

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Add feta and cream cheeses, stirring until well blended.

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Spoon or pipe sausage mixture into pepper boats. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts and peppers are tender.

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Garnish with basil, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions (from adapted recipe):

  • Turkey sausage
  • Reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/3-less fat cream cheese
  • Basil

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Adapted from Coastal Living magazine

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