Tag Archives: feta

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

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