My Big Fat Greek Family is Nia Vardalos' genius of a movie that basically is the perfect interpretation of every ethnic culture out there, but I most certainly identified with it as a Jew. SO, since I was in a Greek mood today, the recipes I post will have a Greek theme to them. :)
Parmesan Tuna Salad with Kalamata Olives Inside Cucumber Cups
Makes 2 servings
1 medium cucumber
1- 4 oz. can tuna in WATER (not oil--that's just gross in my opinion and not that healthy)
6-8 Kalamata olives
2 tsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dill
2 tbsp light mayonnaise--for a healthier alternative, although this would make it a dairy option as well which doesn't work in THIS household (a little amount of Parmesan doesn't affect my sister in case you were wondering), you can substitute 0% non-fat Greek yogurt to make this SUPER Greek, eh?
dash onion powder
black pepper to taste
1) Cut ends off of cucumber and then slice rest of cucumber into I don't know, let's say 3/4" wide slices.
2) With a spoon, scoop out cucumber from the cucumber ends as well as from the slices, BUT, don't scoop out so much that you create holes in your slices ("There's a hole in this cake."--movie reference, hehe).
3) Cut scooped-out cucumber chunks into smaller cucumber chucks (babies).
4) Remove pits from olives--an easy way I discovered how to do this is to make little slashes on several sides of the olive, remove one part, and the pit should just come out!
5) Chop olive pieces into smaller pieces (more babies, yum).
6) To make tuna salad, mash drained tuna (to make sure it's really drained, when you open the can, press down the lid over the sink, pouring liquid down the drain until no or minimal liquid comes out) with mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, dill, black pepper...was there another spice listed? Oh yeah, don't forget the onion powder, and paprika!
7) Mix in olives and cucumber chunks.
8) Spoon about 1 tbsp of tuna salad into the cucumber slices and voila! You're done!
Enjoy and Bon Appetit! Hopa! :)
Eggplant Boats Stuffed with Chicken and Swiss Chard Topped with Greek Ricotta-Kalamata Olive Tapenade
Makes 2 serving
2 frozen boneless, thinly sliced chicken breasts defrosted in the microwave for several minutes (enough to be able to chop into pieces)
8-10 Kalamata olives, de-pitted (see recipe above on how to do that)
2 tbsp Ricotta cheese (my grocery store didn't have part-skim, but I would recommend it for a healthier option, although the regular kind is still not that bad for you turns out)
2 handfuls Swiss Chard broken up into smaller pieces (For those of you who don't know what Swiss Chard is, it's one of the newest food trends for vegetables--it looks kinda like lettuce with red veins and red stalks if that makes sense? Feel free to use spinach though if your store doesn't carry it.)
2 tsp Parmesan cheese (I know, I seem to use this in every recipe but it's just so damn good!)
1 tsp garlic adobo sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic (I'm obsessed with garlic and this too is always in my meals, I can't help it)
1/4 c. tomato basil sauce (try to find a brand with less sugar and other additives in it, not necessarily organic, although I think bought an organic sauce at Trader Joe's)
1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 medium eggplant (you won't be using the whole thing--I will explain below)
3 stalks fresh chives chopped into small pieces
1) Slice off two ends of the eggplant, each 1/4" or so.
2) With spoon, scoop out eggplant from the ends and chop into smaller pieces.
3) Place eggplant pieces into a medium skillet the tomato sauce, garlic adobo, Swiss chard, Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic.
4) Turn on burner to medium heat and stir ingredients together.
5) Once mixture starts to boil, pour in chicken broth, stir, turn the heat down and let it simmer while you prepare the chicken and eggplant boats
6) In a medium microwavable bowl (glass or porcelain), mix chicken with black pepper and cook on high heat for 3 minutes, until the chicken basically doesn't look raw anymore (nobody wants Salmonella!)
7) Place eggplant boats onto a plate and cook on high heat for another 3 minutes.
8) Spoon chicken-ricotta mixture into eggplant boats and top it with the ingredients from the skillet.
9) Garnish with some chopped chives
Enjoy, Bon Appetit and again shout with me, Hopa! You can pair it with a shot of Ouzo, but don't get too crazy (we ARE trying to be healthy here and not get too feshniged)!
Here's my first photo on this blog! And yes, I made sure to show off my Wolfgang Puck cutting board in the picture (I have the knife set too, teehee)...