Category Archives: feta

Chopped Summer Nectarines, Feta & Basil with Arugula

 
I swear I could eat summer nectarines every single day. I crave them like I crave pasta. They’re perfect – sweet, healthy and really pretty, too. You can serve them in a bunch of different ways, but one of my favorite versions is a chopped ripe nectarines with feta and basil. There’s basically nothing else this needs – a little lemon juice, a little olive oil, a little salt & pepper, and you can either serve it over arugula or just eat it by itself as a great summer snack that you can throw together in no time flat.


SUMMER NECTARINES, FETA & BASIL WITH ARUGULA (serves 2)
– 3 nectarines
– 6-7 basil leaves, chiffonaded
– 1/4 C. crumbled feta
– juice of 1/2 a lemon
– couple glugs of EVOO
– kosher salt and pepper to taste
– 2 cups baby arugula

1. Cut up the nectarines into little cubes.

2. In a bowl, combine nectarines, EVOO, salt & pepper. Stir to combine.

3. Add the feta to the bowl with the nectarines. 

4. Chiffonade the basil, then add to the bowl. Combine all gently.

5. Put the arugula in a bowl and season it a little bit with Herbamare or salt/pepper. Squeeze half a lemon over it, stir to mix.


6. Divide the arugula between two bowls, then top with the nectarine/feta/basil mix. Make sure you get any juices that have collected – this adds a nice little sweetness to the dressing.

7. Serve and enjoy.

Spinach and Feta Turkey Meatballs

 

Meatballs top the list of my favorite foods, especially when they’re over pasta. My mom’s meatballs are completely amazing, so I’ve never tried to duplicate them, but I’ve got to start somewhere. I put these together based on a recipe for my Greek Turkey Meatloaf, and ended up with a lighter, brighter, Greek-er (is that a word? Anyway.) version of a traditional meatball. They were fantastic. I’m seriously convinced that a combo of spinach and feta makes just about everything better. 

– 1.5 lbs ground turkey 

– 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained pretty well 
– 1/2 tbsp chopped dill 
– Squeeze of lemon – this sounds weird, but just trust me. 
– 1/2 C crumbled feta 
– 1/3 panko bread crumbs 
– 1 egg 
– Salt & pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 400 and lightly grease a baking tray. 


2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta, spinach, egg, dill, lemon, salt & pepper. Dig your hands in and just mix it up – it’s kind of gross and satisfying all at once. 


3. Form turkey meatballs into approximately golfball sizes, place on the tray. 


4. Bake for 12 minutes, then flip and bake for 12 minutes more until they gain a little color and are fully cooked through. I put these on top of a mediterranean quinoa and topped them with Tzatziki sauce, and we housed them. Fantastic. 



Cucumber Roll-Ups stuffed with Avocado-Feta Mousse

My parents had a little dinner party at their house, and we all kind of went overboard with our contributions. I made these cucumber roll-ups and those pear, prosciutto & honeyed goat cheese apps, my dad made his incomparable filet mignon with merlot reduction sauce, and my sister made this insane blackberry, lime & olive oil cake. And my mom just made everything look beautiful, as always.  Anyway, these are super simple, really delicious and healthy too! Brendan helped me make them and he was all, “they’re like little cucumber burritos!” which…yup, I can see it. You can use just about anything as a filler, but you know how I looooves me some avocado & feta.

CUCUMBER ROLL-UPS STUFFED WITH AVOCADO-FETA MOUSSE (makes enough for 8 people as apps but only if you have a bunch of other little delicious apps, too)
– 1 english cucumber, washed, skin on
– 1 avocado
– 1/3 c. feta
– 1 tbsp. dill
– juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. Make the avocado-feta mousse. Dice the avocado, then mash it well.  Combine with the dill, lemon & feta. Taste, then adjust seasonings as needed.


2. With a vegetable peeler or a mandoline (I can’t use these, they truly truly freak me out), shave the cucumber into very thin slices. 


3. Take a small spoonful of the avocado-feta mousse and spread it over each slice of the cucumber. Roll and either secure with a toothpick, or leave as is.



4. Serve and watch your family enjoy. Make a mental note to try and make everything as beautiful as your mom always does. 


(Don’t worry. We went for a 7 mile waterfall hike the next day to burn this all off!)


Avocado Feta Toast

This has the double benefit of being really great for you and also totally delicious. I would eat avocados and feta at just about every meal and on just about everything, so anytime I can combine those two things, plus get a filling breakfast, I’m down.

AVOCADO FETA TOAST
– Good bread (this makes a difference, you want something a little hearty that will stand up against the avocado-feta mix). I used an organic rosemary-olive oil loaf this time.
– Approx. 1/4 avocado per toast slice
– Crumbled Feta, approx 1 tbsp. per toast slice
– Kosher salt

1. Mash the avocados, then add the feta. Blend well and add Kosher salt to taste.


2. Spread on good toasted bread. Top with olive-oil poached eggs for a full heart-healthy fats and protein kind of  breakfast.

Orzo with Chicken, Spinach, Tomatoes, Onions & Feta

This is one of the quickest and most delicious go-to recipes I have. I loooove orzo, if only because it makes me feel like I’m getting away with eating pasta, because it’s not in traditional noodle form. Add some spinach and chicken? A balanced meal in no time flat. This is great hot or cold.

ORZO WITH CHICKEN, SPINACH, TOMATOES AND FETA (serves 4 as a side)
– Half a box of orzo
– Shredded cooked chicken, approx. 2 cups
– 4 cups spinach
– Halved cherry tomatoes, approx. 1 cup
– Half a vidalia onion, diced
– 1 Tbsp butter
– 1 Tbsp EVOO
– kosher salt and pepper
– 1 cup crumbled feta (or Parmesan, if you don’t like feta)
1. Cook the orzo according to package directions. You can do the rest of this while it’s boiling.
2. In a large sautee pan, melt butter and EVOO together over medium heat.


3. Dice the onion, then add to the butter & EVOO. “Sweat” it with a little kosher salt and pepper. Cook approx. 3 minutes, or until softened a bit.


4. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, cook until skins start to blister, stirring frequently.


5. Add the spinach, keep stirring, and turn the heat down to low. You want to start to wilt this down, but the heat from the cooked orzo and the pan should do the trick as is.


6. To the pan, dump in the cooked orzo, stir everything together. Add the shredded chicken and feta (or parm). Mix well. Serve.

…birthday tomorrow!!!


Crunchy Chopped Salad with Feta, Mint and a Lime Vinaigrette

 

Oh, did you overdo it with all the food on Superbowl Sunday? Me too. I needed a serious detox meal the next day, and this salad was pretty perfect. It’s super easy, healthy, completely delicious and fun to eat. You can use whatever veggies you want, but try to get a couple different colored ones to make it look pretty. I also strongly recommend using sugar snap peas, because man, are they ever satisfying to eat. Crunch crunch crunch.

CRUNCHY CHOPPED SALAD WITH FETA, MINT AND LIME VINAIGRETTE (serves 4 – adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
– 1 cup each of 4-5 different kinds of veggies, chopped into pretty uniform pieces. I used an english cucumber, sugar snap peas, radishes and red onion.
– 2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
– 1/3 C. crumbled feta
– approx. 6 large mint leaves, chiffonaded

LIME VINAIGRETTE
– juice of 1 lime (approx. 1 tbsp)
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 tsp. cumin
– kosher salt and pepper to taste


This is a really tough recipe. Ready?

1. Get all your veggies cleaned. Chop into similar size pieces and throw them into a bowl.

Sugar Snap Peas win the world
2. Add the feta, mint and the scallions, mix everything together. 

3. In a different container, combine the lime juice with the cumin, salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Add the olive oil and mix it all together. Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad and stir everything together gently but thoroughly.

4. Serve.  We had this with salmon burgers with avocado slices and a dill sauce on sourdough-rosemary bread, and oh, my god. This dinner almost cancelled out the over-indulgence of Super Bowl Sunday – I probably felt almost as bad as the Broncos did by the end of the night. You’ll get them next time, Colorado!

Chopped Chicken Salad with Summer Nectarines, Avocado & Feta in a Basil Vinaigrette

This is, clearly, the summer of salads.  It’s been so hot out lately that I can’t even think about turning on an oven, so here we are.  You can get pretty creative with salads – for this one, I had some leftover grilled chicken, and the rest was in my refrigerator. It was delicious. You can sub peaches for nectarines, but make sure they’re pretty ripe, because crunch of the nectarines was perfect when paired with the creamy avocado, the grilled chicken, the saltiness of the feta and the sweet punch of the basil vinaigrette. It doesn’t keep well (at all) so make as much as you’re going to serve at a time.

CHOPPED CHICKEN SALAD WITH SUMMER NECTARINES, AVOCADO & FETA IN A BASIL VINAIGRETTE (serves 2-4)
– 2 nectarines (or peaches), chopped
– 1 large grilled chicken breast, chopped
– 1 avocado, chopped
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta
– couple basil leaves, chiffonaded

Basil Vinaigrette (makes more than enough, so just use however much you need)
– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
– 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
– 2 tsp. honey
– 6 tbsp. EVOO
– little kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Ready for this? It’s super complicated.

1. Chop up the nectarines/peaches/avocado into pieces roughly the same size (approx. 1/4 inch), add to a bowl.

2. Add the feta, mix gently to combine and not bruise the avocado.

3. Combine the vinegars and the salt/pepper, then the honey, then the EVOO & the chopped basil.  Put a lid on it and shake it up (that doubles as life advice).


4. Top the salad with the dressing just before serving, then gently combine.  Top individual servings with the extra chiffonaded basil.


— It was hard for me to concentrate while writing this because I SWEAR TO YOU, STINK BUG BUZZING SOMEPLACE IN MY SUNROOM, I WILL FIND YOU AND YOU WILL BE MINE.  

Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad with Basil and Red Onion

It’s the summer of salads! This is so easy, so pretty, and so tasty too. I know the 4th of July is on Thursday, so if you wanted to throw in some blueberries you could make a red, white, & blue (and green) salad for wherever you’re going to celebrate. This is a crowd pleaser – sweet watermelon, tangy feta, peppery arugula. Yummo.

WATERMELON, FETA & ARUGULA SALAD W/ BASIL & RED ONION (serves approx. 6)
– 3 cups of watermelon, cubed
– 10 oz. baby arugula
– 1/3 c. crumbled feta
– 1/4 red onion, cut into slivers of half moons
– 2 tbsp EVOO
– 2 tbsp balsamic
– small handful of basil, chiffonaded (is that a word? the verb of “chiffonade”? Oh well, it is today)
– kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

1. Cut the red onion into slivers, then soak it for approx. 15 minutes. This takes some of the “bite” out of the onion, so it doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the salad.


2. After it’s finished soaking, pat the onion dry, and then in a large bowl, combine it with the arugula, watermelon, basil & feta. I’ve found the easiest way to cut watermelon is to cut off the bottom (so you have a little stand), then cut it in half. Then, cut the green parts off around the sides, using downwards cuts.

Like so.

 


3. In a small jar, add the balsamic, then a little kosher salt & pepper. Then, add the EVOO, and mix together well.


4. When ready to serve (this gets kind of soggy if you mix it too far in advance, so add the dressing just when it’s ready to go out to the table), top the salad with the dressing. Mix everything gently together and serve. Preferably dining alfresco with your wonderful family.

 


— I’m big on the post-scripts lately, I know, but I just want to thank MY FRIEND Klob for believing in Andwhatiate.com so much and for his very generous donation.  You’re my favorite and I’m putting that on the internet for everyone to see!  Thank you my friend. I owe you dinner – I’ll cook.  

Breakfast Bake: Egg, Baby Kale, & Feta

Baby kale!  Who knew? I was so excited when I saw this in the grocery store.  Kale is great for you, but traditionally it’s really hearty and kind of tough.  Baby kale is so much more delicate, doesn’t require any prep work, and can be used in place of spinach leaves for just about anything, so I started with this. Throw this “breakfast bake” together in 15 minutes, bake it for 30-35, and you have a super filling breakfast that gives you the added benefit of another serving of veggies for the day.  We ate this over the next 2 days, and it was still delicious.

BREAKFAST BAKE: EGG, BABY KALE, & FETA (makes 6 servings)
– 1/2 a container of baby kale (I used Olivia’s Organics, so approx. 6 oz.), or regular-leaf kale, “ribs” removed, and chopped roughly
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 3 shallots, thinly sliced
– 1/2 – 1/3 C. crumbled feta
– 8 eggs – 4 with yolk, 4 egg whites only
– 1/4 c. milk
– 1 tsp. Herbamare, which is the greatest seasoning ever, or just regular salt & pepper if you can’t find it
– 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped dill (optional)
– Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Rub a little olive oil in an 8 x 8 (or similar) casserole dish.

3. In a large sautee pan, heat the 1 tbsp. EVOO, then add the shallots and cook until they soften, approx. 2 minutes.  Add the baby kale and sautee until wilted, which shouldn’t take longer than a minute.  If you’re using regular kale, it’ll take about 2 minutes until it’s just wilted.  Add the tsp. Herbamare and the dill, and stir to combine everything.


4. Remove from heat and spread the kale/shallot mixture in the casserole dish. Top with the crumbled feta.


5. Lightly beat the eggs and milk.  Add however much salt & pepper you would typically add for scrambled eggs.


6. Pour the egg mixture over the kale/shallots/feta.  Use a fork to gently sort of poke the egg mixture down into the kale & shallots, so that the eggs get evenly distributed.


7.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set.  Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes.


8. Cut into servings and enjoy, then save your leftovers (if there are any!) for a quick breakfast over the next day or two.

Mediterranean Shrimp & Feta Bake

Not only is most Mediterranean cuisine amazing for you & your health, it’s also awesome. There’s an emphasis on fresh cooking, olive oil instead of butter, foods with flavors of their own so you don’t need a bunch of add-ons, and then flavors like dill, lemon, olives, feta, etc. The “Mediterranean diet” practices eating habits that the U.S. recommends for us, and just think of how much better off we all would be if we lived like this all the time! Plus, I’m a fan of any eating plan that encourages drinking red wine.  So pour yourself a glass and get this Shrimp & Feta bake started.  It’ll be ready in 30 minutes, tops.

MEDITERRANEAN SHRIMP & FETA BAKE (SERVES 4-6)
– 1 lb. frozen, uncooked shrimp
– 1 vidalia onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 28-oz. can chunky crushed tomatoes
– 1 tbsp. chopped dill
– 1/4 c. fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1/3 c. crumbled feta
– Kosher salt & fresh-cracked pepper to taste
– Orzo, or pasta, or rice, to top with the Shrimp & Feta bake

1. Quickly defrost your shrimp.  Fill a bowl with cold water, add the shrimp, and change the water twice over the next 20 minutes.  You’ll be able to throw the rest of this together by the time they’re de-thawed.


2. Preheat the oven to 425.  

3. In a saucepan (or better, to make this a one-pot meal, a Le Creuset Dutch Oven), heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until softened, approx. 5 minutes.


4. Add the chopped garlic and stir until fragrant, approx. 60 seconds.


5. Add the tomatoes, stir to combine, and let heat until it starts to shimmer (approx. 2 minutes).  Then, lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the juices start to thicken.

6. Remove from the heat. and stir in the dill & parsley, juice of 1 lemon, feta, shrimp, and salt & pepper.


7. Place pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked through, approx. 10-12 minutes.


8. Serve over cooked orzo, pasta, rice, etc.  – or eat it on its own for a fully gluten-free meal.