Tag Archives: feta

Pork Chops with Spinach and Feta

spinach and feta pork chops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the last recipe I posted that called for pomegranates? Do you also remember how I said I was originally saving that pomegranate to use with pork but since I don’t often eat meat, I figured I’d better use it up in something else I’d be more likely to eat? Well…

guess who suddenly had a hankerin’ for pork this week?! Yeah, this girl right here. This girl that used to say firmly, “I will NEVER give up meat. I will NEVER live off of mostly fish, fruit and vegetables!” Well, I didn’t give them up but I did cut back on them significantly. So much so that when I do eat meat, I have to be conscious of how much of it I eat (portion control) or my body will let me know later that it wasn’t happy with my choice (per lots of swollen limbs and a rolling tummy). Knowing all of this about my body, but still wanting to satisfy my pork craving (everything in moderation, remember), I decided to make this delicious-sounding stuffed pork. To help my body, I served mine with steamed garlic green beans and roasted carrots (beans and sweet potatoes for the rest), and I also cut my serving of pork in half so I didn’t feel “obligated” to eat the whole stuffed chop when I knew my body wouldn’t appreciate it. I also drank 2 tall glasses of ice water with my meal instead of milk, tea, soda or wine. Clearly (haha, get it? water…clear. oh, sorry. here, have a glass of dry wine to go with my sense of humor!), water is the better choice.

I love spinach and feta, but if you don’t, feel free to swap out a different kind of cheese (mozzarella, romano, muenster, etc.) or greens (swiss chard, kale, etc.).

Ingredients

cooking spray1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
5 sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, diced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add half the garlic; cook about 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, tomatoes, and spinach; cook until moisture evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses and rind.
  3. Cut a horizontal slit through each pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper over pork. Arrange pork on the rack of a broiler or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Combine remaining garlic, juice, mustard, and oregano in a bowl; stir well. Brush half of mustard mixture over pork. Broil 6 minutes; turn pork. Brush remaining mixture over pork; broil 2 minutes or until done.
Amount per serving (serves 4, not including sides)
Calories: 232
Calories from fat: 33%
Fat: 8.6g
Saturated fat: 3.4g
Protein: 32.1g
Carbohydrate: 7.2g
Fiber: 2.8g
Cholesterol: 73mg
Sodium: 640mg

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 

mediteranean quinoa salad

 

 

 

 

 

With Summer right around the corner and Spring FINALLY arriving, I’ve been craving this particular dish quite a bit lately and finally decided to get into the kitchen and make it. Good thing I did, too, because I made enough to share with friends and got some of them hooked on it too (and quinoa in general)! This is great served as a side dish with any meal or as a light lunch or dinner.

 

Ingredients

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked quinoa
⅓ cup red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
¼ cup olive oil (or grape seed oil)
1 medium red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
½ cup chopped Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
Juice of one fresh lemon

 

Directions

  1. In a medium sized saucepan bring water and quinoa to a boil over medium heat. Once it begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until water is fully absorbed and the quinoa becomes fluffy. Lightly stir the quinoa and cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the oil (I used a basil pesto flavored grape seed oil that I had, feel free to get a little creative and/or change things up a little) and vinegar and let the quinoa come to room temperature.
  3. Add the onion, tomatoes, pepper, olives, cilantro (I didn’t have any fresh cilantro on hand but I did have dried cilantro so I used about 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. of that), and salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly. Add feta cheese and combine. Chill for 2 hours to let flavors combine. Squeeze lemon juice over salad right before serving to enhance the flavors.

Nutritional Information

(per serving, serves 8)

Calories 235.0
  Total Fat 13.9 g
  Saturated Fat 1.9 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
  Cholesterol 5.0 mg
  Sodium 435.4 mg
  Potassium 157.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 22.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
  Sugars 2.1 g
  Protein 6.2 g

 

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Lentil Casserole – Greek Style

greek lentil casserole

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed if needed
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup + 2 T vegetable stock or broth (canned vegetable broth is fine here)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Greek oregano
1 tsp. Greek Seasoning
1 can (14.5 oz.) stewed tomatoes, drained and slightly mashed
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Use a 3 quart casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid.  Combine lentils, chopped onion, minced garlic, vegetable broth, bay leaf, black pepper, Greek oregano, and Greek seasoning in the casserole dish and bake covered for 45 minutes.
While lentils bake, drain the tomatoes and mash gently inside the can with a fork.  Cut seeds out of the bell peppers and finely chop, and crumble enough Feta to make 3/4 cup.
After 45 minutes, take lentils out of the oven, stir in the crushed tomatoes, put the lid back on and bake for 15 minutes more.  Then take out again, gently mix in the finely chopped bell pepper and 2/3 of the Feta.  Crumble the rest of the Feta over the top and bake 15-20 minutes more, or until the Feta is starting to melt and get lightly browned.  Serve hot.
Nutrition Facts

  4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 177.6
  Total Fat 6.3 g
  Saturated Fat 4.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
  Cholesterol 25.0 mg
  Sodium 576.7 mg
  Potassium 318.9 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 22.1 g
  Dietary Fiber 6.0 g
  Sugars 5.1 g
  Protein 9.7 g
  Vitamin A 12.1 %
  Vitamin B-12 7.9 %
  Vitamin B-6 16.6 %
  Vitamin C 54.9 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 1.7 %
  Calcium 16.9 %
  Copper 9.0 %
  Folate 27.9 %
  Iron 13.0 %
  Magnesium 7.6 %
  Manganese 17.3 %
  Niacin 5.1 %
  Pantothenic Acid     6.6 %
  Phosphorus     20.3 %
  Riboflavin 17.2 %
  Selenium 8.5 %
  Thiamin 10.9 %
  Zinc 10.4 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Green bean, Tomato and Feta Salad

Ingredients:
12 oz. fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 green onions, cut on the diagonal into thin slices
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:
3 T olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. lemon zest (zest the lemon first and then squeeze the juice)
1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil

Instructions:

Whisk together the dressing ingredients so the flavors can combine while you prep the other ingredients. Trim ends of beans and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil, add beans and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until barely tender-crisp. (Taste a bean to be sure.) While beans cook, cut cherry tomatoes in half and slice green onions.

When beans are tender-crisp, drain into a colander placed in the sink, then rinse beans with cold water until they’re cool. Drain beans again, then put them between a double layer of paper towels and blot dry. (Don’t skip this step or the salad will be watery.)

Combine beans, tomatoes, and green onions in a salad bowl and toss with dressing until evenly distributed. Add crumbled Feta and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

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Meatless Monday – Chickpea Style

Chickpea Croquettes with Greek Salad Topping

Serves 4

I love finding new and delicious ways to use chickpeas (because, quite frankly, I don’t care for them too much) so I was happy to have come across this recipe, which I found to be very tasty. The thing I don’t like much about chickpeas is the texture of them whole, so when I made these I did actually mash them up a bit instead of leaving them whole. I also added a couple of Kalamata olives (chopped up) and extra tomatoes to the topping.

Topping

  • 1 cucumber, quartered and sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled low-fat vegan feta cheese, optional

Croquettes

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 green onions, chopped (½ cup)
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

To make the Topping:

Toss together cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, lemon juice, and oil in bowl. Gently stir in feta crumbles. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and set aside.

To make Croquettes:

1. Whisk together chickpea flour, cumin, chili powder, and salt in bowl. Whisk in 3/4 cup hot water. Stir in remaining ingredients, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

2. Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Scoop 4 ı/4-cup dollops of chickpea mixture into skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden.

3. Flip with spatula, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Repeat with remaining chickpea mixture. Serve each Croquette topped with 1/4 cup Topping.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving (2 croquettes with topping):

  • Calories: 314
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 534 mg
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Sugar: 6 g

http://www.vegetariantimes.com

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Kale and Quinoa Casserole

So, I’ve been looking at this recipe off and on for about a week now, trying to decide if I thought it sounded good enough to make. I wasn’t sure about the recipe calling for lettuce (in a baked casserole…sounded sketchy). It just seemed wrong. Well, I decided to give it a try anyway, and at this point I’ll go ahead and say it was purely to satisfy my curiosity as to whether or not it would actually turn out good with the lettuce in it, and also since most of the reviews on the recipe were good. Turns out that it actually tastes really good! How about that?! I did make changes to the recipe and have included those changes in my directions and ingredient list below. Feel free to check out the original recipe HERE (thanks vegetariantimes), in case you’d prefer to make it that way instead. After tasting this dish, I think next time I may add some corn and sun dried tomatoes as well. Make sure that you season this dish well and to your liking; if you don’t you will probably think it’s too bland.
 
Image
 
½ cup quinoa, (rinsed and drained if needed)
1 cup water (or any flavor stock, I used vegetable stock)
1 large bunch Kale (1 to 1 ¼ lb.), torn off the stem and into bite-sized pieces
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped (use the entire leaf, including stem)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped bell peppers, any color (I used red, orange and green)
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried dill
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash original flavor
1 tsp. Oregano
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 eggs and 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
non-stick pan spray
4 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese (optional, topping)
1/4 cup chopped almonds (optional, topping)
 
Directions
 
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook quinoa according to directions on package, set aside.
Heat a 5 quart pan over medium-low heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to pan, then add kale and let cook until wilted down to about 1/2 it’s original volume (took mine about 5-8 minutes). Then add the lettuce and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until slightly wilted. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In the same 5 quart pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat and add chopped onion and bell peppers. Cook until they start to get tender. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add the onion/pepper mixture and quinoa to the kale/lettuce mixture, then add the green onions, seasonings, feta and beaten eggs. Mix well.
Spray a 9 inch pie dish and spread mixture evenly into the dish. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle optional toppings on (parmesan cheese and almonds) and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until cooked all the way through and golden brown.
 
 

nutritional information

Per Slice (serves 6):

  • Calories: 233
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Total Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Cholesterol: 115 mg
  • Sodium: 149 mg
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Sugar: 4 g

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Meatless Monday

Have you been looking for a healthy weekday recipe that you can feed your family instead of resorting to fast food or delivery because you’re short on time now that school is back in session? This recipe makes enough for a couple of days, so whether you keep them in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for next week, these “meatballs” are a great weekday dinner option. Serve them with a generous side of vegetables, with spaghetti or even on a bun for a meatball sandwich.

 

Image

 

Vegetable Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Feta Cheese

from vegetariantimes.com

Serves 12 (Makes 48 meatballs)

3 8-oz. pkg. plain seitan, rinsed and drained (if you’re feeling ambitious or can’t find any at the store, try making your own with this recipe)

1 8-oz. pkg. low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta

1 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs (I use homemade breadcrumbs made with Ezekiel bread)

1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 Tbs. lemon juice

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill

2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint and/or parsley, plus more for garnish

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. allspice

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 25-oz. jar tomato sauce

1 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

1. Pulse seitan in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to bowl, and add all ingredients except oil, tomato sauce, and feta. Mash mixture with hands or potato masher until mixture comes together. Season with salt and pepper, 
if desired. Chill 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking dish with oil. Scoop seitan mixture into golf ball–size meatballs, and place in prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
3. Pour tomato sauce over meatballs, and sprinkle with feta (if using). Bake 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving (4 meatballs):

        Calories: 168, Protein: 21 g, Total Fat: 4 g, Saturated Fat: <1 g, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Cholesterol: 16 mg, Sodium: 684 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g

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