Tag Archives: Olive oil

Greek Salad “xoriatiki”, Vegan Style

“Xoriatiki” salad  in Greek means the salad of the village.

From my understanding, the wealth of greek kitchen in vegetarian dishes and endless ways to cook vegetables comes from how poor the people were in the past and couldn’t afford meat, so they had to turn on the more affordable vegetables and legumes.

(Ironic how things have changed, huh?)

When I convinced myself to eat everything in the salad, I was amazed by the flavor!

The secret of this salad is the onion rings, without it, there is no Greek character

Ingredients

  • two tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 onion
  • olives
  • capers
  • oregano
  • sea salt
  • vinegar if you like
  • vegan cheese (you could always try our vegan Parmesan recipe or our vegan Tofu Ricotta cheese recipe!)
  • olive oil

Wash your vegetables. Chop the pepper, the cucumber and the tomatoes. Slice your onion.  Add some capers – careful, they are potent those little ones! Add the olives, without the pits, so you can enjoy your salad without distractions. Sprinkle sea salt, oregano and olive oil.  I think that vinegar goes great with cucumber, that is if you eat cucumber and vinegar though!

This salad is perfect for the inside of a loaf of bread and so it becomes a wonderful sandwich! Take a sharp knife and cut the loaf of bread in half, removing the insides, fill it with the salad and enjoy!

I took the loaf idea out of the site www.sintagespareas.gr

Simple Lettuce Spinach Salad

For this salad I used:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach leaves
  • 2 green onions
  • kalamata olives
  • fresh chopped dill
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • dash of sugar

Wash, dry and chop your vegetables, and mix in well.

To prepare the sauce, in a little bowl put some honey, and as much balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Add the olive oil with a small constant flow while you whisk everything together working fast to make a sauce. Taste it and decide if you want more sweet or sour, pour over the salad and enjoy!

Μπάμιες! (Okras) with Tomato Sauce!

This is one of our all time favorite! Every week we visit the farmer’s market with desperation to find organic, sweet, delightful μπάμιες!

We use fresh ones, but using frozen ones will save you so much time.   Keep the recipe until you can find fresh ones!

You will need

  • 1 kilogram of okras/Μπάμιες
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 juicy tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  • vinegar

This is how I did it and they were not slimey, they were delicious!

Wearing gloves, I washed them well. Then.. off with their heads! With a knife i chopped all of their hats off because I don’t adore biting into it when I eat them. Slime is oozing out of them but fear not, for you will make it disappear! Put the clean μπάμιες in a bowl and drizzle vinegar on them. Leave them in it for about 30 to 50 minutes and you will have yourselves perfect μπάμιες!

Put the tomatoes in α blender (we used a Vitamix) with a half tablespoon of sugar, a dash of cumin, salt and pepper accordingly ( to your health and taste, not necessarily in that order) and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. This is your sauce.

Assuming you left them in the vinegar (which I hope you did!!), it is now time to coat a large pot with olive oil, set it on medium heat and sizzle the chopped onion and garlic. When they get a bit of color, it is time to throw the μπάμιες inside. All the vinegar will evaporate at this point and no one will understand the flavor. I know this guy who hates vinegar but loves this food so it works. (What she says is true!)

For a few minutes sizzle the μπάμιες to make them soft and make the vinegar evaporate. When they start sounding too dry, add the tomato sauce and enough water to cover them, stir. Cover with the lid οn medium-low heat and stir carefully to avoid mashing the μπάμιες!

As you cook the food, the μπάμιες will drink up the tomato sauce and the water while being cooked. If the water has evaporated before the μπάμιες are soft, add some more water. If you add too much water, take the lid off and let them cook for quite some time. I think the secret is to keep your cool and let the tomato sauce become thick allowing the μπάμιες to absorb most of it.

Don’t be afraid of the μπάμιες, they don’t look fabulous, but they sure taste great!

Vegan Pasta Sauce

Coat the bottom of a large and deep frying pan (that has a cover) with olive oil. Place the pan over medium-low heat on the stove. Once the olive oil is hot enough add these ingredients in the following order and saute them (stirring occasionally):

  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) of chopped or diced red onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 small eggplants, chopped (split vertically 4 times then chopped horizontally into small chunks)
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) of diced green peppers
  • 1 cup (200 ml) of chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Saute these until eggplants are soft

Next, in a mixer or blender:

  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 juicy medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of basil – dried
  • 1 Tablespoon of oregano – dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon of parsley – dried

Blend these ingredients until smooth, then pour the blended tomato mixture into the frying pan. Keep frying pan on medium-low heat and cover the pan (the tomato juice will begin to “jump” out of the pan once it heats up. Stir this occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes. That’s all there is to it! It’s delicious and worth the effort!

Rocket Salad with Vegan Parmesan Cheese

The plant’s name is Arugula or Salad Rocket! It has an intense flavor that is complimented perfectly by sun dried tomatoes and vegan Parmesan cheese!

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • olives
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar ( if you are into it)
  • sea salt
  • vegan Parmesan cheese

Wash the vegetables and chop them in a large bowl, mix well together with your hands so that the ingredients get spread evenly.  If you like it, make a balsamic sauce with agave or maple syrup, and spray on top with a sprinkle of salt! Otherwise, some simple olive oil works just as well with a light sprinkle of salt. Last but not least sprinkle some vegan Parmesan cheese on top of the salad!

To learn how to make your own vegan Parmesan cheese click here!

Green Beans the Greek Way!

This is how every Greek mother or grandmother cooks green beans, or φασολάκια!

You will need:

  • 1 kilogram of long green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 zucchinis
  • The juice of 2 juicy tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh fennel
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Wash your vegetables. If you chose the frozen way, congratulations because you are set. If you chose the fresh beans, you should reach for a knife (and for some patience).  The beans on both sides have a “nerve” or cord running on them, cut it out with the knife, along with the top and the bottom of the bean.  If this is your first time doing it, try to cut close to the surface so you don’t waste too much flesh! Don’t worry,  it will get easier and faster with time!!

Chop the onions and garlic finely. Chop the carrots, zucchinis and potatoes in bigger pieces.

I like keeping the green beans as long as they come (like my grandma used to do them), but if you want to you can chop them too!

In a giant pot, drizzle some olive oil to coat the bottom, heat it up over medium heat on the stove. When it starts sizzling add the onions and the garlic. Let them saute for a minute. Add the carrots, sizzle for a couple of minutes. Next add the potatoes, sizzle to make them softer, then the zucchinis and last but not least the green beans! Try to keep the heat medium to low so nothing burns (and to soften them relatively)!

When you think the green beans are soft enough, add the tomato juice with the sugar, finely chopped parsley, finely chopped fennel; then salt and pepper. Stir carefully. Add enough water for the food to be barely covered, cover with the lid and slow cook on medium-low heat until the carrots, potatoes and the green beans are soft.

We did not have any carrots on hand at the moment so our picture reflects that. Traditionally we make this dish with carrots.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

In a food processor or blender (we used the Vitamix to really kick the speed on high) add:

  • 6 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil (used to bind the nutritional yeast and sea salt to the dry, raw almonds & cashews)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds

Process or blend into until there are no large pieces of the almonds or cashews left. That’s all there is to this one! Refrigerate in a sealed container.

Salad with Spinach and Lettuce (for those who are not very fond of Spinach)

With winter starting and the flu all around us, I wanted to find ways for us to eat raw spinach. You eat it and you feel invincible! Popeye strong, full of energy and ready to do everything!

But…

We both dislike the taste of it when raw, some of us more that others. For a good reason too, that flavor is.. overpowering ! So I have been trying to hide the spinach under other flavors, to make it easier for us to be healthy (like a set of five year olds who don’t want to eat the green leaf!)

This salad is a full meal, a light one, so give it a try if you want a delightful salad.

Ingredients

  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • 2 green onions
  • mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • green pepper
  • olive oil
  • cumin
  • thyme
  • salt

Wash the lettuce and the spinach thoroughly. I would suggest using more lettuce than spinach, but then again your heart might not be weak as ours! Chop the green onions. One of them you will use raw. The other one you will sizzle in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and the garlic clove (chopped or minced) .  Then you will add roughly chopped mushrooms and peppers,  a pinch of cumin and thyme, then when they are soft you can add:

  • Balsamic vinegar with agave syrup or
  • wine or
  • any other combination of sweet and sour liquids

Allow the wine or vinegar to embrace the vegetables and evaporate then add the mix into your chopped lettuce, spinach and green onion salad. Add salt and olive oil. Enjoy!

Poker Night and the Vegetarian Snacks

Tonight we invited some friends over for some poker and snacks. Our guests were all meat eaters who consider us lame. So, you understand why I wanted to impress them with cool snacks that do not remind them of their Grandma. Everything we made was gone within the first hour!

Snacks that are gluten-free, vegan and cool? How is that possible?

Why not popcorn and rice cakes with a twist?

To make the popcorn, we buy organic popcorn kernels, put them in a huge pot on the stove over medium heat with olive oil (coat the bottom of the pot with the olive oil), fill the olive-oiled bottom with kernels (but do not put too many so that most of them can pop!) and close the lid. You wait patiently to hear that silent pop pop. When the popping becomes a bit more frequent and louder, take a towel, hold the handles and the lid to lift the pot a bit to give it a good stir (so that no kernel burns). Repeat frequently as long as you hear popping. When you stop hearing popping, remove from the stove; put them in a big bowl so you can either sprinkle sea salt on them (has to be thin or grinded salt) or use a grinder with paprika, basil, sea salt and garlic for magic!

Now for the rice cakes: half of them were with an olive paste spread, then, add a  little bit of  a caper, a little bit of sun dried tomatoes, a little bit of smoked salt with a sprinkle of fresh dried oregano; the other half of them had this amazing topping (of which the other half of this blog is quite proud of). An inspiration from a late night… he spread agave syrup on the top of them, then he covered them with roasted peanuts and sprinkled sea salt over it all. This is one of our favorite snacks of all time!