We've been reading about people who decided to take advantage of the extra time at home to move to a healthier, more plant-based diet, so we thought we'd share some of our favorite veggie dishes, made with our Artisans' tasty all-natural products. The Greek cuisine of my parents' and grandparents' upbringing has always been light on meat, which was "saved" for Sunday's and special occasions, so healthy, vegetable-based dishes abound. These 12 delicious recipes are sure to tempt even the most committed meat lovers consider more plant-based options in their diet. From hearty pasta salads and soups to lighter fare like quiche and roasted veggies, there is an option for everyone - try some this week!
1. Mediterranean Couscous Salad with beets and orange zest
I often use pearl couscous (also known as "Israeli couscous" in the States) as an ingredient in filling soups, often substituting it for pasta. When I first tasted my friend Mike's beet and orange salad (see #8 below!), I immediately thought that it could make a great main dish, too, so I added Agrozimi's hand-rolled couscous. Serve this colorful salad cold or at room temperature.
2. A Sweetly Savory Citrus Salad
One of the many surprises in my Zelos journey has been discovering how versatile sweet things can be, even in savory dishes. I started using Citrus Chios Tangerine Marmalade in my salad dressings for a nice, sharp flavor. It especially works well with peppery arugula topped with orange cubes and chopped sea fennel (great to give extra fiber, vitamins and minerals to any salad). Check out this post for more salad ideas with a citrus twist.
3. A Vegan Greek Orzo Salad
This Greek pasta salad uses spelt orzo instead of the classic egg & milk orzo, and I add chickpeas to help boost the protein punch (pasta ececi for the Italians out there!). Like any pasta salad worth its salt, this is a super-versatile recipe and you can jazz it up as you like (olives are a must in our home!).
4. Greek Spinach and Rice, spanakórizo, with trahana
This classic Greek dish is amazing with garden-fresh spinach and dill, but you can easily use frozen, too, to save some time. The real fun twist is substituting Agrozimi's handmade sour trahana pasta for the usual white rice - check out the recipe. My next experiment will have to be to give it a try with their squid ink couscous!
Greek cuisine has so many legume-based dishes such as lentils, chickpeas and beans that are perfect for vegetarians and vegans alike. With such a high content of plant-based protein and fiber, they are both filling and healthy. Add a couple of spoonfuls of Sparoza’s cooking blend with spices and orange zest and you'll have a fragrant and flavorful spicy lentil soup.
7. Quinoa Salad with roasted red peppers, black beans and Sparoza spices
This was originally a recipe from Elizabeth Rider that I adapted by using Tragano Greek Organics roasted Capia peppers, which give a nice tang to the dish since the peppers are preserved in an all-natural brine, and Sparoza's Cooking Blend with Spices & Orange Zest, instead of the original recipe's cumin, for even more of a punch. It's a wonderful main dish for any picnic or potluck - try the easy quinoa salad recipe.
8. Mediterranean Beet & Haloumi Salad
My friend Mike originally made this for a holiday dinner party but the combination of roasted beets, orange, halloumi (a Cypriot cheese that you can find in many grocery stores), and sea fennel makes for a fresh side dish.
9. Cretan Dákos barley rusk side
Escape to sunny Crete with this dakos recipe! Reminiscent of Italian bruschetta, a dakos starts with a moistened barley rusk topped with olive oil, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, herbs, and the omnipresent Kalamata olive. It's a refreshing snack, appetizer or side dish, crunchy, juicy, salty, and flavorful, all at the same time!
10. Baked Zucchini with Elli & Manos' tomato spreads
There are so many ways to enjoy fresh summer vegetables but the easiest has to be to just roast them and then top them with your favorite all-natural tomato spread from Elli & Manos! If you want to get a little fancier, try them baked in individual ramekins for a special veggie side dish.
11. Tomato-baked eggs, strapatsada
One of my most beloved memories is eating a dish made with a simple tomato sauce and scrambled eggs. We call it “strapatsáda” and some people add a little green pepper in it, too, or feta cheese to give it extra flavor. It makes for a quick, tasty lunch, even better with fresh, crusty bread. Here is our baked eggs recipe!
12. The Real Greek Salad
Greek Salad is a true summer staple, a part of every meal, a refreshing and flavorful antidote to the hot summer days and nights. We actually call ita horiatiki salatain Greek, “a village salad”, perhaps because the best vegetables would come from the countryside, where food is so often simple yet incredibly tasty. If you want the real deal, this is the real Greek salad.
Enjoy the delicious taste of PDO Kimi figs from the island of Evia and bring the flavors of a Greek summer to your table. Hand-crafted by Kumilio using traditional techniques with no additives, preservatives, artificial coloring or flavors.