Mingled Greek Cuisine, and more. 

Because, on an every day basis, any home cooked meal is better than any delivery.

Before mingling, read through directions, prepare ingredients and organize them on your bench in order of use. It helps in numerous way, not the least of which being a visual of relative quantities. While mingling, listen to music, taste everything at regular intervals, and keep that magnifying glass (salt) at a proper distance! 

 

Legumes are a source of plant based protein and highly nutritious due to their fibre content. They make great, empowering soups in winter, and refreshing salads in the summer. However, there are some intestinal disorders that strictly forbid them, so make sure you know your health prerequisites before consuming them. I have included Quina in this section because of its similar nutritional value.

Curry Lentils

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (3 generous portions)

The concept here is to create a flavourful medium in which the lentils will boil, mingle and turn into a thick soup.

The only pressure point is that the lentils must not boil rigorously because they will lose their shape and crunch. What you really want is a strong, steady simmer.

Use a medium sized pot that allows for the all the lentils to be enveloped comfortably in the water and move around with ease while boiling. Make sure the water doesn't dry out, gradually adding more if necessary. If at the end, the soup is too watery, turn the heat up and evaporate extra liquid. However, in order to not break down the lentils, it is preferable to start with less water and gradually add, than having to vigorously evaporate in the end.

Finally, both carefully and generously, however contradicting this may sound, add salt throughout the cooking. 

In the pot, sauté in a little olive, or other oil:

1. Onion, 1 medium, cut in small cubes 

2. Red Pepper, 1 pc, cut in small cubes

Deglaze with:

3.Worcestershire Sauce, 1tsp

and add:

4. Carrot, 1 medium, cut length wise in quarters and then in thin slices 

5. Tomato paste, 2 tbsp

6. Sugar 1/4 tsp

7. Curry powder, 1 tsp

8. Orange zest, 1/2 tsp

9. Brown Lentils, 1 cup

Stir to coat everything well. Then add water, start with 3 cups, and boil gently for about 45 minutes. When the lentils are cooked add 

10. Orange juice, 1 tbsp

12. Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tsp

Taste and adjust final seasoning. Serve warm with feta or yoghurt on the side or as garnish. Lentils are also commonly served with rice in the Middle East.

Keeps well for a few days in an air tight container in the fridge.

Black Eyed Pea Salad with Tuna

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (4 generous portions)

In spring and summer legume salads are popular in Greece. But more often than not they are not cooked properly, and the result ends up a mushy mess. So again the only pressure point is that the peas must not boil rigorously because they will lose their shape and crunch. What you really want is a strong, steady simmer.

Use a medium sized pot that allows for the all the peas to be enveloped comfortably in the water and move around with ease while boiling. Make sure the water doesn't dry out, so start with a lot, you will drain them in the end anyway.

Finally, season at the end in the bowl when mixing everything together and use a lot of vinegar. Legumes love it. 

In the pot simmer steadily:

1. Black Eyed Peas, 2 cups 

for about 40 minutes, until cooked but not overcooked so check regularly. Drain them and refresh under cold water.

In a bowl mix with the peas:

2. Onion, 1 small piece, cut into thin strips

3. Roasted Red Peppers from a jar (unless you make your own), 2 fillets cut in small pieces

4. Capers, 1 cup

5. Sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, in oil, 5 pcs finely chopped

6. Olive fillets, 1/2 cup

7. Parsley, chopped finely 1/2 cup

8. Dill, chopped finely, 1/2 cup

9. Tuna, 2 cans

10. Balsamic Vinegar, 3 tbsps 

11. Olive Oil, 3 tbsps

 

Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning 

If you want to save some for the next days do so before adding oil, vinegar and salt, because these will soften the ingredients given time.

Quinoa teriyaki with Broccoli and Smoked Trout

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (2 portions)

Quinoa can be classified as a legume in terms of nutritional value. It is quick to cook and perfect for mingling with a variety of vegetables and sauces. In this recipe it is dressed with a wonderful home made teriyaki sauce, very easy to prepare and store forever in the fridge. You can use ready made, but I find they are to thick and sweet so, dilute it with something acidic, lemon juice or rice vinegar preferably.

Finally, season at the end in the bowl when mixing everything together. 

In one pot boil for 15 minutes in plenty of water:

1. Quinoa, 1 cup 

In another pot in salted water boil:

2. Broccoli,  1 small piece, separated into large florets

for about 8 minutes, and check a knife can slide through the stem. Take care not to overcook the broccoli, you want it to hold its shape and have a proper bite. Refresh under cold water as soon as you remove it from the pot.

You can also steam the broccoli which I prefer because it is a milder means to cook, and it protects the delicate florets. Steaming should take about 15 minutes.

For the Teriyaki sauce, simmer in a pot to reduce initial volume to half and thicken texture, about 20 minutes:

3. Japanese Soy, 1/2 cup  (I prefer it to other soy sauces, I find it is more elegant)

4. Sake, 1/2 cup

5. Sugar, 1/2 cup

6. Mirin, 1/2 cup (a rice distillation product, similar to sake but with less alcohol and more sugar, effectively used as sweetener in Asian cuisines)

7. Onion, 1/2 cup

8. Ginger, peeled, 5 thin slices

9. Garlic, 5 cloves, peeled, and smashed.

Drain through a sieve to discard solids. Store in a jar in the fridge for future use. It is commonly used in recipes with fish and pork.

 

In a bowl mix quinoa, broccoli, as much of the sauce as you like, I prefer to keep it dressed but dry. and also add:

 

10. Spring Onion, 2 stalks, cut thinly

Adjust seasoning and top optionally with:

 

11. Smoked Trout, as much as you wish

 

Chickpea Salad with Broccoli and Feta

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (2 portions)

Chickpeas are full of useful nutrients. In Greece you will usually find them in a soup. But they work quite well in a salad also. I use canned chickpeas here, I see no need to go through the process of soaking overnight and boiling forever hoping the will soften enough. 

Broccoli as well is a wonder vegetable, good for you in many ways. The only pressure point in this recipe is to cook it properly, so that it holds its crunch and does not turn into mush. The best way to do this is to steam it.

 

Separate into large florets:

 

1. Broccoli, 1 small stalk

 

Line a strainer, or a bamboo steamer, with parchment paper and fit on top of a pot with a little water (it should not touch the broccoli). Place florets, cover well, use foil if necessary, and cook for about 10 minutes, until a knife can slide through the stem with no resistance. Refresh under cold water.

In a bowl mix well:

2. Chickpeas, 1 can

3. Feta, crumbled, 150 gr, or as much as you want

4. Spring Onion, 2 stalks, cut thinly

5. Red Pepper (or any other), 1 small pc, cut in small cube

6. Cucumber, 1 small pc, cut into thin rounds and briefly pickled in any vinegar (soak for a minimum of ten minutes, or up to a few days in a jar in the fridge)

7. Olive oil, 2 tbsp

8. Lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp (or a vinegar of your choice)

9.Black pepper, freshly ground, to your liking

10. Salt, to season, to your liking

Place on a plate and top with the broccoli florets. I like to garnish with balsamic syrup.

Beetroot Quinoa and Cucumber versions 

INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS (2 portions)

Basically there are 4 very easy different preparations here, which can be kept separately in the fridge for a few days, and combined just before eating. Super healthy, simple and delicious with no pressure points just a few technical details very easy to follow.

For the beetroot:

 

1. Beetroot, 2 medium pcs, cooked and ct in 2 cm pcs

 

To cook the beetroot, either boil for about one hour, until you can easily pierce through with the tip of a knife, or wrap well in aluminum foil and bake at 200 degrees Celsius, for about an hour, again testing with a knife. Either way, when ready, leave in open air to cool for 15 minutes, and with your hands (wear gloves to avoid staining the skin) remove skin. If the beetroot is hot enough it will come off very easily. Keep in air tight container in the fridge until further use

For the quinoa:

2. Quinoa, 1 cup

 

Cook in a pot in boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes until "opened". You will see a spiral. Drain water and keep in air tight container in the fridge until further use.

 

For the pickled cucumber:

3. Cucumber, 1 small piece

 

Using a mandolin, cut in thin rounds and place in a jar with vinegar, I prefer apple cider. Keep refridgerated until further use.

 

For the cucumber couli:

4. Cucumber, 1 medium pc, cut in small pieces

5. Chilli, 1 small pc, roughly cut

6. Parsley, sprigs, a handfull, cut roughly

7. Olive oil, 2 tbsp

8. Lemon juice, 1 tbsp at least

9. Salt, to taste

 

Using a blender, or a processor, whiz everything into a smooth but runny paste. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a jar, or other air tight container and keep in fridge until further use. Stir before if you see water separated.

 

Mix everything apart from the pickles, in a bowl and add:

10. Mint leaves, finely chopped, optionally

11. Salt, to your liking

 

Sprinkle:

 

12. Toasted pine nuts

and top with the pickled cucumber.