Monday, February 28, 2011

Greek Feast! Chicken Souvlaki, Rice Pilaf & Greek Salad

I am not Greek. Not even a little bit (Irish, yes. British, yes. And there was something about Russian Gypsies but my Grandma was a little tipsy when she told us that story so who knows). But every now and then I get a craving for Greek food that's so over-powering I feel the need to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding and drink Ouzo (maybe even roast a lamb on my front lawn, bah ha ha, classic!). Such a craving hit this week and being that I don't live in a city, my ability to get Greek Take-Out is less than slim.

A quick scouring of Google for recipes had me mixing and matching ingredients to recreate the flavours of some of my favourite Greek restaurants. I in no way claim this is an authentic Greek recipe, but the taste is spot on to any Greek food I've ever had and it was so easy!

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Chicken Souvlaki, Rice Pilaf & Greek Salad

This made 5 skewers and a huge pot of pilaf


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
wooden skewers soaked in water

Rice Pilaf:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 med carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme

1 1/2 c long grain white rice
3 c water or chicken stock
kosher salt to taste

1 romaine heart, washed & chopped
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 c grape tomatoes
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
sliced black olives (as much as you like)
feta cheese, crumbled (as much as you like)
your favourite Greek salad dressing

1. Marinade: combine the
olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and thyme. Place chopped chicken in a bowl or a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours (I did 6).
2. Skewer marinated chicken and grill for about 3 minutes on each side.
3. Rice: While chicken is marinating/cooking heat oil in a pot and add the onion, carrot, celery and zucchini and sautée for a few minutes. Add the oregano and thyme and salt.
4. Add the rice and stir to brown for 2 minutes. Add the water or stock and cover and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is light and fluffy (about 20 minutes).
5. Salad: Combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, feta and dressing right before you're ready to eat so the lettuce doesn't get soggy.
6. Serve the souvlaki over the rice, either on the skewers or removed, with a side of salad.

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Optional: Tzatziki is a traditional condiment for this meal, I have never been a fan so I didn't make any, but there are hundreds of recipes out there!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Squares

Well, it happened. My stubbornness reared it's ugly head. We got the flu. I have never vaccinated the kids or myself against the flu cause I believe that our bodies need to fight viruses to stay strong. My beliefs were tested, if not shaken, when one by one everyone in our house was taken down by influenza. The 4 year old was the first, she probably brought it home from that bacteria pit of a kindergarten class she's in (grrr!), followed by our 2 year old, then myself, my husband and finally, the baby. It was a hellish month. All this to say, sorry it's been a while since I posted!

When I was feeling better, and just before the baby got sick, I realized I had lost 9lbs and needed to remedy it right away (cause I don't have 9lbs to lose or anything, gah). I was on an oatmeal kick and figured if I made something with oatmeal at least it would have some nutritional value... right? Just nod your head yes. Thank you!

I put "oatmeal peanut butter cookies" into the search field at and came up with this square recipe (not a cookie, but I wasn't terribly picky, just hungry!). Oats, peanut butter, chocolate, and best of all, no baking required!

I love the oatmeal/peanut butter combination, and the contrast of the crunchy oat crumble and the smooth chocolate. Keep them in the fridge for a firmer treat or leave out if you like them soft. And FYI, they're great with a cup of coffee after a long night of temperature taking and hair holding.

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No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Squares taken from

1 c butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c quick cooking oats
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c peanut butter


1. Grease a 9x9" square pan.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
3. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended.
4. Press half of mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Reserve the other half for topping.
5. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
6. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon.
7. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently.
8. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.

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