Spanakopita Quinoa

Hello, Delicious!  This is a must make.  This super delicious dish is packed with flavor and definitely filling.  Quinoa is a good protein source, containing most of the essential amino acids our bodies need from food sources.  And while I have heard complaints that quinoa is boring, this is anything but boring!  There’s a little spice to it, and a ton of flavor from garlic, onions, spinach, dill, and best of all, feta.  This all mixes together into a creamy serving of deliciousness.  You’ll definitely want to be making this.  Pair it with a simple Greek salad, or grill up some vegetables or chicken to go with it and you’re all set!

I originally made this using a pot and a skillet.  However, I think the spinach would wilt enough just being mixed with the hot quinoa, so I’ve adapted the recipe so you’ll only have to use one pot.

Spanakopita QuinoaSpanakopita Quinoa (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6

Adapted from An Edible Mosaic

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or almond slivers), toasted
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups water (or broth)
  • 8-10 oz baby spinach
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6 oz Feta cheese, crumbled

In a medium pot, toast nuts over medium heat until fragrant and flavorful.  Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tsp olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, and chopped onion.  Sautee until onion is soft and translucent.  Remove contents from pot, and place in a large serving bowl.

Return pot to burner and add 2 tsp olive oil.  Add remaining garlic and quinoa.  Toast the quinoa for a couple minutes until fragrant, stirring regularly.  Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried dill and oregano, mix well.  Add water, stir, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 10-15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, in the large serving bowl with the onion-garlic in it, add the remaining ingredients.  Once quinoa has finished cooking, add the hot quinoa and mix well.  The heat from the quinoa will wilt the spinach.  Garnish with toasted nuts and serve.

Greek Kale Salad

Back to my kale eating ways!  This was something I was able to throw together with whatever I had on hand.  It’s easy and super delicious.  It’s easy to keep feta and olives on hand and during the summer months I usually have some tomatoes, cucumbers on hand too, so this is perfect when you don’t feel like putting a lot of work into your salad but you still want to eat your vegetables.  Kale adds some extra nutrients and staying power to this Greek salad.  If you want to make this more of a main dish just add in some chickpeas or grilled chicken.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner or lunch.

Greek Kale SaladGreek Kale Salad (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 4-6

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • Italian dressing to taste

In a large bowl, add kale and about 2-3 Tbsp of Italian dressing, massage the kale until tender.  Add remaining ingredients and serve.

Mediterranean Quinoa

This is a great grain salad.  It’s got everything you need!  Quinoa is packed with protein, but still has the starchy taste of a grain, the vegetables add fresh flavor and color and vitamins, feta and olives add to the whole Mediterranean deliciousness, and herbs make it fresh and summery.  I expect I’ll be making this a lot more this summer.  It’s easy to make, great for potlucks, picnics, or lunches.  The flavor is a little subtle, which I found to be a great refreshing taste, but if you want to kick it up a notch, add more feta and/or olives, or herbs, just taste as you go (remembering that it’ll come together more the longer it sits).

I can also picture this being a great tomato filling for later in the summer, just leave out the grape tomatoes and stuff a large tomato with this salad for a pretty presentation.

Mediterranean QuinoaMediterranean Quinoa Salad (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 20

Adapted from Eat Good 4 Life

  • 3 cups dried quinoa
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill (twice as much if using fresh)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint (basil would also be fantastic)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 8 oz feta, crumbled

In a large saucepan, add quinoa over high heat.  Toast the quinoa, stirring the pan frequently, until fragrant and starting to pop.  Carefully add water and salt, reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover the pot and let cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, mint, salt and pepper.

Once the quinoa is done, pour about half of the dressing over the quinoa and mix well (adding it to the hot quinoa will allow the quinoa to better absorb the flavors).  Allow the quinoa to cool partially, then add the remaining ingredients, and top off with the remaining dressing.  Mix well and serve room temperature or cold.

Butternut Squash and Feta Muffins

Holy yum, guys.  These are delicious.  They come together quickly if you have leftover squash.  You can also use pumpkin, but I’m more likely to have butternut squash on hand.  These are the perfect combination of slightly sweet, salty, doughy and tender.  I’m excited to try other variations.  I think green onions would be really good in these.  You can also swap out different cheeses…like goat cheese or gruyere would be amazing!  Will definitely be making these over and over again.  I had them with a big salad, but I think they’d go perfectly with soup.  The recipe called for spinach, but I only had arugula on hand, which turned out great.  The recipe also called for olive oil, but I completely forgot to add it and I didn’t miss it at all, they were super moist (if your squash or pumpkin seems a little dry you might add the oil).  Don’t be afraid to switch things up based on what you have on hand.

Butternut Squash and Feta Muffins

Makes about 14 muffins

Adapted from The Flour Sack

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used 1 1/2 cups skim and 1/2 cup half and half)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (optional)
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup crumbled Feta
  • 1 large handful arugula, chopped
  • 2 cups roasted cubed butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oil (if using), and mustard.  Whisk together the dry and wet ingredients.  Gently fold in the cheeses, arugula, butternut squash and parsley.

Scoop batter into muffin tin.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Greek Salad

End of summer is the perfect time to make Greek Salad. The ingredients are fresh and flavorful. This time I added some chickpeas to add a little more protein and substance to my meal, but it’s just as good without. To make this super fast, we use Italian dressing (I know it’s not at all Greek…think of it as world travel for your tastebuds!). Greek salad (in our house) is characterized by its lack of lettuce (perfect for when you’ve just run out), kalamata olives, and feta cheese, the rest of the vegetables can rotate, but those are the key parts.

Greek Salad

Serves 6

  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • Italian dressing to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Can be made ahead or served immediately.

Shakshuka-Eggs poached in Tomato Sauce

I’ve been intrigued by this dish for a while.  Recently when I was in Boston I tried some and knew that it would be a dish Sister would love.  So when she and Chris were visiting last week, it was the perfect chance to try it.  We had Chris’s parents over for brunch and I think everyone really enjoyed this dish.

We didn’t have any jalapenos, so I didn’t make this dish spicy.  But I will definitely be making it again and want to try it with a spicy kick to it.

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)

Serves 6

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 large (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • warm pita, for serving

Heat oil in a large 12″ skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and jalapenos (if using) and cook until soft and golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, stirring frequently for a few minutes until garlic is soft.

Add tomatoes and about 1/2 cup water into the pan and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.  Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over the sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across the sauce’s surface.  Cover skillet and cook until yolks are set, about 5 minutes.  Using a spoon baste the whites of the eggs with tomato sauce, being careful not to disturb the yolks.  Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley.  Serve with pita for dipping.