Monday, January 30, 2012

Faki - Greek Lentil Soup

I guess everyone can make a lentil soup and there is nothing extraordinary in the greek way of cooking lentils. I just want to present the method that we cook it and I ve learnt it from my mother and my grandmother.

Ingredients (for 2-3 portions)
250 gr. lentils 
1/4 cup olive oil and little more
1 onion finely chopped
1-2 carotts cut into cubes or rounds
2-3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red sweet pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp tomato sause
opptional: (I use these in spring or summer when I can find fresh home growed tomatoes and peppers)
1 tomato grated
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
How to Make
Put lentils in a pot with boiling water and let them boil for 2-3 minutes. Wash out the lentils. 
In a pot pour a little olive oil and let it get a little hot. Continue with the chopped onion until softens and then put in the lentils. Stirr well for a while and add carrots, peppers and tomatoes (optional), tomato sause, bay leaves and all spices except salt. 
Add water to cover everything and let them boil for about half hour, until the lentils are cooked. Check the pot every now and them to see if it need more boiling water.When ready, add salt and slowly  the 1/4 cup of olive oil while stirring constantly.
Find it in Greek here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cake with Honey, Walnuts and Cinnamon

This is one of my favourite cakes since I first tried it, last week! Its a quite common recipe which gets even better by using pure local products, such as the honey that comes from my mother's village. Enjoy!

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
little vanilla extract or orange zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup boiling water

How to Make
In a double boiler put butter and honey and let them melt. When they are melt enough use a whisk to make the mixture completely smooth. At the same time, beat eggs, sugar and cinnamon in the mixer.
Add the butter - honey mixture in the mixer and continue beating. Then add seived flour, baking powder and vanilla extract or orange zest. Lastly, add the water and beat well. Stop the mixer, add chopped walnuts and stir well with a spoon. Pour into buttered form and bake for 45-50 minutes at 160 (degrees Celsius).
Opptionally, serve with icing sugar!
Find it in greek here

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Youvarlakia (Greek Meatballs) Avgolemono (in Egg-Lemon Sauce)

This is one of my favourite soups. These days is really cold here, so we enjoyed them even more!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

for the meatballs
250-300 gr. ground pork
1 large onion finely chopped
1 handful parsley finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2-3 tbsp white rice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

for the soup
3 tbsp white rice
1 carrot in small cubes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

for the egg-lemon sause
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg

How to Make
Kneat well all ingredients for the meatballs (except flour) and leave it for a while in the fridge (about 1 hour). In a pressure cooker or a simple pot put 5 cups water (or chichen broth), and the rest of the soup ingredients except the rice. Let it boil.

Prepare the meatballs in small balls and cover them with flour. When the water starts boiling, put the meatballs in. If necessary, add boiling water to cover the meatballs fully. Close the pressure cooker and secure the pressure regulator. Heat until you start to hear sizzling, then reduce the heat to medium, and set your timer for 15 minutes. Alternatively, cook in a pot for about 40 minutes until the meatballs are cooked.

When ready, remove the meatballs. In boiling water add the rice and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and in a large bowl beat well the lemon juice and the egg. Slowly ladle half of the hot broth into theegg-lemon mixture to temper them, whisking constantly. Whisk the egg-lemon mixture into the broth and stir constantly, just long enough to thicken the soup. Add the meatballs. Do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Find it in Greek here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

For my first post at Have the Cake, this month I baked cinnamon rolls. It was the first time to make them and now I intend to make them again and again!

550 gr. flour all-purpose and 1-2 cups more
9 gr. dried yeast
200 ml warm milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
a pinch of salt
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
3-4 tbsp cinnamon
How to Make
Place all ingredients (except the filling's) in a mixer bowl and knead with the hook kneading for 6 to 7 minutes until it gathers as a ball on the hook. The dough will be slightly moist. Then,  continue kneading with hands, adding flour - if nessesary - until you have a smooth, fluffy and not sticky dough. Put in a bowl covered with flour and let it in a warm place to double for 1 hour. 
In another bowl mix well the filling's ingredients until it looks like paste. 
When the dough is ready, put it on a floured surface and with a rolling pin open it in a rectangle shape. Spred the filling on the dough and roll it to become a stick. Cut it in pieces and place them on a large baking pan covered with a greaseproof paper. Let them stand for 30 minutes and turn on the oven at 180.

After half hour, cover them with beaten egg and put them in the oven for around 25 minutes. Serve them as they are or with icing sugar.
Find it in

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Okra is a dish you either love or hate. Personally, I m not a fan, but I believe that if there is a way for someone to like them, this is it, the traditional oily cook method!

500 gr. okra
a handfull of parsley 
1 onion chopped
2 tb.sp. tomato sause
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sweet red pepper
1 tsp salt
olive oil
How to Make
In a pot, add olive oil to cover the bottom well. Then, put in the onions and let them smoothen.

Continue with the okra. With a wooden spoon turn okra many times around.

Then, add the tomato sause and stir well.

Last, put in parsley and spices, cover with water and let it boil for about 30 minutes.

Notes: Don't stir after you add water, just let it boil. Every now and then though wiggle the pot so that the orka won't get stuck at the bottom.
The smell is amazing when its getting ready!
Find it in Greek here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oven Omelette with potatoes

This omelette is one of my favourite evening meals, as it is easy and quick and yet very tasty. The other thing I love about it, is that it can't be boring at all, as we can put in many different flavours each time. 

Ingredients (For a medium baking pan - 4 large portions or 6 normal)
6-8 eggs (depends on the size)
3-4 potatoes cut into small cubes
cold cuts of your preference cut into small cubes 

yellow cheese cut into small cubes
2 green peppers cut in small pieces
salt and ground black pepper 
optional: any other ingredient we prefer, such as: feta cheese, mushrooms, red or yellow peppers, bacon strips, ham,  any other cheese etc.
How to Make
Fry the potatoes for a while, they don't need much as they are in small cubes. Beat eggs well and add salt and pepper.
Grease lightly a baking pan, pour in the fried potatoes and the rest of the ingredients.
Sprinkle with the beaten eggs and bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked.
Find it in Greek here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mediterranean Diet

Good morning and Happy New Year! I hope 2012 finds you all healthy!The first post of the year will not be a recipe, but an article on the Mediterranean diet, which is the base of greek cuisine.

Mediterranean diet has proven to be one of the most healthy and balanced diets in the world. Its main elements are vegetables, fish, olive oil and wine in moderation. There are many variations of Mediterranean diet, since the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea are many. Mediterranean Diet owes its huge popularity to many researches showing that people who live around the Mediterranean have higher average life and correspondingly less likely to have heart problems or other chronic diseases.

Key features:
• Abundant fiber (bread, vegetables, legumes and nuts)
• Olive oil
• Average to low consumption of fish, poultry, eggs and milk
• Low consumption of red meat
• Wine during the meal.
The benefits:
• Thanks to the variety of foods of the Mediterranean diet there are many possibilities. A food can be cooked in many different ways such as herbs that can be made salad, pie fillings, or accompanying a main course.
• Enjoyable and healthy. Legumes, vegetables and cereals in combination with olive oil and herbs such as oregano, thyme, etc. provide us with a healthy diet that is parallel and very tasty.
• Shield for our health. It is now scientifically proven that those who follow the Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with those who follow a different diet. Apart from its beneficial effect on the heart, the Mediterranean diet is associated with protection from diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. The rich fiber that cereals have, have protective effects against cancer in the colon, breast, endometrial and prostate. Fruits and vegetables, when eaten in abundance, appear to have anticancer activity, in the digestive system. Also, researchers point out that the effect of ingredients and foods of the Mediterranean diet are due to their combination rather than their individual consumption.
• The antioxidants found in abundance and phenolic acids (fruit, vegetables and olive oil) combat cell aging. This is the basic secret of the Mediterranean diet which affects longevity.

The basic principle is: "Eat what is natural and colorful, and beautifies your plate".

Olive oil
Olive oil is the basis of the Mediterranean diet, and is the healthiest oil, thanks to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids.  According to scientific research, olive oil as an ingredient of daily diet provides:
· Reduction of total and bad cholesterol
· Protects against heart disease
· Creates a predisposition to lower blood pressure
· It seems to guard against cancer
· The use of olive oil in frying is recommended over any other oil or fat, as it lasts longer. But it is better eaten raw and added at the end of cooking.

The Pyramid
The base of the pyramid consists of foods such as cereals and their products (bread, pasta, rice), to be consumed on a daily basis, as they provide us with energy through the carbohydrates that they contain. These foods are naturally low in fat. Especially when they are whole grain, they provide enough fiber, which help to improve bowel function and reduce cholesterol.
The group of fruits and vegetables is a good source of antioxidants and other vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eating fruits and vegetables act protective on the risk of cardiovascular disease and various cancers.
Dairy products are a source of both minerals and vitamins, such as calcium, protein and high nutritional value.
Calcium is necessary not only for building strong bones during the growth of the body, but also to maintain bone mass during adulthood.
Also, a diet rich in calcium reduces the risk of damage to bones in later life and especially in women during menopause and beyond. Consuming low-fat dairy products may have health benefits, because these foods contain all the beneficial ingredients of milk, but they are also low in saturated fats (which have been associated with cardiovascular and other diseases).

Fish, especially oily, contain large amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, considered to significantly reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease. Moreover, they contain proteins of high biological value and various minerals.
Poultry provide the body with protein of high nutritional value and iron easily absorbed by the body.
Eggs are rich in proteins of high biological value, vitamins and minerals.

Legumes, nuts and olives are a team of food. Legumes provide energy, have low fat, high in fiber, and are very rich in protein (but lower biological value than meat and milk) and iron (but not as resorbable form as meat).

Nuts are generally high in monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, and many studies have shown that they can lower cholesterol levels. They are rich in fiber and vitamins (eg C), but we should avoid eating them in large quantities, because they contain many calories.
Potatoes provide energy and a relatively good source of vitamin C. But they have a high glycemic index as they are rapidly converted into glucose, (like white bread and most sweets), and so their high consumption has been associated positively with risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Desserts usually contain sugar, which consumption has been associated with decay. The best is to be consumed in moderation.
Perhaps it’s not widely known that red meat is not only beef but also pork, goat and lamb. These foods contain protein of high nutritional value, iron, very well-absorbed by the body, zinc and vitamins. They contain, however, saturated fatty acids, which have adverse health effects. Therefore, the frequency of consumption should be limited.

Find it in Greek here.

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