Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Delicious Desert For Warm Days....



A delicious dessert for warm days is made of thick Greek yogurt, fresh cream, a sauce, and all sorts of berries. My friend Sonia Peronaci, founder and owner of the famous Italian food blog site www.giallozafferano.it presented this recipe during August into translatable Italian and I would like to share it with all my English speaking friends around the world. Here goes...
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The Greek Spinach Pie


August 17th 2013 034
The spinach pie in Greece is one of the most common street food you can find. It can be found in every street corner and is considered as a snack for breakfast or lunch up to about 3 pm. After that all the shops making it run out and that's it for the day until 6 a.m. the next day when they start again selling fresh ones. These shops are cafeterias selling other pies as well such as meat pies, cheese pies, sausage pies, little pizzas etc. Today we shall talk about the spinach pie.
The spinach pie is divided into two types: with feta cheese or just spinach for those who fast or don't eat cheese for some reason.
Today I decided to go ahead and make the simple spinach pie because I am avoiding salty cheeses due to my high blood pressure. Of course using feta, or a mixture of other cheeses is better, tastier, and of course, richer in calories.

August 17th 2013 003August 17th 2013 021August 17th 2013 019August 17th 2013 005August 17th 2013 009August 17th 2013 001August 17th 2013 023August 17th 2013 026August 17th 2013 027August 17th 2013 029To make a spinach pie you will need:
  • 2 kg of frozen spinach (leaves or finely cut).  After thawing they have to be very well strained by taking a handful at a time and pressing them patiently between the palm of your hands to squeeze all the juice out. The spinach must be dry when used or else the juices will spoil your pie. 2 kg of frozen spinach produced 900 gr of strained dry spinach.
  • 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill finely chopped.
  • 2 big onions finely cubed.
  • 1 pack of fyllo pastry: about 12 sheets 40 cm x 30 cm.
  • ½ cup of olive oil.
  • ½ cup of vegetable margarine.August 17th 2013 017August 17th 2013 015
  • 2 eggs (for vegetarians) these can be omitted.
Note: I added no salt or pepper for health reasons. But of course you go ahead and use salt and pepper but take into consideration the salt in the feta (300 gr for this quantity of spinach) if you are going to use any.
Method:
  • Melt margarine in oil just until melted. Mix, and set aside.
  • Thaw spinach and extract all juices as explained above and set aside.
  • In a large pan heat some olive oil just to cover the bottom add cubed onions and stir fry till transparent.
  • Add chopped dill and parsley and stir fry for about 3 minutes.
  • Add well strained spinach stir and mix with onion till all the spinach is well separated from each other and you get a homogeneous mixture.
  • Cook mixture for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
  • When cool, add eggs and mix well.
Putting the pie together:
  • Fyllo pastry dries up very quickly. So open the pack just before you start putting the pie together working as quickly as you can.
  • Using a 36 cm x 30 cm oven dish, start by brushing the olive oil/margarine mixture all over the bottom.
  • Cover by one fyllo pastry sheet and tap to get any trapped air out.
  • Brush more olive oil/margarine mixture and add one more fyllo sheet tapping again to get the air out. Any excess fyllo on the sides fold in.
  •  Put 6 of the 12 fyllo sheets always brushing olive oil mixture between them.
  • At this point, add your cooled, and dry spinach mixture and spread evenly to cover the baking dish.
  • Now, start adding the other 6 six sheets one by one by brushing olive oil mixture between them. Always tucking the extra fyllo in.
  • When all the sheets have been used, cut into portions as in photo.
  • Sprinkle some water just before putting your pie into the oven.
  • August 17th 2013 033 August 17th 2013 034Bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees C with air, on the lowest shelf of your oven to make sure the pie cooks well from beneath.
  • When the top of the pie takes a nice tanned color it is ready.
  • Make sure to let it sit for about 15 - 20 minutes before you dig in otherwise it is too hot to eat and enjoy.
  • This spinach pie can also be enjoyed cold the next day. It can stay up to 2 days in the fridge.
Enjoy,
Stelio
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Quit Salt And Eat A Nice Side Dish Of Millet With Cilantro...

Quit Salt And Eat A Nice Side Dish Of Millet With Cilantro.



Cilantro is the Hispanic word for fresh coriander used in many Eastern dishes especially in India. Mexico uses lots as well. Today we are going to make Millet with Cilantro. Millet has many health benefits. Some of them are Millet in Greek language is Κέχρι.
The following passage has been copied, as is, from the link http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-health-benefits-of-millet.html
Millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavor, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.
Millet has always been a favorite grain of mine since I discovered it in my hippy days in the 70’s!
Read about millet’s 12 health benefits, some interesting trivia and history, 10 tips how to use it, and 3 delicious millet recipes.
12 Health Benefits:
1. Millet is alkaline and it digests easily.
2. The Hunzas – who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills and are known for their excellent health and longevity – enjoy millet as a staple in their diet.
3. Millet will hydrate your colon to keep you from being constipated.
4. Millet acts as a prebiotic feeding microflora in your inner ecosystem.
5. The serotonin in millet is calming to your moods.
6. Millet is a smart carb with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice. (Kamari and Sumathi, 2002)
7. Magnesium in millet can help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks.
8. Niacin (vitamin B3) in millet can help lower cholesterol.
9. Millet consumption decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein. Scientists in Seoul, South Korea concluded that millet may be useful in preventing cardiovascular disease. Nutrition Research. April 2010; 30(4):290-6.
10. All millet varieties show high antioxidant activity. A team of biochemists analyzed the antioxidant activity; all varieties showed high antioxidant activity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 9 June 2010; 58(11):6706-14.
11. Millet is gluten-free and non-allergenic. A great grain for sensitive individuals.
12. Millet’s high protein content (15 percent) makes is a substantial addition to a vegetarian diet.
Ingredients for Millet with Cilantro:
Serves 6

  • 3 cups of Millet.
  • DSCF6505DSCF65036 cups chicken broth.
  • Half bunch of Cilantro (fresh coriander) finely chopped.
  • No salt no pepper.
Method:
  • In pot with cover boil the broth with the cilantro.
  • Add the Millet, stir, and cover.
  • Lower heat to minimum and simmer for 13 minutes covered.
  • When time is up, uncover and mix to distribute cilantro evenly in the cooked Millet.
  • Ready.
  • For vegetarians use water instead of broth.
Enjoy as a side dish.
Stelio
P.S.
Best way to keep cilantro fresh is to stick the stems of the whole bunch in a glass of water in the fridge. It will keep for about 3 days otherwise it spoils easily.



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Friday 13th Omega 3 Fish Eating Day!

Friday 13th Omega 3 Fish Eating Day!

Today is Friday and good Christians must not eat meat. So since we are good Christians we ate fish. We had poached fresh salmon and roasted fresh sardines.  We usually eat salmon and/or sardines once every 15 days because we know that these particular fish have high Omega 3 content. On the other hand, though, we try not to exceed eating such fish because of their alleged heavy metal content. We are therefore limiting our intake to twice per month. I would recommend eating fish in general more than any other protein (meat or chicken) but as mentioned above, only twice per month fish rich in Omega 3. I would on the other hand advise not to offer fish in general to your guests. Unfortunately the majority of people like meat and chicken.
Here is how we had them.
Serves 4.
Ingredients: 
  • 600 gr fresh filet skin on one side of salmon  all bones taken out (you know the vertical line of big bones running on the side from up to down).
  • 300 gr whole fresh sardines heads and guts taken out.
  • A few leaves of basil.
  • A few drops of olive oil.
  • Some Za'atar for the sardines. (Za'atar is a mixture of thyme, oregano, sesame seeds and other herbs).
  • ½ cup of water.
Friday 13th Is Omega 3 Day! 003
Method:
For the Salmon:
  • Add water in a skillet with a cover, heat, lay salmon with skin down touching the skillet.
  • Cover, lower heat to minimum and let poach for 20 minutes at lowest heat.
  • Mince the basil leaves and sprinkle on top.
  • Serve and enjoy.
  • No salt, no pepper.
For the Sardines:
  • Lay the sardines side by side as shown in picture on oven paper.
  • Add some drops of olive oil and brush.Friday 13th Is Omega 3 Day! 001
  • Add a pinch of Za'atar.
  • Roast for 20 minutes at 180 degrees C.
  • No salt, no pepper.
  • Serve and enjoy.
Both of the above served with a nice green salad.
Bon Appétit,
Stelio
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