Mediterranean-Style Watermelon Salad

Mediterranean-Style Watermelon SaladMediterranean-Style Watermelon Salad

     This is another recipe that you may shake your head when you read the ingredient list.  Sometimes when I’m making a new creation I shake my OWN head!  I lucked out.  It works!  Bonus? – It’s VERY HEALTHYI!  This will be a wonderful salad to make for family BBQs.  There is no Mayo or Sour Cream to spoil in the heat.  We went to an awesome neighborhood BBQ tonight and I brought this salad.  Many people asked for the recipe, so here you go peoples! 

INGREDIENTS:

5 cups Watermelon, peeled and cubed

1 tsp Sugar

½ cup Blueberries

2 cups Strawberries, hulled and cut

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved and seeded

½ cup Kalamata Olives

1/3 cup Red Onion

½ cup Cucumber, peeled and seeded

½ cup Feta Cheese

3 TBSP Olive Oil

2 ¼ TBSP Balsamic Vinegar 

PREPARATION:

Place cubed Watermelon in a colander and sprinkle with about 1 tsp Sugar.  Stir well and let drain for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep Blueberries, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Olives, Red Onion, and Cucumber.  You can easily scoop the seeds out of the tomatoes with a small spoon.  Place in a large bowl and let rest in the fridge while Watermelon is draining.  If a lot of liquid accumulates in the bottom of the bowl, it’s probably the Cukes.  You can drain it off.

Add Watermelon and Feta to the bowl.

In a small bowl, stir Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil.  Pour over Fruit and stir well.  Done! 😊

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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Mediterranean-Styile Watermelon Salad

Mediterranean-Style Watermelon Salad

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TIKA’S TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD – (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

Tomato and Avocado Salad

It’s Tomato Season!
Chew Wanna Eat?

Tika’s Tomato and Avocado Salad

It’s Mediterranean Diet Friendly! Very colorful and tasty, one of the most requested summer recipes in our household, and it’s quick to make.

SALAD:
1 large tomato, diced
1 – 2 large avocados, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 TBSP chopped red onion
OPTIONAL: ¼ cup diced cucumber
2 TBSP diced roasted red pepper

DRESSING:
1 TBSP honey
3 TBSP Olive or canola oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 dashes cayenne pepper or chipotle powder
¼ tsp Cilantro
Salt and pepper
Bit of parsley, fresh or dried

Mix dressing and pour over salad. Serve

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Greek-Style Watermelon Salad (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

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   I saw this recipe in the NY Times. It’s featured in Watermelon All Day Long. The beautiful colors caught my eye, but after reading the ingredients I decided it was weird. I looked again because it was rated quite high by those who made it. I decided to give it a try since I had everything to make it on hand. What a surprise! I served it to four people and everyone loved it! I did NOT add the mint. I used just a drizzle of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Very low in calories and so flavorful. Try it!

The Times says: “It’s not an immediately obvious combination – watermelon, cucumber, olives and feta – but one bite will leave you convinced that this savory-sweet summer salad is something truly special. The astringent punch of the olives and feta provides a sophisticated counterpoint to the watery mellowness of the melon and cucumber. With a hunk of bread, it’s a lovely light lunch; with practically any grilled meat or fish, it’s an ideal summer supper.”

INGREDIENTS
• 3 cups cubed watermelon
• 2 large ripe tomatoes
• 1 medium cucumber
• 1 small red onion
• ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives
• ⅓ cup crumbled feta
• Some chopped parsley and mint (I omitted the mint)
• Olive oil and red-wine vinegar (or Balsamic vinegar)
• Salt and pepper

PREPARATION
I let the cubed watermelon and tomatoes sit in a strainer for about 10 minutes while I was doing the other prep to let some water drain.

In a large bowl combine 3 cups cubed watermelon; 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped; 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped; 1 small red onion, sliced; 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives; 1/3 cup crumbled feta; and some chopped parsley and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and red-wine vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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Roasted Carrot Hummus (Mediterranean Style Friendly)

Roasted Carrot Hummus (4)

I’ve been a little lax on the hummus-making lately, so Bob had to make his own.  It’s delicious!  Good job!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 2 Cups Hummus

1 can (15 oz) Chickpeas

3 TBSP Olive Oil, divided

4 Medium or 3 Large Carrots, peeled and rough chopped

4 TBSP fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

¼ cup Tahini Paste (recipe for home made below)

1 TBSP Garlic, rough chopped

¼ tsp Sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

PREPARATION:

Drain chickpeas, but reserve liquid.

Place Chickpeas and Chopped Carrots in a small bowl (one that has a lid).  Add 1 TBSP Olive oil.  Place lid on the bowl and shake to distribute the oil.

Evenly distribute Chickpeas and chopped Carrots on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400° F for 25-30 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Place Carrots and Chickpeas in a food processor with reserved Chickpea Liquid.  Add 2 TBSP Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Tahini Paste, Garlic, Sugar, and Seasonings.  Process until smooth.  Add a little extra Olive Oil or Water if you want the end result to be thinner.

Serve with additional Olive Oil and Siracha Sauce.

 

TAHINI PASTE

½ cup Sesame Seeds

2 TBSP Olive Oil or Grape Seed Oil

Water to thin to desired consistency

Dash Salt

 

PREPARATION

Toast Sesame Seeds in a dry skillet until they are just turning lightly brown.  Stir constantly over medium heat.  This only takes a few minutes.

Place Toasted Sesame Seeds in a small food processor and process until you end up with a smooth mixture.

Add Oil, Salt and process until well combined.  Add water as necessary to get the consistency you want.

By Bob, for Chew Wanna Eat?  2018

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Roasted Carrot Hummus (4)Roasted Carrot Hummus

Roasted Carrot Hummus (2)

Roasted Carrot Hummus (3)Roasted Carrot Hummus (4)

 

FOCACCIA From Genoa (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

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     I surely wish I could take credit for this recipe because it is outstanding.  Slightly crispy, but with a tender middle.  Oh, my!!  As Russ suggests, I kept it simple.  I put some rosemary in the dough, and topped it with only olive oil, dried minced onion, poppy seeds, and sea salt.  The dough was wonderful to work with.

     It was published in the LA Times on January 27, 2011 in a newspaper and I found it!  I copied and pasted the entire article at the end so you could read all about Focaccia as it was intended.

Note:  The photos are mine

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus rising times

Servings: Makes 1 loaf, 10 to 12 servings

Note: Adapted from “Focaccia” by Carol Field.

Sponge

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast

2/3 cup warm water

1 cup (4.9 ounces, or 140 grams) unbleached flour

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large mixing bowl, stir it in and set aside until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and beat until smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until puffy and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Dough and assembly

Sponge

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus about 2 tablespoons for drizzling

2 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons (12.7 ounces, or 360 grams) unbleached flour plus 1 to 2 tablespoons as needed

2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus 3/4 to 1 teaspoon for sprinkling

  1. To the sponge in the large bowl, add the water, wine and one-third cup olive oil, and stir to combine.
  2. If mixing by hand, whisk in 1 cup of flour and 2 teaspoons salt, then beat in the rest of the flour until you have a dough that is very soft and very sticky. Knead on a lightly floured board with the help of a dough scraper and 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of flour until the dough comes together nicely and is silky and shiny, 6 to 8 minutes; it should remain soft but not wet.

If mixing with a mixer, using the paddle attachment beat together the water, wine, one-third cup olive oil and sponge. Add the flour and 2 teaspoons salt and mix until the dough comes together (it will be very soft). Change to the dough hook and knead for 3 minutes at medium speed, stopping once or twice to press the dough into a ball to aid in the kneading. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand using the 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of flour to finish, 6 to 8 turns at most. It should remain soft but not wet.

  1. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled container, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until doubled, about 1 hour.
  2. The dough should be soft and full of air bubbles and should stretch easily. Press it into a well-oiled (17-by-12-inch) jelly roll pan, dimple it well with your fingertips or knuckles, cover with a towel and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 45 minutes. ***
  3. At least 30 minutes before you plan to bake, heat the oven to 425 degrees with a baking stone inside on the lowest shelf. Once again, dimple the top of the dough with your fingertips or knuckles, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil so it pools in the little indentations and sprinkle with the remaining salt.
  4. Place the pan directly on the stone and immediately reduce the temperature to 400 degrees. Place a shallow metal container of water on the floor of the oven to make steam.
  5. Bake until the focaccia is golden (lift the bread to check underneath as well), 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and cool briefly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*** If the dough springs back before it is completely stretched, set it aside to “relax” the dough for a few minutes, then stretch again; the dough will stretch more easily after it is rested.

Each of 12 servings: 231 calories; 5 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sugar; 420 mg sodium.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

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STUFFED DATES

Stuffed Dates (7)

     You won’t believe where I got the idea to make these.  A book.  Nope, not a cookbook, a novel.  As I was reading and minding my own business, the protagonist went out to dinner with someone.  He ordered bacon wrapped dates and my little eyes perked right up.  After a smidge of research, I found that they can be stuffed with Feta Cheese or Almonds, and then wrapped with bacon.  Oh my!  What a wonderful snack or appetizer.  The end result is caramelized and out of this world delicious!

     Here’s how I did it:

     Take 4 slices of bacon and cut into thirds.  Pop into the microwave for 90 seconds. 

     Slit the dates, stuff with your choice of fillings, and wrap in a piece of bacon.  As a test, I used toothpicks in some, and none in others.  Since I didn’t have to turn them, they all came out fine.   However, if you’re serving to company, please use toothpicks so they have a handle.  Bake in a hot oven (About 400° F) until the bacon is cooked to your satisfaction.  A guestimate is 8 – 10 minutes. 

I’m thinking of an Orange with the Feta cheese or Cream cheese and a walnut half next time.  We’ll see.  If you try it, let me know.

INGREDIENTS:

12 Pitted Dates (or you can easily pit your own)

4 Slices bacon, cut into thirds

Here are the fillings I tried:

Feta Cheese

Whole Almonds

Blueberries

Walnuts

Other Options:  Parmigiano (and Prosciutto instead of Bacon)

Pecans with Feta sounds very good

Orange, Cream Cheese (or Feta Cheese) and Walnuts?   I’m thinking this would be delicious

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Stuffed Dates (7)

Stuffed Dates (2)

Stuffed Dates (4)

Stuffed Dates (5)

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Stuffed Dates (6)

Stuffed Dates

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus (2)

     Of all the hummus creations I’ve made over the past 6 weeks or so, I have to say that the Black Bean Hummus is by far our favorite.  We ate it with Pita, whole-grain crackers, Raw Vegetables, and whatever else we could think of scooping all that yummy goodness up with. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2-4 cloves garlic

2+ TBSP Fresh lemon juice to taste

¼ cup Tahini

2+ tbsp Olive oil

PREPARATION:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you’ve achieved your desired consistency.  Add water if you need to thin it.  Taste, and adjust to your liking.  So versatile!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus (2)

 

Baked Haddock – Mediterranean Style Friendly

Baked Haddock

     There isn’t much easier for dinner than Baked Haddock, Mediterranean style.  Just drizzle a little olive oil over the fish, add a good squirt of Lemon Juice, sprinkle on my Greek Seasoning, and throw it in the oven.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes and serve with additional Lemon slices.  If you want capers, feel free to add them!

   Pictured is Baked Haddock, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Salad.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

HUMMUS

Hummus and Veggie Platter

 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 1 ½ cups

1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas.

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup tahini, store-bought or (recipe below for homemade)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 TSP olive or grape seed oil

½ tsp cumin

2 Dashes salt

3 TBSP water

Paprika for garnish

 

PREPARATION:

In your food processor, combine lemon juice and tahini.  Blend well.  Scrape down and process again.  Add chickpeas, garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and water.  Blend or pulse until smooth.  Taste now before you remove it from food processor to make sure you don’t need to adjust anything.

 

TAHINI  Yields ½ cup

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sesame seeds

2+ TBSP olive or grape seed oil (more will give you a thinner result)

Dash of salt

PREPARATION:

In a large dry skillet, toast sesame seeds for three to five minutes, while stirring constantly over low/medium heat.  They will turn a bit darker, but don’t let them get brown.  You will also smell a nice fragrance.  Remove from heat and let cool a little bit.

Add to food processor and process until mixture is crumbly and pasty.  You will have to scrape sides down a few times.

Add oil (neutral oil), beginning with 2 TBSP.  Process for a few minutes and see if you like the texture.  If you prefer it thinner, add a little more oil.  You can add a dash of salt any time. Process until you have a nice smooth mixture.

Chew Wanna Eat? © 2018

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Hummus and Veggie Platter

CHICKEN WITH CREAMY LEMON SAUCE (Mediterranean Style Friendly)

Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Dinner was out of this world and it was simple to make!  It’s been nearly two weeks since we began the Mediterranean style of eating.  This was the first new recipe I created and it is definitely a keeper!  I used my Greek Style Seasoning, dredged the chicken in flour, and made up this delicious lemon sauce.  I’ll be making it again soon.  The recipe calls for chicken breasts, but Bob prefers thighs, so I did some of them also.

INGREDIENTS:  (4 Servings)

2 whole skinless, chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half

Homemade Greek seasoning (recipe below)

1/3 cup AP flour, divided

Olive oil

4 TBSP butter, divided

½ an onion sliced

¼ cup Marsala wine

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP garlic, minced or chopped

OPTIONAL: Parsley, basil or finely chopped spinach for garnish

 

PREPARATION:

Season both sides of chicken with Greek seasoning. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle 2 – 3 TBSP olive oil in bottom of pan.  Add 2 TBSP butter.  When hot, add floured chicken and onion slices.  Cook until lightly browned.  Flip and cook the other side.  Remove to a platter.

Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup Marsala wine, scraping up any browned bits which will add a lot of additional flavor.  Add chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic, and approximately 2 TBSP AP flour.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Add remaining 2 TBSP butter.

Return chicken to pan and let simmer for about five minutes, flipping over once.  Taste the sauce, and adjust if necessary.

Place chicken back on the serving platter and pour the sauce on top.  Add any garnishes you choose.

GREEK SEASONING by Tika

     I started using this seasoning years ago for when we grilled vegetables.  Dummy me!  I should have been using it on everything.  Make some and put it in an empty seasoning jar.  You’ll find that you will use it often!

6 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP sea salt

4 ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 ½ tsp basil

1 ½ tsp parsley

1 ½ tsp oregano

1 TBSP black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Add to an empty seasoning jar, label and use it on almost everything. (Fish, chicken, pork, lamb, vegetables).

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Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

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Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce