Mediterranean Salad with Tomatoes, Nectarines, and Feta

Mediterranean Salad with Greens, Tomatoes, Nectarines, and Feta - Copy

 I served this beauty the other day when we had the neighbors over. It disappeared. I love the color combination. Know that I drizzled a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction over the top before I served it.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Mediterranean Salad with Greens, Tomatoes, Nectarines, and Feta - Copy

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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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Mediterranean-Styile Watermelon Salad

Mediterranean-Style Watermelon Salad

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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Tomato and Avocado Salad

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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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

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Chicken with Creamy Lemon Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

All About the Mediterranean Diet

Fruits and Vegetables

If you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet, let me first tell you that this is NOT a diet per se.  The options are endless and there is no calorie counting, weighing of food, or feeling hungry.  It’s more of a healthy life-style change, a way of healthier eating that Westerners need to learn more about.  Unbeknownst to me, the Mediterranean diet is not just based on Greece.  It also includes Spain, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, and more.  This style of eating is all about plant-based foods.  Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds, mixed nuts, pasta, rice, and leaner sources of protein such as chicken and fish rather than red meat.  It’s ok to have red meat once or twice a month, just limit your portions.  The good news for wine drinkers is that red wine is included in moderate amounts.

Research proves that the Mediterranean way of eating reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, as well as lowers cholesterol.  It is also said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, cancer, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.  It’s also a brain-friendly way of eating, rich in anti-oxidants.  It is being called the healthiest diet in the world by millions.

Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

Cooking with olive oil or canola oil is something we’re all familiar with, so don’t change anything there.  According to the Mayo Clinic, extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed form provides the highest levels of the protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects.  Canola oil contains a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is beneficial in lowering triglycerides, decreasing blood clotting, lowers your risk of sudden heart attack, improves your blood vessels, as well as moderating blood pressure.

Many of us have greatly reduced our salt intake.  Keep up the good work.  Instead, use spices and fresh herbs to season your food.  Replace your salt with flavorful cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, coriander, basil, cilantro, garlic, and pepper.  If you reduce your salt consumption little by little, you won’t miss it after a while.  Read labels!  When you are buying canned goods, beware of the added salt.  Rinsing canned vegetables helps reduce the salt.  Fresh or frozen is always best.

Avoid processed foods.  They are usually loaded with fats, chemical preservatives, artificial ingredients, and salt.  Avoid sugar.  Avoid junk food.  Avoid fast food joints.

If you need a snack, a handful of mixed nuts, olives, Feta cheese, a whole grain pita dipped in hummus or olive oil

You can have your bread, but look for whole grain which contains more protein and minerals.

Eat slower.  You’ll eat less while enjoying your food more.

Stay tuned for recipes that we’ve tried!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

Barley and Vegetables (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

Barley with Vegetables - Copy

      What is barley?  It’s delicious, for one thing.  Even before I knew how healthy it was, I’ve always loved it.  I never did much other than add it to soups, but now that we are eating healthier, I’m discovering all sorts of ways to use it.    Barley is another whole grain and very high in fiber.  I love the chewy texture which you don’t get with pasta.  You can substitute barley for couscous, rice, quinoa, orzo, or farro.  Barley is available as pearlized or quick-cooking.  The next time you’re making soup or stew, add a handful of barley.

     What are the benefits of eating barley? Other than the fact that it’s versatile and flavorful, Barley is another food that lowers the risk of coronary heart disease and can lower cholesterol.  The high fiber reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.  Barley is nearly fat-free and totally cholesterol-free.

INGREDIENTS: Yields 4 servings

½ cup barley

1 ½ cups chicken or beef broth

½ cup sliced mushrooms

¼ cup onion, sliced or chopped

1 TBSP fresh garlic

ADDITIONAL VEGETABLE SUGGESTIONS:  Carrots, kale, spinach, peas

PREPARATION:

In a large skillet, bring broth to boil.  Add barley with a little salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer 45-50 minutes.  (If using quick-cooking barley, cook only 10 minutes).  If a little liquid remains, don’t worry.  Remove barley and liquid to a small bowl.  Cover.

In same skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Sautee mushrooms and onions until tender.  Replace barley and if you want kale or spinach, add it now.  Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender.

Learn more about Barley at https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whole-grains-101-orphan-pages-found/types-barley

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Barley with Vegetables1 - Copy

Barley with Vegetables - Copy