Monday, July 19, 2010

It's all Greek to me!

Ok. Today is a new day! I decided this month was going to be better! Last month I was in another funk. Nothing felt right. Oh and months to me go from the 15th to the 15th. So by new month I mean the month of Jugust (July 15th - August 15th). Last month I didn't plan my meals like I usually do, I ate out way too much, I was sick twice, I had to get new tires, I didn't manage my money well, I didn't feel like cooking or cleaning, I didn't work out, I got in trouble at work a lot (which we all do every week, but it just was getting to me). I was just blah! 

Now! I have a dishwasher (that I got for free) and I literally LOVE doing dishes now. Go 10 months washing them by hand with no counter space and an itty bitty sink, then get a dishwasher and you'll love doing dishes too! I found a grocery list template and OCDish made my list and planned out all my meals for the entire month. I cook on Sundays, Tuesday, and Fridays, expect recipes on those days :). I bought all my groceries for the entire month, tithes, and paid all my bills! Finances will be much better this month! I brought my lunch today and will everyday. No eating out! AND I started back to the gym today.

On a side note, I really love doing organizing tasks. Somehow, it is the best stress relief to me. I love planning out meals for the month! It's like a puzzle making it all a variety and figuring out how to best use leftovers, etc. I just love it. AND it saves SO much money. And makes you so excited about cooking. I anticipate each meal and recipe. I also make sure to do several new recipes a month, using at least one from one of my cookbooks, and the others from food.com (formerly know as recipezaar.com). 

Ok back on track. Tonight I found my new favorite meal of all time (or until I find another new favorite). I literally could eat this once a week! Which by the way, I never eat anything once a week because planning your meals is so fun and helps you no repeat and have the same ol' same ol'. I LOVE Greek food. If you've ever had a conversation about restaurants or favorite foods with me you know its all Greek for me! Except, oddly enough, to love Mediterranean food so much, I hate olives. I try them once a month to try and make myself like them, because I really really want to like them, but I just don't. But I always have hummus and pita bread at my house and if given the choice of any New Olreans restaurant, I will always always pick Lebanon's or Mona's. So I had this realization that I've never made anything Greek (other than hummus). I decided a Greek recipe was a must for this months meals! My faithful favorite site came through! Tonight I had Greek chicken and potatoes with Greek salad and I could eat it everyday for two weeks straight! 

The recipes! [Any changes or specifics will be noted like this.]

Greek Salad

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
1 cup olive oil (can reduce to 3/4 cup) [I used 1 cup]
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice [I used 3]
2-4 teaspoons dried oregano [I used 4]
3 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

SALAD INGREDIENTS
    1 large romaine lettuce, chopped [I used bagged/washed/chopped hearts of romaine (1.98 for a BIG bag at Sam's]
    2-3 plum tomatoes, cut in wedges [I used grape tomatoes, 4.98 for a BIG container at Sam's, and I rough chopped them with the slap chop, which is 5.97 at Wal-mart and the best food prep tool ever! Cuts cutting time in half, love love love it!]
    1 English cucumbers (peeled, seeded and chopped) [I used a regular one and didn't peel or seed. I sliced then rough chopped smaller with slap chop]
    1 red onions, cut in slices [I cut mine smaller with slap chop, don't like big pieces of onion]
    1 green bell peppers (seeded and cut into rings or sliced) [Or slap chopped! Can you tell I'm obsessed with that thing?]
    1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled [1 of the little circle containers of it]
    1 cup kalamata olives [I didn't use olives. Wish I liked them!] 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. For the dressing: in a processor or use a wire whisk process/whisk the olive oil with lemon juice, oregano, garlic, basil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar until smooth. [I put everything in one of those little salad dressing jars you get with the Italian or ranch dressing mixes and shook! Easier and less clean up.]
2. Chill in fridge for a couple of hours before using to blend flavors. [I made it the night before.]
3. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to combine. 
4. If desired allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving, or you can refrigerate for 1 hour (tossing a few time during sitting time).

Greek Chicken and Potatoes 

INGREDIENTS: 
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 3/4 inch cubes [I used 3, wanted more leftovers]
2 cups potatoes, cubed [I used 4 small russet potatoes, which was about 3 cups]
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 1/2 cup water [I used 1/2 cup chicken stock]
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 to taste salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken, potatoes, and garlic in a 9 X 13 inch glass baking pan. 
2. Mix well to get everything evenly distributed in the pan.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour the chicken bouillon [or chicken stock]over all. 
5. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and crumbled oregano together. 
6. Pour evenly over chicken and potatoes. [I also sprinkled Greek seasoning all over it at this point.]
7. Bake approximately 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender and golden brown. [Says 30-35 but really not sure how long I cooked it, probably longer, until potatoes were tender.]

I highly recommend these recipes!

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

How interesting, Kasia! Planning and organizing makes me feel good, too. I could plan all day. I take more pleasure, I think, in planning than in actually carrying out the plans (thought that has its own satisfaction). I also love Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food. We had Kibbeh and Lentil pie this week and Hummus, Labnah, and Tabbouli last week. I have a GREAT cookbook for it. Who knew we had so much in common?

Asia With a K said...

We should swap planning and organizing and meal ideas! All of that stuff sounds soooo good. What is the cookbook called? I didn't know we had so much in common, but I like it! :)