Tag Archives: feta

Bruschetta and Lentil Dip

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This is one of those refreshing and delicious recipes that seems too easy to be true. Not only that, but it’s also extremely healthy – full of protein and fiber! Are you skeptical of lentils? This is a great recipe to change your mind! I promise you won’t be able to avoid going back for a second dip, or fourth.

Bruschetta and Lentil Dip

You mix together a few things from Trader Joe’s and you have an appetizer that will seriously wow the party! It’s also a perfect afternoon snack or light dinner.

Bruschetta and Lentil DipLook at all those fresh ingredients! Don’t you want a bite?

Bruschetta and Lentil DipTo make this a super healthy afternoon snack, you can use cucumber slices instead of crackers for dipping.

Bruschetta and Lentil Dip

Bruschetta and Lentil Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 package steamed lentils (refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 container bruschetta sauce (refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 handful chopped basil leaves
  • 1 container crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Crackers or pita chips (or cucumber slices)

Directions:

Mix the lentils, bruschetta, basil, and feta in a bowl until combined. Let the flavors marinate in the fridge for half an hour if you have time. Serve with pita chips or crackers.

*To really step up the health factor, you can eliminate the cheese and substitute the crackers with cucumber slices.

Butternut Squash and Farro Salad

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Hey everyone – Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings!! I’ve been in Wisconsin for over a week now and loving every minute of it!! I made this for dinner a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love. So, I decided to make it for our Thanksgiving dinner with our family friends and everyone raved about it. Bottom line – you have to try this recipe!!Butternut Squash and Farro SaladFirst off, are you wondering what farro is? It is a grain similar to barley that has a slight nutty flavor and is a bit crunchy in texture. It’s full of fiber and protein, so will keep you full for a long time! I have seen it in the bulk bins at different grocery stores, but you could also order it online. Here is the package I bought at Whole Foods:

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas

Preparing the butternut squash for roasting isn’t the easiest, so here’s how I did it. First, cut off both ends of the squash. Next, using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin until you get to the orange meat on the inside. Then, cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Finally, dice into cubes.

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas

I could eat this all fall and winter long!Butternut Squash and Farro Salad Butternut Salad with Farro, Pepitas and Feta

Serves 4 to 6, generously, as a main dish

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup farro
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 ounces feta (or another salty cheese) crumbled or chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat one large or two small baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil total. Spread squash out in single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until pieces are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.

While squash is roasting, cook farro in a large pot of simmering salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. (Since there are so many varieties of farro, however, if your package suggests otherwise, it’s best to defer to its cooking suggestion. My farro called for soaking overnight, but I didn’t do that and it turned out fine.) Drain and cool slightly.

While squash is roasting and farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon table salt and granulated sugar until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in onion; it will barely be covered by vinegar mixture but don’t worry. Cover and set in fridge until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will still make a lovely, lightly pickled onion.

In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, farro, red onion and its vinegar brine, the crumbled cheese and pepitas. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, use the 4th one only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat now or later. Salad keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen here.

Creamy Feta Dip

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A few nights ago after work I met some of my girlfriends for a hike and picnic at Griffith Observatory. Griffith Park is a great place to go when you are visiting LA, or even if you already live here! There is a couple mile hike that starts up behind the Observatory and loops around to give you great views of the city and gets you very close to the Hollywood sign. The Observatory itself is cool too – they have two huge telescopes that you can use to view the stars. I even got to see Saturn when I was there last time.

Griffith Observatory Hike

After all that exercise, we dug into this Creamy Feta Dip I made. It was SO GOOD. It was SO creamy and just a perfect bite of feta heaven. Also, very simple to make! First, you have to roast jalapenos and garlic, which made our apartment smell delicious.

Creamy Feta Dip

I made half the recipe for 6 people and it was plenty. If you want leftovers or are bringing this dip to a party, definitely make the full recipe. I didn’t really know how to take a good picture of creamy dip, so you’ll have to trust me on how awesome this is!

Creamy Feta Dip

Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Creamy Feta Dip with Jalapenos 

makes about 2 cups [a little goes a long way!]

2 bricks of feta cheese, 8 ounces each

3 whole jalapeno peppers

1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon

1 bulb garlic

the juice of half a lemon

the zest of half a lemon

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the top off the garlic bulb and drizzle it with a teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap it in foil and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until garlic is golden in color. At the same time, brush the jalapenos with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Either grill or roast them – I stuck them in the oven with garlic and just watched until they were charred. Remove both from oven and let cool. Once jalapenos are cooled, remove skins, cut in half and discard the seeds. Chop into small pieces. Don’t touch your eyes!

In a large bowl, crumble the feta bricks. [Crumbling the bricks yourself works best, but if you can only find crumbled feta that is fine.] Add chopped jalapenos, the zest of half a lemon, and the juice of half a lemon. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb directly into the feta. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and mash with a fork. You want the feta to be a bit “wet” – I can best describe it as a cross between a spread and a dip. There is no right or wrong – make it however you’d like. Taste the feta and season with salt and pepper. Serve with pita chips, warm pita or naan, or spread it on sandwiches. Store it in the fridge for up to one week – I find that I like it best at room temperature, so allow it to sit out for about 30 minutes before serving. We also think it would be great with some kalamata olives.

Mediterranean Hummus Dip

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Thanks to all of you for signing up to follow my blog! I’m really excited to get started and thrilled that you were interested in hearing from me :)

If I’m being honest, I was feeling the pressure to make sure this first post is a great one! I knew I needed to pick something delicious. If you like feta, you are going to LOVE this Mediterranean Dip that I found over at Annie’s Eats. I made this for dinner last night and between 4 people, we licked the plate clean.

Mediterranean Hummus Dip

We also ate an entire bag of pita, don’t let the 4 little triangles in the picture fool you. In order to stand up to the weight of all the fresh ingredients in this dip, I recommend making your own pita chips. Take some fresh pita bread, cut each pita into 8 triangles, and toast in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown.

Mediterranean Hummus Dip

Keep this dip in mind if you need to bring something to a labor day cookout in a few weeks. Or just make it for dinner tonight! Because really, who needs an excuse to eat feta??

Layered Mediterranean Dip (from Annie’s Eats)

For the cilantro pesto:
1½ cups fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. pecans
2 tbsp. pine nuts
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To assemble the dip:
Hummus
Cilantro pesto (above)
Cucumber, seeded and diced
Red onion, diced
Banana peppers, chopped
Sliced olives (black or Kalamata)
Crumbled feta cheese
Tomatoes (I just diced mine, Annie roasted hers)

To make the cilantro pesto, combine the cilantro, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, pecans, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse repeatedly until a coarse paste forms.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the processor running, add the remaining olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth.  Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan.  (If storing for later use, drizzle with a thin film of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto, and store in an airtight container.)

To assemble the dip, spread a layer of hummus on a serving platter.  Spread the cilantro pesto over the top of the hummus.  Layer evenly with cucumber, red onion, banana peppers, olives, feta, and oven-dried tomatoes as desired.  Garnish with an additional few tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro.  Serve with pita chips.