Greek food is one of my favorite cuisines because the ingredients are simple, fresh and you can find a lot of healthy options. I always marinate the meat before I cook it to infuse some flavor; typically with fresh herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Hummus is one of my favorite dips because you can add extra flavors you enjoy like roasted red pepper, garlic, avocado, or just keep it classic. For a light and quick meal, I created Greek style chicken skewers and hummus with a fresh heirloom tomato salad.
When I go grocery shopping every weekend to prepare meals for the week, I like to find ways to plan ahead so that when monday hits, cooking can be nearly effortless. I decided to marinate a few chicken breasts for a few days in olive oil, whole sprigs of rosemary and thyme, one whole juiced lemon with the lemon rinds kept in the bag for the lemon oil in the skin, rough chopped garlic and salt and pepper. I place these ingredients in a reclosable bag, and turned the bag over each day to make sure the chicken is evenly marinated. I then sliced the chicken breast into strips and placed them on skewers, poured some marinade from the bag over each skewer and added more salt and pepper. I didn’t have time to grill, so I just broiled the chicken in the oven and I still had tender chicken that was golden brown in color.
Who knew pureed chickpeas aka. garbanzo beans could be so delicious!? I like to add a good amount of lemon juice to keep it bright and fresh with the creamy garbanzo beans and rich toasted sesame paste (tahini). Hummus actually originates from Middle Eastern cuisine and has become a very popular dip featured in Greek restaurants. However, don’t be surprised if you can’t find a lot of hummus in your next trip to Greece! I like to make a little pocket in the hummus for high quality olive oil and then I sprinkle of paprika to garnish the hummus.
Every time we dine at our favorite greek restaurant in Costa Mesa, California (Thasos Greek Island Grille), we are served a fresh salad with crisp romaine, ripe tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, olives, red onions, walnuts, lots of feta and a balsamic vinaigrette. For my salad, I used wild rocket (arugula), baby heirlooms tomatoes from the farmers market (Future Foods Farms, Brea CA), diced red onions, feta and an easy homemade balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette.
This Greek inspired platter was the perfect balance of healthy offerings; a savory herbed chicken, creamy hummus and fresh tomato salad. If you are looking for something light, easy to prepare, and want some island comfort food, give these recipes a try!