It’s all Greek to me…. Opa!!!

After spending almost 24 hours traveling on Friday I finally made it back to the great state of Texas on Saturday. I took me a day to recover from the crazy jet lag but now I’m back to myself and back in the kitchen. I had a wonderful time in Italy. Rome was a lot of fun and there was so much to see and do and of course eat. However I think I’m more of a small town by the sea type girl so Sorrento, The Island Of Capri and the Amalfi Coast were more my style.

Over the last 12 days I think have eaten my own weight in Italian pizza and pasta. I also might have shamelessly gorged myself on Taco Casa Saturday night. So for dinner last night I was definitely in need of something light and healthy on the menu.

With the temperatures here in North Texas soaring into the triple digits yesterday for the first time this summer I was left craving the cool and refreshing Mediterranean flavors of Greece. You know, cool cucumber, refreshing herbs like mint and parsley, a little citrus, creamy yogurt, grilled chicken and fresh tomatoes, all wrapped up in tasty lavash bread wrap… I know Lavash bread isn’t as traditionally Greek like Pita bread might be but these wraps, recently introduced to me by my cousin Patricia, are delicious and healthy. Umm sorry Patricia I might have bought the last package of the Lavash bread at the store yesterday.

Along with the Greek Chicken Wraps I also made a healthy Mediterranean Summer Farro salad with Garbanzo Beans, fresh herbs and citrus vinaigrette that was inspired by a lunch I had in Rome outside of the Campo de Fiori market place. Farro is an ancient wheat grain that looks like rice, but has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. Farro is packed full of protein, fiber and magnesium and perfect in a chilled summer salad. Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think.

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Mediterranean Summer Farro Salad

Ingredients:

1lb Whole Farro

Water

4 Cups of Chicken Stock

¼ Cup Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lemon, the Juice and Zest

1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar

1 Clove of Garlic, grated

1 Small Red Onion, minced

1 Fresno Chili, ribs and seeds removed, minced

1-16 oz. Can of Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Teaspoon chopped Mint

1 Tablespoon chopped Basil

2 Tablespoons chopped Parsley

Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Arugula or Spinach

A handful of Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half

Directions:

I cooked the Italian Farro according to the package instructions. Be sure to read you package instructions carefully because different brands of Farro cook differently.

Cover the 1lb. of Farro with cold water and soak up to 25 minutes. Drain and place in a large pot. Cover with 4 cups of fresh cold water and 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes.

In a small bowl, add the ¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the juice and the zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of Champagne Vinegar, the grated clove of garlic, 2 pinches of salt and black pepper to taste. Whisk the dressing together then set aside.

When the Farro has cooked, drain the Farro and place in a large bowl. Immediately toss the hot Farro with the dressing. Add in the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, the minced red onion, the minced Fresno pepper, and the fresh herbs. Give everything a good toss then place the salad in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Once the salad has chilled, serve on a bed of arugula or baby spinach, and top with  grape tomatoes.

 

Greek Chicken Wraps

Ingredients:

1 Cup Grilled Chicken, chopped into small bite sized pieces

½ Hothouse Cucumber, seeded and chopped

1 Tomato, chopped

¼ cup Red Onion, minced

1 Handful of Spinach or Arugula

½ Cup Tzatziki Sauce (recipe follows)

1 Lavash Wrap, (Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Lavash Bread)

 

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

1 pint Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

½ Hothouse Cucumber, unpeeled and seeded

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ cup reduced fat Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar

The juice of 1 Lemon

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 clove of Garlic, grated

2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, minced

1½ Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced

1 Teaspoon Fresh Dill, minced

Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

 

Directions:

First the Tzatziki Sauce.

Place the Greek Yogurt in a sieve lined with a coffee filter and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours so the cucumber and yogurt can drain.

Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber out as you can then ass the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic, and the minced fresh herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the Tzatziki sauce back in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow the flavors to combine.

This recipe for Tzatziki Sauce is based on one by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.

Assemble the Wrap…

Directions:

Spread about ½ cup of the Tzatziki sauce in an even layer over the lavash bread. Sprinkle on the grilled chicken, a little red onion, tomato, cucumber, and the spinach and arugula. Carefully roll the wrap up then slice in half.

 

Hope Y’all Enjoy!

 

Posted by

My name is Melody and I am the cook and blogger behind Meals With Mel. I have a love for traveling, I share a joy for gardening, and I have a passion for cooking. Although I do some baking, I don't consider myself a baker as I can't stand having to measure. When it comes to cooking my philosophy is add a bit of this, a dash of that, a splash of something doesn't hurt, never forget some type of pepper and always add at least one clove of garlic. Thanks for stopping by my Spicy Texas Kitchen and I hope to see you again!!! Melody

2 thoughts on “It’s all Greek to me…. Opa!!!

  1. Mel, I need help. I’m planning a picnic for two this evening. I don’t have a lot of time for prep, and I’m definitely no wizard in the kitchen. What would you suggest I make for the picnic? Thanks!!

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    1. I love a good pesto over whole wheat rotini pasta because it’s good hot or cold. Then take a little help from your local grocery store deli and purchase a rotisserie chicken. I mean you have to have chicken on a picnic… Finally a fruit salad. Also if you check out the local party supply store you can purchase little Chinese Take-out containers which just makes for easy clean up, plus they look cute. Hope this helps!!!

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