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Food

Planning Tasty Meals to Enjoy for Lunch and Dinner

February 15, 2021

Planning ahead can help home cooks create delicious meals and lunches featuring Greek flavors throughout the week while also saving time. Make sure to re-read recipes carefully in case you need to add any of the ingredients to your shopping list and keep in mind what can be made ahead of time and what needs to be prepped right before you begin cooking. A pot of chickpeas can be enjoyed as a soup and also in salads when drained of their liquid, but it should be noted that chickpeas need to be soaked overnight, 6-8 hours, before cooking. The chicken and peppers with mushrooms recipe which follows can be enjoyed with rice or pasta and the leftovers make a flavorful sandwich for lunch the next day.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained, (Recipe follows)

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

2 small-medium cucumbers, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 small-medium red onion, sliced thinly

Black olives, of your choice, pitted, if preferred

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add a pinch of salt, and add the quinoa, cook until the liquid is absorbed, then set aside to cool slightly. In a mixing bowl, stir together the chickpeas, vegetables, olives, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, feta, and freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground pepper, if needed.

To cook chickpeas: Revithia Aspres (Chickpea Soup)

1 package (1 pound) dried chickpeas

1 large onion, chopped or cut in quarters

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bay leaf

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon, to taste

Greek extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Sort, rinse, and then soak the chickpeas overnight in a large, deep pot with enough water to cover them by two inches at least. After 6-8 hours of soaking and when you are ready to cook them, drain the soaking water and refill the pot with fresh, cold water enough to cover the beans by at least two inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce to medium and simmer, skimming and discarding the foam that may form on top. Add a 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste. Add the onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and freshly ground pepper and simmer until the chickpeas are tender, about an hour. Add a cup or so of boiling water if the water seems to have evaporated and the chickpeas are not yet tender. Once the chickpeas are tender serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste and a drizzle of olive oil, if preferred, or drain 2 cups of chickpeas for use in salads as noted above.

Chicken and Peppers with Mushrooms

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 pound chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 teaspoon Greek dried oregano

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Clean and slice the mushrooms. In a frying pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the sliced mushrooms until browned, set aside. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper. In a large skillet with a cover, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sear the chicken on all sides until golden brown, transfer to a plate and set aside. Sauté the onion until translucent in the same skillet, add additional olive oil, if needed. Add the chopped peppers and sauté until fragrant. Return the chicken to the skillet with the vegetables and add the white wine and oregano, cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked mushrooms and stir. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with cooked rice or pasta.

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