jump to navigation

Yogurt-Blue Cheese Salad & Quick Pita Pizza March 17, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Quick Eats, Salads.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the Yogurt-Blue Cheese Salad you will need(serves 2):

Red leaf lettuce
1 tomato
10-12 of your favorite olives

1/2 cup of plain, low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup Danish blue cheese
1/2 clove of fresh garlic
2 tbsp. curly parsley

1 tbsp. pine nuts

1.  Wash and dry the lettuce, place in bowl.

Chop salad into bite size pieces.

2. In this salad, chop the tomatoes larger than you normally would you want to be able to scoop your scrumptious dressing with them.

Cut 1 tomato into large pieces.

3. Combine the yogurt, blue cheese, garlic and salt it to your liking.  Mix it up quite well to combine the yogurt and blue cheese chunks.  Then add the parsley to the yogurt-blue cheese dressing.

The main ingredients for your salad: yogurt, blue cheese, garlic, salt to taste

Yogurt-Blue Cheese Dressing with parsley

4. Pour your dressing over your chopped salad.  Add olives and pine nuts and enjoy!

Top your chopped salad with your dressing, olives and pine nuts.

To accompany your salad I recommend a quick pita pizza!  Please use which ingredients are in your refrigerator.  One of my favorite versions of this quick pizza is a caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil), but I used what I had on hand!

For the Quick Pita Pizza you will need (serves 2):

1 pita bread (split into 2 even circles)
2/3 cup Vermont Cheddar cheese (sliced)
1/2 tomato
1/4 cup red pepper
2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes packed in oil
Parsley for garnish
Olive oil

1. Take one pita bread and slice it down the middle in order to make 2 even circles.  Take some olive oil and use your hands to spread the oil on both sides of the pita, this will help the pita crisp up in the oven.  Place most of your cheese on the pitas, save some as a topping. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.

Cover the pita slices with your favorite cheese!

2.  Add your tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, red peppers, extra cheese and parsley. Remove the seeds of the tomatoes, to ensure your pizza does not get soggy.  Drizzle a bit more olive oil on the top before you place it in a 350°F  oven for about 7 minutes.  In order to brown the edges and melt the cheese place in broiler for 1 – 2 additional minutes.


3.  Plate your salad and pita pizza and enjoy a delicious quick meal you can have for lunch or dinner!



God Bless a Chickpea & Home-Made Hummus March 15, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Middle Eastern.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

I had to reference one of my all time favorite TV shows “Friends” before starting this recipe. George Clooney said it best: “God Bless  a Chickpea”. Versatile and incredibly flavorful, there is almost no limitation to what you can do with chickpeas. Especially in Turkish cuisine, numerous dishes include chickpeas as a central ingredient. I will call a few family friends, and borrow another delicious chickpea recipe in the near future. Stay Tuned!

Meanwhile, let’s get to the recipe at hand. In recent years, I have seen an explosion of hummus brands in the USA. Known as a healthy snack, companies have not missed the opportunity to capitalize on the healthy trends that are emerging in US cities. But why purchase something that it so easy to make at home? If you have a food processor, chickpeas and tahini paste, you can make your own version of hummus in a matter of minutes. Another reason to keep these ingredients handy at home.

To accompany the perfect home-made hummus, I will also show you how to make home made pita chips. Again, you can come up with sweet variations for this (cinnamon and sugar), but I will show you how to make plain ones, which we can use for dipping into the hummus. With this recipe, your parties will be a hit!

You will need

1 can of chickpeas (approximately 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon of sumac
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 clove of garlic (mashed)
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of tahini
1/4 cup of water
1/6 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (add more depending on your taste)
1/4 cup of parsley
Store bought pita bread

1. Wash the chickpeas in a strainer, and place them into the food processor

Wash chickpeas and place into food processor

2. Peel a garlic clove and use a garlic press to mash the 1 clove of garlic into the food processor. Use a garlic press, otherwise you might get chunks of garlic in your hummus!

Peel garlic and mash it into the food processor

3. Add 2 tablespoons of tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of parsley, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, salt to taste ( I add approximately 1/6th of a teaspoon), and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. I also add 1/2 teaspoon of sumac, which is a red colored spice which adds a sour taste.

Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor

4. Blend ingredients using the food processor!

Blend ingredients!

5. To make the pita chips, cut the pita bread into small triangles

Cut pita bread into small triangles

6.On a piece of foil, drizzle olive oil, black pepper and some oregano or parsley flakes on top of the pita triangles. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 325 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil, black pepper and some oregano or parsley flakes

7. Serve with the hummus! Enjoy!

Garnish with pine nuts and some sumac. You can also drizzle some more olive oil.