Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Greek Souvlaki and Feta Tzatziki

This is a great grill time recipe but if the weather changes during the day (which is a good possibility around these parts) you can always broil or bake it.

I love Greek food! And it’s so healthy! The great thing about this dish is that you can do it all ahead and then at mealtime you just grill or bake. Easy! Start with a Mediterranean dip like hummus or baba ganoush and finish off the some baklava and you have a wonderful themed meal, suitable for guests. I like the leftover souvlaki in a pita with the tzatziki on top – what a great lunch!

Greek Souvlaki and Feta Tzatziki - Serves 6 -8. 7 Points

½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes

24 cherry tomatoes
24 mushrooms
1 large green and red pepper
2 red onions
1 lb pork, chicken or beef

1 ½ cup plain yogurt, preferably the Greek or Balkan style
½ cup grated English cucumber, water squeezed out
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup feta cheese

Mix together the marinade ingredients in a shallow, non-metal pan.
Cut peppers, onion and meat in 1 inch cubes
Toss souvlaki ingredients in the marinade and let sit for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Mix tzatziki ingredients and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Before cooking, arrange souvlaki ingredients on skewers.
Grill over high heat or bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Serve with rice and tzatziki. Opa!

Nutrition Information based on 8 servings (without rice):Calories 306, Calories from Fat 176; Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 46 mg; Sodium 181 mg; Carbohydrates 15g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 10g; Protein 18g

Fresh squeezed lemon juice is best. One good size lemon should give you enough for both the marinade and the tzatziki. The superior taste over bottled lemon juice is well worth it in this recipe.

Use a decent quality olive oil. There is currently no regulation requiring that olive oil be labeled by origin of the olives. An olive oil that states it was bottled in Italy doesn’t mean all the olives come from Italy. Those olives could have travelled quite a ways to be part of the mix that ends up in that bottle. Buy your olive oil from a trusted importer. I buy mine from the Italian market and it comes from a cooperative of Greek olive growers. Taste great! And I didn`t pay a fortune for it either.

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