Month: August 2019

Greek Salad with Vinaigrette

Traditional Greek salads, sometimes called Greek Village Salad (or Horiatiki), don’t include lettuce, but I prefer mine with a base of romaine, so that’s the recipe I’m sharing today.

First, you can start by mixing a simple vinaigrette. I found a recipe that I liked in the book, “The New Atkins for a New You.” It includes fresh lemon juice which I think really enhances the dressing, but if you don’t have a lemon handy, then by all means use red wine vinegar.

It’s so easy to make, just a few spices, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and a splash of vinegar. I added everything to my shaker bottle, and it makes enough for several servings.

For the salad, I was so fortunate to have fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from a friend’s garden. The fresher your ingredients, the tastier your salad is going to be. Along with tomatoes and cucumbers, I add organic romaine lettuce, a bit of red onion, and Greek feta cheese. Feel free to add kalamata olives, as well.

Sometimes red onions can have a very strong flavor, so a little trick to mellow them, is to rinse the onion slices in cold water before adding them to the salad.

Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, drizzle some vinaigrette on top.

To make it a full meal, add some protein like grilled chicken. It tastes so fresh! The crisp lettuce and cucumber, sweet tomatoes and salty feta, plus the lemony tang of the vinaigrette, make a great combination. It’s like the best of summer in a bowl!

Greek Salad with Vinaigrette

Servings:  1 entrée or 2 side salads

  • 3 generous handfuls of torn romaine lettuce (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 thin slices of red onion
  • 2 tablespoons Greek Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled Greek feta cheese
  • A few Kalamata olives, optional
  • 1-2 pepperoncini, optional

Greek Vinaigrette

Servings:  4

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


Add lettuce to a large bowl, along with cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and feta.   

Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a shaker bottle and shake to combine, or whisk in a bowl.

Drizzle salad with 2 tablespoons of dressing. 

Add some grilled chicken or other protein to make a full meal.

Refreshing Pear-Ginger Cooler with Lemon-Lime

Here is another healthy smoothie made with fresh organic greens, cucumber, pear, ginger and citrus juices.

Ginger has many beneficial properties. It can help with digestion, nausea, cold and flu relief, pain reduction, inflammation, and cardiovascular health. It gives the drink a spicy kick!

Pears are a great source of fiber, are a low-glycemic fruit, a good source of antioxidants, including potassium, which helps to flush out excess sodium from the body, and can also help reduce high blood pressure. In addition to vitamin C, pears contain electrolytes, magnesium and copper, an antioxidant that helps the central nervous system and boosts brain power.

Parsley provides a concentrated source of nutrients. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, may improve bone health, protect against chronic diseases, and has antioxidant benefits.

Fresh lemon and lime juice: loaded with vitamin C which boosts the immune system, helps prevent asthma, increases iron absorption, contains collagen which improves the complexion, lowers risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, assists nervous system, relieves constipation, highly alkalizing (once metabolized), anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.

The great thing about high speed blenders like the NutriBullet, is that you don’t have to peel any fruits. It grinds everything up so you get the added fiber and nutritional benefit contained in the peels. (A traditional juicer removes all the fiber.)

I don’t like drinks that are too sweet, so this one has just a hint of sweetness from the pear, a spicy kick from the ginger, and the tart flavor from the lemon and lime juice gives it a nice balance. It turned out very thick when I first made it, so I just added water. Feel free to add as much water as you like to get the proper consistency. You can also add crushed ice to make it super cold and thick. Enjoy!

Refreshing Pear-Ginger Cooler with Lemon-Lime

Servings:  1

  • A handful of organic baby spinach leaves
  • A handful of organic parsley
  • 1 medium pear, cored and cut into large pieces
  • 1/4 of a seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon
  • The juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup filtered water


Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender, such as NutriBullet.  Blend until everything is completely smooth.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add additional water. 

Spanakorizo with Riced Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage

This is a classic Greek dish made with spinach and rice that I transformed into a low carb, healthy and delicious meal! I added organic chicken sausage to make it a complete meal instead of a side dish, but you can omit the sausage if you prefer to keep it vegetarian.

You can swap the regular rice for cauliflower rice in almost any recipe, and still have a filling, satisfying feast. Your family or guests probably won’t be able to tell the difference!

This recipe is quick and easy, (under 30 minutes), perfect for a weeknight. You just need a few ingredients like spinach, riced cauliflower, chicken sausage, lemon and feta cheese.

I started by sauteing some diced onion in olive oil and butter.

Once the onion is nice and soft, add the frozen riced cauliflower. No need to thaw it first.

Stir it around so it thaws and releases some of its moisture. Once it’s heated through, throw it the diced chicken sausage. I used one that had spinach and garlic, but you can use any kind of sausage you like. Just be sure it’s precooked so it just needs to be heated.

After adding the sausage, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes, to finish cooking the riced cauliflower. Add salt and pepper, then throw in the fresh spinach.

Cover the pan again, just for a minute or two, to allow the spinach to wilt. Then give it a stir, take the pan off the heat, and add fresh dill weed, fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of feta cheese (optional). Taste to adjust seasonings.

It’s a delicious combination: buttery rice, hearty sausage with a hint of garlic, fresh spinach, classic Greek flavors of dill, tart lemon and salty feta.

Spanakorizo with Riced Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage

Servings:  3-4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 12-ounce bag frozen riced cauliflower
  • 3 fully cooked organic chicken-spinach sausages, from a 12-ounce package
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 ounces fresh organic baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, optional


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, butter and chopped onion.  Saute for several minutes, until soft.

Add the frozen riced cauliflower and stir to break up any large clumps.  As it heats, the moisture will start to evaporate.  Saute for a few minutes, then add diced chicken sausage.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and pepper, then the baby spinach leaves.  Cover pan to wilt the spinach for 1-2 minutes.

Remove cover and stir to be sure spinach is evenly cooked.  Turn off the heat and add the dill, lemon juice and feta cheese, if desired.  Stir again and taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with an additional squeeze of lemon or a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs

I love to grill in the summer. This recipe is perfect to serve when entertaining friends or family, or just an easy meal for any night of the week. You can double the amount and have leftovers to use in many different ways.

In order to get the most flavor, it helps to marinate the chicken for at least an hour. But if you can’t wait that long, even 15 minutes would still give you a delicious result.

Start by putting the boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a large food storage bag.

Then gather your marinade ingredients: juice from 1 medium lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.

Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour them into the bag. Seal it, being sure to press all the air out, and smoosh the bag so the marinade coats the chicken evenly.

Place the bag in the refrigerator, preferably for at least an hour.

Preheat a barbecue grill, then place the chicken thighs on the hot grates. At this point I lower the temperature so it doesn’t burn and cause flare-ups.

Turn the chicken after 4-5 minutes. Cook on the other side for a few minutes, then turn again to finish and reach 165 degrees F. It usually takes about 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the thighs. I like using chicken thighs as opposed to breasts, not only for the richer flavor, but they hold up better and there’s less chance of overcooking them.

Take the chicken off the grill and slice it into bite-sized chunks. The meat is tender, juicy and slightly charred, with the delicious flavors of lemon, oregano and thyme.

On Mondays, I like to serve a big salad for dinner, with some type of protein. This chicken is the perfect thing to have with some mixed greens and ranch dressing.

Just add a bit of salt and pepper to your greens, your favorite homemade or store-bought dressing, toss well, then serve the sliced chicken on top of the salad. Easy, healthy dinner!

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs

Servings:  3-4

  • 1.3 pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Organic Mixed Greens
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ranch Dressing


Place the chicken thighs in a large plastic food storage bag.  Mix the lemon juice, oil and spices and pour over the chicken.  Seal the bag and gently squeeze the chicken pieces to distribute the marinade evenly.  Refrigerate for one hour.

Light a barbecue grill and preheat on high for 5-10 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the bag and place on the hot grill.  Lower the temperature to medium.  Grill with the lid closed for 12-15 minutes, turning a few times, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (165 degrees Fahrenheit).  Remove to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces.

Season the mixed greens with salt and pepper.  Add ranch dressing and toss.  Serve the chicken on top of the salad.

Spicy & Savory Vegetable Juice

Everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables, but with busy schedules, we don’t always succeed in doing it. This green juice is a quick way to add healthy vegetables along with fiber, vitamins and a bit of healthy fat.

The juice contains spinach, tomato, celery, cucumber, cilantro, lemon, and some spices to make it delicious! It reminds me of a V8 or a virgin Bloody Mary.

Here are just a few of the benefits from the ingredients in my recipe:

The calcium in spinach can help strengthen your bones to fight against injury, and vitamins A and C, fiber, folic acid, and other nutrients fight against colon and breast cancers. Spinach also helps to lower damaging protein levels in the blood and can protect against high blood pressure and heart disease.

Celery is a great source of antioxidants, reduces inflammation and aids digestion.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss.

Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Black pepper is high in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, may benefit your brain, improve blood sugar control, lower cholesterol levels, and has cancer-fighting properties.

So give it a try and let me know what you think!

Spicy and Savory Vegetable Juice

Servings:  1

  • A handful of organic baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium organic tomato, quartered
  • 1 large stalk organic celery, chopped
  • 1/4 of a seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • A few dashes hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender, such as NutriBullet.  Blend until everything is completely smooth.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a small amount of water.