It’s All Greek to Me

In Greek, Potato, Salad on December 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm

With my new challenge this month, an easy transition meal is salad.  Salad, like soup, can contain nearly anything.  It can be a yummy, light side to a heartier meal, or the main attraction on your dinner plate.  The former option holds true for Nick, and the latter for moi.  A regular old garden salad doesn’t do the trick for an Elain-inspired big salad, so I decided to make my go-to Greek salad.  It is a great, filling dish that is super flavorful.  Feta is really salty, but it is also one of the lower fat/calorie cheeses (asside from the Laughing Cow 20-ingredient wedges), so it packs a nice punch.

For the side dish, I decided to make roasted potatatoes.  This was because I had so many potatoes left from the last CSA share, and I did not want to let them go to waste.  Also, Nick loves potatoes.  Traditional Greek roasted potatoes usually have lemon and dill, neither of which I had.  There’s always the Lipton onion soup mix option, but I stopped buying those because of all the chemicals and high sodium content.  Besides, this homemade version is so much better!

I preheated the oven to 450 degrees.  Then I quartered the potatoes.  They were the small ones, so that wasn’t really necessary, but it was late and I wanted to cook them in a shorter period of time.

Then I prepared the dressing.  The original Lipton recipe requires 1/3 cup of oil for 2 pounds of taters.  That’s almost 6 tbsp of oil (which is over 80 grams of fat)!  I used only 2 tbsp.  The rest of the moisture comes from the other ingredients.

I grated 1/4 of a very large red onion (would be 1/2-1 whole of a smaller sized one) with the microplane side of my box grater.  Since this was a red onion, it looked like pretty purple cotton candy.

Then I grated 2 gloves of garlic, and added some salt and pepper.  Then I whisked it with a fork until it was an applesauce-like consistency.

I dressed the potatoes, roasted for about 35 minutes, and tada.

While the potatoes roasted, it was time to assemble the salad.  The key ingredients are lettuce (usually Romain), tomato, cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, feta cheese, kalmata olives, and a red wine/oregano vinaigrette.  I had baby spinach, no pepper or olives, and no oregano (but marjoram, which is closely related).  Regardless, I had enough to make due.

I mentioned in an earlier post that buying pre-shredded or crumbled cheese is exorbitantly marked up.  What I do for feta is cut the 8 oz package into 8 even (as possible) portions.  I generally use 1 oz per person, but sometimes 1.5.  Once I have the portion, I will cube it and have my very own crumbles.  The remainder are left in the package and sealed in a ziplock.

For my salad, I created a bed of spinach, topped with cucumber, tomato, onion, and feta.  Then I sprinkled pepper (no salt – because feta is already salty) and marjoram, and drizzled some plain red wine vinegar.  I think that making it a vinaigrette is unnecessary, and I’d rather have more of the good stuff than oil.

Nick’s plate also had the potatoes, and he felt very full on just a little amount.  We also finally got our dinner plates!  Since nobody bought them from our wedding registry, we opted to get them ourselves.

Even with the potatoes, this is a pretty light meal.  However, I am sticking to my guns with the no-starch dinner approach.  Maybe I had 1 or 2 wedges, but they don’t count because they weren’t on my plate :-/

Salad is always a healthy go-to for me, but eating salad every day – especially in the winter – really gets boring and does not satiate my belly.  I’ll be trying other cooked dishes this week to spice things up!

What are some of your favorite salads?


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