Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mediterranean Madness: Greek Burrito Bowls + Spinach Pie

Forgive the {feta} cheesy title... I'm going with it. 

9 years ago, E and I were ferrying around the Greek isles, gorging on souvlaki, sipping Assyrtiko, and smoking Camels on rooftop decks.  

Last weekend, we stood in thigh-deep bathtub-temp water at a family-friendly hill country resort while our minions squealed down the water slides 87 times and cheered on Quakers and Ducky in the rubber duck races. 

So, practically the same thing. 

Perhaps I'm subconsciously paying homage to end of the summer shenanigans with these two dishes.  Both are super simple, SUPER delicious, can be prepped ahead of time, and won't completely annihilate your waistline. 

Greek Burrito Bowls with Chicken, Chickpeas & Lemon-Garlic Drizzle
modified from Iowa Girl Eats 

- 1 lb chicken tenders
for the marinade 
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed 
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 small cucumber, deseeded and chopped 
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
- 1 teaspoon black pepper 
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
- 1/2 cup EVOO
for the lemon-garlic drizzle
- 1/2 mayo
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced 
- salt to taste
for the tumeric rice 
- 1 T EVOO
- 1 shallot, finely chopped 
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1.5 teaspoons turmeric 
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2 cups chicken broth 

Okay. LOTSA components here. But it all comes together super quickly.  I did everything in about 20 minutes during naptime -- save for bake the chicken and cook the rice which took another 20 minutes right before serving supper. Let's do it. 

Marinate: Place chicken tenders into one Ziploc bag and the chickpeas + chopped veggies {tomatoes, red onion, cucumber} into another Ziploc. Whisk together remaining marinade ingredients {lemon juice, honey, salt, oregano, pepper, mustard, garlic, and EVOO} in a mixing bowl. Measure out 1/4 cup of the marinade and pour over the chickpeas and veggies inside the Ziploc. Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken inside the other Ziploc.  Seal both baggies and shake to coat chicken / chickpeas + veggies with marinade.  Refrigerate both baggies for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.  

Make the drizzle: In your blender or a small food processor, pulse together mayo, lemon juice, and garlic.  Add salt to taste. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

Make the rice: Heat EVOO over Medium Heat. Saute shallot until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and turmeric and saute for another 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat with turmeric mixture. Stir in chicken broth and raise heat to High.  Bring to a boil, cover tightly, and lower heat to Low.  Simmer covered until all liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. 

Cook chicken & assemble bowls: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place marinated chicken on a foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  After allowing to cook a bit, chop roughly.  Layer rice, chicken, and marinated chickpeas + veggies in bowls and drizzle with lemon-garlic sauce. 

Spinach Pie

I looooooove spanikopita. I ate it every single morning for breakfast in Greece, and I can take down an entire tray of spinach-y dill-y feta-y apps.  I've had this Easy Spinach Pie from Budget Bytes pinned for an eon, but every time I check it out, I skip over it due to its lack of actual Mediterranean components.  I finally got around to fiddling with it, and I am super pleased with the end result!  

- 1 sheet puff pastry {it usually comes in a 2 pack}, dethawed 
- 16 oz frozen chopped spinach, dethawed and squeezed of all excess water
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped 
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped {all parts}
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
-  1 cup Feta, crumbled 
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, whisked + 1 whisked egg for glaze
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible 
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Using a rolling pin and a sheet of wax paper dusted with flour, roll out the sheet of puff pastry until it stretches to a roughly 12 in x 12 in square. This is easiest to do when the pastry is still cold. Lay pastry over a regular pie pan {the corners should be hanging over the edge} and pop it back in the fridge.

Mix together chopped spinach, shallots, dill, and green onions.  Combine the remaining ingredients {reserving one of the 3 eggs for glaze} in another bowl.  Whisk to incorporate eggs. Stir wet ingredients into veggies.  Spread mixture into the chilled pastry in the pie pan.  Fold corners of pastry over the filling to meet in the middle.  No big deal if you have gaps in the pastry! You can either put the uncooked pie back in the fridge for up to 24 hours {I imagine it would freeze beautifully as well} or bake right away.

Preheat oven to 375.  Brush whisked egg over the top of the pie for a glazed appearance.  Bake pie for 45 minutes.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to fully set and cool slightly before serving.

We enjoyed ours with that kate + brussels + lemon vinagrette bagged salad I love so much tossed with the marinated chickpea + veggie leftovers from the recipe above.  And I might have eaten two more slices stone-cold for breakfast.


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