Friday, October 12, 2012

Scrumptious Salads from the Mediterranean

Today, I have something special for our Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers!  JoEllen Krauss has given us some delicious recipes!

JoEllen Krauss, mother of two kids, is an advocate of healthy eating and brings this passion to his home providing tasty and healthy meals to her family. When she’s not in the kitchen she reads romance novels and writes freelance for 1800WheelChair.Com. In this guest post she shares yummy Mediterranean salad recipes. Enjoy!

Scrumptious Salads from the Mediterranean

If you are looking for a quick, easy and affordable alternative to your usual Wednesday casserole or weekend burgers, then perhaps whipping up a fresh Mediterranean salad can defer the meal monotony. Mediterranean cuisine is known for its fresh and exotic cuisine, but you don’t have to live in Greece to bring some of these foods home to your table. Try some of these Mediterranean salads that are easy on your wallets, taste buds, and time.

Mediterranean Greek Salad

This salad is great side dish, or even a main dish! Add more or less of each ingredient or different ingredients altogether to make this salad yours! Use the following as a starting point for your salad.


 3 cucumbers
 1 ½ cups crumbled feta cheese
 1 cup Kalamata olives (or your favorite olive)
 3 cups diced Roma tomatoes
 1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
 ½ red onion

Thinly slice the cucumbers; seed them if you would like. Slice the olives you decided to add to your salad. Dice up the Roma tomatoes, the sun-dried tomatoes, and red onion. Toss everything together until evenly distributed.

As for the dressing, there are a wide variety of potential dressings that can be used for this salad. You can try oil and balsamic vinegar, pre-made Greek dressings, or vinaigrettes. Like before, go ahead and experiment with dressings until you find something that you absolutely love. That’s the beauty of this salad; there are so many different combinations in which you can eat this salad. The best part is, it tastes fantastic every time and it’s healthy!

Lamb Gyro Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

This salad has a little more substance than a traditional all-vegetable Mediterranean. This salad turns a classic Mediterranean dish into a unique salad that is still light, healthy and tasty.


For lamb meat:

 1 pound ground lamb
 2 teaspoons minced garlic
 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
 1 teaspoon oregano
 I teaspoon salt
 ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

For dressing:

 ½ cucumber
 7 ounces plain Greek yogurt
 2 teaspoons minced garlic
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 1 tablespoon olive oil

For salad:

 Chopped Romaine lettuce
 1 ripe tomato, sliced
 1 red onion, sliced thinly
 1 cup Kalamata olives

To make the gyro meat, begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the lamb and the spices and knead the mixture until it is smooth and even. Mold the meat into 4 small sausage-like chains, or loafs. Keep them approximately the same size. Put the meat in the oven and bake on a sheet for about 16 minutes. Afterwards, take the lamb out of the oven and allow it to cool before you slice it thinly.

To make the dressing, start by grating the cucumber. Squeeze as much of the excess cucumber juice into a side bowl as you grate. Combine the grated cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Add the excess cucumber juice until your dressing has reached a consistency to your liking.

Lastly, assemble your salad. Wash and break the lettuce, slice the tomatoes, chop the onion, and slice the olives and toss everything together. Apply a generous amount of the lamb meat to your salad and top with the dressing. Alas! A completely homemade gyro salad!

Another great way to use this recipe is to chopped/shred the salad and the lamb meat and stuff it into a pita pocket. This is a great way to add a little starch and carbohydrates to the dish if you are a little more hungry than usual. Enjoy!

Add a glass of your favorite wine, a white tablecloth, and a candle to the setting and enjoy a beautiful and healthy dinner. You'll feel like you are dining right on the Mediterranean!

Disclosure:  This is a guest post.  No compensation was received for posting it!  A very special thank you to JoEllen for the delicious recipe!

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