Posts Tagged With: Greek Yogurt

Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce

Oh gosh, Branden’s aunt gave him one of the most incredible cookbooks for Christmas, called Plenty.  If you’re a vegetarian, this book is a must to liven up your life.  Even if you’re not a vegetarian but appreciate vegetables, you should probably consider this book, too (we also made these sweet potatoes out of the book).  Seriously, if nothing else, the pictures are to die for.

This particular recipe jumped out at us right away…because it was on the cover!  It just looked SO good!!  And it was; we were not disappointed at all!

We served this as a side to grilled lamb chops and garlic bread that I rubbed with garlic and dusted with Za’atar before toasting.


  • 2 large, long eggplants
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs to garnish
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tsp. za’atar

Buttermilk Sauce

  • 9 TBS buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400º.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise.  Use a small, sharp knife to make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin.  Repeat at a 45 degree angle to get a diamond-shaped pattern.

Place the eggplant halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.  rush them with olive oil – keep on brushing until all of the oil has been absorbed by the flesh.  Sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves and some salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft, flavorful, and nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool down completely.

While the eggplants are in the oven, cut the pomegranate into two horizontally.  Hold one half over a bowl, with the cut side against your palm, and use the back of a wooden spoon or a rolling pin to gently knock on the pomegranate skin.  Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into the bowl.  Once all are there, sift through the seeds to remove any bits of white skin or membrane.

To make the sauce, whisk together all of the ingredients.  Taste for seasoning, then keep cold until needed.

To serve, spoon plenty of buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves.  Sprinkle with za’atar and plenty of pomegranate seeds on top garnish with lemon thyme.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Categories: Middle Eastern, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken Shawarma

Yum, yum, yum.  I love Middle Eastern food- the spices, the cool yogurt sauces, and the bread!  Today’s recipe combines my favorite elements of Middle Eastern food into one quick, easy, and healthy dinner.  The recipe calls for grilling the chicken, but I didn’t feel like dragging the grill out for just myself, so I cooked my chicken in a non-stick fry pan (without oil to save on some calories).  While I’m sure the grill would add some extra flavor I can’t harness from a pan, the chicken was still tender and delicious.  Maybe I’ll grill next time when I make this for Branden (in other words, I’ll have him grill the chicken).


For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt (I really like Fage – its what I ate everyday in Greece)
  • 2 TBS tahini
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced

For Serving

  • 4 6″ pitas
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 English cucumber, julienned
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
  2. To prepare chicken, combine ingredients in medium bowl.  Add chicken to bowl, toss well to coat.  Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  3. To prepare sauce, combine ingredients well.
  4. Thread 2 chicken strips onto each of 6 (12″) skewers.  Place kebabs on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.
  5. Place pitas on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted.  Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup of lettuce and tomato slices.  Top each serving with 4 chicken pieces; drizzle each with 2 TBS of sauce.

Cooking Light: July 2008

Categories: Entrees, Indian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

No, its not Jibberish: Jibne Wa Labneh

I have an unhealthy obsession with Greek yogurt as a condiment.  I love the way it contrasts with spicy Middle eastern food or how it can be eaten for breakfast with some fresh honey drizzled over it.  In its simplicity, its incredibly versatile and the possibilities are endless.  Which leads me to my take on Jibne Wa Labneh, Lebanese for Cheese and Yogurt dip.  Traditional cheese and yogurt dip is pretty simple, but I like mine with a little pizzaz, especially when I’m serving it with souvlaki in a pita!

Serve with souvlaki, fresh veggies (cucumbers and red peppers are my favorite), or eat with fresh pita bread or naan.  Enjoy!

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 oz. of crumbled feta cheese
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • clove of garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Categories: Appetizers, Recipes | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

And Away We Go…

I’m struggling with where to start here because April has been so full of adventures in the food world.  Branden and I have been traveling a lot this month which took us to some AWESOME restaurants.  And then we had Easter and Branden’s birthday which of course led to more food adventures!  Ah!  So much to share, so little time!

Alas, I shall just start with dinner tonight and get to the other recipes that I can’t wait to share in the coming days…[SPOILER ALERT: I have some Mexican recipes and two cake recipes in the queue for this week, so stay tuned!]

The weekday dinner.  Always a challenge.  I struggle on weekdays a bit because I’m often cooking for one during the week while Branden’s out flying around the country.  Combine the idea of cooking for one with the fact that I don’t like to stay up late and you have the following challenge: make a meal that’s fast and relatively simple that either serves one or can be easily reheated.  Tonight was no different.  I needed something satisfying and I was sick of the salmon caesar salads I have been recently living off of because of my obsession with my homemade croutons…but that’s a whole other post.

The verdict: Tandoori Chicken.  This dinner is seriously so easy, its embarassing.  Golden Temple has a whole line of simmer sauces that make weeknight Indian dishes a cinch.  Brown a pound of cut up boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a skillet, pour the simmer sauce over, and give it a stir.  As the name suggests, let the sauce simmer and you’re good to go.  I served over basmati rice and topped with a fresh cilantro and a little greek yogurt concoction I stirred up.

Greek Yogurt is an obsession of mine, especially in savory dishes.  I began my relationship with this amazing condiment (yes, I consider it a condiment and I usually have it on hand in my fridge) while spending a month in Greece a few years ago.  Its so versatile and for tonight’s dinner, I just stirred in a little cumin, paprika, and dried oregano into a cup of yogurt.  Plain and simple, and the cool flavor of the yogurt balances the acidic flavors of the Tandoori sauce.

All in all, I can’t complain about this meal.  How could I?  I was able to whip up a hot meal in less than 30 minutes and now have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow.  What more can you ask for?

Nervous about Indian Food?  Golden Temple simmer sauces are a great way to test the waters.  At around $4 a jar (which I personally think is more than enough for the one pound of chicken the jar calls for- in fact, I usually use two and still have plenty of sauce), its an inexpensive way to try something new.  My entire meal (rice, 2 pounds of chicken, yogurt, and sauce) ran me about $15-$20 but serves 4.  $5/person for a cultural experience in the comfort of my own home…priceless.


Categories: Entrees, Indian, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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