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Greek Buddha Bowl is a great hearty vegetarian dish filled with Greek feta, chickpeas, kamut couscous, cucumber, tomato, kale chips and kalamatas olives topped with a greek dressing for a healthy and colorful weeknight dinner.vegetarian bowl

Greek Bouddha Bowl (6).jpg

This Greek buddha bowl will bring you right to sunny Greece without having to pay for the plane ticket. It’s a hearty and fun vegetarian dish that will give you all those extra vitamins and proteins you need after that long winter… Also a really fast dish to make, done under 10 minutes and it tastes fantastic. I love those buddha bowls, they give you that filling of abundance although it’s a healthy meal.

Greek Bouddha Bowl

For this particular Greek version of Buddha bowl I’ve added a nice feta cheese to give that extra “smooth” factor to the dish, a juicy and salty kalamata olive and its sidekicks of cucumber and tomato. The dressing is a fresh garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, flat leave parsley and lime to keep it simple yet authentic. I’ve added a few kale chips to give the dish this extra crunch I like so much but you can also replace this element by some nice crunchy lettuce.

Greek Bouddha BowlAs for the filler… I’ve used a kamut couscous, which is packed with fibres and has a lower glycemic index than the normal kind. Taste Wise it’s nuttier in flavor. It could also be replaced by any filler like quinoa, orzo or Israeli couscous. For last but not the least element of the Greek buddha bowl; the chickpeas. A great proteins source which is being cultivated in Greece since 3000 B.C. Making this dish a healthy Greek Buddha bowl suitable for the lunch box or a quick dinner on weeknights. You’ll see, it’s going to become one of your favorite “fast and fabulous” weeknight dish!

So let’s get this greek sun shine!


Greek Buddha Bowl

Greek Bouddha BowlIngredients

  • Chickpeas
  • Feta Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Kale Chips
  • Kamut Couscous (or normal)
  • Cucumber
  • Kalamata olives
Greek Dressing (per serving)
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime or 1/2 lemon juice
  • flat leave parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Cut and place the ingredients in the bowls
  2. Mix up the dressing ingredients and add to the bowl

 

Enjoy!

greek vegetarian bowl chickpeas

Greek falafel pita (1).jpgGreek falafel pitas is a tasty, yet healthy bite for this summer. If… you are reasonable on the feta cheese, of course… I love to make meals with a bunch of veggies precut on the table, a creamy healthy dip and pitas, or fajitas bread and let people chose for themselves their fillings.greekpitapin

Pita breads have a tendency to dry quite fast, resulting impossible to open them up to fill them, if this happen to you, simply add a little wet and clean kitchen towel over it without it touching the bread directly, let it work it’s magic 30-40 minutes, then they will open up again. Also possible to make them by yourself, although not the easiest… talking from experience here. For this recipe, I’ve simply bought some.

Greek falafel pitaThose falafels, a.k.a. wanna be falafel, aren’t the typical kind with the usual cumin, coriander, mint, etc. I’ve made them greek, so I’ve add some oregano, thyme, a few kalamata olives, little lemon zest and garlic to them. That’s why the color is purplish… maybe I should simply called them greek chickpeas-kalamata veggie balls.

The whole idea came from souvlaki in pita, like they do in Greece. At first, I wanted to make it with a normal marinated pork, but since I’m on this eternal diet… I had to make something healthier with it. Also the tzatziki sauce is handmade with 0% fat greek yogourt. You’ll see, all the flavors are there even if it’s healthy and low in fat. I, always, add way more cucumber to my tzatziki sauce, to make it almost light green, love it this way. All this might be a bit more work than the usual pork marinade, but it’s all worth it, you’ll see. Healthy and tasty is my motto. The veggie balls leftovers are, of course, easy to bring for lunch the next day, they actually just get even better with a little given time.

So let’s make those greek falafel pitas!


Greek falafel pitas

Makes 3-4 portions

Ingredients
The greek falafel
  • greek veggie balls400g chickpeas
  • 70g (5 tbsp) of chickpea flour (or normal flour)
  • 1/2 spanish onion
  • 12 pit less kalamata olives
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
  • 1 tsp of lemon
  • 1 tbsp of tahini
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp of thyme
  • salt and pepper
tzatzikiThe Tzatziki sauce
  • 150g plain greek yogurt (eternal diet people: 0% fat)
  • 1/2 peeled cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt 
The toppings
  • Greek falafel pita6 pita breads
  • Feta cheese
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell pepper
  • Red onion
  • Lettuce
  • Tzatziki sauce (see recipe higher)
  • Greek falafels (see recipe higher)
Directions

*Start by making the tzatziki a few hours ahead (minimum 1 hour)

Tzatziki sauce
  1. In a blender, blend to paste the peeled cucumber
  2. Add to a sieve with some salt and let it lose its water, push with a spoon for helping it out. (keep the cucumber juice, add a little sparkling water and lemon to it, delicious!)
  3. In a bowl add the garlic and olive oil and mash it until purée (can also add the garlic in the previous step with the cucumber)
  4. Add the cucumber paste in the garlic purée bowl and the yogurt, lemon, extra salt and mix well
  5. Let marinate in the fridge a minimum of 1 hour before serving
The greek falafel

*Bring oven to 180°C (350F)

  1. In a blender, add the onion, garlic, olive oil and herbs and blend into puré
  2. Reserve in a bowl
  3. Add to the blender, the chickpeas and blend, not too much (enough to see some pieces of chickpeas)
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
  5. Make little balls with the mixture and put on a baking tray
  6. Cook at 180°C (350F) for 25-30 minutes (depending on the size of your falafels)
  7. Let cool and reserve
The Grand final
  1. Add all the precut veggies on the table with the tzatziki sauce, pita breads, greek falafels and feta cheese and let your guests choose their own fillings

Kali orexi! (enjoy!)

Greek falafel pita

 

Tzaziki

So here is a classic! A silky, yummy tzatziki sauce.

This is a must in a fridge, simply because it goes so well with so much and it’s way healthier than a fatty mayonnaise or salty mustard. I especially love it with my falafels (recipe here). So let’s talk tzatziki!

My version differs from most tzatziki sauce, simply because I put a squeeze of lemon in it and sometimes add some dried cilantro, flat leaf parsley, oregano or dill to it. The spice is totally up to you though… depending on what you intend to eat it with… for example, in this case I was using it for falafels wraps, so I chose dry cilantro because it fits with the fresh mint from the falafels.

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Yogurt

Let’s talk about the health benefits of yogurt for a moment… This white, velvety cream does not only contain probiotics, which are good for your bloated stomach or dia…a … but  it’s also a great natural exfoliation mask because of it’s lactic acid. Just mix it with a few drops of olive oil and a spoon of honey. Rub it on you face, et voilà! It will exfoliate your face, eliminate those red patches and reduce the small wrinkles.

If you are on a diet, tzatziki is the way to go, it’s filled in flavors and creamy and low in fat if you choose a 0% fat yogurt. The greek yogurt is thicker than normal yogurt and will give your tzatziki a much better consistency.

Let’s make this Tzatziki!


 

Tzatziki a la Maria-Pia

Ingredients
  • 1 small cup of your favorite yogurt (fat or light, greek or not)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 a peeled cucumber
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • lemon
  • 1 tsp dry coriander, dill, parlsey or else
  • the famous salt and pepper
Descriptions
  1. In a morter add the olive oil and garlic and make purée with it
  2. Blend the cucumber in a blender
  3. Let the cucumber in a sieve with salt and leave it to drain about 5-10 minutes or if in a hurry push down on it with a spoon to release the juice (keep the juice for some sparkling water and lemon drink with it)
  4. Add the cucumber pulp and the garlic purée to the yogurt and add a splash of lemon, pepper, salt and the aromatic herb of your choice (or nothing at all).
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving

 

Trick: If you want to get rid of the fresh garlic smell on your hands, just rub them on a metal surface, like the sink.

Enjoy!

Roasted rosemary and thyme potatoes with tzatziki parsley dip