Cultural Corner: It’s All Greek to Me

Greek food is fresh, flavorful, and for the most part, figure-friendly (Baklava is fat-free, right?). Its bright and zesty flavors are crowd-pleasers and great for entertaining at summer-end parties. Plus, you can incorporate plenty of summer veggies into Greek dishes for wholesome and colorful meals. So get your Greek on with these three tasty recipes.
 
Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs
Tired of the same old grilled hamburgers? These fresh, flavorful chicken kabobs, adapted from www.allrecipes.com, are just the thing to pull you out of your grilling rut. A great marinade is key to juicy, flavor-packed chicken. This one combines eight ounces of plain yogurt, ½ teaspoon of lemon zest, two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, two teaspoons of oregano, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and dried rosemary. Either mix the marinade in a glass dish (metal will react with the acidic lemon juice) or combine it in a zip-top plastic bag. Add a pound of boneless chicken breast cut into one inch cubes and shake or stir to coat the chicken. Marinate for about three hours in the fridge. Cut a red onion into wedges and a green bell pepper into 1 ½ inch chunks. Alternate the chicken, onion, and bell pepper on skewers and grill over high heat until chicken is fully cooked.

Greek Potatoes
These zesty potatoes, adapted from www.food.com, are the perfect companion to the grilled kabobs above or beef if you go the red meat route. Greek potatoes are roasted in the oven in a broth for an extra punch of flavor! You’ll need to peel and cut eight or so large potatoes into thick wedges. In a bowl or large measuring cup, mix together four minced garlic cloves, ½ cup olive oil, one cup of water (can sub vegetable or chicken broth), one tablespoon of oregano, and the juice of one lemon. Place the potatoes in a large greased baking pan, pour the garlic mixture over top, and season with coarse salt and black pepper. Roast the potatoes for 80 minutes at 420°F degrees, flipping and seasoning potatoes halfway through.

Tzatziki Sauce
Aside from being difficult to pronounce, there’s nothing hard about this Tzatziki sauce from www.allrecipes.com. Plus, the creamy sauce is a great way to use up that abundant summer cucumber crop! In a small bowl mix together eight ounces of plain, Greek yogurt (fat-free recommended), two cloves of crushed garlic, ½ cucumber (seeded and finely chopped), two tablespoons chopped fresh dill or parsley, a little lemon juice, and salt. Let the flavors combine for about an hour in the fridge. Dip pita bread, potatoes, kabobs, and cut veggies in the Tzatziki sauce until your heart’s content!

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