Tag Archive for Feta

Kale Citrus Salad

For the holidays, I typically make a salad that has craisins, glazed pecans and feta cheese with a champagne vinaigrette. This year, however, I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe in the Thanksgiving 2014 issue of Southern Living and thought I’d give it a try. I thought it was fantastic, but I love every ingredient in this salad. If you aren’t a red onion fan, use less than what the recipe calls for. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 20 minutes


3 large oranges

2 Ruby Red Grapefruit

3 T. orange juice

2 T. white wine vinegar

2 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 5 oz. package baby kale

1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Preparing Kale Citrus Salad:

1. Peel oranges and grapefruit; cut away bitter white pith. Cut each orange into 1/4 in. thick rounds. Holding 1 peeled grapefruit in the palm of your hand, slice between membranes and gently remove whole segments. Repeat with remaining grapefruit.

2. Whisk together orange juice and next 6 ingredients. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Toss together kale, onion and 1/2 c. dressing in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top salad with citrus and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining dressing. 

Kale Citrus Salad

Meal Ideas:

This salad is such a great compliment to any meal. However, if you add a simple piece of grilled chicken or salmon, it would be a great meal all on its own!

Got Leftovers?:

Not everyone likes leftover salad. However, the kale doesn’t wilt like typical lettuce does. I thought it was fantastic the next day! 

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Our friend Kim brought one of the healthier dishes to Baconfest – The Sequel…Broccoli Bacon Salad! She started with the Broccoli Salad with Bacon Tomatoes recipe she found on www.aldi.com and then adjusted it more to her (and obviously everyone else at the party’s) liking. We thank her for sharing it with us!


1 bag frozen, shelled edamame

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 c. chopped red onion

1/2 c. dried cranberries

8 oz. feta cheese

1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 c. mayonaise

1/2 c. sour cream

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 T. light agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing Broccoli Bacon Salad:

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 5 cups of water and ice cubes. Set aside.
2. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove broccoli (but save hot water) and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly.
3. Return the water to a boil and add salt. Add the frozen edamame and boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water. Drain thoroughly and pat dry. It’s important to make sure the broccoli and edamame are dry or you’ll end up with a runny sauce like I did at first.
4. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, edamame, crumbled bacon, onion, raisins or cranberries, cheese, and cherry tomatoes.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and agave nectar. Add to broccoli mixture; toss until well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This was delicious and pretty! Thanks Kim! ~Melissa

Grilled Appetizers

appetizer with prosciutto and ricotta

Grilled appetizers are some of the best appetizers that we make…and we make some pretty good ones!! Not only do we love the taste of these appetizers, but we also love that there is no mess in the kitchen from having to cook them. By the time the appetizers come off the grill, the “prep mess” is all cleaned up and the kitchen is ready for entertaining! Well….I guess that’s if you are a “clean as you go” kind of cook like I am! 

Here is a list of grilled appetizers that are always a hit with family and friends:

Pita with Tomato, Olives and Feta

Spinach, Tomato and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms

Chicken Wings with Ranch

Peach Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

Beef Tenderloin Sliders

Zucchini Flatbread with Boursin Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Figs






Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta

Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta is a cross between tabouli, pasta and traditional couscous. It has all the yumminess of any traditional Middle Eastern cuisine…feta, olives, tomatoes, chickpeas….my mouth is watering just thinking about it! It really is very easy to make. It’s more of an “assembly” dish than it is a “cooking” dish, although the couscous does have to be cooked! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 15 min.


2 cups Israeli Couscous

4 cups Chicken Broth (substituting water is not an option with this)

cherry tomatoes, halved

Kalamata olives, halved,

feta cheese, crumbled


fresh mint, chopped

Fresh lemon juice

Salt and Pepper

Preparing Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta:

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add the couscous. Cook for about 6-7 minutes or until soft. Drain and put in large mixing bowl to let cool. Add desired amounts of remaining ingredients.(Please make sure that your couscous is cool enough before adding the feta, otherwise it will start to melt a bit). Add fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve!

Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta

Meal Ideas:

I served this with Mediterranean Bread Salad and Grilled Chicken with Tzatiki Sauce. 

Got Leftovers?:

This is fantastic as a leftover! You can eat it cold or hot. So versatile!

We seriously need to talk geography!! Israeli Couscous for Greek week!  I know Israel and Greece are ‘close’ to each other….but it’s GREEK week! ~Melissa

You knew what you were getting yourself into when you said, “Hey…let’s do a blog together!” ~Denise

Rolling on the floor laughing out loud…..yes, yes I did! ~Melissa

Spinach Pie


Ok, so with Greek Week and amazing Greek inspired recipes, I wanted to do something like spanakopita because I had a huge bag of spinach, feta and a frozen pie crust already. What is more ‘Greek’ than spanakopita? I’m not sure, but I decided to make a more family friendly and certainly easier method.

Mind you, I had no recipe. Just made it up as I went. When you start with quality fresh ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. I knew the feta would give great flavor, the panko great texture and the eggs would help bind it together.

Definitely a ‘recipe’ that is very forgiving. Just get the moisture out of the spinach and you are good!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate (only because the spinach is a pain in the a$*)
Time Required:Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 45 min


2 lbs fresh spinach

1/2 lb feta, crumbled

3 eggs

salt and pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

1 deep dish pie crust

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


How to make spinach pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Working in batches, sauté the spinach in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until just wilted. You won’t fit 2 lbs of spinach in a skillet. It took me 4 batches. After you are done with each batch, place the wilted spinach into a colander.

After sautéing all the spinach, let it drain in the colander for a few minutes and as it cools and you can handle it, squeeze out excess water. Since we are making a pie, we want to keep the liquid to a minimum. This will take a bit of time.


Once you’ve done that, place the spinach on a cutting board and chop it up. Yes, that is 2 lbs of spinach sautéed and squeezed. Hard to believe, huh!?


Place the spinach in a bowl with the eggs and feta and mix to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Place the mixture into the pie crust (if you like to bake, make your own. I like the store bought kind in the freezer section!).

Top with the Panko and bake for about 30-40 minutes until nice and warm.

Now notice I did not call this spanakopita, although somewhat similar. Since I chose not to use phyllo dough, I did not feel comfortable calling this spanakopita, although that’s what it tasted a lot like. Regardless, even my 11 year old who won’t touch sautéed greens loved this!!


Important Tips:

Squeeze the spinach (it’s not Charmin) and use GOOD feta!!

Got Leftovers?:

This was delicious leftover the next day too!

This looks fantastic. I am partial to traditional spanakopita but working with phyllo dough can be a huge pain in the rump so this would be a great alternative ~ Denise!

Ha Ha! Even I buy the frozen spanakopita at Costco. Are you really saying you make it from scratch?! If so, I’m impressed. ~Melissa

Throwback Thursday – Lemon Thyme Chicken with Feta Herb Salad

Today we are bringing back one of our more popular chicken recipes!

We love this Lemon Thyme Chicken with Feta Herb Salad because it is light and fresh…perfect for this time of year! Whether you have your own herb garden (like Melissa) or buy them from your local grocery store (as Denise does), this is a delicious dish to make and enjoy on the deck with a nice glass of white wine!!

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Feta Herb Salad

By the way…Kim Crawford Sauvignon is now $9.99 at some local Costco stores :)!!!!  

Kale Salad with Apples and Feta

kale salad with poppy seed dressing

My husband and I attended a show called Capitol Steps at the Rialto Theater here in Atlanta. That was side-splitting funny!! Regardless of your political affiliation, there is lots to laugh about.

Anyway, there was a reception prior to the event and they served this delicious kale salad with apples and blue cheese. It got me to thinking because I love the kale salad at Houston’s Restaurant, which I make my version of at home, but this was different and so I decided to recreate it at home with some minor tweaks. Delicious, healthy, yumminess!!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15min; Rest Time – 30 min

Ingredients for 4:

1 bunch of flat leaf kale

6 oz broccoli slaw (sold in 12 oz packages in most produce sections of the grocery store)

6 oz poppy seed dressing (no-fat)(I used one from Panera Bread in the refrigerated section of my grocery store)

3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 granny smith apple

How to make kale salad with apples and feta:

kale salad with poppy seed dressing

Cut the stems out of the kale. If you don’t know how or want an idea, you can check this post out. The example is for collards but it’s the same.

Once you’ve removed the stems, stack a few of the leaves, roll them up together like a cigar and then slice into thin strips (called a chiffonade). This will help the salad be more tender, thus chewable.

Add about 1/2 of a bag of broccoli slaw. I find this in the produce section with pre-packaged cole slaws and broccoli. It is julienned broccoli and carrots and adds great texture and flavor to the salad.

Take half of an apple (I used granny smith but another crisp apple would work), slice it thinly and then dice it. Toss it in.

Toss the salad with the dressing and let rest for a bit while you make the rest of dinner or enjoy a glass of wine (or two). When ready to serve, toss in the feta. I had this with blue cheese which was great also but not everyone loves blue cheese.

Important Tips:

I think letting it rest a bit was good because the dressing helped soften the kale a bit.

Got Leftovers?:

I never save leftover salad but since this was almost like a cole slaw, I decided to save it. It was delicious for lunch the next day.


My family as a whole does not have the sophisticated palate that Melissa’s does. This would be a salad for one at my house! -Denise


Blah, blah, blah! I’ve seen your family eat salad, tomatoes, your awesome Sensation Salad. Give them credit! If not, well, then you get leftovers. At least your not stuck with all the purple potatoes! ~Melissa