Tag Archive for Lemon

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad is another recipe from Olives, Lemon and Za’atar. This is definitely a dish that is right up my alley! It’s a great compliment to any piece of chicken or lamb. Lay off the onions if you don’t like them…it won’t mess too much with the overall flavor of the dish. 

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


1 pound of feta cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes (please splurge on GOOD feta for this)

8 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 c. fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons or to taste

Sea salt to taste

1 smal red onion, sliced into thin rings, optional

Preparing Feta Cheese Salad:

In a medium serving bowl, combine the feta and tomatoes with oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir in oil, lemon juice and salt. Gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon juice, oil and salt to taste. 

Feta Cheese Salad

Important Tips:

If you are buying crumbled feta in a plastic container, make another dish. In order for this to be as good as it is supposed to be, you really need some GOOD QUALITY feta! It’s worth it. I promise. 

Meal Ideas:

The options for feta cheese salad are endless. A few of my favorite ideas are 1) as a side dish to chicken kabobs 2) in a piece of warm pita bread 3) over lettuce to make a more “traditional” salad and topped with chicken kabobs…this is actually the best way, in my opinion!


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

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 :)!!!!  

Tip Tuesday – Getting the most out of citrus

It’s Tuesday Tip Day!! Since the weather is getting warmer, it’s the perfect time for some delicious juicy fruit!

Here are some great tips when using any type of citrus in your meals…

Getting the most out of your citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, etc)

  • How to prepare citrusRoll the citrus under your hand before squeezing it, you’ll get way more juice out of it!  
  • When squeezing a lemon/lime directly over your food, hold it face up in your palm to help prevent seeds from falling into your dish.
  • Zest the citrus before cutting it for juice, it’s nearly impossible to zest a squeezed lemon! 
  • Adding a bit of freshly squeezed citrus to your dish just before serving it brings out its freshness and flavor.

For more tips like this, make sure you visit the Cooking 101 section of our website!

Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

As I mentioned in a very early post, I am half Middle Eastern. I am sure that is why I love garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and such. As many of you who frequent the mall food court know, Hovan makes a great side salad. Many years ago, I tried to recreate it and didn’t do a bad job at it if I do say so myself! It’s very easy to make it your own and add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your tastes.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 15 minutes. Chill time: At least 30 minutes


For the Salad (these are ideas, use them all or just some):

Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Small or mini cucumbers, quartered
Parsley, chopped
Fresh mint, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Chick peas, drained
Kalamata Olives, drained

For the Dressing:

Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preparing Middle Eastern Salad:

For the salad: Combine desired quantities of chosen ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients together in bowl and whisk together.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Middle Eastern Salad

Important Tips:

Most of the time, we will suggest adding “salt and pepper to taste”. However, with this dish, you need to remember that feta cheese and Kalamata olives are quite salty. If you want to add salt, do so after all of the flavors have blended together for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might ruin the dish.


You can certainly eat this as a side dish by itself. I chose to put it in some radicchio for lunch one day to make it more of a “lettuce based salad”. You can also add a piece of grilled chicken to it and some nicely crisp green lettuce if you like. You really can’t go wrong. Make it your own!

Middle Eastern Salad

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

I often make my own salad dressings. I like to make dressings that are light, not oily, and have lots of lemon and garlic. This lemon dijon vinaigrette goes with just about any main course since its flavors aren’t too overpowering.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min


1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. Dijon mustard
Pinch of Kosher salt

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Small wire whisk. My favorite one is from Pampered Chef.

Preparing Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a small wire whisk until blended.

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Meal Ideas:

I often serve this dressing over romaine lettuce and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.

Got Leftovers?:

This is also a good chicken marinade!

Chicken with Lemon-Basil Sauce

Chicken with lemon, garlic and basil

As I’m trying to come up with new chicken recipes for our blog, I’m running into a bit of trouble. Here’s the issue…I gave up wine for Lent. Many of my best recipes call for 1/4 cup of dry white wine. As Melissa and I will both tell you, don’t cook with wine you aren’t willing to drink. I am certainly not going open a good bottle of wine for 1/4 cup that I’m going to add to a chicken dish and NOT drink it. I just don’t have that much will power, so don’t look for too many chicken recipes from me until April 1st!!   Wow…I went off on a tangent! Anyway, this Chicken with Lemon-Basil Sauce is a recipe I found in Bon Appetit Magazine many years ago.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time –  20 minutes


3 T. Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 T. fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t. grated lemon peel, packed
1 c. chicken broth, low-sodium
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil or 1 T. dried basil

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Heavy Stainless Steel Skillet. If you need a good one, try this!

Microplane for grating lemon zest- need one, try this!

Preparing Chicken with Lemon-Basil Sauce:

Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter, tent with foil.

Add lemon juice, garlic and lemon peel to the same skillet. Stir over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth; boil until reduced to sauce consistency, about 8 minutes. Mix basil into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

Chicken with lemon, garlic and basil

Meal Ideas:

Serve with steamed vegetables and a simple starch for a complete meal.