Week of Greek: Menu for a Greek Vegan Feast!

We made it through a whole week of Greek food with 2 Broke Vegans! Is everyone sitting back in elastic-waist pants now, rubbing your bellies? In case you missed a taste of this or that, scroll down to see each course. Just click the picture and you’ll be taken right to the recipe.

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Tahinosoupa (Tahini Soup)

Tahinosoupa (Tahini Soup)

Lahanosalata (White Cabbage Salad)

Lahanosalata (White Cabbage Salad)

Dolmadakia (Stuffed Vine Leaves)

Dolmadakia (Stuffed Vine Leaves)

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs)

Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs)

Fasolakia (Stewed Green Beans)

Fasolakia (Stewed Green Beans)

Yemista (Stuffed Vegetables)

Yemista (Stuffed Vegetables)

Halva (Semolina Sweet)

Halva (Semolina Sweet)

And don’t forget to read up on Where to Buy Greek Imports!

Thanks again to my co-hosts at 2 Broke Vegans for helping us feel at home in the beautiful country of Hellas, and a big thanks to everyone that joined us at the table :) See you on the next trip!

Advertisements

Week of Greek: Shopping

201367 boat ride5
Now that we’ve had fun cooking together all week, maybe you’d like to know where you can purchase some of the ingredients used in the recipes. Pretty much every ingredient can easily be found in grocery stores in most parts of the US (and of course Greece!). Not sure about other countries, but the ingredients are very basic. That said, it sure would be nice for Greece if we bought Greek imports when available. Now some regular grocery stores, like Meijer and H-E-B, will carry at least a few imports. But in some areas, you may need to seek out a Mediterranean or European market.

Krinos and Optima Foods are two of the biggest importers in the US.
Another brand that comes to mind is Arosis, I bought some of their dried gigantes in Greece and now see they’re available in the US. You can even find them on Amazon.
And of course you can always look for products with Greek writing on them :) When you see a product labeled, “Greek xyz,” check to see if it’s made in Greece.
I’ve never seen a Mountain Tea (sometimes called Mountain Herb or Wild Tea) that isn’t imported from Greece. It’s actually a very beautiful herb, usually sold still on the stem and with little blossoms, although in Greece I found it in tea bags.

Here you will find A List of the 25 Best Greek Olive Oils of 2015, as awarded by the New York International Olive Oil Competition (yes, that’s a real thing!). There’s even a key that shows if the oil won a gold or silver medal. Click on the picture of any oil you’re interested in to read a more detailed description and find out where it can be purchased.

Here is A List of Some Vegan-Friendly Greek Wines from Barnivore.com

I also found a wonderful list of brick and mortar Greek markets in the US and Canada over at The Greek Vegan, many of them also have websites, some that you can order products from.

Keep watching Oh She Cooks on facebook because I’ll be sharing the last Week of Greek recipe from 2 Broke Vegans sometime today! And tomorrow I’ll post the whole lineup of recipes in case you want to cook up a Greek feast for family and friends!

Week of Greek: Halva (Semolina Sweet)

For our last course in our delicious Greek meal, I offer you these cute little halva cakes. Now, there can be some confusion as the name halva, or halawe, can also be used to describe an Arabic dessert made with tahini paste. It is altogether different! In this case, I’m talking about the Greek sweet made with fried semolina. There’s no baking for this dessert, it’s all done on the stovetop.

2015-7-17 Halva Semolina Pudding
I had a lot of fun with this one, not only making it, but serving it along side the bottle of ouzo my brother and I picked up in Greece – and those shot glasses are also from our trip! They gray ones are a beautiful reminder of our time on Tinos, a little island known for its marble resources (among other things).

2015-7-17 Halva Semolina Pudding2
When the semolina mixture has cooled, you can press it into a fancy bundt pan, or cupcake tin, or pretty much anything it won’t stick to. I went with the cupcake tin because it makes the perfect individual serving size.

2015-7-17 Halva Semolina Pudding3
The little cakes are soft, sticky and sweet, with plenty of cinnamon. The raw walnuts offset the sweetness just a little.

2015-7-17 Halva Semolina Pudding4
Nearly every restaurant in Greece provided a drink and something sweet at the end of the meal, free of charge. Sometimes it was as simple as fruit and a shot of raki, other times a pastry or ice cream and maybe a glass of wine. I think those Greeks are on to something, it’s the perfect ending to a meal – although halva with coffee would also be a wonderful way to begin the day, if you ask me.

Halva
1 C oil or melted margarine
2 C semolina
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
2 1/2 C sugar (or less, to taste)
4 C water
optional: raw walnuts*

Put water and sugar together in a pot and boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a large pan, combine oil and semolina and cook at medium high heat stirring continuously until the semolina has browned. Stir in cinnamon. Now very carefully add syrup to semolina – it will really start to bubble and steam up! I added mine slowly, stirring it in a little at a time. Continue to stir, and cook at medium heat another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the semolina becomes very thick. Remove from heat. Once cooled, press the semolina into a bundt pan or cupcake tin. Unmold the halva and, if desired, top with finely chopped walnuts.

Makes 10 – 12 cupcake-sized servings

*I soaked my walnuts for a few hours, then drained them and sprinkled them with just a touch of sugar and a shake or two of cinnamon before garnishing the halva. You can also just use plain old chopped walnuts, or press one whole walnut or pecan into the top of the halva for a simple embellishment.

Although this is [probably] my last recipe for Greek Week, please stay tuned to my facebook page where I will share one more recipe from my co-hosts, 2 Broke Vegans. Tomorrow I will also provide you with a list of Greek brands to be on the look out for during your Greek cooking adventures! And please, if you are feeling charitable, consider giving a gift to the people of Greece through International Orthodox Christian Charities. Thanks to the Jaharis Family Foundation, each dollar you donate will be matched.

Taverna on the Water
Now sit back and enjoy the view, sip your ouzo and savor the halva. I’m going to take a stroll along the beach. See you tomorrow!