Greek Tacos

Yes, you read that title correctly.

Greek. Tacos.


Hear me out.

A gyro is seasoned meat, either beef or lamb, lettuce, tomatoes and sauce inside a pita.

A taco is seasoned meat, lettuce, tomatoes and sauce inside a tortilla.

All the Greeks out there shuddered. But whatever. This dinner was damn good.

I love a good gyro. The meat that’s been rotating and cooking on a spit all day, dripping glorious juices and layered with delicious seasonings. But it’s not exactly something i can easily make in my tiny kitchen.

Or so I had thought at first.

Sure, I couldn’t have that glorious rotating beef, but, I could use ground beef like i would for tacos and swap the Mexican seasonings for Greek seasonings to give it the Greek flavor profile.

Genius. I know.

You will need

  • one onion, diced
  • one pound ground beef
  • one tablespoon coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dice tomato
  • shredded lettuce
  • pita
  • tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce)

Drizzle olive oil in a pan and add your diced onions, cooking over medium heat until browned.


Add your ground beef, coriander and salt and pepper.


Cook until meat is cooked through and browned.


Se the table with the meat mixture, lettuce, tomatoes, yogurt sauce and pita, to make a build-your-own gyro stand.


Stuff the pita with your favorite fillings and enjoy.

And don’t try to tell me that isn’t a Greek taco.


Pasta Primavera with Pesto



Is there any dish that says spring more than Pasta Primavera?

I mean, it screams Spring!

Fresh vegetables tossed in pasta, lightly seasoned, after months of heavy starchy foods. Vibrant greens burst in the bowl…

Plus, you know, primavera means spring in Italian.

For primavera, you can use whatever fresh, springy vegetables you wish, which is one of the beauties of this dish. Tailor it to your tastes and to what looks the best when you go to the farmer’s market.

The basil smelled utterly delicious, so I decided to make a pesto to top my pasta, sauteed asparagus and mushroom concoction.

Pesto is super simple to make. See my recipe here, use your favorite recipe, or use store bought.

I’m going to make this dish in one pot, so bonus points for less dishes to do.

Start with a frying pan with high sides- mine’s about 4-5 inches high.

Drizzle some olive oil and add sliced mushrooms and asparagus spears that have been cut into one inch chunks.


Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until mushrooms are browned and asparagus is softened. Season with salt and pepper.




Dump the mixture into a bowl, and place off to the side for a bit. Fill that same pan with water, about 2 inches high and bring to boil. The water will pick up the bits of asparagus and mushrooms and infuse the pasta with the flavors.

When the water is boiling, dump in your pasta. Use whatever shape you like, as long as it is one of the shapes with lots of nooks and crannies for pesto to fall in. Farfalle are great, penne rigate (that means with ridges, not the smooth ones). I used Campanelle, which means little bells (which is what the pasta looks like).




When the pasta is cooked, drain and then pour back in the pot. Add the pesto and mix well.




Add the asparagus and mushrooms and mix again.





Serve up in bowls and top with parmesan.






This makes great leftovers and can be eaten warm or cold. Would love to find this in my lunchbox or picnic basket!

Simple. Classic. Chili

I’ve made a number of veggie chilis before, which are delicious and a bit on the healthier side.

But when it comes to the chili you are going to eat while watching the big game, it’s gotta be beef and beans. Nothing fancy. Nothing frilly.

This chili recipe is actually brought to you by my wonderful husband, who is now the chili master in our kitchen.

You will need:

  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 8oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8oz can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • chili powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil

Drizzle some veggie oil in the bottom of a sturdy pot and toss in your onion. Let them cook until just translucent.


Then add in your ground beef and season with salt and pepper.


And cook until browned.


Then add in your tomato sauce and the chili powder, to your taste preference.


And your beans.


Lower the heat to medium-low and let this bubble way for as long as you please, stirring occasionally.


Dish up in a bowl and top with cheese or whatever fixin’s you prefer.


Lentil Soup

Okay, those other times when I said fall was in the air, nope. That was just the warm-up, the preseason.

This morning, when I couldn’t fathom heading into the kitchen without a blanket as a cocoon, and when I saw 40s as the temperature on the map on the news in some places. Yea. Fall is in the air. And it’s chilly air.

And that means, it’s a soup day.

And because it’s meatless Monday, that means it’s a vegetable soup day.

One of my favorite soups, and really the food equivalent of a fuzzy blanket, is lentil soup.

The Turkish restaurant up the street from us makes the best. It’s velvety smooth, hearty and so comforting.

This comes close to it.

You will need:

  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 a white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 cups of lentils (depends how lentilly you like your soup. I usually do about  1 and a half cups for the two of us)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • halebi biber (for more on this see my post on grape leaves and Patty’s comment on the history of this red pepper)
  • vegetable broth

Drizzle olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot and add onions, carrot and celery. Let these cook over medium heat until softened.


Add the lentils and the garlic, cooking to toast the lentils.


You want to keep stirring so they don’t burn. Season with salt, pepper and halebi biber. (if you don’t have it you can use red pepper flakes sparingly)


After cooking for about five minutes, add enough vegetable broth to cover all of the vegetables and lentils. Cover and let simmer for about twenty minutes.


Using a food processor or an immersion blender, puree the soup. Serve up in bowl topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.


Butternut Squash Risotto



That word conjures so many thoughts. I instantly think of all the amazing risottos I’ve had at restaurants.

That’s right. At restaurants. Because until now, I’ve always watched chefs make risotto and thought, fussy, time consuming, so easy to mess up.

And then. I found this little gem on Martha Stewart. Instead of standing over the stove and slowly adding liquid, everything goes in a pot and into the oven! This was itty bitty city kitchen style risotto.

And butternut squash is in season right now, so this is the perfect way to use that yummy fall vegetable!

Martha’s recipe uses kale and thyme, but I tweaked it slightly:

  • 1 shallot, diced,
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1.5 cups arborio rice
  • white wine
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a fairly large (all of the ingredients are going in it) oven-safe pot, drizzle some olive oil and add the shallots and the garlic.


When the shallot has softened, add the rice. Cook for 3-5 minutes to toast, stirring constantly.


When the rice is toasted, add in about a half cup of white wine. Season the rice with salt and pepper and let cook until the wine is reduced.


Meanwhile, peel and dice your butternut squash


The dump the squash and the vegetable stock into the pot and give it a good stir.


Bake, covered, for about 25-30 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed.


Dish out into big bowls and top with parmesan cheese.


Oven risotto? Life changing.