Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Imitation Gyros January 27, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Sandwiches — flyingbubble @ 5:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

My hand is now famous

Gyros, are arguably my absolute favorite food in the world!  I say arguable… because me, myself and I have not completely decided on a single favorite food since there are so many delicious choices.  My parents introduced me to this delicious Greek street sandwich and despite their high standards for an “authentic” gyro I have only had a few that I didn’t love.  There’s just something about that spiced meat flavor mixed with the cool tzatziki sauce (cucumber sauce).  In the U.S. gyro meat is typically lamb or a combination of lamb and beef.  Surprisingly (or maybe its not a surprise) the gyros (truly authentic) served in Greece are most commonly pork or chicken although some places may use beef or lamb.  I visited Athens and the island of Santorini this past summer.  My friends and I were told by multiple street vendors that all gyros are made with pork and advertisements for “lamb gyros” were false, meant only to attract American tourists.  Another surprise from Athens, was the addition of fried potatoes (basically french fries) to most of their gyros sandwiches.  I was extremely disappointed that my idea of a gyro was a bit off base, but the Grecian versions were equally delicious.  I am now happy to say that I love American gyros and Greek gyros equally.  The best one I had in Athens actually didn’t even have the tzatziki sauce!  It was a small hole in the wall (literally) joint owned by an old man who did all the cooking.  He makes this incredible spicy tomato based sauce from scratch every day.  It was a perfect complement to pork, onions and tomatos (and french fries of course).  Since I’m back in American, I decided to follow a recipe for lamb version.  The flavor wasn’t exactly the same, I think the recipe is missing some key spices for the meat, but it was really good.  Also, a healthier alternative as gyro meat is typically higher fat to keep it moist while its roasting.  These sandwiches are like the New York City hot dogs of Greece.

Here’s the recipe, I fried the meatballs in a skillet instead of grilling so it works either way. (I imagine grilling would be healthier from not using oil to cook)

Weight Watchers Light and Easy Cookbook

Lamb Meatball Pitas

1 lb ground lamb

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft bread crumbs

1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 tsp prepared horseradish

1 tsp prepared mustard

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

4 Pita rounds (6″)

1. Prepare Cucumber Raita, allowing at least one hour for sauce to chill

Cucumber Raita

3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; cover and chill at least 1 hour.

2. Combine lamb, parsley, breadcrumbs, mint, horseradish, mustard, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, garlic, and egg whites in a medium bowl; shape mixture into 12 small meatballs.

3. Place meatballs in a grill basket coated with cooking spray; place grill basket on rack over medium-hot coals (350-400) and grill, covered, 4 minutes on each side or until meatballs are done

4. Place 3 meatballs on each pita round, and top each serving with 1/4 cup Cucumber Raita.  Garnish each serving with fresh mint if desired.

NUTRITION: 378 calories, 39.2g carbohydrate, 8.8g fat, 6.4g fiber, 30.8g protein, 75mg cholesterol, 272mg sodium, 132mg calcium, 5.3mg iron.

NOTES:  I fried the meatballs in a skillet in peanut oil until they looked done. I used a store bought tzatziki sauce (since we already had it on hand) and we added chopped tomatoes and onions to our pitas. No french fries this time, but you’re welcome to try that sometime :).

Advertisements
 

Quick and Easy Pizza October 19, 2009

Filed under: Pizza — flyingbubble @ 4:25 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

pizza1

Here is yet another recipe from my favorite Hungry Girl cookbook.  This was my lunch today.  I had a dental appointment this morning and then I went to Yoga to center myself with the universe… haha.  Well maybe not, but I got some good stretching in.  I finally found a grocery store that isn’t Walmart Supercenter so I went in to buy some of the diet type foods that aren’t as common  (like the low carb/high fiber tortilla I used for lunch today).  This is a cross between Mexican and Italian in my opinion.  Its a must try if you really enjoy thin crust pizza!  If you’re more a deep dish lover, don’t expect “pizza” when you try this recipe.  It’s basically an Italian tostada. crisp tortilla with cheeses and toppings.  Very yummy. Great for a lighter lunch as its under 200 calories or add some meat on top for a heartier meal. I did not have fresh basil leaves on hand so I omitted that, I wish I had, that would have been great! I also used cherry tomatoes instead of plum.  Use what you have, or what you like.

The recipe: “Crispy White Pizza”

INGREDIENTS:

1 large La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Low Carb/High Fiber tortilla

1/3 cup fat-free ricotta cheese

1/4 cup thinly sliced onions

1 tablespoon shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese

6 basil leaves

4 thin slices plum tomato

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon plus 1 dash salt

Dash black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375.  Place tortilla on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray.  Bake in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until slightly crispy. Leave oven on.  In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Set aside.  Bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat on the stove.  Add onions and. stirring occaisonally, cook until softened and slightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Immediately stir onions into cheese mixture.  Spread cheese-onion mixture evenly on top of the tortilla.  Place basil leaves on cheese-onion mixture.  Top with tomato slices, and then sprinkle with a dash of salt.  Return pizza to the oven and bake for about 5 more minutes, or until entire pizza is hot.  Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut into slices.  Pizza for one!

PER PIZZA: 176 calories, 3g fat, 947mg sodium, 29g carbs, 13g fiber, 7g sugars, 19g protein

pizza2

 

Holy Guacamole! October 18, 2009

Filed under: Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 9:51 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

guacamole2

My roomie Desiree was flipping through my Hungry Girl cookbook and found a guacamole recipe.  She excitedly asked if we could try making it sometime so we brought the cookbook on our shopping trip today in order to grab the ingredients on the way home.  (wow that was long sentence..)  This dip was a little hard to prepare, I would highly recommend getting a potato masher if you plan on making this more than once.  That aside, it really does taste like regular guacamole and its really good!  We ate it with some Guiltless Gourmet Baked Corn Tortilla Chips for an after dinner snack alongside freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  There’s some serious talent for matching food flavors in this house!! 🙂  The recipe makes a fairly large amount of this dip (about two cups, more if you add extra onions and tomatoes like I did).  I added the optional cilantro, which I would highly recommend and next time I’ll try the jalapenos, we just didn’t have any tonight.  Definitely give this dip a try sometime!!!

INGREDIENTS:

One 15 oz can early (young) peas, drained

1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium-small avocado’s worth)

1/3 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

4 teaspoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Additional salt and pepper to taste

Optional: chopped fresh cilantro, chopped jalapenos

DIRECTIONS:  Place peas in a medium bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork.  Add avocado, yogurt, lime juice, garlic and seasonings.  Continue to mash until blended.  Stir in tomatoes, onion and, if you like, some cilantro and/or jalapenos.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings: PER SERVING (1/3 cup): 78 calories, 3g fat, 320mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 3.5g protein

guacamole1