Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread

As I cross “being vegan for a month” off of my 30 Things To Do Before 30 list, I am excited to get back to my old pals cheese and butter, but I’m extremely happy that I was able to consume animal free products for an entire month.

Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread

During the 30 days, I must say that my body didn’t feel any different than it normally does with a vegetarian diet. I expected a big change and surge of energy like a lot of the books I read said I would, but I simply didn’t. This could be because I watch what I eat, making sure to take in the right amount of protein, whole grains and nutrients from fruits and vegetables anyway. But it’s good to know that I must be doing something right day to day!

The biggest thing I learned after this process, was that reducing the amount of dairy I eat is definitely needed and that I need to cook more vegan foods! I experimented with a few, and was absolutely delighted with the results. Vegan cooking and baking is something I definitely want to get into more. Some of my favorite vegan recipes were my Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado, my Vegan Pecan Pumpkin Bread and Cheeky Kitchen’s Taco Pasta Shells.

Also, if you want to check out great vegan bloggers see:
Healthy Happy Life
Oh She Glows
Post Punk Kitchen

Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread

Anyway, the process was fun. And as I mentioned I’m super happy to get back to all things cheese and butter. This is a recipe I found on Tasty Kitchen and can genuinely say it is now one of my favorite foods. No joke. This is a MUST on your kitchen table.

Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread

To make this bread gather your fresh herbs. Our stars are parsley, dill, basil and chives (from left to right).

Herbs

Throw the chopped herbs into a food processor along with the marinated artichoke hearts.

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It’s time for feta, butter, and garlic. Oh my! Pulse that goodness until it’s nice and smooth.

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Eat with a spoon. You’re done!…kidding.

Artichoke Feta Spread

Slice the bread in 1-inch slices, stopping before the base of the bread. Stuff the bread with the mixture. Wrap in the bread in foil and bake for 25 minutes. Serve while hot!

Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread

Love.

Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread
Recipe taken from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
½ cups parsley, chopped
¼ cups dill, chopped
8 basil leaves, chopped
¼ cups chives, chopped
6 whole marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
6 cloves garlic
¼ cups Feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 stick butter
1 whole Italian loaf of bread

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Chop the first 4 ingredients and place them in a food processor. Blend. Add artichoke hearts. Blend. Add the garlic, feta, softened butter and salt and pepper to the food processor and mix until smooth.

Slice the bread in 1-inch slices, stopping before the base of the bread. Stuff the bread with the mixture.

Wrap in the bread in foil and bake for 25 minutes. Serve while hot.

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Seven Layer Greek Dip

I never considered myself to be much of a cat person. I had a few growing up, but certainly didn’t consider having one when I was on my own. I liked them…but they seemed to be more of an expense than anything else.

Two years ago, my boyfriend and I decided that we should go to the local humaine society and look at the animals, and ended up coming home with Molly.

Am I a cat person now? YES! She’s fluffy and cute and her sole purpose of the day is to cuddle me all day long. It’s kind of the best.

But recently Molly has had a change of scenery. I moved into a house in Ottawa (with super cheap rent) and one of the conditions is that I take of the woman’s two cats. So I jumped from one kitty to three and am now an official crazy cat lady.

When you are a crazy cat lady you need to remember three things:
1. Keep up your social life with humans. You might forget that speaking baby talk to everyone is not normal.
2. There will be poop on the floor. Deal with it.
3. Don’t leave ANY cream or milk based dips on the counter. There will be PAWS!

This dip is one that I HIGHLY recommend (and so does Molly). It’s not your typical 7 layer dip, and includes homemade tzatziki, hummus, jalepeno feta dip, olives, artichokes, tomatoes, and cucumber. It’s a greek party pretty much and will make you scream for joy!…well I did.

To make this, begin by prepping the ingredients for the creamy feta and set aside. In a bowl, combine yogurt, dill, garlic, 3 tablespoons of cucumber, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and mix.

Grab a large bowl or plate and begin layering ingredients with the yogurt tzatziki first.

Then the chopped olives..

The hummus…

The chopped artichoke hearts..

And then add the crazy feta, and the tomatoes and cucumber. You can layer it however you’d like and use other ingredients to make it your own. Serve with pita chips and enjoy!

Seven Layer Greek Dip
Recipe taken from How Sweet It Is
Makes one giant bowlful and serves over 10 people

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups hummus of your choice
1 15-ounce can of kalamata olives, drained and chopped
1 15-ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 batch of creamy feta (or 4 ounces of plain feta, crumbled)
1 1/3 cups greek yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh dill
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper

Directions:
Begin by prepping the ingredients for the creamy feta, if needed and set aside.

In a bowl, combine yogurt, dill, garlic, 3 tablespoons of cucumber, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and mix. Grab a large bowl or plate and begin layering ingredients: the yogurt tzatziki, the chopped olives, the hummus, the chopped artichoke hearts, the crazy feta, and the tomatoes and cucumber. You can layer it however you’d like and use other ingredients to make it your own.

Serve with pita chips or whatever you would like!

Asparagus with Tomatoes and Feta

I haven’t had a computer in 5 days.

I thought I’d be able to just use the computers at school…no biggie. But boooooy was I wrong. The computers at school are slow with spotty internet and I haven’t been able to get a post on the blog until now! So, I’m sorry. Last weekend I moved into a new house in Ottawa, and when I drove the boy back to Montreal (who came down to help me move) I forgot my computer there! Talk about scatter brain.

Anyway, I’m back in Montreal now and with my beloved fiance and Macbook. The world is whole again! I’m in Montreal this weekend because tomorrow I’m in running the Rock n’ Roll half marathon! So, here is some healthy asparagus to help you train for your marathon/half marathon/chasing your children around the house. Whatever you’re up to, this stuff is GOOD!

To make this, lay the asparagus in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as you can get) in a large skillet. Add water just until the asparagus is covered. Heat over medium-high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the asparagus is tender.

Dice your shallot and tomato.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallot until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, just to warm and wilt very slightly. Once the asparagus is tender, remove from the heat and drain. Remove the shallot-tomato mixture from the heat, stir in the feta, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the warm asparagus on a serving platter (or individual plates) and top with the tomato-feta mixture. Serve immediately.

Asparagus with Tomatoes and Feta
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats
Serves 2 as a side dish

Ingredients:
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1 vine ripened tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large skillet, lay the asparagus in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as you can get). Add water just until the asparagus is covered. Heat over medium-high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the asparagus is tender.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallot until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, just to warm and wilt very slightly. Once the asparagus is tender, remove from the heat and drain. Remove the shallot-tomato mixture from the heat, stir in the feta, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the warm asparagus on a serving platter (or individual plates) and top with the tomato-feta mixture. Serve immediately.

Cucumber Feta Rolls

Even though it’s summer and I should be thinking about cute bathing suits, picnics, and hikes, I’m taking a summer course.

It’s not too bad. To be fair, I only spend about 2 hours a week outside of class on it, but it IS on my mind all the time. It’s a report writing class, and in it we get to choose any topic we want, write about it, and submit it at the end with a few little assignments in between.

So for my topic I have chosen to look at designer babies. Have you heard of this?! I’m just in the beginning stages of learning about the whole idea, but it sounds nuts. Imagine being able to choose your child’s sex, height, and eye colour before they are even born? It sounds wild to me, but it has certainly given me something to think about. I mean, this would be a fantastic idea if we simply used this technology to knock out diseases and potential physical disabilities, but otherwise, I’m not sure….and it will be interesting to see what will happen in the future.

But when I’m not thinking about designer babies, I do have time to think of summery food. I made these delicious cucumber rolls recently and loved them! It was one of those super hot days outside and this was the perfect appetizer to have in the scorching heat. I totally recommend them! I just loooove feta!

To make these, thinly slice the cucumbers longways with a vegetable peeler (or on a mandoline at a 2mm thick setting). Lay the cucumbers on top of a paper towel lined cutting board while you prepare the filling.

Add the feta and yogurt to a medium bowl. Mash to combine using a fork. Add the bell pepper or sun dried tomatoes, olives, dill, lemon, and pepper to the bowl.

Stir well to combine. In a bowl, mash the feta using a fork.

Place 1 – 2 teaspoons of mixture at one end of a cucumber strip and roll up.

Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining strips!

Cucumber Feta Rolls
Recipe makes 20 rolls
Recipe taken from Good Life Eats

Ingredients:
2 cucumbers
6 ounces crumbled feta
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 tablespoons finely diced sundried tomatoes or red bell pepper
8 – 12 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped dill or oregano
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch of pepper, or to taste

Directions:
Thinly slice the cucumbers longways on a mandoline at a 2mm thick setting. Alternatively, you can use a vegetable peeler if you do not have a mandoline. Lay the cucumbers on top of a paper towel lined cutting board while you prepare the filling.

Add the feta and yogurt to a medium bowl. Mash to combine using a fork. Add the bell pepper or sun dried tomatoes, olives, dill, lemon, and pepper to the bowl. Stir well to combine. In a bowl, mash the feta using a fork.

Place 1 – 2 teaspoons of mixture at one end of a cucumber strip and roll up. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining strips. If not serving immediately, chill until ready to serve.

Lentil Feta Salad {Vegetarian Collection}

This year I turn 25 and because of that I started this little list. There are 30 things I want to do before I turn 30, and baby, I’m going to do them no matter what!

Besides wanting to drink in a pub while singing an Irish bar song in Ireland, I also have a few things that are a little more right now instead of in the futre. One of those things is to cook my way through a book from cover to cover.

When choosing a book I had to take two things into consideration. The first is that I am a vegetarian so I can’t choose a book with meat in it, and the second is that I like the way my body is shaped now and didn’t think choosing a baking book was the best idea. I bake once to twice a week already and that’s more than enough!

Lucky for me I work in a book store so during my breaks I had a ton of cookbooks to look at. After browsing many, many, cookbooks I choose Canadian Living’s The Vegetarian Collection and have made 6 recipes from it so far – all delicious! This was the first recipe I made and the very first recipe in the book. I hope you enjoy this lovely, healthy salad, and this new segment on my blog!

To begin, toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often until golden, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together your oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add lentils and garlic; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. Disgard garlic.

Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley to a large bowl.

Toss with dressing to coat.

Stir in almonds and about ¼ cup of feta cheese. Sprinkle remaining feta just before serving.

Enjoy!

Lentil Feta Salad
Recipe from The Vegetarian Collection
Makes 4 regular and 6 small servings
Per 1 of 6 servings: 305 calories | 14g protein | 18g total fat | 25g carbohydrates | 6g fibre

Ingredients:
½ cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried green lentils
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup extra virgin olove oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried oregano (or fresh)
salt and pepper
1 ½ cups cucumber, diced, seeded and peeled
1 cup halved grape (or cherry) tomatoes
½ cup red onion, diced, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:
In a small dry skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring often until golden, about 5 minutes.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add lentils and garlic; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. Disgard garlic.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley. Toss to coat.
Stir in almonds and about ¼ cup of feta cheese. Sprinkle remaining feta just before serving.

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad

The leaves are falling here in Ottawa. Dropping from the trees and reminding us all that winter is on it’s way. I’m ok with that – I like winter. I enjoy winter running, tubing, sliding, skating and skiing like many 13 year olds people that live in this fine capitol, but the thing I miss most in winter is colour.

Spring brings new blossoms. Summer radiates with tulips and summer gardens. And fall brings the changing leaves. Winter brings…white…and a whole lot of it! I thought it would be fun to make a beetroot salad that popped with some colour. I wanted it to be warm to make me feel cozy, and have a nice taste to make the whole thing come together.

I found this recipe in the Canadian Living magazine I subscribe to. I got it as a gift from my boyfriend’s mom, and it has really been useful for finding tasty, seasonal, recipes. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did!

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about an hour until tender.

Let the beets cool enough to handle and then remove the skins.

Cut beets into wedges. Set aside.

Place baby greens and onions in a large bowl.

Toss in fresh parsley, dill and chives.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.

Add the sauce to greens. Add beets. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Enjoy!

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad
Taken from Canadian Living Magazine
Makes 4 servings
Per Serving: 184 calories | 15g total fat | 3g fibre | 5g protein

Ingredients:
6 baby beets, trimmed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Pinch each of salt and pepper
6 cups loosely packed baby greens
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, dill and chives
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about an hour until tender.

Let the beets cool enough to handle and then remove the skins. Cut beets into wedges. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, parsley, dill, chives and beets.

Toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese.