Summer Dips

Beans and Legumes
Howdy Friends!!!
Finally… an updated blog post! These dips are both easy and delicious!

I am still in the States, moving around and staying busy as ever. Believe it or not, we have still not heard any updates about transferring abroad and I am leaving in 9 days back to Greece. As of tonight, the EU leaders are trying to determine what the future holds for Greece and how to prevent a domino effect of bankruptcy and default, although, “Greece is in a uniquely grave situation in the euro area,” the statement said. Article Here.  And as of now, it looks that everyone is pulling together to help Greece, read further here. I won’t bore you with the details but the links above are from the BBC webpage and provide very insightful information if you are interested.

I hope to hear something, anything, as soon as possible so we can officially move forward with our lives. These last two months in the US have been bittersweet to say the least, although I have gotten much needed quality time with my family and friends, I miss my love. Although, there are endless things to see and do here, I miss my very bestest friend. All I can do it keep busy and not stop too long to think about how much I miss him, and also keep trusting that God has a plan for all of this – His will be done, not ours. We are both walking forward in faith, blindly trusting that the best is yet to come!


I wanted to share a couple of delicious and very simple recipes for parties or just fun appetizers. The first one is made with black beans and I love black beans!!! Greece doesn’t sell black beans (as far as I know) and I have been craving for them for the past year and half – they are my favorite legume by far 🙂



Summer Black Bean Salsa Recipe:
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole corn (white or yellow), drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper or tomato, chopped
1 small avocado, neatly chopped
1/4 cup onion of choice, green or purple
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1 – 2 limes, squeezed
1/2 – 1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper

Drain and rinse beans and corn, chop all other ingredients and squeeze limes and stir in spices. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours, serve with tortilla chips – Scoops work great!

The second dip is more of a Texas classic with a funny name. Texas Caviar Dip was actually invented by a New York chef who moved to Dallas to work at Neiman Marcus, but had no clue what to do with black eyed peas. She eventually came up with this simple, affordable dip that the rich customers just loved!

Texas Caviar Dip Recipe:
1 can black eyed peas
1/2 bell pepper of choice, chopped, optional
1 can corn, drained and rinsed, optional
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 chile or jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley if preferred)



1/4 cup olive oil*
1 T. apple cider vinegar*


1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder*
1/2 tsp. dried oregano*
1 tsp. cumin*
(*or as a spice substitute use italian dressing, a little goes a long way!)

Mix everything in a bowl and let refrigerate overnight or at least a few hours to enhance flavor!

I also had some extra black beans that I blended with a spoonful of sour cream, some jalapenos, salt and pepper, and some minced garlic. This was terrific drizzled over the dips, spooned onto a chip, or even served with a fresh quesadilla!

If you have never tried these, I suggest that you whip them up for your next get together. The summer is the perfect season to enjoy these bean melodies. Remember, make it suit you, use whichever bean you prefer most and mix and match the ingredients that you love.

Thank you again for all sticking around during this chaotic season of life and for each and every prayer said on our behalf. We trust and know that God has a plan, His will be done – not our own! 

Hope you’re having wonderful summer.
Kali Orexi,

Jacquline

Φάκες/Fakes/Lentils.

Beans and Legumes

Simple. Heart-healthy. Very nutritious. Lentils are loaded with protein and bone-friendly calcium, as well as vitamins A and B, phosphorus, and iron. They are a quick legume that you can substitute meat for and not have to remember to soak the night before!

Lentils are one of the many staples of the Greek Mediterranean diet that has become so notable from health experts. Even though you might be thinking, “Yuck, those sound way too healthy for me”, I dare you to give them a try. They just might surprise you and I promise that you can only benefit from including this to your winter repertoire or go to meal for chilling days that you crave a for an easy, affordable, and hearty meal.  

Recipe: (serves 6)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup EVOO 
2 carrots + 2 celery stalks, cleaned and diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1 can of crushed tomatoes or plain sauce
2 cups dry, brown lentils
8 cups of water, hot
1/2 cup spinach or mushrooms (optional)
2 Tbsp. vinegar
S/P (salt and pepper)
Saute onion in oil until translucent, add carrots and celery. Cook on medium heat until just softened (5-7 minutes). Add garlic and herbs until fragrant. Stir in lentils, spinach, and tomatoes; cook for 1-2 minutes before adding water. Simmer at a low boil for about 30-45 minutes or until lentils have thickened and softened. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Top with feta cheese and a whole wheat crusty bread. 
*This recipe freezes well. 
There are so many versions of lentil soup, some with more spice and some with lemon. The possibilities are endless, and it is actually pretty difficult to mess up. You will never know if you love lentils until you try! 
Kali Orexi. (Bon Appetit in Greek)