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Fooodlove21 recipes

Tasty food blog featuring easy Greek and Mediterranean-inspired recipes.

All recipes from "Cheese"


Greek Pizza Boat (Peinirli)

Greek Pizza Boat (Peinirli)

The Peinirli is a real favourite in our household. These are traditional Greek pizzas, shaped like little pizza boats. Slightly smaller than a regular Italian pizza, they’re perfect as a treat for one. They can carry all sorts of toppings, so are a favourite for all the various taste preferences in our family. It’s super-easy to rustle up a veggie option for me too, which makes life easier! Having to bake a meat-eaters meal and a veggie-friendly meal on top can sometimes just feel like a step too far! The peinirli origin story comes originally from Turkey. Turkish ‘pide’ are the same boat-shaped pizzas, and the Greek name ‘peinirli’ came from the Turkish word for cheese - ‘peinir’. Peinirli usually feature a basic cheese filling, to which you can add whatever you fancy - be that tomato, olive, onion, egg, spinach, ham or bacon…the options are about as endless as you can imagine toppings for an Italian pizza! When we return to Greece, Peinirli is one of our favourite bakery options (we mention it in our blog on the 7 must-eat Greek bakery bites). The kids (well, to be honest, my husband and I too, I suppose!) are often tempted to enjoy a Greek peinirli for our breakfast - it’s a popular choice!

Carrot Cake with Yogurt Cream

Carrot Cake with Yogurt Cream

What’s a Greek carrot cake, I hear you ask? Well, for me, all things Greek use Greek yoghurt wherever possible! So yes, this is a carrot cake without cream cheese -I substitute in that tart, rich tang of Greek yoghurt instead, to make for a slightly healthy carrot cake, as well as a yummy one. That tart, sweet tang is literally ‘the icing on the cake’ when it comes to carrot cake - that vegetable, spiced moist batter is just complemented so perfectly by a tangy sweet frosting. Carrot cake might just be my favourite cake - and that’s saying something! Being wholemeal flour, as well as containing carrots, raisins, and walnuts as well as eggs and plenty of spices, I can convince myself that this indulgent treat is at least doing me a little bit more good than a decadent fudge cake, for example. Yoghurt icing for carrot cake isn’t completely pioneering - it really does mimic that slightly sour-sweet tang that cream cheese frosting delivers, but with the added goodness of Greek yoghurt. A creamy Greek yoghurt frosting is just as easy to make as a cream cheese one, and we are always more likely to have Greek yoghurt in the fridge - so it just makes this cake a real easy store cupboard bake for our household.

Greek Pasta Pie - Makaronopita

Greek Pasta Pie - Makaronopita

Sometimes indulgence is the only way forward, and this carb fest is a real treat! Makaronopita, or Greek pasta pie, uses indulgent pastry, pasta, evaporated milk and feta cheese to ensure no stone is left unturned on your journey to the ultimate in comfort food! You can use any type of pasta with this really, but the ones that work best are the small tubes called pasta for pastichio, or pastitsio, in Greek. It’s almost like a hollow spaghetti. But bucatini, macaroni, gomitini, or maybe a small rigatoni at a push, will work too! Using spaghetti emulates the longer strands but without that hollow centre, so makes for a Greek spaghetti pie would be much denser. The idea is to keep the pie full of air with the tubes, but also rich with that baked cheesy sauce. Makaronopita with filo on top is the ultimate in texture contrast too, as the soft pasta contrasts so well with the crunch of the crisp filo. That’s why I suggest cutting your pie into portion sizes before you bake it - otherwise you’ll shatter the filo when you try to serve it, and there’s nothing nicer than breaking that crisp top yourself! Serve up this Greek pasta bake with a nicely dressed side salad for a lunch or dinner (I love it with a zingy lemon dressing), or help yourself to an indulgent slice when those hunger pangs hit, mid-afternoon! This is cold weather comfort food, at its best.

Mozzarella and Chorizo Peppers

Mozzarella and Chorizo Peppers

As you may know by now, I’m a veggie - but the rest of my family aren’t! Although they’re happy to eat tasty veggie meals a lot of the time, they sometimes ask for meat. So when they have a craving for meat-based products, I find chorizo an easy addition - it’s something I can have in the fridge and its flavour packs a punch. A little goes a long way, I find. These mozzarella and chorizo peppers are great quick and easy snacks to make with that bag of mozzarella cheese that you have in the fridge, and work well to ease those afternoon hunger pangs - what’s better for a meat eater than a mozzarella chorizo snack, after all? They’re pretty healthy too, so they’re a snack I’m happy to dole out to my daughters when they’re hungry after school. Because there’s the bell pepper and the tomato sauce it means they’re getting two portions of veg, and I often serve them up with an accompanying side salad for a light lunch or dinner, too - the pizza-like taste of the peppers means everyone’s happy to nibble up some accompanying greens without complaint! For a veggie version, I do mozzarella peppers for myself - still scrumptious. If you’re avoiding the chorizo, like me, or just fancy playing with the recipe, why not add a shake of paprika to the mozzarella for smokiness, or simply add a couple of basil leaves for that Mediterranean summertime taste?

Spicy Lentil Soup

Spicy Lentil Soup

This recipe is the perfect antidote to the January blues. Full of veggie goodness, as well as the anti-inflammatory powers of turmeric, garlic, leeks and onions, it has the heartiness of lentils and that edge of warmth, from the chilli, which come together to create a ‘hug in a mug’, as the famous soup advert once said! This sort of recipe is perfect in a thermos flask to accompany you on a chilly walk, or in your kids’ pack ups - you can be sure they’re getting at least 3 or so of their ‘5 a day’ target, and will be satiated for the rest of the day with the slow, constant stream of energy released by the lentils. It’s a recipe I often turn to as a midweek dinner through January, too - served alone, or with a hunk of bread and a piece of cheese, this recipe is everything I feel like I need to warm the soul after a grey, drizzly, dark day! It’s quick to create - it really only takes a little bit of chopping - and is so worth every moment you spend on it. For a different, smooth texture, try blending all of the soup, or blend none of it and eat it more as a lentil stew. We prefer this half-and-half mixture, which creates a chunky soup. The choice is yours.

Spinach and Feta Galettes

Spinach and Feta Galettes

These spinach and feta galettes are a mouthwatering veggie breakfast, or lunch, to satisfy and satiate. They work year-round, too. In the summertime, send your kids off with a healthy last-minute breakfast to eat on the school bus, pack them up for a picnic in the park, or serve as part of a dinner al fresco. Stick them in your kids’ (or your own) packed lunch to break up the monotony of sandwiches and wraps. In the winter? For me, the winter is a time when I cannot handle a cold salad for lunch, but I don’t always fancy a soup, or a big meal. Ditto for breakfast - something slightly warmed through made from buttery pastry ticks all my boxes! These galettes are the perfect light lunch, served warm with a fresh green side salad and a few juicy cherry tomatoes. Who am I kidding, any savoury pastry tarts are a go-to for me through those chilly months! The cheesy, buttery savouriness of flaking pastry and salty cheese complements the iron green tang of the spinach perfectly. These pastry morsels feel indulgent and satisfying, but allow you to feel slightly healthy at the same time. Those two things together? That equates to my favourite type of meal!

Pasta with Roquefort Sauce

Pasta with Roquefort Sauce

What is Roquefort sauce? It’s simply a savoury, cheesy sauce made from Roquefort cheese. It is amazing on steak, too (though this recipe is Roquefort sauce for pasta - not too different, but a little looser in texture). This recipe for pasta with Roquefort sauce is different from my usual repertoire. Many of the recipes I make are connected with my childhood, and that’s a huge factor in how much I love to make them - the smells and tastes bring me so many beautiful memories! However, this recipe is from my husband’s childhood. He has that same sense of childhood nostalgia for this comforting pasta dish. And I can tell you, even without the nostalgia factor, this is a great recipe! If you were wondering how to make roquefort sauce generally, this should help…

Cheese Croquettes

Cheese Croquettes

Cheese croquettes are a very common meze, and are found in most tavernas in Greece - especially in the islands, like Rhodes, where I am from! Homemade cheese croquettes are just amazing, though - they’re well worth making at home and not just saving until you’re going out to eat. In Greek they are called ‘tirokeftedes’. These little mouthfuls have a crunchy skin, with a mouthful of gooey, savoury, warm cheese inside. They are perfect as an appetiser with a drink, or as a selection of meze for a bigger meal. Homemade cheese croquettes are just amazing, though, and if you were wondering how to make cheese croquettes - don’t worry, you’ll find this recipe really isn’t tough, and is well worth a go!

Ham and Cheese Pie

Ham and Cheese Pie

This ham and cheese pie is a homemade version of something you often find in Greek bakeries and pastry shops. It’s a great snack that I include in the kids’ lunch boxes to mix things up, but it’s also a yummy afternoon snack for me and perfect finger food for a birthday party, or picnic. The ham and cheese pie crust of flaky, buttery puff pastry adds a little crunch on top, whilst the mouthwatering filling of slightly herby tomato, ham and cheese ticks all the boxes for kids and adults alike! You can enjoy this hot or cold, but make sure to indulge in good quality ham - this is a simple recipe, so the flavour of the ingredients makes all the difference. 😊

Spinach Tart

Spinach Tart

I like to make a good old spinach pie, a Spanakopita, but this mixes up that old favourite into something new. The perfect picnic piece, this tart is savoury and moreish, lightening the flavour of cooked spinach with lemon and herbs, and setting it inside a buttery, flaky pastry case. Something like a British quiche, I love the combination of eggy, cheesey spinach-rich filling with the shortcrust pastry edge. I use aromatic dill and zesty lemon to bring a real feeling of summer sun to the recipe, and the addition of feta, ricotta and cream cheese, alongside pine nuts, just ensures a rich, nutty and satisfying mouthful. It’s perfect for lunch in the garden, with a simple side salad, and also works perfectly as a slightly special picnic or packed lunch.

Mini Cheese pies

Mini Cheese pies

These mini cheese pies are so tasty, and so handy! The ideal snack for packed lunches, picnics and birthdays, they are simple to make and everyone seems to love them. These little hand pies take me right back to being a little girl in Rhodes. My mother would make them for the family, and she would call myself and my sister in to help her. My mom would make the dough, and my sister would stuff them with cheese and shape them. I did the ‘finishing touches’! I remember taking up my spot in front of the oven, and refusing to move a muscle until they were done; I was so impatient for them to be cooked! Bite into one of these still warm from the oven, and you’ll get why!

Pepperoni and Cheese Puffs

Pepperoni and Cheese Puffs

Over lockdown we got bored of the same old breakfasts. Since I no longer had to make food to such strict time deadlines, with school now taking place in our own home, I took to experimenting with new recipes and flavours to up the ante on the first meal of the day. These pepperoni and cheese puffs are the result of that experimentation! We really enjoy savoury things for breakfast in our house, and eggs are always a go-to, but the slightly spicy, rich pepperoni alongside flavoursome cheese and buttery, flaky pastry have made this a new hit! This recipe could easily work for a lunchtime or afternoon snack, too - or even as finger food for a buffet or party.

Lemon Pea Stew

Lemon Pea Stew

This lemon pea stew recipe is a perfect veggie winter warmer. It’s super easy, and the addition of lemon and dill at the end makes for a vibrant zestiness that is so addictive. In some parts of Greece this recipe is made with meat, too. There are several Greek recipes that make arakas, or peas, the star of the show, and this is one. Other arakas recipes might include beef, or tomatoes - but I like the clean, sweet flavour of peas in combination with lemon and dill best. At our house this is served simply, with lots of crumbled feta cheese mixed with olive oil and lemon, maybe a side salad and some garlic bread. It sounds simple, but really this sits pride of place as a main meal. It is the perfect dish for early spring - it tides me over from the cold winter nights when all I want is a bowl of warm, nourishing stew into the springtime, when I crave fresh, green flavours. This lemon pea stew recipe straddles both of these desires perfectly.

Pull-apart Garlic Bread

Pull-apart Garlic Bread

Sometimes we all need an evening in front of the TV; a sofa night watching a film is sometimes the only remedy for a hard week! Whether it’s just me and my husband or the whole family snuggled up, this pull-apart garlic bread recipe is a frequently-requested film night treat. It’s also a brilliant, communal start to a big family meal or dinner party too though, so don’t relegate it entirely to movie night fare - it definitely holds its own at the dining table. The cheese-infused, buttery garlic taste of this pull-apart bread is extremely moreish, and perfect for grazing. As a dinner party starter, use it to accompany some meze or some Italian antipasti like cured meats, olives and sundried tomatoes, with the always-necessary olive oil and balsamic vinegar for mopping up. Perhaps the best pairing for it, though, is my spicy feta dip - you can thank me for that recommendation later!

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

You’ve heard of red velvet cake, now try fooodlove’s red velvet chocolate chip cookies! Don’t you hate it when you buy a bag of cookies and they snap like a biscuit?! For me, a cookie has to be squidgy and bendy; crisp on the surface but gooey inside. These are the perfect ‘squidgy’ cookie, with that cocoa-infused red velvet taste and white chocolate chips melting in every bite. What’s more, the colour makes them the perfect Valentine’s Day baking recipe - or birthday party treat! Try to find a paste food colouring rather than the liquid drops most easily available in the supermarket. The liquid ones just don’t deliver the red colour as thoroughly, and if you use lots of extra fluid the moisture levels in the mix will get too high. Feel free to swap for another colour of chocolate chips, too - but I prefer white, as I think it looks brilliant against the red, and also because that soft creaminess is a bit reminiscent of the cream cheese frosting you might top a red velvet cake with.

Gemista

Gemista

Gemista, or Yemista, is a very popular and traditional Greek dish for stuffed vegetables. Using commonly available ingredients, this Gemista recipe is a vegetarian one (some add pork or beef mince). Every household in Greece seems to have their own, slightly unique Gemista recipe, but they tend to have rice and herbs in common as fillings - and are stuffed into a vegetable. Full of flavour and vibrancy, this recipe for stuffed tomatoes is healthy and fresh. ‘Gemista’ actually means ‘filled with’ or ‘stuffed’ in Greek, so literally that is the only thing you have to do - stuff a vegetable with a filling! Served as a starter, a side dish or as the main course, the Gemista is pretty flexible. We enjoy eating it for our main meal, often accompanied by feta cheese and fresh bread.

Turkey and Cheese Toast Rolls

Turkey and Cheese Toast Rolls

Did I make these turkey & cheese toast rolls up? I’m not sure! All I can tell you is that this is a classic party snack in our household, wheeled out for every birthday party. They are super-simple but all the more tasty for that, and are really appealing for little hands. Because they’re baked, they’re an even better children’s party snack because they continue to taste delicious, and all-importantly, stay fresh, for hours on end (unlike those soggy sandwiches with curling crusts)! The recipe below is a tried-and-tested win, but these days I get creative with whatever I have to hand in my fridge, so feel free to play fast and loose with the rules here. They are brilliant as a breakfast solution for teenagers who lie in bed with just minutes to spare before the school bus (just stuff one into their hand as you plant that goodbye kiss on their cheek!) and they also hold up really well as a packed lunchbox idea, whether that’s for your kids or for yourself.

Spicy Feta Dip

Spicy Feta Dip

You probably know feta - a traditional Greek brined cheese made from sheep (or sheep plus goats’) milk, and aged in brine. We’re total feta addicts in our house; I just think it makes everything extra delicious! This spicy feta dip recipe is traditionally called ‘tirokafteri’, and is the perfect combination of creamy, sweet, savoury, tangy and gentle spice. Often offered as a side dish in Greece, this is a great party dip, but we actually enjoy it most often as a spread on our morning sandwich (yep, sandwiches for breakfast!) and as a dip for nachos during movie night (it’s perfect for this)! This is irresistible…and the recipe takes the grand total of five minutes. It’s a no brainer!

Olive Bread

Olive Bread

This Kalamata olive bread recipe reminds me why I bake bread. It’s not something I do very often, as there are so many different types of nicely made bread these days. But this particular recipe is a bread worth baking! It’s a straight-forward recipe, with just five steps and one rest period for the dough. The rich flavour of Kalamata olives seeps through the soft crumb and the delicious olive oil crust is oily and chewy. I love this bread for nibbles before a meal - served with antipasti like sundried tomatoes and parma ham. It’s also great as part of a light Saturday lunch, with soup and cheese. In fact I love it with everything, and it really doesn’t last long in our household!

Giouvetsi with Chicken

Giouvetsi with Chicken

Giouvetsi is a Greek recipe that really takes me back and makes me nostalgic for my Greek childhood! It is simple - traditionally, a meat dish (chicken, lamb or beef) cooked with pasta (often ‘kritharaki’ - orzo - as here) in a tomato sauce. Back at home it would traditionally be baked over fire in a clay pot - a güveç - hence the name! It is a recipe that goes back hundreds of years; the original one-pot meal. Orzo is a great, versatile pasta. Only slightly bigger than grains of rice, orzo gives the dish body and is perfect at soaking up all the flavours created by the baking time. The delicious, tender chicken remains moist, whilst the vegetables infuse both flavour and goodness into the stew-like vegetable sauce. Top with cheese and it’s the perfect winter warmer, or weekend lunch.

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