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Fooodlove31 recipes

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

All recipes from "Lunch"


Veggie Bulgur Pie with Filo

Veggie Bulgur Pie with Filo

Pies are a cherished family tradition in our home - everyone has a soft spot for them! They make a great snack or packed lunch for my daughters. A while ago, I was making a pie with greens and somehow the stuffing ended up being quite runny. To prevent my phyllo pastry from becoming too soggy, I started looking for ingredients that could soak up the extra juices without affecting the recipe’s taste. I found that using semolina or bulgur was a suggested solution, so I decided to give it a try with the latter. Not only did my pie come out great, but the bulgur also gave me an idea for an entirely new vegetarian pie recipe! Bulgur is a whole grain that is made of several different types of wheat. It is often used in dishes like this veggie bulgur pie, where it is combined with vegetables and a sauce to create a hearty and satisfying meal. Bulgur is also high in fiber and protein, making it a healthy choice for anyone looking for a nutritious meal. It turns out that there are many bulgur pie recipes available, but the majority of them contain ground beef. I am vegetarian, so I decided to create a meatless version that is more appealing to my Mediterranean taste buds. This veggie bulgur pie with filo is a great way to turn ordinary vegetables into something special. It’s also quick and easy to make—all you need is some finely chopped fresh vegetables, bulgur, and a few pantry staples like Greek olive oil and herbs. The filling for this pie is then layered between layers of phyllo dough, and baked until golden brown. The bulgur pie crust exceeded my expectations! It was not only crispy and flaky like a classic pie crust, but the added texture from the bulgur gave it wonderful depth. The filling was also delicious carrying the bulgur’s nutty flavor. Paired with a crisp green salad or roasted vegetables, this veggie bulgur pie is a delicious and nutritious meal that the whole family can enjoy. This recipe makes twelve generous servings, and leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. So it’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you have unexpected guests over! Give this veggie bulgur pie a try and your taste buds will thank you. It’s a delicious way to enjoy whole grains and vegetables in one tasty dish. Enjoy!

Pizza Bread

Pizza Bread

It’s been a while since I started my quest to find the best pizza dough, and while I’m still searching, I have something that tastes very similar and everyone loves it almost as much as pizza! My family has always had a soft spot for pizza. In fact, we love it so much that we have Pizza night at least once a week. When I started my quest to find the best pizza dough, I thought it would be easy. But after trying dozens of recipes, I still haven’t found the one that speaks to my taste buds the way I want it to. However, I recently started experimenting with a pizza bread recipe, and it’s become a family favourite. It’s not exactly the same as pizza, but it’s close enough that everyone loves it almost as much. And bonus: it’s much easier to make than traditional pizza dough! Leftover pizza for breakfast? It may sound strange, but it’s actually a pretty common occurrence in our house! My daughters love to devour any leftover slices that end up in the fridge, so I decided to look for a bread recipe that would capture all the delicious pizza flavours. And I’m happy to report that I found an amazing pizza-flavoured bread perfect for breakfast, lunch, and snacking! This recipe is now a staple in our house, and we always have a loaf on hand. This easy pizza bread is very versatile because it can be used in slices paired with cold cuts and create a fantastic sandwich, but it can also be eaten as it is, like a snack. Personally, I like to cut it in slices, toast it just enough to reheat those chopped veggies, melt the cheese inside it and pair it with a generous amount of Strapatsada on top! My daughters, on the other hand, love to pack it for school lunch. They simply add their favourite sauce, some cheese and their favourite toppings and they’re good to go. It’s a great way to get them to eat their veggies too!

Coconut Cake Bites

Coconut Cake Bites

This is one of those go-to recipes that gets wheeled out for any and all occasions in our family, from birthdays to dinner parties! This coconut squares recipe is the perfect sweet finger food for kids and adult parties alike and is a real crowd-pleaser. These are basically coconut cake pops but without the added faff of making them round - you can always add a lolly stick to the cake bites before dipping into the chocolate and coconut if you want them to be on sticks, but there’s little point in all that extra hard work (plus the cake falls off the stick so easily!). As a kids party snack, you can even add different coverings (the cake itself is a basic one which works well with all sorts of toppings, from sprinkles to chopped nuts). When serving these coconut cake morsels up to adults, you’ll find they disappear just as quickly - they’re the kind of sweet treat where you pop one in your mouth, intending to stop there, and soon discover you’ve demolished five without blinking! They’re great birthday cake bites for adults, to make the recipient feel indulged and treated, but without committing to the pressure of baking and decorating a whole birthday cake.

Green Beans with Tomato Sauce

Green Beans with Tomato Sauce

I remember enjoying this at home in Rhodes through the summer as a child - with freshly-picked green beans from the garden, and even freshly picked tomatoes too! This stewed green beans dish (or Fasolakia Giaxni in Greek) is more than the sum of its parts, and is well worth incorporating into your recipe repertoire. The great news is that beans are now available all year round, frozen! And because tinned tomatoes are a perfect substitute for fresh ones here, this has really turned into almost a store cupboard dish, which I can conjure up whatever the season, whatever the weather. It can be grat to know you’ve got a veggie ‘store cupboard’ side, for when I’m due to go shopping and we’re almost out of fresh veggies. Fasolakia Ladera, or Green beans with oil, and the addition of tomatoes and herbs, makes simple freezer ingredients shine. This is one of those great vegetarian sides; it’s so complex in flavour despite the simplicity of making it. Green beans in tomato sauce is one to cook up as a side to accompany a special evening meal (or indeed, lunch in the sun, should you be so lucky!). Some pair the dish with beef, which is good for meat eaters, but I really don’t think it misses much through the absence of the meat here. Good quality olive oil is important too, as is the finely chopped sprinkle of herbs at the end - this really elevates all the flavours and melds them together perfectly.

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.

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins

Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins

These healthy blueberry muffins are a must for my daughters’ packed lunch boxes, or for those rumbling tummies at around 4 pm when dinner still feels far off. The wholegrain flour and oats make them more sustaining and low GI compared to white flour-based cakes, so your blood glucose levels don’t crash and burn like after a quick sugary snack. You can even substitute the quick oats for steel-rolled oats for even better slow energy release, but the texture is a little chewier - try half and half to begin with to make sure you like the substitution! These wholewheat berry muffins also work as healthy muffins for breakfast. We’re constantly running out of time in the mornings, and so I do like to have something on hand to push into a Tupperware for myself for later, or to give my daughters as they rush out of the door. This way I can make sure they’ll be eating something with slow energy release, protein, and even some fruit in it. Sure, these are cakes - there’s no avoiding that - but I feel much happier giving them these than the processed, sugar-filled breakfast ‘cereal bars’ that are another popular option. They’re also great to sub-in for a refined sugar sweet treat, as the aforementioned wholegrain content (the oats and the wholewheat flour) work together to make sure this sweet treat is sustaining as well as satisfying for that sugar craving. Give them a go - they might become your new favourite!

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?

Thin-battered Feta Pie - Alevropita

Thin-battered Feta Pie - Alevropita

This simple and tasty feta pie is best straight from the oven, whilst it’s still crisp-edged, buttery, and warm. It’s a lazy pie; just a simple batter dotted with feta, which turns out the most mouth-watering results. It’s the kind of cooking I need sometimes - when you know you haven’t got much energy, but you really want to create something tasty, satisfying, and homemade. It’s a great ‘first pie’ or ‘first pastry’ for a new cook, too, as there are so few steps to consider. It depends on your larder, but as big feta fans in my household, this is basically a store cupboard pie, as I will always have the ingredients in my cupboards and fridge for an alevropita! The name translates as ‘flour pie’, as you just make a simple batter and dot this with feta and butter before baking. It’s important to follow step one, and get that tray into the oven before you start the recipe (though keep an eye on it, as you don’t want the fat getting too hot and burning) - because it’s that contact with a hot tray immediately that makes sure the thin batter gets a hit of heat from the start and creates those all-important crispy edges. This is a recipe that’s great at any time of day; a quick and easy breakfast, or a tasty lunch served with a side salad. For me it really comes into its own as a quick mezze to make to add to a table when you have guests coming round!

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!

Mediterranean Style Shakshuka

Mediterranean Style Shakshuka

This Mediterranean-style Shakshuka was actually thought out by my husband! He is not often found cooking, but he hit on a real win with this simple Shakshuka recipe when I was too tired and busy to cook one day, back in Rhodes. We call it Greek Shakshuka; I don’t think that’s a real thing, but he took the shakshuka ingredients and added Greek staples so that’s what it became! What is Shakshuka? Shakshuka is a popular dish originating from North Africa, which has been popular with the Israeli community and Jewish diaspora, bringing it to brunch menus across the globe over the past decade or so. Broadly, Shakshuka consists of eggs poached in a tomato sauce, with vegetables, herbs and spices. We love our roster of Mediterranean egg recipes, so we had to somehow work this popular North African dish into the Mediterranean canon! To do this we keep it simple - tomatoes, feta and egg are the primary tastes here. This is perfect for a light lunch or supper with a side salad, this is, however, a go-to brunch dish, served with a side of toast. It’s a flexible recipe, too, so if you want to add a few herbs and spices, and even extra veg, be my guest. This is our recipe - feel free to tweak it until you have your own! We have this at least once a month for a comforting, sustaining and satisfying brunch.

Vegan Filo Potato Pie

Vegan Filo Potato Pie

This vegan filo potato pie is a brilliant crowd-pleaser. Any vegetarian filo pie is a hit with me, as a veggie myself, but I love to have lots of vegan recipes in my arsenal to make sure I can feed all of my guests equally well. Filo pie is a brilliant use of filo pastry, which is very popular in Greek cuisine, and so versatile. Any Patatopita recipe (that’s potato pie in Greek!) has to be topped with that filo crunch, and then have a rich centre. Serve this eggless potato pie with a side salad for a lighter lunch, use it as a luxurious side to a bigger meat, or veggie, main dish, or make a big dish and cut into smaller pieces, for brilliant party mouthfuls! Adding leek, and going for a potato and leek pie, is another option which is really lovely come wintertime, and a little bit of an alternative to the classic potato and onion pie that’s so classic in the UK. This potato filo option has all of those Greek flavours, imparted by the dill and parsley, and the sprinkle of sesame on top adds both that Greek nuttiness and of course a range of essential nutrients and vitamins, like phenolic antioxidants, minerals and protein - all vital, particularly to a vegan diet.

Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf

Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf

This Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf is a perfect British ‘tea time’ treat. Served up with a lovely cup of tea on a grey and drizzly afternoon, it will put a smile on anyone’s face! This dried fruit and nut bread recipe is, like banana bread, truly more of a cake - although I’m not averse to a slathering of butter on my slice, and I always feel, however untrue it is, that calling a cake ‘bread’ somehow takes away some of the naughtiness! A no yeast bread with dried fruit is surprisingly versatile. We enjoy it as a sweeter breakfast treat, swapping out toast, a croissant or a hot cross bun for a nice slice. I also wrap it up and add it to my daughters’ packed lunch boxes. I’ll always make sure there’s a good portion left for afternoon tea though - in the mid afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee, it’s a great excuse for a ten minute sit down and a little time to yourself. This loaf cake is truly one of those great hybrid bakes that functions as both breakfast treat and afternoon tea indulgence. It’s a quick and easy recipe that has a distinctly warming, seasonal feel due to the aromas of cinnamon and orange that emanate from the oven whilst it cooks…it’s an Autumn staple in our house!

Crustless Zucchini Pie

Crustless Zucchini Pie

This crustless zucchini pie is the perfect lunch for a sunny day in the garden. The recipe originally comes from a friend in Crete. It’s both easy, and a great way to use up the glut of courgettes we seem to enjoy every July and August! Accompanied by a side salad (and maybe a chilled glass of white wine!), this courgette tart is so savoury and satisfying. The feta, parmesan and eggs give it that cheesey, almost quiche-like consistency, whilst the grated courgette/zucchini and the fresh herbs give it a real green vibrancy and fresh taste. Since it’s without a crust, it’s a really healthy, light option too. I’ve even been known to wrap the whole thing in tin foil and take it to the park for a picnic - and you can be sure that none ever comes back!

Pasta Salad without Mayo

Pasta Salad without Mayo

This pasta salad is such a simple dish that it barely needs a recipe; that’s part of the reason I love to make it! The second reason is that it gets some nice veggies into the kids’ diet without any fuss - they love pasta in every form. This is a great, easy supper dish. I often serve it with my wine-infused burger patties, for a hearty lunch or evening option. It’s also the perfect dish to feed to those guests who came round for coffee - and are still here hours later, when dinner is due! Cooking pasta is the easiest, quickest thing, and there is always enough in the fridge to help me rustle up this recipe. You might’ve noticed I use Greek yoghurt here, instead of mayonnaise. This really brings the calorie count back under control; it’s still an indulgent pasta, but the added protein from the Greek yoghurt and the decrease in calories make it easier to warrant cooking regularly. I tend to make a big batch of it, hoping to have it in the fridge to use as a side dish over the next two to three days - but my family often thwart this plan, demolishing it in one sitting!

Cretan Dakos

Cretan Dakos

This recipe for Cretan Dakos, or ‘krhtikos ntakos’, is ideal for those summer days where you just want something light and vegetable based. A little reminiscent of an Italian bruschetta, it is basically a crisp bread or rusk topped with veg - most traditionally, tomato - and feta, alongside something zingy and savoury, like red onion, capers or olives. It’s a perfect ‘store cupboard’ recipe, too, because you can keep the Dakos rusks in the cupboard for whenever you use them! The key to making these rock-hard rusks into an enjoyable base for a gorgeous lunch is that you must soften them. DON’T skip that step, whatever you do! It’s a perfect lazy Summertime lunch.

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.

Dolmadakia Stuffed Vine Leaves with Rice

Dolmadakia Stuffed Vine Leaves with Rice

Dolmadakia, or stuffed vine leaves, are probably something you’ve seen on the menu at a Greek restaurant, found in a deli, or have tried if you’ve ever visited Greece. If not - they are truly delicious Greek morsels that you must try! Dolmadakia truly are traditional, and are one of my favourite ever recipes. Somewhat frustratingly, they’re the kind of dish that disappears even before they’ve hit the table! My youngest daughter sneaks in to steal a couple every five minutes in that danger period, when they are made but it’s not lunch time yet… but how can I blame her, when I did exactly the same at her age! It took me a while to learn how to make them. Needs must, though, as I couldn’t find any when I lived in the Netherlands, so decided to give them a try. I discovered that all you need is a little patience; they’re not difficult or complicated to make. The taste of the vine leaf, combined with the vegetables and rice inside, a squirt of sharp lemon juice and a dip of yoghurt? Incredible.

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.

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