Ah Greek Food. The endless amounts of tzatziki sauce, fig leaves, and hummus. I grew up with quite a few Greeks back in Alaska, apparently once one of them decided that a barren land of ice and snow would be better than the sun and crystal clear blue water, all the rest of the family thought it was a great idea too! However, it made for some delicious Greek food growing up. I have fond memories of making it a point to be at one of my friend's houses during the Christmas holidays. I would walk in the door to a heavenly scent of freshly baked baklava. Her mom would immediately usher me in the kitchen stating "EAT EAT EAT!!" and would shove at least 5 baklavas in my direction, to which I obviously did not object to. Now those were in my pre-diagnosis days that I find myself often dreaming about...But I keep myself from pining about those days with a promised vow to myself and others that I will make a gluten free baklava one day. It is one of the many cooking tasks sitting on my list of to do's before I die.
The other night my boyfriend was talking about how much he loved a good tzatziki sauce, so I thought it was definitely time for a Greek Festival in our kitchen. Now unfortunately we did not have the whole entire Greek Klan to attend our dinner, but we made do with ourselves, a bottle of Italian vino, and some seriously strong tzatziki sauce that you could smell for miles.
Chicken and Rice Pilaf w/ tzatziki sauce
~1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts
~4 tbs. olive oil
~1/2 red onion chopped
~the juice of half a lemon
~3 tbs. white wine vinegar
~1 tsp. dried oregano
In a glass baking dish, combine marinade. Once combined, place chicken in dish. Marinate overnight. When you are ready to cook chicken, place dish in oven 180 C and cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked completely through.
~2 C. white rice
~1/2 C. crushed rice vermicelli
~2 tbs. butter
~4 cups veggie or chicken broth
~1 tsp. fresh thyme
Sauté the rice and vermicelli in butter over low heat until brown. Add in thyme and half of the broth, bring to simmer, and cover. After 5 minutes check rice and stir in more broth, about another cup. After another 5 minutes check rice and add more broth if necessary. Rice will be done once broth is evaporated and rice is soft. I personally like to test my rice throughout this whole cooking process. Once done remove from heat and serve alongside chicken.
~1 cucumber grated
~1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
~2 cloves minced garlic
~1 tsp. white wine vinegar
~2 tsp. parsley chopped
~salt to taste
Grate cucumber and squeeze out any excess moisture. Combine the all ingredients in a bowl. I made mine the night before with the chicken, so it could sit in the fridge, which led it to have a delicious taste. Serve sauce on top of chicken and rice.