Eating My Way Through

A Meze Platter May 2, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Salad,Veggies — Nikki Wegner @ 5:38 pm
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I have come across a variety of Mediterranean inspired dishes lately that I have been dying to try. But all of them were smaller plates, which does not a complete meal make. So I decided to combine two of them with one of my favorite easy chicken  recipes and some pita bread to make a small meze platter for dinner.

I started things off by making a Cucumber and Chickpea salad and a yogurt sauce to accompany everything. The salad is super light and fresh tasting, as it combines mint with a bit of olive oil and salt, that’s it!

First, roast the chickpeas for the salad and garlic for the sauce.

Garlic and Chickpeas Roasting

Garlic and Chickpeas Roasting

While everything is roasting, chop the cucumber and mint and combine with the olive oil. Also juice one lemon and combine with dill and greek yogurt.

Once chickpeas and garlic are done roasting, add the chickpeas to the cucumber mixture and stir together.

Cucumber and Roasted Chickpea Salad

Cucumber and Roasted Chickpea Salad

Then peel the roasted garlic, be careful it’s hot!, and add to the yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt Sauce

Next, roasted eggplant dip. I love eggplant! If you have ever been out to dinner with me, there is a good chance that if there is a dish with eggplant on the menu I’ll order it. With this recipe the key is to roast the eggplant for the perfect amount of time, otherwise there won’t be a lot of “flesh” to scoop out. Also, the outside will burn, and that is okay! Just be careful when you take it out of the oven you let it cool before doing anything else. Your fingers will thank you.

Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant

While the eggplant is cooking, you can combine all the other ingredients in the dip: lemon juice, olive oil, feta, red onions, chipotle chile pepper, basil, parsley and salt.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Once the eggplant is cooled, simply cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the inside into the dip, and mix everything to combine.

The final piece is the chicken. I threw this together once, and it has become one of my favorite easy chicken recipes.

Simply spray a skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Add chopped garlic and balsamic vinegar and heat. Add chicken and cook until done. Be careful not to over-cook. It can get dry quickly if you don’t pay attention.

Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken

Then I toasted some pita, and put everything together on a plate to enjoy!

Meze Platter

Meze Platter

I am not going to lie. This is one of the trickier complete meals I’ve ever attempted. You just have to prep things in advance and be aware of timing. But, any of these recipes are great on their own and would be good as a dish to pass at a dinner party.

Cucumber & Chickpea Salad (adapted from FitSugar)

1 large cucumber

1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed

1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp mint

Salt, to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400° F

Place chickpeas on a roasting pan, cover with olive oil

Roast for 30 mins stirring occasionally

Slice cucumber then cut into quarters and put in a medium bowl

Chop mint and add to cucumbers with 1 tsp olive oil

Add roasted chickpeas, stir and salt to taste

Yields 4 servings

Yogurt Sauce (adapted from FitSugar)

6 garlic cloves

6 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tbsp dill, fresh

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400° F

Roast garlic cloves for 20-30 minutes

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice and dill

Peel roasted garlic and add to mixture

Whisk until combined and creamy

Yields 4 servings

Roasted Eggplant Dip (adapted from EatingWell)

1 medium eggplant

1/2 cup reduced-fat feta

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Salt to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat broiler

Poke eggplant with a fork to create holes for venting steam

Line a baking sheet with foil and place eggplant on the pan

Put in oven, turning with tongs every 5 minutes, skin will char

Repeat for about 20 minutes, or until you can insert a knife into the think stem of the eggplant

Once cooked, transfer to cutting board to cool

While eggplant is cooking, combine feta, lemon juice, olive oil, red onions, pepper, basil, and parsley in a large bowl

When eggplant is cooled, cut in half, length-wise

Scoop out the eggplants flesh into the bowl

Stir with mixture and add salt to taste

Yields 4 servings

Balsamic Chicken (own recipe)

olive oil cooking spray

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 lb chicken breast, trimmed

Directions:

Spray a skillet with cooking spray

Add garlic and balsamic vinegar and heat

Add chicken and saute until cooked through

Yields 3 servings

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