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Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked to package directions
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
½ chopped red onion
1 pt cherry tomatoes, quartered
6 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 (15 ounce can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
cup chopped Italian parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook quinoa to package directions with the 1/2 tsp salt. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature.

Dressing: Whisk lemon juice and garlic powder in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil.

Toss the cooled quinoa with the dressing veggies, chickpeas, feta, mint and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Greek Barley Salad

Vegetarian Greek Barley Salad recipe is healthy and delicious! Great for summer entertaining as a side or main dish.

4-6 servings

1 1/2 cups barley, cooked to package directions
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
4 ounces sheep or goat feta cheese, crumbled, plus more for serving
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
4-6 sliced pepperoncini

Cook the barley to package directions, transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.
For the dressing: In a bowl whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and sugar. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the barley with the salad dressing. Fold in the cucumber, tomato, onion, olives, cheese, mint and pepperoncini. Season with more salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Garnish with more crumbled feta cheese and dill. Serve cold or at room temperature.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Greek Salad with Salmon and Creamy Feta Dressing

For a super healthy, delicious and gluten free meal you have gotta try this Greek Salad with Salmon and Creamy Feta Dressing recipe. The dressing can also be used as a dip for veggies or wings!

4 servings

–for the dressing
1/2 cup regular mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s
1/2 cup sour cream
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp milk (skim, low fat or whole)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
–for the salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb salmon filets, with skin
a few pinches each garlic salt and pepper
–for the salad
5 cups salad greens
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved cup
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
chopped fresh dill for garnish

For the dressing: Place all the salad dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until thick and creamy. If desired, you can thin out with some water.
For the salmon: Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the salmon with some garlic salt and pepper. When the pan is hot (you can test with a small splash of water) Place the salmon on the pan skin side down. Place a splatter guard over the salmon as it cooks. Cook the salmon about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Flip the salmon and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until done to your liking.
Assemble to salad: Layer the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Place the salmon over the top. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle some dill over the top. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

We love this healthy and simple Grilled Greek Chicken Pasta Salad recipe. Great for lunch of dinner and perfect for the lunchbox too!

4 servings

–for the chicken
1 pound grilled skinless chicken breast
olive oil
garlic salt & pepper
–pasta Salad
12 ounces pasta, cook to package directions (macaroni, bow ties or penne are preferred)
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt & pepper to taste

Grilled Chicken Breast: Trim chicken of fat. Pre heat your grill (or grill pan) to medium high heat. Coat chicken with some olive oil & season chicken with garlic salt & pepper. Grill about about 7 minutes on each side until you have nice grill marks & the meat is white & cooked through. Let chicken cool a bit & slice into bite sized pieces.
Pasta Salad: Toss pasta with all of the ingredients. Adjust any ingredients to suit your tastes.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Barley Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries & Feta

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
–brussels sprouts
1 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed and pat dry
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
–mix ins
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Toast the barley in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often until fragrant. Add the water slowly and stir in the salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, check the barley to see if additional water is needed. Remove the barley from the heat and transfer for a large serving bowl. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil.
While the barley is cooking, roast the brussels sprouts. Trim off the tough end of the brussels sprouts. Cut them in 1/2 or quarter them, depending on how big they are. Toss them with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes. Toss with a pair of tongs half way through cooking time.
Add the brussels sprouts to the barley and toss. Mix in the smoked paprika, cranberries, feta cheese and lemon juice. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or cold.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Barley Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries & Feta

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
–brussels sprouts
1 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed and pat dry
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
–mix ins
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375˚ Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
Toast the barley in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often until fragrant. Add the water slowly and stir in the salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, check the barley to see if additional water is needed. Remove the barley from the heat and transfer for a large serving bowl. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil.
While the barley is cooking, roast the brussels sprouts. Trim off the tough end of the brussels sprouts. Cut them in 1/2 or quarter them, depending on how big they are. Toss them with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes. Toss with a pair of tongs half way through cooking time.
Add the brussels sprouts to the barley and toss. Mix in the smoked paprika, cranberries, feta cheese and lemon juice. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or cold.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Shallot Vinaigrette

We love this healthy and delicious Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Shallot Vinaigrette recipe, a gluten free, vegetarian dish great for the holidays!

4-6 servings

2 cups Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes (see notes)
–for the salad
8 cups baby spinach
1 firm pear, thinly sliced
1 cup toasted walnuts
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
freshly chopped parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
–for the dressing
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
pinch of fine sea salt
drizzle of honey
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Roast the sweet potatoes (see notes)
Assemble the spinach, pear and roasted sweet potatoes in a large bowl or serving platter.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or bowl. Shake or whisk the ingredients to combine. Adjust ingredients to taste.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, top with the walnuts and goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with some fresh parsley and serve.

Use this recipe for Maple Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Beef Kofta Kebabs with Cucumber Salad & Tzaziki Sauce

We love this healthy Mediterranean inspired dish for quick weeknight meals and also for entertaining. Can be served as an appetizer or main course.

4-6 servings

–Beef Kofta Kebabs
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 shallot (3 tbsp), minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
for the pan: 1 tbsp olive oil
–Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
–Tzaziki Sauce
( recipe here: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/ )

–Make the kebabs
Soak 6 wooden skewers in water for a few minutes.
With clean hands, combine the ground beef with the shallot, garlic, parsley, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Divide into 5-6 portions and shape into oval patties around skewers. Flatten the meat.
Heat the oil in a grill pan or 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place the skewers in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking.
–Make the cucumber salad
Combine the sliced cucumber with the red onion, parsley, mint and vinegar. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
–Make the Tzaziki Sauce
Use this recipe: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Beef Kofta Kebabs with Cucumber Salad & Tzaziki Sauce

We love this healthy Mediterranean inspired dish for quick weeknight meals and also for entertaining. Can be served as an appetizer or main course.

4-6 servings

–Beef Kofta Kebabs
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 shallot (3 tbsp), minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
for the pan: 1 tbsp olive oil
–Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
–Tzaziki Sauce
( recipe here: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/ )

–Make the kebabs
Soak 6 wooden skewers in water for a few minutes.
With clean hands, combine the ground beef with the shallot, garlic, parsley, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Divide into 5-6 portions and shape into oval patties around skewers. Flatten the meat.
Heat the oil in a grill pan or 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place the skewers in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking.
–Make the cucumber salad
Combine the sliced cucumber with the red onion, parsley, mint and vinegar. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
–Make the Tzaziki Sauce
Use this recipe: https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/tzatziki-sauce/

~ Marla Meridith

Strawberry Feta Salad with Balsamic Dressing

We love this simple, fresh and healthy Strawberry Feta Summer salad with a delicious homemade balsamic dressing. Enjoy as a side dish or main course.

4-6 servings

–for the salad
6 cups artisan lettuce, rinsed, dried and coarsely chopped
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1 1/2 cups feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
–for the dressing
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
To make the dressing: Add all ingredients into a mason jar. Shake until well combined. Using a piece of lettuce for tasting, dip it into the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the salad with dressing to taste before serving.
This dressing will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator, simply shake before serving to emulsify it again.

~ Marla Meridith

Pesto Tortellini Salad

This delish Pesto Tortellini Salad goes from prep to table in just 15 minutes! Great for lunch and summer entertaining.

–for the pesto
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pecans
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
–for the salad
20 ounces fresh cheese tortellini, cooked to package directions
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
8 ounces Ciliegine (cherry sized Mozzarella)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the tortellini, strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and to cool it down quickly.
To make the pesto: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the tortellini with the pesto and fold in the tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes and Ciliegine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve cold or at room temperature. In a time crunch? You can make this dish the day before you wish to serve it.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Mediterranean Salad Platter

This Mediterranean Salad Platter could not be easier to put together and it makes such a beautiful impact when you are entertaining guests. 

4-6 servings

1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained
5 ounces hummus
8 ounces Kalamata olives
4 ounces thinly sliced Italian salami
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained
4 hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced
mache salad blend
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
serve with pita chips or pita bread

Lay a bed of Mache greens on the bottom of a large platter. Place the rest of the ingredients on top so they are just touching. Drizzle some olive oil over the top. Serve immediately with pita chips or pita bread wedges.
*Add feta cheese if you are not keeping a dairy-free diet

~ Marla Meridith