Greek food makes an appearance every so often in my kitchen. Moussaka, spanakopita and seitan gyros in home made pita bread are some of our favourite Greek dishes that I make on a semi regular basis. One of our highest rotation recipes from Vegan Eats World is Terry Hope Romero's oven roasted gyros made with chickpea and olive seitan because my fellows adore it and request it often. Despite being an avid hater of olives, it's the only meal where the young man will eat them as their strong flavour blends into the seitan so they are barely detectable. When Greece was drawn it was no surprise that I was hounded for gyros wraps to be on the menu again. On this occasion I made a similar tofu based garlic sauce to one I've previously posted about and added a touch of fresh dill.
All of the Greek recipes from Vegan Eats World that I tested were full of flavour and thoroughly enjoyed. I didn't get the chance to try Yemista (capsicums and tomatoes stuffed with rice) during testing and I still hadn't made anything new since the book arrived so I was well overdue for branching out into a new dish. Yemista take a little while to prepare although there was plenty of slack time whilst they were baking in the oven. The dill and mint flavoured rice filling was lovely and the Yemista paired wonderfully with some left-over oven roasted gyros and pita bread. This is another fantastic Greek recipe from Terry!
After flicking through World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan, I found some Greek recipes and picked out a Gigante bean and chard stew as I knew it would please the man. Due to time limitations I wasn't very faithful to the recipe. The tofu feta was omitted, the silverbeet/chard was simmered in the stew rather than pre-cooking it separately and as I cooked it on the stovetop rather than in the oven, it didn't make sense to top it with breadcrumbs. The use of tinned lima beans would have made this meal an even speedier process. It was still a very tasty meal with these changes, the flavour of the dill was the highlight amongst the onions, tomatoes, beans and silverbeet/chard. A slice of toasted olive bread from Crumbs Organic Bakehouse was the perfect tool to clean our plates with.
Gigante bean and silverbeet stew (Adapted from World Vegan Feast)
250g dried lima beans or 2 x 400g tins lima beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 spring onions, chopped
2 cups vegan "chicken" stock
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 bunch silverbeet/chard leaves, washed well and chopped
If using dried lima beans, place them in a large bowl, cover well with water and allow to soak for at least 8 hours. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Place the beans in a saucepan and fill with water so there is about 5cm of water above the beans. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender (mine took about 2 hours).
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and fry the onions and spring onions until they have softened and are beginning to brown. Add the drained beans, "chicken" stock, tomatoes, dill, salt and pepper. Stir through the chopped silverbeet/chard in batches until each batch has softened and reduced in size slightly. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes.
Did you know?
Greece is the world’s third leading producer of olives. The Greeks have been cultivating olive trees since ancient times and there are some olive trees still producing olives that were planted in the thirteenth century.