Tag Archives: gyros

Greek Rice

You know those packaged rice and pasta side dishes, like Rice-a-Roni or the RiceSides? My family ate a fair amount of those growing up, and I remember loving them.  My favorite was a rice pilaf that my mom would always serve with fish. It was very simple, but still seasoned and flavorful. I’ve always wanted to recreate it on my own, but never found a recipe that I loved.

Enter this Greek rice. It is the perfect cross between that packaged rice pilaf and the rice side they serve at my favorite Greek restaurant. It is the perfect side dish for fish (like tilapia with tomatoes), gyros, or even just some grilled chicken or veggies. Enjoy!

Greek Rice (Serves 4)

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1 teaspoon olive oil (omit if using rice cooker)
½ cup thinly sliced or chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water (you may need more)
1 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, or dill
half of a lemon

Stovetop directions:
1. Heat olive oil in medium to large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to soften. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Add rice, water, herbs, juice of the lemon. Toss the lemon rind into the pot as well.

2. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, until rice is done and water is evaporated. Stir occasionally to make sure rice isn’t burning. You may need to add more water to prevent burning. Add it ¼ cup at a time. Remove lemon rind before serving.

Rice cooker directions:

1. Add all ingredients to rice cooker (omit olive oil). Set to cook. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until rice is done and water is evaporated. Stir occasionally to make sure rice isn’t burning. You may need to add more water to prevent burning. Add it ¼ cup at a time. Remove lemon rind before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 193
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 4 mg

Recipe Notes: I have used both sliced and chopped onions. I preferred the chopped since they blended into the rice better. Sliced are more visually apparent, if you have people who want to know there are onions in the rice. My favorite combo was thyme and rosemary. But you can adapt this with any herbs you like or have on hand. If you are using dried herbs – which is fine – decrease it to 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons total herbs.

Source: adapted from online

Low iodine adjustment: No adjustment needed. Enjoy!

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Gyros

I once heard someone say, “I could be a vegetarian except for the occasional order of chicken fingers.”  I think I would modify that statement for steak, but possibly beef in general.  Don’t get me wrong, I love vegetarian dishes (as the significant number on this site will attest) as well as chicken, pork, and fish.  And I’m a big advocate for healthy food.  But a steak or a delicious burger just hits the spot sometimes, you know?

When I first moved to Chicago, I lived near Greektown.  My classmates and I occasionally got gyros.  They got them as great food for a hangover.  I got them because it hit all those wonderful notes of a great burger and then some.  But they were grease bombs, and we knew it.  Lots of napkins were required, and not in a good way.

This sandwich gives you that juicy, beefy flavor without a ton of grease or guilt.  I know traditional gyros are made with lamb, but I love this flank steak version.  And I could eat the condiments for this completely on their own.  Enjoy!

Gyros (Makes about 4 sandwiches)

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1 pound flank steak
½ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
½ peeled cucumber, shredded (about ¾ cup)
1 (5 ounce) container nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
½ cup chopped fresh dill, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 whole wheat flatbreads or pitas
2 roma tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle steak with ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powered, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Let meat rest and come to room temperature before grilling. Place on grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning after 6 minutes. For medium-rare to medium, cook to 145 degrees. Let meat rest for 5 minutes off of grill. Slice diagonally against the grain into thin slices.

3. While meat is cooking, squeeze shredded cucumber between towels to remove excess moisture. Combine cucumber, yogurt, remaining salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons of fresh dill and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

4. Toss onion, oil, remaining lemon juice, and remaining dill together. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.

5. Divide steak evenly between pitas, topping with cucumber sauce, onion, and sliced tomatoes.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Sandwich):

Calories: 313
Protein: 32 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 80 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 499 mg

Recipe Notes: I forgot to buy gas for my outdoor grill and do not own a grill pan. I cooked the steak on a griddle set at about 350-400. Even if you are normally a well-done kind of person with steak, flank steak is not the time for well done. A solid medium is as far as I would take it, otherwise it gets VERY tough and chewy. Don’t be afraid of the fresh dill. It is not my favorite herb, and I usually find it overpowering. In here, it is just delightful. Promise.

Recipe source: only slightly adapted from Cooking Light

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