I have so much looked forward to my 1 o’clock meal every day this week.  It’s been a while since I’ve been this overjoyed about eating lunch, but it’s just that good! It’s hugely flavorful, filling and packed full of all the good stuff.

My Turkey “Skinikopita” was inspired by a Greek snack called Spanakopita (pronounced span-a-KO-pee-ta). Spanakopita is a pastry usually served as a snack or appetizer that consists of spinach, cheese and spices. Traditionally, spanakopita uses layers of phyllo or puff pastry dough, coated with butter or olive oil and baked to hold the cheesy, spinach filling. Sounds like a serious gut-buster, huh. And if you have ever worked with phyllo dough, you know that it requires copious amounts of butter/olive oil to get the most out of the dough. Certainly not conducive to the lifestyle we are living!

This recipe still boasts the bright, bold flavors that is Greek food, but doesn’t weigh you down…not even a little bit. Enjoy this with a side of Mediterranean Quinoa and Tzatziki Sauce. You may even want to stuff all three into a homemade whole wheat pita pocket.

Turkey Skinikopita

Turkey Skinikopita

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Ground Turkey (Chicken works too)
  • 2 boxes Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 3 – 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 t dried Oregano
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Feta Cheese, for topping

Directions:

Defrost the spinach, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can and set aside.

Add olive oil to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the turkey to the pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add Onions and peppers and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add Garlic and cook for another minute. Add the spinach.  Be sure to separate the spinach as you place it in the pan, don’t just dump the whole spinach ball in there or it will be really hard to un-clump it.

And that’s it! Super easy.

Tzatziki

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ – 1 Seedless Cucumber (Hot House or English)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, grated (use a Microplane if you have one)
  • 1 t White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 t Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 1 t Dill
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Peel the cucumber then grate on a box grater, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside. Mix the yogurt, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and spices. Incorporate the cucumber into the yogurt mixture and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Mediterranean Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Quinoa
  • ½ cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Red Bell Bepper
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 6 oz Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Cut the vegetables into strips, or whatever shape you would like them to be in.  Place on a sheet pan then, lightly toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 10 – 15 minutes. Give the veg a good stir/flip half-way through the roasting.

Meanwhile, pour the dry quinoa in a mesh strainer, a bowl will work too. Gently wash the quinoa, the same way you would wash rice. Quinoa can be bitter if you do not first wash it. Bring the chicken stock and water to a boil, add the quinoa, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Toss the roasted veg in with the quinoa and season to taste.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Adapted from the BrownEyedBaker

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T Honey
  • 1 T Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups Water, roughly at room temperature
  • 2 T Olive Oil

Directions:

Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place the ball on a work surface, such as a cutting board, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you are using an electric mixer, mix it at low speed for 10 minutes.

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough. You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick – 6 inches in diameter. If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes. If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary.

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