culinary exploration

Follow me through the adventures that take place in my kitchen, in restaurants or in other kitchens. Cooking and food are my passions and I want to share my experiences of cooking, baking and eating with you.
I'm a Greek self-taught cook who lives in Chicago. I learned a lot about cooking from both of my grandmothers, my mom and dad, family and friends. Passing on timeless traditions through food is one thing I strive to do in life.

These are my journeys through culinary exploration...

clraptis (at) gmail (dot) com
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Sep 26
Healthy Eats Brown Bag Challenge (WEEK 4)
It’s the last week of the challenge and I’m proud to say I’ve stuck with it so far.  Even the week I was in Vegas for 3 days - I brought Larabars, almonds and banana chips to eat instead of hitting the casino buffet. 
Since I always do make-ahead lunches on Sundays for the upcoming week, I made one of my favorite salads.  My mom had a strict rule that no matter what we were having for dinner, even if we were having pizza or grabbed some chinese take-out in a pinch, we HAD to have a salad with dinner.  A good habit to have as a kid because I find myself now as an adult always ordering a salad with dinner at restaurants (and inevitably eating less of my meal as a result of filling up on something green first). 
This salad is what we Greeks call a village salad.  A true Greek salad.  As you can see - NO LETTUCE.  That’s right.  It’s the simplest, easiest salad to make and in my opinion, the tastiest. 
Here’s what you do: chop up tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion then throw together in a bowl.  Toss in some crumbled feta, season with salt, pepper, and oregano, then finish off with some extra virgin olive oil (Greek olive oil preferably).  Stir and you’re ready to go!  I know, there’s no measurements… but if you were to ask my Yiayia (“grandma” in Greek) she would give you the same “recipe” so I figured I would stick to her style!  :)
That’s my lunch for the last week of the challenge.  Check out what these fabulous bloggers brought in their brown bags:
Chez Us: Lentil SaladEssentials of Nutrition: Brown-Bag Challenge, Break Room Not RequiredThe Undercover Cook: Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Baked PotatoesThis Imperfect Plot: Week 4 (and a BBC side effect: weight loss)Confessions of a Curious Cuisiniere: What Does Your Sandwich Say About You?I Brown Bag: Brown-Bag Challenge, Day-by-DayCarmen Fitness: Brown-Bag Challenge, Going StrongFamily Fresh Cooking: Top Ten Best Lunch-Packing TipsCanadian Mother Musings: Caught NOT Brown-Bagging ItBoysNBerry: Sandwiches … and a Not-so-Great Frozen BurritoFeeding Philosophers: Lovely LegumesHealthy Plates: Vegetable Beef SoupHealthy Kitschy Vegan: PeaceAli Girl Cooks: Brown-Bag Shake-UpAll Things Splendid: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-ChiliCity Life Eats: Day 16 and a Recap of This Week’s LunchesCooking Channel: Monkeying Around Lunch BoxReve Noir: Brown-Bag Challenge Day 9, Repeat AgainThe Garden Ephemerist: Brown BaggedAdventures in Every Day: Brown-Bag RecapEating Omily: My Lunch Story
Nutritious Daily: Easy, Peasy PastaChick Bike: Brown-Bag Challenge Days 15 & 16

Healthy Eats Brown Bag Challenge (WEEK 4)

It’s the last week of the challenge and I’m proud to say I’ve stuck with it so far.  Even the week I was in Vegas for 3 days - I brought Larabars, almonds and banana chips to eat instead of hitting the casino buffet. 

Since I always do make-ahead lunches on Sundays for the upcoming week, I made one of my favorite salads.  My mom had a strict rule that no matter what we were having for dinner, even if we were having pizza or grabbed some chinese take-out in a pinch, we HAD to have a salad with dinner.  A good habit to have as a kid because I find myself now as an adult always ordering a salad with dinner at restaurants (and inevitably eating less of my meal as a result of filling up on something green first). 

This salad is what we Greeks call a village salad.  A true Greek salad.  As you can see - NO LETTUCE.  That’s right.  It’s the simplest, easiest salad to make and in my opinion, the tastiest. 

Here’s what you do: chop up tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion then throw together in a bowl.  Toss in some crumbled feta, season with salt, pepper, and oregano, then finish off with some extra virgin olive oil (Greek olive oil preferably).  Stir and you’re ready to go!  I know, there’s no measurements… but if you were to ask my Yiayia (“grandma” in Greek) she would give you the same “recipe” so I figured I would stick to her style!  :)

That’s my lunch for the last week of the challenge.  Check out what these fabulous bloggers brought in their brown bags:

Chez Us: Lentil Salad
Essentials of Nutrition: Brown-Bag Challenge, Break Room Not Required
The Undercover Cook: Buffalo Chicken-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
This Imperfect Plot: Week 4 (and a BBC side effect: weight loss)
Confessions of a Curious Cuisiniere: What Does Your Sandwich Say About You?
I Brown Bag: Brown-Bag Challenge, Day-by-Day
Carmen Fitness: Brown-Bag Challenge, Going Strong
Family Fresh Cooking: Top Ten Best Lunch-Packing Tips
Canadian Mother Musings: Caught NOT Brown-Bagging It
BoysNBerry: Sandwiches … and a Not-so-Great Frozen Burrito
Feeding Philosophers: Lovely Legumes
Healthy Plates: Vegetable Beef Soup
Healthy Kitschy Vegan: Peace
Ali Girl Cooks: Brown-Bag Shake-Up
All Things Splendid: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chili
City Life Eats: Day 16 and a Recap of This Week’s Lunches
Cooking Channel: Monkeying Around Lunch Box
Reve Noir: Brown-Bag Challenge Day 9, Repeat Again
The Garden Ephemerist: Brown Bagged
Adventures in Every Day: Brown-Bag Recap
Eating Omily: My Lunch Story

Nutritious Daily: Easy, Peasy Pasta
Chick Bike: Brown-Bag Challenge Days 15 & 16


  1. greciankitchen posted this