Monday, September 10, 2012

Greek Rice Bowls

Greek Rice Bowl

There is a little fast food restaurant near my apartment called Tzatiki Grill. I haven't been, but I hear it is like Chipotle with Greek flavors. I was intrigued by the idea of a "Greek bowl" and after my recent success with Greek nachos, I was ready to try the ingredients in a more portable lunch offering. This is an excellent diversion from the chicken and rice and salsa I normally tote to work for lunch and it feels food to change things up. The rice is based on a recipe I used to make with my mom. She made it in a similar way to fried rice, stir frying day old rice with spinach and plenty of garlic, but I have found a simpler way to make it though chopping spinach never really gets easier. Instead of having the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and onion as separate toppings, I whipped them together for a simple relish/salsa that is excellent on it's own with tortilla or pita chips.

One year ago: Brunch at Cecconi's
Two years ago: Grilled Sausages with Figs and Mixed Greens
Three years ago: Cubano Sandwiches
Four years ago: Sweet Chili Shrimp with Sesame Soy Rice

Greek Rice Bowls
(By Esi)

Makes 4 servings

2 cups spinach rice (recipe follows)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces ground turkey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground turkey cumin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the turkey has cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Spinach Rice
(By Esi)

Makes 2 cups

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white rice
1 3/4 cups water or low sodium chicken stock
Salt to taste
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach (you can use frozen spinach, but make sure the water is completely squeezed out)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and toss to make sure it is coated in the onions, garlic, and oil. Stir constantly until the rice is toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the water and season to taste with salt. Let the mixture come to a boil then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Add the chopped spinach to the pan and use a fork to simultaneously fluff the rice and mix in the spinach.

Tomato, Cucumber, Olive relish (recipe follows)
Tzatziki (homemade or store bought)
Crumbled Feta
Sliced pepperoncini

Tomato, Cucumber, Olive Relish
(By Esi)

Makes about 2 cups

4 Roma tomatoes, seeds scooped out and diced
1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup roughly chopped black olives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Juice from 1 lime
Salt to taste

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, parsley, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

To assemble the bowls: Place 1/2 cup cooked spinach rice at the bottom of each bowl. Top each bowl with 2 ounces of the turkey mixture. Top each serving with tzatiki, tomato relish, feta, and sliced pepperoncini.

Printable Recipe

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Maria said...

love the flavors!

aida mollenkamp said...

I've been wanting to make something like this for a while now so thanks for the added inspiration!

marla said...

Such a delish looking rice bowl!

Heather Christo said...

this looks so great! I love Greek flavors, so i will have to try this!

vanillasugarblog said...

now this is what I love to make huge batches of and eat for dinner all week.
and even breakfast. yes indeed

Unknown said...

ooh, this sounds perfect for dinner assemblies when you get home late! i'm never in the mood to cook then--i want food :)

Joanne said...

I would be much more a fan of this than of chipotle! I love mediterranean flavors.

Gastronomer said...

REALLY smart to turn the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and onion into a salsa. Chopping's fun and all, but that's a lot of choppin'!

Banana Wonder said...

Are you sure you're not Greek? Love this mash up!

The Squishy Monster said...

I love your blog! And that spanish rice? I could eat buckets of it...great looking dish =D

lisa is cooking said...

I want this for lunch! The toppings and the relish sound great. Love the sliced pepperoncini and feta on top.