I thought it would be fun to start experimenting with foods from other countries. I live in a small town in the Ozark Mountains and there are not many restaurants from other countries here. I like to cook at home anyway and enjoy experimenting with all the different spices and foods I have never had before.
I thought perhaps you would like to take this journey with me while I am finding the first easy recipes from around the world. Starting with the Mediterranean.
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What countries are included in the Mediterranean area
The Mediterranean usually refers to the Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Which would be Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal on the Northern side. Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon on the East. It also includes African Countries of Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia on the South.
When referring to food most times the Mediterranean is only Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Southern France, but it could be a mixture of any or all of these countries depending on whose point of view it is.
For this post, I chose one recipe from Greece one from Italy and one from Lebanon.
Recipe from Greece
For the recipe from Greece, I chose a beef gyro. I love gyro’s and the tzatziki sauce is amazing. This sauce is full of flavor and the cucumber taste is so refreshing, mix that and the dill with the Greek yogurt. Makes your mouth want to dance!
The Best Beef Gyro's
- 12 Ounces Beef Steak (Sliced in fajita style)
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic)
- 2 tsp Black Pepper (Ground)
- 1 Zest of Lemon
- 1 Tbs Dill
- 1 Tbs Rosemary
- 1 Tbs Oregano
- 1 Tbs Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbs Onion Powder
- 1 Tbs Parsley
- 2 tsp Basil
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Marjoram
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Thyme
- 2 Cups Greek Yogurt (Plain)
- 1 Medium Cucumber
- 1 Tbs Greek Seasoning
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 large Lemon (save zest for greek seasoning)
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or a jar and stir or shake until well mixed
- Add meat and mixture together and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 Hours but preferably 24 hours.
- Place all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to mix ingredients well.
- Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out seeds
- Grate cucumber and place in a strainer over a bowl and let sit 5 Minutes
- Squeeze all water out of the cucumbers
- Add all the Tzatziki Sauce ingredients together and stir to mix all ingredients well
- Place 1Tbs of Olive oil( I get mine here) in the pan on medium heat
- Add meat from marinade to the pan and cook to your desired doneness
Recipes from Italy
I made this recipe from a casserole dish. I added a bunch of (Tuscany) flair to it and it made this wonderfully flavorful soup. Chicken, Alfredo sauce, spinach, mushrooms, and the star sun-dried tomatoes and then add the Tuscany seasoning and we have made this dish something to shout about. I can just tell you it will be hard to wait for it to finish cooking. Try it and see!
- 4 Chicken Breast
- 5 Large Mushrooms sliced (I use Portabella)
- ½ tsp Garlic minced
- 3 Cups Baby Spinach
- ½ Cup Sun-dried tomatoes
- 3½ Cups Chicken Bone Broth
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 12 Ounce Alfredo Sauce
- 2 Tbs Tuscany seasoning (See Below)
- 2 Tbs Garlic Powder
- 2 Tbs Marjoram
- 2 Tbs Thyme
- 1 tsp Basil
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tsp Sage
- Place all ingredient into a mason jar with lid, and shake to blend ingredients well.
- Boil chicken breasts in chicken broth for 20 minutes then remove from broth to cool
- Place all ingredients except spinach and chicken into broth and stir.
- Cut up chicken into bite size pieces and add to broth mixture
- Cook on low heat for at least one hour
- Place spinach in soup and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 Minutes
- Serve with my Artisan Bread (recipe here)
Recipe from Lebanon
Lentils are a staple food in the Middle East. This recipe is so rich with Lentils and vegetables and loads of spice you will Love. It has a little heat with a hint of lime. I am sure it will warm your belly and your heart.
Homemade Lentil Soup
- 1½ Cup Brown Lentils
- 1 Medium Onion Chopped
- 2 Tbs Arrowroot powder
- 6½ Cups Beef bone broth
- 2 Tbs Parsley
- 1 Tbs Mint
- ½ tsp Cilantro
- 1½ tsp Cayenne
- ½ tsp Cumin
- 1 Clove Garlic Chopped
- 1 Whole Lime zested and juiced
- 2 Cups Baby spinach
- Put oil in the pan over med heat and add the onion cook until translucent.
- Make a slurry by warming 1 cup of beef bone broth and adding the arrowroot powder (I get mine here) slowly while mixing. All the powder should be dissolved and not caking on the bottom.
- add the mint, cilantro, cayenne, cumin, parsley, lime zest, and garlic to the slurry and mix well and add to the pan with the onion.
- Add the remaining broth and lentils to the pan. Stirring to mix all ingredients well.
- Turn heat to high and cook 10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and cook until Lentils are done.
- Turn heat off add the spinach put a lid on pan and let sit for 5 Minutes. Add the lime juice just before eating.
Wrapping it up
I hope you have enjoyed a few of my simple recipes from around the world. Don’t miss the rest of the series I will be featuring more at least once a month. I hope you have a better understanding of what the Mediterranean area is and what they have to offer when it comes to food.
The Mediterranean is a very diverse place with loads of flavorful foods. I have enjoyed making these different foods from different parts of the Mediterranean just wonder what I may come up with next.
I hope this gets you interested and whipping up these and more of your Mediterranean foods. See you at the next world food post! For me, it’s Gyro time!! Can you say Yum!!
What are some of your favorite Mediterranean foods? I love to hear from you just leave a comment below.
For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. ~ Proverbs 8:11 KJV