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Baby Shower Menu: Greek Themed With a Challenge

Hello all. I am planning a baby shower and because of the (Orthodox) Easter holiday, we need to create a menu that is lenten, i.e. no dairy/meat products, for those that are abstaining. I was wondering if anyone had any good recipes for the following items:

eggplant salad
spinach rice

Also, we plan to do shrimp and chicken kebabs. Can anyone recommend good marinades and the best way to cook these ahead and keep them warm?

Many thanks : )

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  1. We love this tandoori chicken recipe from Cooking LIght: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

    It would be easy to turn into kebabs.

    You could make your own pita-I'm doing that myself right now, dough rising as I type so I can't tell you how it'll taste.

    I love this baklava recipe from Moosewood-it has the unusual apricot curd layer that really cuts the sweetness: http://books.google.com/books?id=RIZU...

    1. sorry, posted before I finished. I wonder if you could grill them ahead and then keep them in a crockpot or chafing dish to keep warm?

      I like this hummus recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
      (Oddly enough, I've also had luck subbing peanut butter for tahini when I've been out of tahini).

      1. The Barefoot Contessa has a fantastic marinade from grilled shrimp - it's incredible every time. I'm not sure of the exact proportions, but it has parsley, basil, garlic, dry mustard, olive oil - it's probably on line somewhere. For chicken, I cube it (and this works for either breasts or thighs) and then marinate it in lime juice mixed with garlic, salt and pepper and something we get here called Cavendar's Greek Seasoning. If you look for greek seasoning mix in your supermarket, there are several that work. I suspect it's a combo of thyme, rosemary and oregano. Don't marinate for more than 1/2 hour, because it will start to cook the chicken. There is no oil in this marinade, but you don't need it. HAve a wonderful shower!

        1. You could also make vegetarian stuffed grape leaves. (Many years ago I used to make a recipe from a cookbook called "Vegetarian Epicure." Is anyone else here old enough to still have that?)

          2 Replies
          1. re: NYCkaren

            I have an awesome recipe for vegetarian stuffed vine leaves - currants, pine nuts, yummy. I'll look for it if you are interested.

            1. re: NYCkaren

              I still have that book!! Used to make a lot from it back in the 70s.

            2. I don't have recipes to recommend but wanted to suggest lemon potatoes for your menu. They're so tasty and would be lenten.

              1. cheese tortellini salad with feta fresh or dried mint lemon vinaigrette,
                add dice of tri colored peppers. dice of red onion, crumble more feta and add grape leaves cut in half to garnish. very tasty and filling.

                red potato, marinated artichokes and haricot vert string beans with some whole grain mustard makes a great salad and you could add shrimp or tuna to make a niscoise like salad (and black olives)

                  1. Greek peas with dill is a classic dish that I love.

                    Also, saganaki might be fun. It takes a little work, and you have find exactly the right cheese, but it's worth it. Great to serve by itself or with a great bread.

                    1. Please, please, please don't buy store bought hummus. We had a bunch of people over last week and it was a kind of pot luck although I did all of the heavy cooking. When someone asked to bring hummus my wife knew the look on my face as this is something that I do well and rarely like anybody else's. Someone brought some store bought that was vile. Even the Sabra was pretty gross compared to what you can do at home.

                      Hummus. Making your own chickpeas in a pressure cooker is best but canned will work very well
                      For every ~15 oz can of chickpeas drained add the juice of one lemon, about 1 clove of garlic smashed with salt to form a pate, 2 Tbs of tahini, we like a tsp of ground cumin and a little olive oil in the mix. I know that is blastphamy to some who feel the olive oil only belongs on the top but it gives it a smooth rich taste. Adjust the lemnon or garlic to your taste. Process it all in a food processor or blender until very smooth. A little water can be added to adjust the thickness.

                      I know you asked for eggplant salad but I have a killer eggplant dip

                      Israeli Eggplant dip

                      The secret to the smoky taste is to grill the eggplant until the skin is blackened and it is cooked through. Using wood chips in your gas grill will help to boost the smoky taste in the dish.

                      2 medium to large eggplants
                      2 Tbs tahini
                      1 small clove of garlic mashed with salt
                      The juice of ½ to 1 lemon
                      A dash of sugar if the eggplant is too astringent.
                      ½ to ¾ cup of mayo. I used light

                      Lightly oil the eggplants and grill until the skin is fully blackened all around and the flesh is cooked through. May take 20 min or so. Remove when done and place in large bowl to cool. The eggplants will exude a thick liquid. Dump it out a few times while waiting for the eggplants to cool. When cool pour off any liquid and remove flesh and scrape skin and add to food processor. I like to add a fair amount of charred skin as well. Add the other ingredients and process. Taste and season accordingly.
                      The mayo sounds weird but the results are fantastic.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        These recipes sound just great. I will not be buying the hummus. I have never found one that I like either. The eggplant dip sounds good. Any thoughts on a substitution for the the mayo? Would a soy mayo work? I have never tasted any, but heard it's not too bad.