Effie's Food Corner

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Mini meatball & potato soup April 22, 2012

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Main dishes,Recipes — lillagreca @ 12:18 pm
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Soup is such a versatile meal and usually very easy to prepare since it virtually cooks itself…You can easily substitute one ingredient for another or add more or less of a certain ingredient…it’s all up to you really… I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and soup is a wonderful way of combining different ingredients, and I’m almost always pleased with the results. In this case I took your basic tomato/vegetable soup and added mini meatballs to it..I love meatballs, and I love soup…perfect!

(8 servings)


500 g (1 lb) ground beef
4 medium sized potatoes (peeled and cubed)
2 ribs of celery (peeled and finely chopped)
2 large yellow onions (diced)
2 l (2 qts) water
5 dl (2 c) frozen peas
300 g (10 oz) canned corn (drained)
400 g (14 oz) canned mixed beans (rinsed and drained)
500 g  (18 oz) strained tomatoes
3 tbsp concentrated beef stock
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp fresh or frozen parsley (finely chopped)
1 tbsp fresh or frozen chives (finely chopped)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper


1 tsp fresh or frozen chives (finely chopped)/serving
1 tbsp crème fraîche or sour cream/serving

1. In a large pot over high heat, bring water, butter and stock to a boil.
2. Add potatoes and reduce heat to medium.
3. Prepare the meatballs by mixing the ground beef with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
4. Using your hands, roll the meatballs into 2.5 cm/1 in balls.

5. Put the meatballs into the pot along with the onions, celery, peas, corn, beans, and strained tomatoes.
6. After 20-25 minutes, add herbs and give the soup a gentle stir.
7. Cook for 20-25 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
8. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream in the middle and chives on top.

(Tip: Don’t like beans or peas? Substitute them with more potatoes. )


Thai-style salmon in coconut sauce with vegetables April 20, 2012

Well, it’s been a while again…I had some major problems with my computer, but I’m back on track now!  🙂

Anyone in the mood for Asian food? Instead of calling your local take out place, you can whip this meal up in no time, and it looks, tastes, and smells great! Plus it’s healthier and MSG-free… Break out your chopsticks everybody!

(6 servings)


500g (18 oz) skinless, boneless salmon fillets (cut into bite size pieces)
400 g (14 oz) frozen stir fry vegetables (thawed)
500 ml (17 fl. oz) coconut milk
1 lime (zest + juice)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp concentrated seafood stock
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp curry powder
0.5 tsp chili powder
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp black pepper


1 tsp fresh or frozen coriander leaves (finely chopped)
1 tsp ginger root (grated or very finely chopped)
1 red chili pepper (seeded and finely chopped)

1. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, bring coconut milk, tomato paste, seafood stock, lime zest, paprika, curry powder, and chili powder to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and give the sauce a good stir.
3. Add the salmon and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
4. Add salt, black pepper, lime juice, and thawed vegetables.
5. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring gently, until the vegetables are heated through.
6. Serve with noodles (or jasmine rice if you prefer).
7. Garnish with coriander, ginger root, and chili.


Beef and Veggie Skillet November 12, 2011

Filed under: Brunch,Dinner,Lunch,Main dishes,Recipes — lillagreca @ 6:41 pm
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I’m finally back after a very long absence due to many different factors, which I won’t bore you with…With me I have a whole bunch of recipes that I’m going to share with you starting today! 🙂 This recipe is the result of a game I like to call “Effie’s Food Roulette”, which means that  I look in the fridge/freezer/cabinets and pick out a few ingredients that I think go well together and make something out of them! It’s a very easy meal to prepare and it tastes great too!  You can make this for lunch, brunch or dinner and serve it with rice, pasta or potatoes…It will feed a small army (or 6 people….😀)

(4-6 servings)


500 g (1 lb) ground beef
1.25 dl (½ c) dried red lentils (rinsed and sorted through)
1 large red, yellow, or green bell pepper (diced)
1 large yellow or red onion (finely chopped)
1 300 g (10 oz) can of corn (drained)
1 300 g (10 oz) can of sliced mushrooms (with liquid)
1 tbsp olive oil
1.25 dl (½ c) vegetable stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
0.5 tsp dried oregano
0.5 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp fresh or frozen chives (finely chopped)
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp ground black pepper

1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add 1 tsp of salt, and cook the lentils for 5 minutes or until tender. Be careful not to overcook them, they will turn to mush.
2. Rinse lentils under cold water, drain, and set aside.
3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet.
4. Add the beef, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden fork, a spatula with holes in it, or a potato masher.
5. When the meat starts to brown, add the bell pepper and the onion and cook until tender.
6. Add the mushrooms with liquid, the vegetable stock, tomato paste, dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
7. Give it a good stir and simmer over medium heat for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly.
8. Add lentils, corn, and chives and cook over low heat until heated through, a couple of minutes.
9. Serve with rice, pasta or potatoes (fries, wedges, mashed, etc.. this goes well with everything.)

(Tip: The mushrooms can be omitted, substitute the mushrooms with more bell pepper, corn or lentils and the mushroom liquid with 1.25 dl (½ c) water.)


Chicken with Cashew and Peanut Sauce July 13, 2011

If you’re like me and love asian food then you are going to really like this dish. It is so easy to prepare and it looks, smells and tastes amazing! Make your own take out in no time without the unnecessary MSG! 

(4-6 servings)


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into strips or bite size pieces)
1 bag (500 g/1 lb) frozen stir fry vegetables (thawed)
300 g (10.5 oz) canned bamboo shoots
3 cloves of garlic (grated or very finely chopped)
1 (5 cm/2 in) piece of fresh ginger root (peeled and grated)
1.25 dl (½ c) roasted salted cashews (crushed or finely chopped)
1.25 dl (½ c) roasted salted peanuts (crushed or finely chopped)
1 tbsp concentrated chicken stock + 2.5 dl (1 c) water
1-2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp corn starch

1. Heat peanut oil over medium-high heat in a large nontick skillet.
2. Put the chicken in the pan and cook until the meat is cooked all the way through. Don’t crowd the pan though, fry the chicken in batches. Set chicken aside for a few minutes.
3. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for a minute.
4. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the nuts, the chicken stock + water, the soy sauce, and the sesame oil. Give everything a good stir and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the chicken, the thawed vegetables, and the bamboo shoots. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Dissolve the corn starch in 1-1½ tbsp water and add to the pan to thicken the sauce (over low heat).
7. As soon as the sauce thickens, remove from heat.
8. Serve with jasmine rice or noodles.


Potato and Tuna Salad July 8, 2011

Now that summer’s here and it’s so hot that you can’t bear to stand in a hot kitchen all day, a nice, cold salad is the way to go! It’s so easy to throw this salad together and it will feed an army! 🙂 It has a flavorful and tangy olive oil-lemon dressing that will have your tastebuds dancing with joy! Bon Appétit or Kalí Orexi as we say in Greece!

(6-8 servings)

8-10 medium potatoes
400g (14 oz) canned tuna in water or brine (well drained and flaked with a fork)
1 large bell pepper (any color) (diced)
1 large red onion (finely chopped)
2 large tomatoes (diced)
1 small cucumber (diced)
300 g (10 oz) canned corn (drained)
400 g (14 oz) canned kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
20-25 kalamata olives

2-3 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 large lemon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp fresh or frozen basil (finely chopped)
2 tbsp fresh or frozen chives (finely chopped)

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into 0.5 cm (¼ in) slices.
2. Boil them for 10-15 minutes (but don’t overcook them or they’ll crumble while mixing them into the salad)
3. Combine the chopped vegetables, beans, corn, olives, and tuna in a large salad bowl.
4. Mix the dressing ingredients with a fork or whisk and pour into the salad bowl.
5. Add the sliced potatoes and toss carefully until combined with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.


Pasta Magnifica July 7, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Main dishes,Recipes — lillagreca @ 7:16 am
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This is a pasta dish with lots of flavor and color and it’s super easy to make…Just a few simple steps to follow and presto! Dinner is served! 🙂 Your dinner guests will be impressed and they’ll thank you for serving them this heavenly meal!

(4 servings)


500 g (1 lb) pasta of your choice

250 g (½ lb) diced bacon
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
1 large bell pepper (any color) (diced)
300 g (10 oz) canned sliced mushrooms (with liquid)
15-20 Kalamata olives (pitted and finely chopped)
1.5 tbsp concentrated beef stock
2-3 tbsp olive oil
200 g (7 oz) feta cheese (cubed)
2 tbsp tomato paste + 1.25 dl (½ c) water
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh or frozen basil

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1-2 tsp of salt, and cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet.
3. Put the bacon in the pan and cook until brown and crispy.
4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender.
5. Add the mushrooms with liquid, the olives, the beef stock, the tomato paste+water, salt, pepper and herbs and stir well.
6. Simmer for 10-15 minutes over low-medium heat.
7. When the sauce is just about ready, add the feta cheese and stir it in gently..you don’t want feta cheese purée.
8. Toss pasta with sauce.
9. Serve with extra basil on top, garlic bread, and a fresh salad.

(Tip: If you don’t like the smokey flavor of bacon (personally I love it), then you can substitute the bacon with pancetta.)


Greek egg and potato scramble April 5, 2011

This is a very easy meal that you can make for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner…What time you eat/serve it is entirely up to you! It doesn’t take long to prepare either and it is very filling so you won’t find yourself with the munchies half an hour later… 🙂

(2 servings)


4 medium sized potatoes (peeled and cut into 1.5 cm/0.5 in thick strips)
6 eggs (beaten with 1 tsp salt and 0.5 tsp black pepper)
1 large red onion (finely chopped)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh or frozen chives (finely chopped)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
2. Fry potatoes and onion until potatoes are golden brown and onion is tender.
3. Season with oregano and more salt and pepper if desired.
4. Pour beaten eggs over potatoes and onions and cook until eggs are set and a little crispy around the edges, stirring occasionally to scramble them.
5. Sprinkle chives on top and serve immediately.

(Tip: Add some crumbled feta cheese to the pan before pouring the eggs over everything for extra saltiness and tanginess. But omit the extra salt in step 3.)


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