Chicken Feta Tostadas

 

Chicken Feta Tostadas

Chicken Feta Tostadas are baked tortillas topped with chicken, feta cheese and other ingredients that have been marinated in red wine vinegar and olive oil before being added to the tortillas. The other ingredients include chopped Roma tomatoes, chopped parsley and chopped black olives. Chicken Feta Tostadas give a fresh Greek twist to Mexican tortillas!

Immersing food in a marinade for a period of time is a great way to give food a flavor boost. In the recipe for Chicken Feta Tostadas the marinade is red wine vinegar (an acid), olive oil and spices. For more on marinades you may wish to read my post on Marinades as Flavor Intensifiers at http://www.silverfoodie.com/2015/07/25/marinades-as-flavor-intensifiers/.

The Lunch Doldrums


I must confess that I have recently had “menu fatigue” in regards to lunch. Too often we have sandwiches with the same fillings: ham and cheese, egg salad, sliced turkey and cheese, chicken salad, tuna salad, BLT’s, grilled cheese, pimento cheese and REPEAT! Not that there’s anything wrong with any of these sandwiches but I just get tired of the same things and desire something new. This summer I’ve decided to expand my lunch menu rotation to include something other than sandwiches and perhaps cure my case of “menu fatigue.”

Supper (or dinner depending on where you live) is a different story. I often try new dishes at our evening meal. But I definitely need to escape from the “comfort zone” of sandwiches and add some new dishes to the noon meal plan!

The Recipe for Chicken Feta Tostadas

Chicken Feta Tostadas
Serves 4
A baked tortilla topped with feta cheese, chicken, and marinated tomatoes, parsley and black olives.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 pound Roma (plum) tomatoes
  2. 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  3. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  4. 1 pound roasted chicken (boneless)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  7. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  8. 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing tortillas
  9. 8 small or 4 large flour tortillas
  10. 1/2 pound feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, parsley, chicken, salt, pepper, vinegar and 3 tablespoons oil.
  3. Brush the tortillas on both sides with oil and then put them on baking sheets, overlapping if necessary.
  4. Bake the tortillas until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the tortillas and brown the other side, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and top each tortilla with an equal amount of feta cheese. Return the baking sheets to the oven; cook until the cheese is just melting, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Top the tortillas with the chicken mixture.
Notes
  1. A fruit salad or fresh fruit would be an easy and complementary accompaniment.
Adapted from Quick from Scratch Chicken
Adapted from Quick from Scratch Chicken
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

 Additional Comments

If you’re short on time, use rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store. For this recipe, I cooked the chicken quickly by first cutting several chicken breasts into cubes, sprinkling them with some spices (cumin, garlic salt and Montreal steak seasoning) and cooking them in my stovetop grill pan, which I use frequently.

The chicken for the Chicken Feta Tostadas could be grilled outdoors, roasted or stewed. The chicken may be shredded also. I didn’t shred the chicken since it was already cut in small cubes.

I used a pizza cutter to cut the Chicken Feta Tostadas into 4 pieces for serving. Large “Burrito-sized” tortillas were used in this recipe but use the size you wish. A small tortilla would probably be easier for a child to manage and eat.

A menu suggestion to complement the Chicken Feta Tostadas would be to serve fresh fruit or fruit salad as an accompaniment.

Try something new for lunch soon – especially if you’re in the “Lunch Doldrums” like me!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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Eggplant Parmesan – A Healthier Version

Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is a popular Italian dish in which slices of eggplant are typically dipped in egg, rolled in bread crumbs and fried in oil, before being combined with tomato sauce, spices, and cheeses, then baked. In this recipe for Healthier Eggplant Parmesan, slices of eggplant are dipped in milk, then rolled in a mixture of bread crumbs and wheat germ, combined with tomato sauce and cheeses, then baked. The wheat germ has a somewhat nutty taste which enhances the flavor of the bread crumbs.

Eggplant has a spongy texture which is absorbent and when fried eggplant soaks up a lot of oil. When eggplant slices are baked instead of fried, Eggplant Parmesan becomes lighter as well as lower in fat.

In many recipes, eggplant fulfils the role of being a complementary ingredient that balances the surrounding flavors of the more pronounced ingredients. Eggplant holds an esteemed place in the cuisines of Italy, Greece, Turkey and France.

Some Eggplant Facts

Eggplant is called “aubergine” in France and in British English. Eggplants are the edible fruit of the Nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, sweet potatoes and potatoes. It has long been prized for its deeply purple, glossy beauty and its unique taste and texture. Eggplants are available in markets year round but are best from August through October when they are “in season.” Eggplant is available in several colors and sizes in addition to the traditional purple variety. Leading growers of eggplant include Italy, Turkey, Egypt, China and Japan. 

Eggplant offers some good nutrition, too. One cup of eggplant contains only 35 calories and they have a low glycemic index. Phytonutrients, many of which have anti-oxidant activity, are found in eggplant. Also found in eggplant are dietary fiber, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-6, copper, manganese, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K.

Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny, and their color vivid. Eggplant should be free of discoloration, scars and bruises, which usually indicate the flesh beneath has become damaged or possibly decayed.

To test for ripeness, gently press the skin with your thumb. If it springs back, the eggplant is ripe, if an indentation remains, it is not. Eggplants are very perishable and should be stored with care. Don’t cut eggplant until you’re ready to use it. Store in the refrigerator. Wash eggplant before using and cut off the ends. Eggplant can be eaten with or without the skin. If the skin is tough, as is sometimes the case with a large eggplant or one of the white variety, peel the skin before cutting the eggplant.

The Recipe for Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

Healthier Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 8
A lighter, healthier version of traditional Eggplant Parmesan which features baked eggplant slices instead of fried.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large eggplant
  2. 3/4 cup milk
  3. 2 cups fine bread crumbs or wheat germ or a combination of the two
  4. 1 teaspoon basil
  5. 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  6. 48 oz. bottled Spaghetti Sauce (or use your own Italian Tomato Sauce)
  7. 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
  8. 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  9. 16 oz. Ricotta cheese (whole or part-skim milk)
  10. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil two baking pans or use pan spray.
  2. Slice eggplant into 1/2" thick slices. Place the milk in a shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs and wheat germ (if using), basil and Italian seasoning. Dip each eggplant slice into the milk, then roll in the crumbs. Spread the coated slices of eggplant on the baking pans and bake until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Use pan spray or oil a 9" x 13" pan. Ladle some spaghetti or tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add a layer of eggplant slices and cover with more sauce. Sprinkle some mozzarella over the sauce, then repeat the with a layer of eggplant slices and tomato sauce.
  5. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and egg. Spread mixture on top of tomato sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Fresh basil may be added to the topping mixture and/or the crumb mixture for additional flavor.
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

 I hope you enjoy this healthier version of Eggplant Parmesan! Make some soon for your family!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet

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For a list of Link Parties in which I participate weekly, click on “Link Parties” on the header menu bar.

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