Delicious summer tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional sausage

Delicious summer tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional sausage

The other day I was preparing my dinner, a rich salad with a boiled egg and some lovely crunchy slices of bread and one of my roomates asked me "Ah you are on diet?". "Umm no, I eat eat what I would normally eat.", I replied. It's true that my Mediterranean cuisine dietary habits fall into the category of "healthy food" or "are you on a diet?". For me it's just my "everyday meal". But this didn't come from one day to another, from a yound age, for example, I know that no meal is complete without a large salad bowl, when my classmates would eat fried fries with ketsap for lunch. In a great future, people should categorize healthy food as their everyday food, as it stands above diets and trends. It is a healthy way of living.

With that said, let me show you the ultimate the healthy summer dish, with a splash of (avoidable) unhealthiness. Tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional saigage. Tourlou is the best way to use large amounts of summer vegetables, before they (hypothetically) going bad in the fridge. You can also prepare a big bunch and refrigerate some portions for busy days when you don't have time to cook.

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Filled eggplants with tomato bulgur & white onion feta sauce in the oven

Filled eggplants with tomato bulgur & white onion feta sauce in the oven

One of the most favorite Greek dishes, are the filled eggplants with a mixture of rice and minced meat and on the top a thick layer of béchamel.  It’s delicious, no one can protest to that. However, today I am gonna show you a bit healthier version of that delicious dish, a vegetarian one.  However, I couldn’t resist and accompanied some of these filled delights with some grilled meat. Only some of them, just to show you all the possibilities. ;) 

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A pesto alternative: with parsley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese

A pesto alternative - with parley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese (via inwhirlofinspiration.com)1

You know what's the funniest thing that I have heard? "Why to experiment with an already perfect recipe and possibly ruin it?" Maybe some people agree with this, but I don't. Who can define a dish as perfect? And why not try making it more perfect? defined it as perfect? And why not try to do it even more perfect?
An already-close-to-perfection recipe. It gives character to many dishes. But it could be modified to fit with the season's vegetable and fruits or with various local products. This alternative pesto recipe contains parsley and strawberries that are everywhere this season, walnuts instead of pine seeds and feta cheese (so cliche Greek) instead of parmesan. And let the summer vibe rush over your dishes.

A pesto alternative - with parley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 3

Ingredients (for 1 bowl pesto):

1 large bunch of parsley
100 gr. of feta cheese
15-20 medium strawberries
2 cloves of garlic
2 handfuls of walnuts
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
oregano, salt and pepper

Procedure:

The process is simple: cutting, cutting and more cutting. You can cut all the ingredients on a large board, starting with the toughest and largest pieces (eg. walnuts and garlic) and continue with the softest ones. Then in a big bowl add the chopped ingredients, the olive oil and spices, stir, taste and add anything that misses according to your taste.
The other method is to mash all ingredients in a blender, so much quicker and cleaner, but I don't like the mashed-all-together outcome.  All textures are mashed together and the color is ehmmm not my favorite. ;) But as you wish, serve over bread as a snack or with savory dishes.

A pesto alternative - with parley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 2

If this version is too experimental for you, you can always return to the old safe classic pesto recipe. And here are three of my favorite ways to serve the pesto: on corn on the cob with feta cheese (omg!), with gnocchi and in a quick santwich tomato, prosciutto and a fried egg. 

Credits | Words & photos: Debbie Kortes

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Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

How to use stale bread: Casserole omelette in the oven with mushrooms and peppers

How to use stale bread: Casserole omelette in the oven with mushrooms and peppers | In Whirl of Inspiration

Do you know what bothers me? The forgotten bread that gets stale and  you have to discard it. Jeez, I hate trowing away food. It's such a pity right? So besides french toast (which is peeerfect!), I found another nice way to take advantage of 4th or 5th day's stale bread. And I don't mean to let it be fungus food, no. I meat using it for casserole omelet in the oven.

Before cooking

Before cooking

Ingredients (for 2 people):

:: 1/2 stale baguette (or any other kind of bread)

:: 3 eggs

:: 1 red pepper

:: 8-10 medium mushrooms

:: olive oil

:: 100 gr. feta cheese

:: rosemary

:: dill

:: salt & ground pepper

Procedure:

Break the bread into pieces and wet it a little bit if it is very hard to break it. Put the crumbs in a small

Chop the peppers and the mushrooms. Whisk 3 eggs and pour the mixture over the chopped vegetables and the bread crumbs, add the olive oil and the spices and mix. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes. When the omelette gets golden brown and fluffy, pull it out and pierce it with a toothpick. If it stays dry your dish is ready. Sprinkle some feta cheese on the top and let it in the oven for 10 more minutes and voila!

Bon appetite!

After cooking :)

After cooking :)

Credits | Text & Photos: Debbie Kortes

9 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Colorful Stew with Cabbage Feta Rolls & Soft Boiled Eggs

Colorful Stew with Cabbage Feta Rolls & Soft Boiled Eggs

Now that you  have perfected your technique in saute cabbage rolls with juicy pleurotus in the their core, it's high time to show you how to embed them in soups too. Not in any soups, but in THE soup. Now that it's cold outside, a soup that combines such rich flavors and gives you the an enjoyable completeness feeling is the new must. So...

Colorful Stew with Cabbage Feta Rolls & Soft Boiled Eggs

Colorful Stew with Cabbage rolls and soft Boiled Eggs

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

:: cabbage leafs (for the rolls)

:: feta cheese (for the rolls)

:: 1 medium potato and 1 sweet potato

:: 300gr of beef (or pork)

:: red peas

:: peas, carrots and corn vegetable mix

:: dried mushrooms

:: 2 eggs

:: sweet paprika, salt, pepper and rosemary

Preparation:

1) "Cook" the cabbage leafs in boiling water for 10''. Remove them and with a dry  paper remove the excess moisture.  Remove the cabbage's stiff part if necessary. In each cabbage leaf place a feta piece and roll tightly. Stick skewers into the cabbage roll, every 1 1/2 inches. Make cuts between the bamboo skewers.

2) Boil the eggs for 6mins and then soak them in icy water.  Remove the shells and cut them lengthwise in half.

3) In the same water that you scalded the cabbage leafs, add the sweet potatoes and plain potatoes pieces, dried mushrooms, the beef and finish with salt pepper, sweet paprika and a little rosemary. Cook for 15' in medium heat. Then add the vegetable mix and the red beans and cook another 5' in low heat. At the end add the cabbage rolls and cook 2' more minutes - enough time for the feta to start melting.  Serve hot and garnish with the soft boiled eggs and some salt and ground pepper. 

Colorful Stew with Cabbage Feta Rolls & Soft Boiled Eggs

Credits: Author & Photos by Deborah Cortes

6 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Saute Cabbage Wrapped Pleurotus Rolls with Feta & Pesto

Saute Cabbage Wrapped Pleurotus Rolls with Feta & Pesto.jpg

The biggest the title, the more mouthwatering the recipe seems right? Well in this case it sure is. This recipe was stuck in my mind, from the moment that I realized that I can't stand wilted vegetables in soups, except for the recipes that require sort of such (like this cuttlefish with spinach recipe). Anyway, I tried them in a delicious soup (coming soon) and then I thought, why not trying them as a meze (a.k.a. side dish or a snack dish)? And they were outstanding this way too.

cabbage spinach and pleurotus mushrooms.jpg
1. On the cabbage leafs place the spinach and the pleurotus spices.

1. On the cabbage leafs place the spinach and the pleurotus spices.

Ingredients (makes 6)

:: cabbage leafs

:: spinach leafs

:: 1 slice of pleurotus mushrooms

:: feta cheese

:: pesto

:: 2 garlic cloves

:: sweet paprica

:: salt & pepper


2. Roll tightly and add the skewers

2. Roll tightly and add the skewers

Preparation:

1) Cook the cabbage and spinach leafs in boiling water for 30''. Remove them and with a dry  paper remove the excess moisture.  Remove the stiff part of the cabbage's if necessary.

2) Place the spinach and the pleurotus mushroom fine strips on the cabbage leaf and roll tightly (pic 1). Stick skewers into the cabbage roll, every 1 1/2 inches (pic 2). Make cuts between the bamboo skewers.

3) In a skillet, on medium heat, add a little olive, the garlic cloves and the rolls. Season with salt and pepper. When the cloves turn golden brown and the rolls become softer than before, they're ready. Stick a piece of feta on the top and season with pesto & sweet paprica. Delicious!

Saute Cabbage Wrapped Pleurotus Rolls with Feta & Pesto.jpg

Credits: Author & Photos by: Debbie Kortes

2 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!