Greek Festival

Yesterday was definitely my cheating day.  Definitely.

Everyone needs a cheating day once in awhile because if you restrict yourself too much then you just end up frustrated and binge eating anyways.  Cheating is okay in my book – as long as its not all the time!

My family is very involved with the Greek Orthodox church community, especially down in the New Bedford area where my dad’s side of the family grew up.  My great uncle is the priest at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in North Dartmouth, and my aunts and uncles are on several committees there.  Back in 2007 the church held a ground-breaking ceremony which kicked off a large construction project for a brand new church building at the new location.  After a lot of hard work, the new church opened in 2009, and after a lot more hard work, the church kicked off their first annual Greek Food Festival this past weekend.

Hence yesterday being my cheating day.

There was SOOOOO much food.

The menu comprised of:

ENTREES

  • Tyropita – Feta cheese filling wrapped in layers of filo
  • Spanikopita – Spinach and feta cheese filling wrapped in layers of filo
  • Dolmades – Seasoned rice filling wrapped in hand picked tender grape leaves
  • Pastichio – Better known as Greek lasagna, this is a mix of macaroni and seasoned beef with a tomato base with Greek herbs and topped with a rich bechamel sauce.
  • Rice Pilaf – Rice seasoned with Greek herbs and steamed in chicken broth.
  • Loukaniko – Traditional Greek sausage with a hint of citrus
  • Chicken Souvlaki – Tender pieces of chicken breast, marinated in olive oil, lemon, Greek spices, and grilled on a skewer to perfection.  This can be served as a sandwich, by itself, or on a bed or rice.
  • Roast Lamb Dinner – Tender leg of lamb, marinated and roasted to perfection with garlic, thyme, and oregano.  Slices are served on a bed of rice pilaf with bread.
  • Gyros – Popular Greek sandwich of lamb and beef sliced thin, served with onions, tomatoes, and garlic tzatziki sauce on pita bread.
  • Chicken Souvlaki Sandwich – Popular Greek sandwich with a skewer of chicken souvlaki, served with onion, tomatoes, and garlic tzatziki sauce on pita bread.
  • Greek Salad – This classis salad consists of lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, olive oil, vinegar, Greek spices, and kalamata olives.
  • Hot Dogs – Self explanatory!

PASTRIES

  • Baklava – Layers and layers of walnuts, filo and butter with a special simple syrup.
  • Koulourakia – A shortbread braided cookie that is not overly sweet and great with coffee.
  • Kourabiedes – A melt in your mouth butter cookie dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Melomakarona / Finikia – An orange spiced cookie dipped in honey and sprinkled with walnuts.
  • Almond Rolls – Almond filling rolled in filo with a sweet syrup and dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Galatoboureko – A milk and farina mixture rolled in filo cooked to a golden brown.  A sweet syrup completes this delicious sweet.
  • Loukoumades – Fried dumplings covered with warm honey and cinnamon sugar.  A deliciously fresh and light pastry.
  • Baklava Sundaes – Vanilla ice cream with baklava and your choice of honey or chocolate syrup with whipped cream.

BEVERAGES

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Greek Coffee
  • Ouzo Soda
  • Greek Iced Frappe
  • Draft Beer
  • Wine

Clearly, lots of low fat / low carb options!  :)

I started off my meal with a Greek salad.

Sometimes my friends tell me I’m a fake Greek because I don’t like kalamata olives.  Also because I don’t speak Greek and because my parents don’t own a pizza parlor.  But mainly the olives.  I picked those off my salad.  Yuck!

Check out the rest of my plate.  Holy portions!  The gyro (please pronounce this correctly around me) was the best I’ve ever had.  Honestly.  Not even exaggerating.  I actually wanted to take one home for dinner, but that would have been a bit much!

Gyro, Spanikopita, Dolmades, Pastichio

Everything was just so delicious.  So I indulged and couldn’t have been happier about it!

Pastichio

Dolmades (I still LOVE Uncle Jimmy's dolmades best I think!)

I was excited to see so many family members I hadn’t seen in awhile, especially Papou.  Also got to catch up with Uncle Chris & Uncle Dan, Uncle Tony & Auntie Paula, Auntie Connie & Uncle George, and Auntie Connie.  And my cousins Alaina, Becca, and Greg of course!

Auntie Paula & Me

I also browsed the little Greek “store” they had set up in one of the tents.  There was a lot of Greek jewelry, most of which featured the mati.  I really want a piece of mati jewelry, but it needs to be subtle.  I find that most mati jewelry out there is bulky looking.  I did see a bracelet yesterday that I liked that was very simple, but I didn’t get it.  Wondering now if I should have!  There were t-shirts with Greek sayings and themes on them, Greek cookbooks, kitchenware and pottery, icons, and lots more.

Then it was time for dessert.  Obviously.

The galatoboureko was unreal.  If you’ve never tried galatoboureko before, it’s a MUST.

Galatoboureko

And of course we had to get loukoumades.  No Greek festival is complete without them!  And there were no loukoumades burn injuries this year, so all in all the desserts were a success!

Loukoumades

I did burn off some of the Greek treats with Greek dancing though!

By some of the Greek treats I mean five feta crumbs.  :)

How I made up for it today:

Tonight was a double class night at CBC for sure.  I took Perfect Lines, followed by Kix.

I also made up for yesterday with today’s food selections:

  • Breakfast:  Low-fat cottage cheese topped with blueberries and cinnamon.  Sidenote:  Whole Foods brand low-fat cottage cheese is SO much better than any other brand of cottage cheese I’ve ever tried!  Just my opinion.
  • Lunch:  Spring mix greens with grilled chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, and some leftover pico de gallo from my chicken burrito pizza the other night.  Also munched on some green grapes.
  • Afternoon work snack:  Tomato & mozzarella salad.  Just a little concoction I threw together in my spare time after dropping Tim off at the airport this morning.  I mixed halved cherry or grape tomatoes, mozzarella balls, basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.  Colleen came to my desk today and asked if I was cheating on feta with mozzarella.  That was funny.
  • Pre-Workout snack:  Iced oatmeal raisin Luna granola bar
  • Dinner:  Breakfast for dinner tonight since I got in late from CBC and still have a lot of cleaning to do.  Had a bowl of cereal – Uncle Sam’s Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes & Flaxseed.  In skim milk and topped with the last of my strawberries.

Question of the Day!  Have you ever had Greek food?  If so, what’s your favorite dish??

Feel free to leave a comment with your answers.  Happy Monday!

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7 thoughts on “Greek Festival

  1. Although lots of the “traditional” greek food is similar to italian, I think my new FAVORITE greek food is a Baklava Sundae…hands down!!! U.D.

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