I am in love with my herbs! Just look at how beautiful my planter is. It has some basil, lemon thyme, bell pepper, chives, sage, and mint. MINT for the Food Matters Project recipe this week, Greek “Nachos” with Feta Drizzle, chosen by Megan. My friend, Roslyn, planted these babies for me as a housewarming present. This is probably the most thoughtful present I have ever received. Thank you Ros!
So, before we even started smiling at each other, Roslyn saved me at a Body Pump class. Body Pump is an awesome weight lifting class that targets all parts of your body. I used to love it and went to class thrice a week, but have since stopped since my back got all weird a year ago. In a Body Pump class, Track 2 is all about squats and Track 7 is all about lunges, these squats and lunges are done with weights on our backs. So 2 years or so ago, when we got done doing lunges in Track 7, I pulled my right shoulder out of its socket as I was hoisting the weight over my head from its position on my upper back. Oh my freakin’ goodness, it hurt so bad! Even though nobody knew what had happened, there was a look on my face that screamed “I am in pain!”. *pause…*
Let me back track to the beginning of this injury… Three years ago, after my host parents and I piled alpaca manure and raked leaves in their pasture, we jumped on the truck to head home. But we saw a turtle in the way and we didn’t want to crush it. So we got out of the truck and took it over to the pond. As I hoisted myself up the truck, my foot slipped while my hand was gripping the roof and pulled my shoulder. I was in pain and knew that I should not move my shoulder. During the short drive home, I sat as still as I could and when I glanced at the mirror, I could totally see my collarbone jutting out in a very odd angle. It was very freaky and scary. After some minutes passed, I took a deep breath and felt my shoulder pop back in place and my collarbone looked normal again. We still went to the doctor and after he deemed me fine, he said it will happen again and again. So the best thing for me to do was to heal and then start doing some shoulder strengthening exercises. True to his prophecy, since then my shoulder has popped out during tennis, as I rolled out of bed, and during Body Pump.
Back to my Roslyn story… So, after I pulled my shoulder in the middle of class, it was all I could do not to yell out in pain. I kinda looked around, embarrassed, to see if anyone noticed my distress, but all of them were too busy pumping their muscles up. But Roslyn, she noticed that something was wrong with me. She dropped her weights, came over to me and led me outside the room to find a trainer or someone who could help me. When we were out of the room, she asked me what happened and tried to find someone who could help (to no avail). Luckily, after a few minutes, I took a deep breath and my shoulder just popped right back in place. Her concern touched me… a complete stranger went out of her way to see if she could do anything to help me. After we both decided that I was semi fine, we went back to class and I braved three more tracks of shoulder, abs, and cool down. Roslyn and I talked after class, she wanted to check how I was feeling and from then on, we became good friends.
Roslyn is a microbiologist who secretly wants to be a gardener. She loves her herbs and I am one of the lucky beneficiaries of her bounty! This herb planter was totally worth that pulled shoulder moment…
Tonight, the mint and basil in Roslyn’s herb planter contributed to the FMP dinner that DFJ and I just enjoyed and absolutely loved, Greek Inspired Flatbread with Smoked Salmon Feta. This was adapted from Greek “Nachos” with Feta Drizzle, by Mark Bittman. Check out the original recipe at Art by Megan and be inspired by this woman's creativity.
This recipe is so easy, simple, and delicious to boot! Thank you for choosing such a great and hassle-free recipe Megan, this is a perfect no-fuss but oh-so-good dinner to make right before the beginning of a new school year (I'm a teacher too!). To Mark Bittman, you win again!
Instead of using pita bread, I used naan, which turned out great. You can’t ever go wrong with naan!
A generous spread of lemony and minty smoked salmon feta-yogurt sauce with roasted tomatoes was slathered on top of the naan.
The perfect ultimate topping to complete the dish was a salad of tomato, cucumber, onion, and olives.
This special Greek flatbread is light, fresh, super healthy, and incredibly tasty!
Greek Inspired Flatbread with Smoked Salmon Feta (Makes 2-3 servings)
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Greek “Nachos” with Feta Drizzle, The Food Matters Project
2 pieces naan
½ cup smoked salmon, shredded
scant ½ cup whole Greek yogurt, plain
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup homemade roasted tomatoes or sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
scant ¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/8 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
zest of a small lemon
juice of a small lemon
¼ tsp salt
1 Roma tomato, diced
½ cup cucumber, diced
1 small sweet onion (slightly larger than a golf ball), diced
½ cup sliced olives with minced pimiento
Adjust oven rack to the middle position then preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place naan on a baking sheet and when the oven is ready, bake the naan for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the naan to stay warm until you are done preparing the toppings.
While the naan is baking, combine the smoked salmon, yogurt, feta cheese, roasted tomatoes, mint, basil, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir everything together until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, onion, and olive pieces. Stir well until everything is well combined.
Remove the naan from the oven. Spread a generous amount of the smoked salmon mix over the naan and then top with a generous amount of the mixed vegetables. Enjoy!
P.S. It’s back to work time for me tomorrow… My summer vacation is officially over. Please wish me luck!