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Healthy Eating, Grecian Style

Chef on a Shoestring kicks off the new year on The Saturday Early Show with a healthful and affordable menu from award-winning cookbook author Diane Kochilas.

Her latest cookbook is called "Against the Grain: 150 Good Carb Mediterranean Recipes."

Here is her menu:
Spiced Raw Carrot Salad
Spice Route Chicken
Greek Yogurt with Honey and Nuts

The chef was given a budget of $40 for four people.

Kochilas is the author of "The Glorious Foods of Greece," which won the Jane Grigson Award for Excellence in Scholarship by the IACP in 2001. In addition to "Against the Grain," she has written two other books on Greek cuisine, "The Greek Vegetarian" and "The Food and Wine of Greece."

She is chef-owner of Villa Thanassi, a restaurant with a real country garden, which she runs every summer with her husband, Vassilis Stenos, on their ancestral island, Ikaria. On Ikaria, she also operates The Glorious Greek Kitchen Cooking School and organizes culinary trips and walking tours in Athens and in other parts of the country.

Kochilas was born and reared in New York City. She moved to Greece with her husband in 1992 and now divides her time between New York, Ikaria, and Athens, where she is a restaurant critic and food journalist. Her weekly columns appear in Ta Nea, the country's largest newspaper. Her work also appears often in American magazines and newspapers.

RECIPES

Spiced Raw Carrot Salad
Serves 8

Ingredients
8 large carrots
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons ground walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt
1/4 cup shredded fresh mint

Method:

  1. Shred the carrots.
  2. Combine the carrots, garlic, walnuts, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste in a serving bowl.
  3. Cover and let stand for one hour at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
  4. Just before serving, toss in the mint and serve.
Spice Route Chicken
Serves 6

Ingredients
One 4- to 4-1/2-pound chicken, cut into pieces and skinned
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons seedless golden raisins
8 pitted and coarsely chopped Kalamata olives

Method

  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or wide nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides. You may have to do this in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat out of the pot.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, peppers and garlic, and cook until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and bay leaves and stir for one minute with a wooden spoon.
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and place it back in the pot. Add the tomatoes and broth.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, plump the raisins in 1/4 cup warm water, then drain.
  7. Add the raisins and olives to the pot 5 minutes before removing from the heat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.
Greek Yogurt With Walnuts And Honey
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 cups Greek yogurt (store-bought or homemade),
12 Tablespoons honey, divided (preferably Greek honey)
Walnuts, chopped

Method
Divide the yogurt evenly among four bowls or parfait glasses. Top each serving with three tablespoons honey and desired amount of walnuts.

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