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:


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • 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!


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.


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!


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!

Chicken Burrito Pizza

Sometimes it’s way more fun to make your own pizza instead of ordering pizza.

Just find a recipe and go to the store.

You don’t even really need a recipe as long as you have an idea for the pizza toppings. I wish I could remember what magazine I ripped this recipe out of a long time ago so I could give due credit, but I don’t.

While we prepared the pizza, we munched on Nature’s Valley Natural White Cheddar Puffs.


For the pizza

  • 2 tablespoons salsa (we cheated and used more than just 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 eleven inch pizza crust (you could either make or own, or buy the pre-made dough.  To save time we bought the whole wheat pre-made so all we had to do was roll it).
  • 1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella
  • 1 four ounce chicken breast, grilled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons black beans
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (we left this off because we thought there was enough onion in the pico de gallo and guacamole already)

For the pico de gallo

  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 small green chili, diced (I left this off since I don’t enjoy spicy stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • salt

For the guacamole

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Spread salsa evenly over prepared dough (healthier option than marinara or pizza sauce, can’t tell the difference!), then sprinkle with mozzarella.
  3. Top with chicken, black beans, and onion; bake for 7-10 minutes or until edges of crust are golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, combine tomato, chili, cilantro, and onion in a small bowl.  Season with salt and set aside.
  5. Halve the avocado, remove pit, and scoop into another small bowl.  Mash avocado with a fork; mix in cilantro, onion, and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove pizza from the oven, cut into slices and place on a serving tray.  Top with the pico de gallo and guacamole.

The original recipe makes 12 slices, but we made ours have 8 slices for the size pizza stone we had. 

Prep time:  20 minutes, total time:  30 minutes.

Just a tip: Make sure you line the pizza stone with enough floor so the dough doesn’t get stuck to the stone!  Also, if you overload a slice with ingredients, it’s very difficult to eat without a fork and knife… but it’s just as delicious!

Enjoy! 🙂