Being a nutritionist, I’m always looking for creative new ways to make food healthier! This year, I decided to take a healthier approach to celebrate Father’s Day while bringing plenty of flavor and fun. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we did and that you and all the dads in your life have a happy and healthy Father’s Day!
Greek Wedge Salad with Creamy Lemon & Feta Dressing
If there’s a wedge salad on the menu, my husband is ordering it! I’m trying to add a healthy twist to this Father’s Day menu, I made some swaps to a traditional wedge, and the results were delicious! Normally loaded with saturated fats from bacon and creamy blue cheese dressing, my Greek Wedge Salad with Creamy Lemon & Feta Dressing has more of a Mediterranean Diet vibe. I swapped the blue cheese for feta (which is lower in fat and made with goat’s and/or sheep’s milk and often better tolerated by those who struggle with digesting dairy) and swapped the bacon for grilled shrimp. My whole family devoured this fun take on a Greek salad, and I hope yours will too!
For the salad:
- 3 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce; washed, quartered, and the core carefully removed, keeping quarters intact
- 1 package cocktail tomatoes; quartered
- 4-5 baby cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber; sliced
- 1 small red onion; diced
- ½ pound cleaned and deveined shrimp; grilled for about 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through (or for ease, buy pre-cooked grilled or cocktail shrimp)
- 2 ounces good quality feta cheese in brine; drained
For the dressing:
- ½ cup plain FULL FAT Greek yogurt (low or non-fat yogurt will not work as well for this recipe)
- 4 ounces good quality feta cheese in brine; drained (spending a little more on high-quality Greek feta will make all the difference in this recipe)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon (I used a micro-plane for zesting)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic; finely minced
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh chopped dill
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Add all the ingredients and blend until smooth in the bowl of a food processor.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to desired taste. (Feta cheese is quite salty, so the dressing may not need much salt).
- If the dressing is too thick, add more fresh lemon juice, some of the feta brine, or water to desired consistency.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight to develop the flavors.
Putting the salad together:
- Line the quartered lettuce sections down the center of a rectangular platter.
- Decorate the platter on both sides of the lettuce with cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Add the shrimp to the platter.
- Drizzle the desired amount of dressing along the center of the lettuce wedges and on the veggies and shrimp.
- Sprinkle with some crumbled feta cheese and top with a sprinkle of diced red onion.
- Serve and enjoy!
Staying with my Mediterranean theme, I made Garlic and Herb Butterflied Chicken & Potatoes for the main course! YUM! These were hands down the best roasted potatoes I’ve ever eaten, and the chicken was tender and flavorful! Loaded with anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, oregano is one of my favorite herbs, and sulforaphane-rich garlic is a heart-protective powerhouse!
I baked this dish in the oven; butterflied chicken lends itself to grilling, so go for it! Just toss the potatoes in some of the marinade and roast them in the oven separately. I made two chickens (so I didn’t have to cook dinner the next day), but feel free to half this recipe if desired.
For the chicken and potatoes:
- 2 small (organic if possible) whole chickens, butterflied or Spatchcock. (I asked the butcher to butterfly whole chickens for me)
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, washed, dried, and cut into wedges
For the marinade:
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or pressed
- 3 TBSP chopped fresh oregano
- ½ cup olive oil
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 2-3 TBSP)
- 1 TBSP kosher or coarse sea salt
- ½ – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add all the marinade ingredients to a large bowl or container with a tight-fitting lid to make the marinade. Whisk well to combine.
- Add the chicken to the marinade bowl coating the chicken well, and cover.
- Refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight, flipping and re-distributing the marinade over the chicken once about halfway through marinating time.
When ready to cook:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread potato wedges around a large roasting pan, leaving room in the center for the chickens.
- Remove the chickens from the marinade and place the skin side up in the pan. The potatoes should surround the chickens.
- Drizzle or brush the potatoes and chicken with some of the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until the thickest part of the breast is 165 degrees.
- Remove the chickens from the pan and tent with some aluminum foil to rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, gently stir the potatoes to coat them with the juices, then drain most of the pan juices from the potatoes (reserving the liquid) so the potatoes crisp up better.
- Return the potatoes to the oven to continue cooking until nice and crispy.
- After the chicken has rested and the potatoes are crisping up, cut up the chicken and serve alongside the potatoes, drizzling with the reserved juices.