I have always been a proponent of a mostly vegetarian diet, following the traditional Greek-Mediterranean diet which is composed of vegetable based dishes, legumes, cheese and olive oil. Meat is more of a side dish and particularly red meat was consumed sparingly. We now know from studies, that increased red meat consumption as well as processed meat (bacon, luncheon meats etc.) are associated with an increase in mortality, in other words an increased risk of dying. Read more »
Today I am sharing a favorite, traditional Greek recipe. Another lathero. These days, here in Greece we have been getting very little sleep, what with following all the developments taking place with our economy, so I cook dishes that are very easy, almost requiring no recipe. Just vegetables cooked with olive oil and tomato, that is what a lathero is. This one is called arakas latheros, translated as peas cooked in olive oil. Not only is it easy to make, but it is also a comfort food: cooked vegetables in a rich olive oil-tomato sauce, accompanied with tangy feta and good bread to dip in the yummy juices. Read more »
I like grilled cheese sandwiches in any shape or form. Here in Greece we have what you call a “tost”, which is basically a sandwich with cheese and ham that is toasted in a panini type press. Kids love it. Read more »
Ok, summer is almost here. And that means more lathera! Lathera as I’ve mentioned before, are a whole category of Greek recipes where vegetables are cooked in olive oil and tomato along with herbs. We eat this as a main course along with bread and feta cheese. I would say that this is the secret weapon of the Greek diet, it is why Greeks consistently have the highest intake of vegetables (per person) in the world. Read more »
It’s been a toughish winter. Athens actually had snow a few days (well not anything crazy, but still). The city can have a bit of a temperature difference as the north suburbs are next to or on a mountain, while the south suburbs are next to the sea. So some areas are icy and snowy, while others are not. This causes nice traffic jams and school closures everywhere. But what has made this winter a bit more difficult is everyone getting sick. Cold, flu, whatever it’s making everyone feel lousy.
And when we feel lousy (or even lazy) we want comfort food and easy food. These potatoes are exactly it. Yes, this is a traditional meal from the area of Arcadia in Pelponissos, where my parents are from. It is so simple and so cheap. The beauty of the real Greek diet, making something out of nothing. Read more »
The holidays are over and getting back into our daily routine can be difficult. In Greece the holiday season stretches all the way to the 7th of January. After that, schools start, work starts and everyone is waiting for the next big holiday.
With that in mind, I try to ease into things slowly and that includes avoiding difficult recipes and meals that take too much time to prepare. So one of my favorites for times like these is roasted chicken and potatoes, it’s one of those dishes that you can make fairly quickly and can last you for a couple of days.
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Now that Thanksgiving and the weekend is over, with all the meat and desserts, I crave vegetables even more. And this one hits the spot. This is the classic way Greeks cook cauliflower which we call kounoupithi. Surprisingly this is a comfort food for many of us. Yes, imagine that, cauliflower a comfort food. But we associate it with winter, it is a dish traditionally made in the cool months as this is when cauliflower is available. Read more »
You know that delicious aroma that you get when you are sautéing or frying onions? Doesn’t it smell wonderful? Well this pie tastes like that! Only better.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, pites (pie for Greek) are a great vehicle to get a lot of vegetables in your diet, but it was also a way to make a meal out of nothing. Homemakers like my yiayia would make wonderful pies with just some dough and vegetables or wild greens they had in their garden. Read more »
Soutzoukakia are a -special occasion -food, something served when you have company or for a Sunday dinner. One of the reasons is that, well, this is meat and meat was not served every day, the second reason is that these meatballs are exceptional.
These are not just any old meatballs: Meatballs full of spice, drenched in thick tomato sauce satisfy that need, when you really want something rich. Read more »
Spaghetti, also known as makaronia in Greek is a bit different in Greece than it is from our neighbor Italy. Here, traditionally pasta is not cooked al dente, but rather cooked longer along with beef, chicken or even seafood.
A popular way it is cooked at home is with olive oil (or butter) and cheese.
By looking at the picture you may not see more than some pasta sprinkled with cheese, but there is a little secret here that makes this pasta addictive. Read more »