Welcome to Olive Tomato

If you want to be inspired to lead a happier, healthier lifestyle and learn more about the Real Mediterranean Diet and are looking for tried and trusted information, you’re at the right place. OliveTomato the most credible and trusted source for the Mediterranean Diet. Join me as I present the nutritional value of the Mediterranean Diet, provide recipes, guidance, cooking tips, the latest news and research, and easy ways to incorporate Greek and Mediterranean diet to your lifestyle.


The Mediterranean diet was virtually unknown in the U.S. a few decades ago and today it has become one of the most popular diets worldwide. Mediterranean diet experts and books are popping up everywhere with many descriptions and recipes that resembled very little to the food my mother, aunts and grandmothers cooked in Greece. There was and is plenty of misinformation about the diet.

Don’t settle for generic advice, get the information about the Mediterranean Diet from those who know.

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 20 years experience, writer and mother of two, living in Greece for the past 15 years, I have more than just a professional interest in the Mediterranean Diet, its preservation and promotion. As a Greek, I have been following the Mediterranean Diet my whole life, and have firsthand experience. However, having spent half my life in the U.S., I am proof that you can follow this diet from anywhere in the world.

With that in mind, I felt that it was time to clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings that have been circulating for years. Here I provide true, easy to follow information and make the diet relevant today and applicable to the modern way of life without sacrificing its true nature.

What you can expect from me is:

  • Authentic Greek and Mediterranean recipes, not westernized versions 
  • Mediterranean lifestyle advice based on lifelong experiences
  • Nutritionist approved recipes that follow the principles of the Mediterranean Diet
  • Credible and scientifically sound information about the Mediterranean diet 
  • Guidance on how to follow a real Mediterranean diet based on the prototype of the Mediterranean Diet



“Thank you so much for making my family healthier! Thank you so much for making simple greek food so accessible! You are doing a truly important work by giving people the culinary tools they need to become healthier. You accompanied a profound change in my lifestyle and for this, you have all my gratitude. In a way, you have become a part of my family: when I talk about Elena, my wife knows it is you I am refering to.” -SL
“I adore your recipes and website. I have so many favorites… You have been such an important presence in my life since my family cholesterol gene kicked in two years ago and I delved into real Mediterranean cooking.” -C
“Thank you for your marvelous website. Using your basic advice, I have completely changed our way of eating at home. I find your approach so do-able..not heaps of complicated recipes just a sort of lifestyle template to follow.” -GD
“Our doctor suggested keeping it simple and to switch to a Mediterranean diet. He ended up having a triple heart bypass last August but his amazing recovery was due to the fact he had lost 60 pounds in the 8 months leading to his operation simply by following the Mediterranean diet and your manifesto which was placed on our fridge.” -KB
“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and how informative it has been for me. I have tried a lot of eating plans, but this is by far the best.  I have lost 25 pounds and never feel deprived.  It is also very easy to eat on this plan even if your are on a budget.” -CS




My story starts off in a Chicago suburb, where my mom would spend hours on end in the kitchen cooking Greek and only Greek food. At school while the other kids had bologna and cheese sandwiches, we had pastichio (a Greek type of lasagna), she never made toll house chocolate chip cookies like my best friends mom, instead we had to eat melomakarona, Greek honey and walnut cookies. And when our mother did decide to cook an American recipe, she’d always manage to sneak in that ubiquitous “Greek element”, hamburger patties with a sprinkle of oregano and lemon, cookies with olive oil… you get the picture. Thanks to mom, I basically was raised on the Mediterranean Diet even though we lived so far away from Greece, that was at the heart of this healthy way of eating.

As a child my life included yearly 3 month trips to Greece where I spent time with my grandparents, relatives and friends experiencing the Greek lifestyle and the Greek diet at it natural environment. When I was 11 I moved to Greece, and even then (the 80’s), most Greeks were eating meals with seasonal produce, a little bit of meat, and children were not eating junk food with the exception of an occasional ice cream in the summer. Returning back to the U.S. I started my studies in nutrition.



Elena Paravantes olive oil

Elena Paravantes is an award winning Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist and Writer specializing in the Mediterranean Diet. She has been active in the field of food and nutrition for 20 years as a clinical dietitian, food and nutrition consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer, both in the U.S. and in Greece. Elena firmly believes in the wide-ranging health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and is committed to educating the public about the wholesome food plan she grew up with through her writing, teaching and lecturing.

Elena developed the Food and Nutrition sections for the Greek editions of Men’s Health and Prevention as Food & Nutrition Editor, establishing them with her work for over 8 years. She is a former professor of nutrition at the American College of Greece and the Health Editor for Olive Oil Times. Elena provides consulting services on the

Presenting at the Mediterranean Roundtable in New York City

Greek/Mediterranean diet and food for companies, writes for several U.S. and Greek media outlets and blogs for Huffington Post. Her interviews and articles have been published in many publications including CNNPrevention, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, US News and World Report, Shape, Fitness, Parade, Chowhound, Salon, Oldways, Fox News, Today’s Dietitian, Food and Nutrition Magazine and NPR. As well as Greek publications such as Vima, Eleftherotypia, Vimagazino, VimaGourmet, Athinorama, Iatronet and Madame Figaro. She is the lead author of the chapter on Greek Culture for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics publication Cultural Competency for Nutrition Professionals

Elena has collaborated with a number of organizations including Loyola University, Yale University, University of Missouri, University, Louisiana State University, American College of Greece, Pierce College, Aramark, Mediterranean Diet Roundtable, American University of Madaba-Jordan, Celestyal Cruises, Lambraki Research Foundation.

Presenting at Yale University with Charalampos Economou, Debbie Humphriesand Tassos Kyriakides

An active member in the international nutrition community, Elena is a former President of the American Overseas Dietetic Association, and has been on the Board of Directors for over 4 years. She is the official representative of the American Dietetic Association in Greece. She is a member of the Hellenic Dietetic Associations, the Union of Nutritionists and Dietitians of Greece and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (former American Dietetic Association), The International Association of Culinary Professionals, Food and Culinary Professionals Practice group and Slow Food International. She has been awarded the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award and Recognized Country Representative of the Year award by the American Overseas Dietetic Association. Elena is the former Greek delegate for the European Federation of the Association of Dietitians (EFAD), and Media Representative for the American Overseas Dietetic Association.

Elena earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and her Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Registered Dietitian by the U.S. Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

Based in Athens, Greece, Elena lives with her husband and her two sons.

To view her complete CV visit here.

I invite you to try my tips and recipes, read the articles and stories, stay up to date on the science behind the Mediterranean Diet, and of course, leave comments and suggestions.


Copyright Policy

© Olive Tomato and Elena Paravantes. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



    • Reply Eleni Zabeli February 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      because the “new” Greeks try to adopt the American diet and all the junk food instead to eat the Mediterranean diet

  • Reply Ted Theo July 4, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Lovely lovely site!! Just a comment on Feta though. If you live in Northern California look for the exclellent feta cheese made from goat milk in Sebastopol,Sonoma county. When I go there I bring some for my cousins here in Athens. The ladies are from a village where they know their cheese! They tell me the had not tasted such true goat cheese for a very long time. They sell it at the Berkeley’s farmers market every Saturday. California is NOT Denmark, all right?

  • Reply Elena Paravantes RD July 4, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Thank you Ted! Yes, Sonoma has wonderful food, my sister in law lives in Sonoma. I love goat cheese too! Feta is primarily made from sheep’s milk – sometimes it does not contain any goats milk. It was a shepherds cheese.

  • Reply George Contaxakis April 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Thank You! Just great in all aspects hope people will adopt part our cousin not only because it tastes Good! But also for the health benefits which a lot of us know but the public out there is always skeptical, and thank YOU are showing them, great stuff keep it up makes us proud!!! One more feather in our cap. It is Very True we love food, we leave to eat and to us a meal is a feast it been said in ancient days Greeks when they feasted in the wealth of food they payed homage to the 5 Ancient Gods responsible for our senses, we just do not eat so that we can stuff our stomachs.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 9, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Thank you George! Yes our cuisine combines both health and taste, making it ideal for anyone.

  • Reply Ondina Maria June 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Elena

    I’m more and more in love with the Mediterranean Diet. In Portugal, food took the same path as in Greece and nowadays people reject what was traditional and stuff themselves with junk food. Recently there’s been a group of people that are trying to revive all that was good and healthy about our past life style. So, for me it’s a real pleasure to read your wonderful blog and apply your advices 🙂

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD June 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you Maria, One of my most memorable and delicious meals was in a fish restaurant in Portugal! Yes, all of us in the Mediterranean need to revive our traditional foods and ingredients and find a way to bring them in our daily lives.

  • Reply dimitrios pavlidis June 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Very nice site, very healthy food !!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD June 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you Dimitrios!

  • Reply Elena Paravantes RD August 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Wonderful, enjoy!

  • Reply Anika September 3, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Geia sou Elena!
    I currently live in Athens and am from California. I am crazy about health, nutrition, local farms and cooking. I just found your site and want to say hello.


    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD September 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Hello Anika!

  • Reply Judy Crabtree September 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Elena,

    I have been searching for a healthy alternative to my diet and one that my family will embrace. I have a friend Jeanie who gave me a book to read called the Flat Belly Diet– By Liz Vaccariello. Which led me to you.I believe that the Mediterranean Diet is going to be just what I’ve been looking for ,for taste and nutrition. We shall see.



    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD September 16, 2013 at 6:35 am

      Thank you for your note Judy.
      The Flat belly diet is a Mediterranean style diet which describes monounsaturated fat as the “secret”. However, the original Mediterranean diet is the most studied diet, with a lot of research behind it and a diet that occurred naturally in mainly Greece and Italy. I think you will enjoy it, as it is very flavorful and not low-fat. Reducing slightly your calories can help you lose weight (if needed).

  • Reply Mir December 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Elena, from Chicago! I just found the Mediterranean diet, and welcome your site as a wonderful reference tool! Thank you for your recipes and information, I look forward to using your updates as a way to stay healthy and explain the diet to others.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 31, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Dear Mir, Thank you I’m glad you enjoy my site!

  • Reply Cindy Burris January 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hello Elena! Found your site while researching what/how to cook with olive oil. Have friends in Greece who brought us olive oil from their own orchard (lucky yes?) and while I’m thinking it should be saved for ‘special’ dishes (like on my Greek salads) I would like to cook with olive oil. Can you address what kind I would look for in order to get best results and I can fry with it??? I found the site that said I could NOT and got suspicious when the big Wesson Oil canola bottle was pictured at the end. But happily it led me to your response and website!! I’m looking for any and all help as I want to be healthy, lose some weight and LOVED the Greek food I was served by my wonderful friends in Koroni. Thank you!

  • Reply MELİKE KAVALA February 17, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Hi ELENA , I feel myself so lucky to meet your site as I was deeper and deeper searching on CRETAN COUSINE..since 30 years I am trying to avoid the western unhealty food very strictly and as I studied pharmaceutical botanic in Faculty of pharmacy years I am in love in herbs more than ever..wish we will be exchanging valuable notes from ISTANBUL to ATHENS…WITH LOVE..

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD February 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

      Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply John Bobbin April 16, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Hi Elena,
    This is an excellent website, informative, well presented and best of all you do know your stuff. I watched a documentary on Crete in 1971 and it renewed my love of the mediterranean diet. When I was a school kid way back in the distant past, I had some Italian, Greek and German friends and i found loved the mediterranean food, I particularly shared their love of vegetables, fruit, nuts and pasta and I do have to confess I loved home made salami, without the nitrosamines (cancer causers). In the 1971 doco it showed a Cretian fellow walking around with a camera crew gathering wild herbs and one of those herbs was purslane. I never stopped looking for purslane from that time on. I found it in publications like ‘Eat Your Own Weeds’ but could not identify it clearly enough to find it in the wild, besides all the references to it were either American or European, so I did not know for sure that it grew in Australia. I found it at a farmers market in 2012 and now grow it at home as a house vegetable (herb). In 1976 I started studying nutrition (basic) then Diploma of Nutritional Science, then I became a Herbalist, Naturopath and finally last year I graduated with a Master of Clinical Science(Lifestyle Medicine) from Southern Cross University. Without my love of Mediterranean food and later Asian food I would never have started this journey. Health through nature.
    John Bobbin MClinSc(LifestyleMed)

  • Reply Debra July 6, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Hi, just returned from vacation in Greece; we were often served a green, thin, stalked vegetable which tasted exactly like spinach without the soggy wilt. I bought a bundle of them from a street vendor- I cooked in salted hot water for ~10 minutes as instructed- perfect. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon. Do you know the name of this vegetable? It was always served as a side dish in a neatly circular scoop.
    Thanks for any help,
    Sacramento, CA

    • Reply lagatta à montréal August 31, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      That could be Vlita.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD October 7, 2014 at 5:53 am

      Hi Debra,
      It may be vlita as mentioned previously, but it may be also a number of other greens that are often served at restaurants in Greece, it depends on the season. Generally though all greens are cooked the same way and served the same way.

  • Reply Priscilla August 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Hi there, I just found your website looking for a Greek salad recipe and am excited to see other great recipes to try! I was wondering if you knew how much fat and cholesterol is contained in feta since you have it in your recipes? I have to watch my cholesterol and I know cheeses are high in fat and Chol being dairy products. Thank you for your help and great website!

    • Reply Garth January 9, 2017 at 1:00 am

      Hello Priscilla, I realize this is an older post, but have you read The Great Cholesterol Myth? Great explanation of the lack of connection between dietary and blood cholesterol

  • Reply Melike Kavala December 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I am so happy to be with you on your site..we have so many similar recipies but still wondering and searching the healthy formulasvia your help ..

  • Reply Mediterranean Culture & Cuisine Immersion Workshop April 21, 2015 at 8:32 am

    […] Paravantes, RDN, Food & Nutrition Writer, Mediterranean Diet […]

  • Reply Nancy May 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hello, Do you have a recipe for a bean dish called Fasolia (not sure if I am spelling that correctly). It has beans, onions, tomatoes and spices. Thank you.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD May 16, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Hi Nancy,
      Yes, there are several bean recipes on the blog.Just search “beans” and several will come up.

  • Reply Cathy July 6, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Trying to activate my subscription but it is not clickable.

  • Reply Recipe: Greek Style Peas-Arakas Latheros | tasting crete July 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

    […] this week i chose a recipe that is not only cooked in Crete but in the rest of Greece as well. Elena Paravantes makes a great dish with peas which is a product used in Greece since antiquity. There are findings […]

  • Reply Elena 43 Restaurant | Pizza Fans July 27, 2015 at 6:42 am

    […] About | Olive Tomato – Hi Elena. I’m more and more in love with the Mediterranean Diet. In Portugal, food took the same path as in Greece and nowadays people reject what was traditional … […]

  • Reply Trine Ekenes August 7, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Is it free to subskribe???

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD August 7, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Hi Trine. Yes, it is free. Just add your email under subscribe. You will receive an email to confirm your subscription.

  • Reply Ioannis September 23, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Elena, you are championing Med Diet and in particular the Greek Diet and for this I personally thank you. Hopefully our new generation will embrace a healthy,tasty and well balanced culinary experience…Perhaps some Traditional Cretan recipe’s from you soon???

  • Reply Christella Leventis December 21, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Hi Elena,
    I love all your recipes.. They are healthy and delicious..
    I was wondering if you have a recipe for greek cabbage rolls.. I know is a common dish around this time of the year.. I would love to make them for my family this year.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 31, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Christella, Not yet I’ll be posting soon.

  • Reply Anne Niesenbaum December 31, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Your recipe for Briami says to make it in a pot, then describes baking it in a pan. Which do you recommend?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD December 31, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Anne, In the post I mention that it can also be cooked in a pot but the recipe posted here is for roasted Briami as can be seen n the directions. Stewing in a pot requires a different technique.

  • Reply Q&A with Elena Paravantes | WindyCity Greek February 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    […] Elena Paravantes is a Chicago-born Greek living in Athens. She is a dietitian and blogger at olivetomato.com, promoting healthy eating the Mediterranean way. She tells her story as a Greek-American living in Greece. […]

  • Reply Ishkarah May 31, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Hello Elena,
    Where might I find the “greek food pyramid” and a place to get started?

  • Reply Judy Matusky July 28, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Love your website! Stumbled upon it looking for a recipe for Dakos salad we had in Crete. I’m also a registered dietitian so I love your tips. I would like to link to your website via my cooking blog. I think my readers would find your information helpful.

    • Reply Elena August 1, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Thank you Judy!

  • Reply phillip vasels July 31, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Hello Elena
    I too am a Greek from Chicago, which is life defining. I love your site and wisdom. στην Ελλάδα!

    • Reply Elena August 1, 2016 at 6:28 am

      Thank you Phillip!

  • Reply Jeff September 7, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Do you have a cookbook and if so where can I get it. Thank you, Jeff.

  • Reply Renee Beam October 3, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Elena,
    We are about to wrap up our 6th season sailing around the Greek Islands. Your blog has become my go to reference for recipes. I would really like to know where I can get a copy of your Mediterranean Manifesto Poster for my kitchen in Auckland New Zealand. It is brilliant and I want to be reminded of our Greek practices every day. Thanks Renee

    • Reply Elena October 7, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Hi Renee,

      Thank you for sharing! We are in the process of getting the poster ready for ordering. I’ll be announcing soon.

  • Reply Jaio November 6, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Qui se ressemble s’assemble say french people (Those who are similar they are well together:-) Thank you for sharing your recipes. It’s very well done with pictures and “lyrics”:-) Is time to remove bad habits and go back to natural food. I think that the ideal way to survive in the future will be to have a garden and to grow everything we can. GMOs are coming everywhere and big Pharma corruption will be difficult to avoid. Last year, European commission publish on the same day an astonishing declaration saying that Cinnamon can be dangerous and Aspartame is without danger!
    Greetings from an Italian in Spain:-)

    • Reply Elena November 19, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Thanks Jaio, Wish we could all have a garden and grow everything we need

  • Reply Bianca December 2, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Hi Elana,

    I have love your recipes, they are so easy to do, tasty and healthy. Do you think you would ever do an e-book or cookbook with all your recipes in? It would be great to have a hard copy to cook from and I am sure it would sell really well.

  • Reply Averil March 13, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Elena,
    I love the site and all your recipes so far have been an absolute hit.

    I would love to learn how to make rusks (it is not an easy recipe to find online), they are not something I can easily find to buy either online or in the shops. Also would be extremely interested in learning more about Lent and fasting the traditional Greek way.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful resources that you provide. It is a privilege to have access to this quality information.

    • Reply Elena March 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Thank you Averil! I will soon publish a post for the rusks.

  • Reply Mimsy May 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I just discovered your website and will do some recipes bi just had a double bypass and have been strongly encouraged to follow the Mediterranean diet. But I don’t see a sodium or carb breakdown. Do you have a book or available info?

    • Reply Elena May 17, 2017 at 4:55 am

      Hi Mimsy, No book yet. I have not added nutrition information at this time. However, almost all recipes involve adding salt as needed, so you can control a large percentage of the sodium that way.

  • Reply Rogan Craig July 20, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Hi Elena,
    I was told about your site by a Greek friend I have known for about 50 years, but I cannot find a subscriber’s option except for this one. Please add me to your mailing list. I have followed what I call an English diet, mixed with a bit of an Afrikaans diet, and I want to have a healthier diet.
    Thank you,

    Rogan Craig

    • Reply Elena July 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Thank you Rogan! If you go to the home page, you will see on the right (in the sidebar) a subscription box, just add your email and you will receive an email to confirm. If you are still having trouble just send me an email, and I’ll add you.

  • Reply Laura Zanetis Post August 3, 2017 at 3:26 am

    I found this site while looking up the nutritional information on feta cheese. I am having to watch my salt intake and my triglycerides. This site is wonderful!!! So glad I found it. And I’m glad you stick to the PDO on Greek feta. Over the years, I have struggled to find good feta in the U.S.. I mistakenly got a French “feta” which wasn’t feta at all. I have finally found a brand that is from Greece. Before, I would order it online.
    One thing I am struggling with – if I put it in water or as my Yia Yia did – in scalded milk – the feta smells like it has yeast growing in it. I have been storing it in a salt water I make myself – and the directions were to try to match the saltiness of the brine to the salt in the feta – but I am trying to lower my salt intake, so storing it in water would be better. Any suggestions for making it last longer (a month would be nice), in water or milk? Thanks!! LOVE this web site!!!

    • Reply Amanda August 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      I am curious about this, too. My feta does not last more than a week and I think I remember my dad rinsing it and doing something with it – not just leaving it in the brine, and it lasted longer, but when I do that it tastes weird.

    • Reply Elena August 16, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Thank you Laura! Feta would be rinsed in water if it was too salty. Now in regards to preservation you need the water to contain salt. Brine is usually made by adding about 80 grams of salt to one liter of water. Feta should be ok for 6 months in brine.

  • Reply Amanda August 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Hi! We are in Seattle. I am half-Greek and went in search of some recipes that my step-mother would make when I was in Greece visiting my family there. One of my comfort meals is the Fasolakia Lathera. Your recipe is perfect. We have been eating your recipes mainly every night for the past few weeks. I am so glad I stumbled upon this blog.

    • Reply Elena August 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Thank you Amanda! I’m so glad you are enjoying (and using) the site!

  • Reply Cynthia Anderson December 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I made the Lentil fakes for supper tonight! Wonderful!

    • Reply Elena December 16, 2017 at 7:40 am

      Thank you Cynthia!

  • Reply 19 delicious ways to use feta cheese July 22, 2018 at 1:55 pm

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  • Reply 5 Greek Mediterranean Breakfasts to Try Today July 22, 2018 at 1:58 pm

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  • Reply Paul Kachudas September 15, 2018 at 1:05 am

    Elena. My Greek name is Apostolos Katsoudas from Ahladocambos. I have heard of the Paravantes when I was a child st forgio. Are we related you think?

  • Reply Greek Spinach and Rice - Spanakorizo September 18, 2018 at 7:59 am

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  • Reply Mary Kyriakides November 4, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    I love your recipes and detailed instructions. Have you written any cookbooks? I hope the answer is yes, because I would love to buy one.

  • Reply Mandy January 2, 2019 at 2:49 am

    Please add me to your distribution list! Very excited to have found this website!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 5, 2019 at 9:44 am

      Hi Mandy, Have you used the subscription form? Let me know if you need assistance.

  • Reply Alexis DiPietro January 13, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Hi Elena,
    My teenage son has type 1 diabetes and is traveling later this month with his school in Brooklyn, NY to Athens and Crete. We are trying to put together a list of typical foods he’ll encounter with their carbohydrate counts (for example pita bread is approximately 40 grams of carbs) to help him count carbs while experiencing Greece and its wonderful cuisine. Any information or resources you could provide us with would be so greatly appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Alexis DiPietro

  • Reply Delaney February 20, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Hello from snowy eastern Washington State! Found your site while researching ways to transition my family from ketogenic eating. We’ve been doing it for 2 years but something in the back of my head started telling me we need to switch. Anything is a big change from all the butter, bacon, and cream cheese. But I’m hoping my family is receptive to it. Thankfully my kids already love veggies. I’m excited to try recipes from here. Great blog site! Thank you!

  • Reply Hanne March 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    What joy to discover a gorgeous blog like yours. I will visit often now that I have found you. I too spent summers in Greece although my parents were not Greek but wandering ex-patriots. Your photography and recipes are vibrant and healthy. I cant wait to try them. Thank you -Hanne

  • Reply Sherry Wright March 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I’m just in the beginning stages of working the Med diet and feel quite fortunate to have some expert assistance so early on. Hope I can find your site again. (I’m very tech unsavvy).

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 13, 2019 at 6:08 am

      Thanks Sherry! You may choose to subscribe if you wish. That way you can receive a notification in your email.

  • Reply Laurie April 2, 2019 at 3:06 am

    Your Ted Talk inspired me to learn more!

  • Reply Pat O'Neil Green April 26, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Your blog is inspirational. Thank you.

  • Reply Cathy April 26, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    What a wonderful blog to read. I have already started the change to eating following your guidelines. I do have a question. How much feta would you consume when eating only lentils or vegetable dish. It always says serve with bread and feta but never as to how much. Can you have rusks instead of bread. I have a sensitivity to wheat so can’t eat a lot of bread. I have made quite a few recipes and thoroughly enjoy them.
    Thank you. I have already noticed a difference between eating and exercising and feeling much better.

  • Reply Susan April 29, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I would love to try your recipes.

  • Reply lagatta à Montréal May 9, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    I was so pleased to see your choice of salads as spring comes at long last to Montréal after a particularly long and icy winter. Do you happen to have any salads incorporating tinned sardines? A Greek grocery chain here, Supermarché PA, often has small sardines on promo; my favourite are the lightly-smoked ones. I’ve made many of your recipes; all have turned out well and of course are also very healthful.

    I’m already on your mailing list.

  • Reply Richard May 28, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    I grew up in a community in Western Nebraska that had a large and thriving Greek population. They were celebrated every year with a “Greek” picnic that was both a reunion with people from all over the nation coming back home, and as a fund raiser for the Greek Orthodox Church. The event was famous for their roast lamb. I would like to see some lamb dishes!

    I love your site, keep it going!

  • Reply Sandi Range May 29, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    I would love to read/learn more about the Mediterranean style of eating!

  • Reply Stacy J Hobgood June 2, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I have a question
    When you say olive oil
    Do you mean regular or extra virgin?
    And any suggestions on what is a good
    Brand and where to purchase that brand for the good benefit of the olive oil.
    Thank you

  • Reply Sue Allwright June 4, 2019 at 9:33 am

    My husband and I started holidaying in Greece in 1984 just after we married and fell in love with the food, and I’ve since tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to cook similar dishes. when we got home using various Mediterranean cook books. It was never even slightly the same. Having now made a decision, aged 55, to transition to a predominantly (but not entirely) plant-based diet, I have only just discovered your website and I’m so delighted to find recipes for the lovely, healthy dishes I’ve not previously been able to create at home. I’m so pleased to discover how many are vegan ( although I will be including some feta!) and also gluten free, as I am also Coeliac. Many thanks for such a helpful website and the huge range of recipes for real Greek food. I love to cook and feed others so very excited!

  • Reply Ava Radtke July 29, 2019 at 12:16 am

    I would love to read your blogs. Try your recipes. And especially get any news reports to keep me up to date

  • Reply Trish August 24, 2019 at 3:17 am

    Can’t wait to start this diet

  • Reply Ailsa September 23, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Hi Elena I am eager to get started and try some of your recipes! What white beans do you use (I can’t seem to find just ‘white beans’)? Many thanks

  • Reply Narda Page September 25, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Elena, don’t you have a book coming out soon? If so could you please let us know the name?
    Thanks in advance

  • Reply Ashley L Cohen October 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm


    I love your website and cook your recipes very often. I have a question about olive oil. I have heard it is best to use straight olive oil for high heat cooking and extra virgin olive oil for low heat and salads. other say to use extra virgin for everything. What do you think?

    Thank you

  • Reply 15 Foods Nutritionists Try to Eat Every Day - RECIPES | COOKING, FOOD... November 8, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    […] in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is a daily addition to registered dietitians’ meals. Elena Paravantes Hargitt, RDN, is one of them. “Apart from being a good source of monounsaturated fats, extra virgin olive […]

  • Reply Judy Finchum November 9, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    I really want to buy a book if available. Please let me know?

  • Reply Barbara Ierace January 18, 2020 at 5:41 am

    I prefer using olive oil to butter for biscuits and cakes

  • Reply Samantha Christie April 10, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Hi Elena. Just wanted to let you know I’ve been using the recipes on your website for about 5 years, they make up a big part of the food I eat and make for friends and family. I’m half Greek and your site has helped me learn how to make the cuisine properly. Thank you so much.

  • Reply Sheryl July 6, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Hello I was searching for true mediterranian food , I love greek food feta goat and sheep cheese, I am lactose intolerant as is my son, I raised him on goats milk after he was weaned from the breast. My cholestron genetic s just kicked in and I thought I would try the mediterranian diet/ way of eating.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN July 7, 2020 at 6:30 am

      Welcome Sherryl. You can try Greek yogurt and cheese which is better tolerated.

  • Reply Kostantina July 10, 2020 at 5:43 am

    Elena, found your website after reading Mediterranean Diet book.
    I have many medical problems and am finding your recipes are helping me . Finally someone who actually cares, it is refreshing and gratifying. Wish we could meet for jaffa, I think talking with you would be a world of good for me. Keep your delicious recipes coming.

  • Reply Peter Flory August 19, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    can you please tell me, what the leaves are on top of the greek salad on this page?

    Thank you

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 20, 2020 at 9:59 am

      It is called kritamo in Greek, and they grow near the sea and in between cliffs and they are pickled here. In english it is called rock samphire or sea fennel.

      • Reply Peter Flory August 22, 2020 at 8:53 am

        thank you so much. I’ve just come back from Crete where I had this on top of Fava, including capers.So I mistakingly thought this was part of the capers.
        I doubt I’ll get kritamo here (Germany9, but will try and find it.

        • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN August 22, 2020 at 9:14 am

          Peter, since it is pickled it is available for order online. I’ve seen some UK online shops. Search for “pickled kritamo”

  • Reply Jodie September 13, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    SO, I’ve been a member of a MD group for beginners for maybe a couple of weeks now, maybe a bit longer. I quickly found your site and LOVE it. I’m trying to follow a MD as authentically as I can. It drives me nuts how members of the group are always saying this is okay to eat/use. Like avocado oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, coffee creamers…..etc. Or how their photos of plated food can be predominantly rice, meat and very little veggies and they get applauded for it. You get the idea.

    I posted how much I adored your Greek Style Green Beans. Someone replied with, “How can the Green Bean recipe be okay – it has Sugar as an ingredient!! So much for Olive Tomato!”.

    I replied, actually with a laugh, that it was 1 tsp. It could easily be left out. I didn’t think sugar was a banned ingredient in a proper MD, it’s just not a featured ingredient. Perhaps I’m wrong but we were only talking about ONE TEASPOON here. I was scolded for my ‘lol’ and it turned into a big conversation with the resident, self-appointed MD “expert” chiming in. She said, “Olive Tomato is a great resource. But it is not Med written in stone. She doe’s have a modern influence.” The original commenter went on to say more, very proud of herself that SHE was right! Ah ha! Your recipe is NOT MD compliant! She KNEW it! And then cast aspersions upon these “trusted, go-to sites”.

    Frankly, I took offense. I said you must be effectively defrauding everyone then because your website claims to teach a real MD! I also asked if sugar has never, ever been used in the past or currently, in a true Mediterranean Diet? Because I’d really like to know if that’s the case. I also asked her (the “expert”) what her qualifications were, for her to be the one who’s correct and for you to be wrong? She told me to chill and not be upset. I didn’t need to, lol, and I wasn’t. I was genuinely curious about her stance on sugar. The original commenter also mentioned how things ALWAYS turned so nasty too! That wasn’t very in keeping with the Mediterranean behaviour either!

    WHERE was the nasty? lol

    The resident “expert” never really explained if sugar was an absolute NO, even in such a tiny increment, other than to say there are “foods to be avoided if you wanted to stay healthy”, “many will play to a mass market” and “no one really needs sugar in beans”. She did tell me, however, that she represents more the southern Italian side of a MD and even they have CHANGED some things! That must make her less than authentic as well. I definitely called her out on implying you were bending to the wants of a mass market, thus not staying true to your roots………sigh……I left the group after that conversation was deleted. She clearly didn’t want to justify her remarks. I don’t like being essentially silenced. I think other members should’ve had the opportunity to see it and weigh in if they wanted. I’d seen it with other topics.

    Groups always, eventually just make me love my recluse lifestyle, lol. No people. No drama. Peace. I’m glad I can still visit your website and not be bothered, lol. I trust you! 🙂

    I’m making your Greek Style Peas today! Can hardly wait to try them!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 14, 2020 at 5:30 am

      Hi Jodie, Thank you for sharing this! This is exactly the reason why I started this site, to clear up all the misconceptions about this way of eating. Unfortunately, there are so many so called “experts” out there. So regarding sugar, of course it was consumed in the traditional Mediterranean diet, but it was a luxury item, which meant sweets and desserts were a special occasion food/dish. As for the green bean recipe, it is a traditional Greek recipe that goes back at least 70 years. A pinch of sugar is added to bring out the flavor of the green beans. Thank you for your support and trust! The unfortunate part is that many of these individuals are unknowingly not following a Mediterranean diet and as a result are not getting the health benefits either.

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