What is healthy eating?
When some people hear the phrase 'healthy eating' they may run for the hills at the thought of lettuce and celery sticks! Healthy eating does not have to be boring however, as there are plenty of ways to get the nutrients that you need without sacrificing a lot of the nice food that you love. Mediterranean cooking is a prime example of healthy eating whilst still being full of delicious flavours and gourmet delights.
Healthy Eating the Greek Way
The people of Greece have it spot on when it comes to healthy eating without the loss of any flavour. A drizzle of olive oil can turn a plain tasting salad into something exciting and scrumptious. Olive oil, and olives, in general are renowned for having some exceptional health benefits including reducing the rate of heart diseases and problems.
With Greece having the highest consumption of olives and olive oil in the World, along with one of the lowest percentage of heart disease, it doesn't take a genius to see the connection!
Some Healthy Greek Treats
If you want to eat healthier and follow in the Grecian footsteps then here are some healthy Greek treats to consider in your meal plan.
- The Greek Salad – Packed full of delicious nutrients and flavours, this is one salad that you will never get bored of. A traditional Greek salad actually has no lettuce, although you can add some if you would prefer. Thickly slice cucumber and tomatoes for the base of the salad and then add some thinly chopped red onion. Feta and black olives are the key ingredients that will pack this salad out with flavour and protein. Toss together with some extra virgin olive oil and top with black pepper to finish it off. You can also add a white meat such as chicken to a Greek salad for extra protein.
- Fresh Tuna Souvlaki – Souvlaki is an extremely popular Greek dish which you will find on nearly every street corner in Greece. If you want to make a healthier alternative at home then substitute red meat for fresh tuna instead! Marinate your tuna with garlic, olive oil, a splash of dry white wine and oregano for some beautiful Mediterranean flavours. Pop your chopped tuna on skewers and grill until cooked to taste.
- Grilled Feta & Vegetable Panini – Those who cannot live without carbs in their diet will adore this grilled feta and vegetable panini. Roasted red peppers, eggplant and tomato will form the basis of your panini along with the beautiful Greek cheese, feta. Cover the veg in olive oil and grill in the oven until soft before adding with the feta in between two slices of crusty wholemeal bread. Pop back under the grill and your quick and easy healthy meal is complete!
Stock up on the staples
As you can see, olive oil is the one staple that you will need to have plenty of in your cupboard for a real Greek mealtime. Along with feta and olives in your fridge and some oregano on your herb and spice rack. Once you have these basic staples then you can find a variety of wonderful Greek recipes that will turn healthy eating from a bore into a delight.
photo by Ruth L