Reboot, the Greek Way

Today is for new beginnings. A clean slate. A fresh start. A day for EASY to prepare but delicious food. January is for balancing the overeating and carb overloading of that joyful time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. What's different about how Greeks do it?

On the second day of the year, I showed my body some love by eating this bowl of nutrition.

After the fun. Historically, and throughout the year, Greeks have enjoyed a good feast. But the Greek people also appreciate a good-for-the-body fast. A fast doensn't have to be juices and water. A fast can be a break from meat. It can be taking a short vacation from carbohydrates--all of the sugary treats and potatoes and breads and cakes of the holiday season. You can go fully vegan for a week or a month. Traditional Greek cooking is mostly a vegetarian diet. Mostly as in most of the time we eat a stewed vegetable dish and occasionally we might have a roasted chicken or grilled pork or lamb chops. Sometimes a fish is roasted, but 90 percent of time at the dinner table it's vegetables--stewed or boiled--and salads. Following the feasting of the end of one year, I try to enter into the next year with easy meals. Nothing fancy. Basic flavors. 

Beautiful red chard. I boil it in salted water and serve it with lemon juice and olive oil.

Going green? I love all kinds of greens--red chard, Tuscan kale, collards, turnip greens. The greek way is to cook them rapidly in boiling salted water, scoop out with a slotted spoon (which retains some of the water) and serve hot or cold dressed at the table with lemon juice and olive oil. A true Greek will eat this with as much gusto and enthusiasm as eating a juicy lamb chop! Dip good bread into the plate and put a bit of that into the mouth with a bite of Feta and a few of the greens. A few Kalamata olives round things out.

But we cannot survive on greens alone, which is why I have collected a few additional recipes to help you find your way back to a healthier way of eating. Most of the recipes serve four people. If you're cooking for one or two, these recipes are great for an afternoon energy snack or as an easy work lunch. Store in the refrigerator after you enjoy them for dinner or put them into reusable containers so you can grab and go on your way out.

Greek Style Raw Zucchini Salad is that perfect something that will keep in the refrigerator for days. Grab it as a quick snack or pack it for lunch. Personally, I love it over pan-seared shrimp or chicken tenderloins. No breading, no sauces, nof fussing--just good protein with a fabulous zingy salad on top. If you're not into zucchini, use cucumber instead.

Pickled Shrimp Salad is another easy-to-prepare meal and good to keep in the fridge.

Stewed Cauliflower? Yes. Don't groan. Please don't make a face. This dish is incredibly delicious.

Fast Fast Soup. This is my favorite soup for the days that I'm doing intermittent fasting with a very low calorie allowance. It is surprisingly satisfying and loaded with nutrition. See what you think.

Stewing Green Beans...or Greens. Greeks will stew anything, even potatoes.


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