The Mediterranean diet was once again heralded as the overall best for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report for the fourth year in a row. The Greek diet is, of course, included in the Mediterranean, and well-known for its health benefits. The aromatic herbs and spices in Greek traditional foods and the focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats, are known to help people live longer, healthier lives.
For breakfast, Greek yogurt topped with a little Greek honey and some chopped walnuts and fresh fruit, if preferred, is a great way to start the day. A great source of calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12, Greek yogurt also contains 17 grams of protein.
For a savory breakfast or lunch or light dinner, try the following recipes featuring our favorite Greek flavors.
Greek Eggs and Tomatoes
3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Greek dried oregano
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
Tomato sauce (see recipe below)
8 large eggs
4 ounces feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons kefalotyri, grated
For the sauce:
3-4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 teaspoon Greek dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
To make the sauce: In a medium size sauce pan, add the olive oil and heat until warm, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the sliced garlic, oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the crushed tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup of water to the tomato can to remove any sauce left and add to the pot. Stir, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Cover, bring to a boil, over medium high heat, then lower to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
To make the eggs: Heat an ovenproof stainless steel sauté pan on the stove over medium heat; add the olive oil, then the onion, and sauté for until translucent. Add the oregano and the chopped tomato, stir to combine and cook for about one minute. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Gently crack the eggs into the pan. Top with the feta and sprinkle with kefalotyri. Simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes until the egg whites start to solidify and turn slightly opaque. Place the pan in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes depending on how firm you would like the eggs. Serve immediately with fresh bread, if preferred.
Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, feta, and olives at Kyma. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
Greek Salad Sandwich with Feta
For 2 sandwiches:
4 slices bread, toasted
Greek extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4-5 tablespoons feta Dodonis, crumbled
1 small-medium red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1-2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
Sliced Greek olives of your choice, to taste (optional)
Greek dried oregano, to taste (optional)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the toasted bread on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, top with about 2 tablespoons of feta for each sandwich, a few slices of onion, tomato, and cucumber. Top with a few slices of Greek olives and a pinch of oregano, if using, and the freshly ground pepper to taste. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, if preferred, top with the other slice of toasted bread. Cut the sandwich in half and serve.