Most people have heard of the Mediterranean diet being good for your health, but not many people know why? A study reported in the June 2003 New England journal of Medicine involved 22,043 adults in Greece and their diets. The study found that the majority of people who followed the Mediterranean style diet had a 20% less chance of dying of coronary disease than most Americans and had a 33% less chance of developing cancer than people living in the US. The base of the Mediterranean diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, chickpeas, lentils, seeds, fresh herbs, spices, low fat cheese, fish, seafood, lean meats and poultry. Try this easy to put together healthy Greek Salad and serve a piece of grilled fish or a freshly roasted whole chicken, better still just have the salad, its delicious.
Deans Note: Greek salad or Rustic salad is made with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, black olives (usually Kalamata) and cubed feta cheese. Seasoned with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly picked oregano or marjoram leaves. Bound with lemon juice and heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. Can you think of a better salad for these hot Carolina summer days?
6oz fresh feta cheese
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon freshly picked marjoram
½ red onion
4 ripe tomatoes
12 black olives (Kalamata)
juice of one lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the feta cheese into 1in cubes, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram.
2. Cut the cucumber into thick chunks. Thinly slice the red onion, core the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Mix the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, olives and the remaining marjoram in a bowl. Sprinkle with the olive oil and lemon juice.
3. Season the salad with salt and pepper and toss together well. Sprinkle over the cubes of cheese.