Mind Your Body TV Episode 13 with Chef Zov Karamardian.
Currencies in Greece and Italy may be weak now, but the seaside region’s diet is a great reason to reconstruct your “food pyramid” and learn the healthy Mediterranean diet. Don’t worry though: This won’t require much heavy lifting. Have you considered the positive aspects of the Mediterranean diet on your health and longevity? If not, here’s yet another recent study—this one from Johns Hopkins—exalting the diet’s benefits. Even if you can’t jet to southern Italy and Greece right now, enjoy those countries’ healthier cuisine.
The study authors say swapping out certain foods can improve heart health in people at risk for heart disease, even if the dietary changes don’t cause weight loss. A generally balanced diet higher in unsaturated fats like those in avocados, olive oil and nuts improves and increases insulin use significantly more than a diet high in carbohydrates, particularly such refined carbohydrates as white bread and pasta: We Americans eat way too much of both. Unsaturated fats counter harmful lower insulin action that may cause diabetes, and in turn, heart disease.
Eat the healthy Mediterranean diet
Chef Zov help us enjoy Greek “salad days.”
So, here’s how the Mayo Clinic says your Mediterranean pyramid should look. The teeny top part is meat and sweets, followed by poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt, then fish and seafood and then, the important stuff: fruits, vegetables (You can’t escape ‘em!), whole grains, olive oil, legumes, beans and nuts. Base every meal on the last category, and you could not only reduce your heart disease risk, but risk of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Watch today’s episode with Armenian-born chef Zov Karamardian, legendary Orange County restaurateur whose most recent cookbook is “Simply Zov, Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist.”
Zov takes us through the simple process of making a real Greek salad. Did you know her dressing doesn’t contain vinegar or lettuce? Watch Zov make her version and let me know how you like it. Bon appetit!
The easiest Greek salad ever
Here’s the list of ingredients:
- 2 hothouse cucumbers (about 1½ pounds total), seeded and cut into ½-inch chunks 6 plum tomatoes, 4 cut into 6 wedges each, 2 coarsely chopped
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- ½ cup Kalamata olives (pitted optional)
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh mint
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried mint
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Toss the cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, red onion, feta cheese, olives, parsley, and fresh mint in a large bowl. Whisk the lemon juice, oil, black pepper, dried mint, seasoned salt, and salt in a small bowl to blend. Toss the salad with the dressing to coat. Serve immediately.
Eat! The healthy Mediterranean diet not only looks great and tastes great, it helps your heart in so many ways. Hope you enjoy my video here.
(Photo courtesy: © Melinda Nagy | Dreamstime.com)