Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vegetarians Unite - GREEK STYLE!

Authentic Greek cuisine is rich with vegetarian options. I mean, Greek cooking is based on fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, herbs, spices, and olive oil - perfect for vegetarians (and often for vegans as well). However, unless you speak or read Greek, it can be challenging to seek out the authentic spots and interpret their menus.

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Here are some of the most popular Greek vegetarian dishes:
  • Greek salad (cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and oregano)
  • Spanokopita (flaky spinach and cheese pastry)
  • Saganaki (a plate of melted cheese)
  • Pasta Napolatina (pasta with tomato sauce)
  • Cheese pastries
  • Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with dill-flavored rice)
  • Olives, cheese and tzatziki (tangy yogurt…from where we got Ziziki‘s name from) plates

It is much more difficult to find completely vegan dishes (a diet eliminating all meat, dairy and animal products) as many of the meatless options contain cheese. However, hummus (chickpea spread) on pita bread is a naturally vegetarian AND vegan snack. Yigandes Plaki (gigante beans & tomato casserole) is a very popular dish during lent-Greek Orthodox observe several major and minor fasting periods throughout the year, including the Easter Lenten season. Meat (and products derived from meat), fish with backbones, dairy products, olive oil, and wine are not eaten.

You can’t forget about dessert, now! Baklava is a perennial favorite, a classic Greek pastry made with flaky phyllo dough that is layered with a cinnamon-spiced nut filling, and sweetened with honey or syrup. It’s sweet and very decadent AND vegetarian!

People in Greece, who eat a traditional Greek diet, have been known to live on average quite a bit longer than inhabitants of other countries. Greek food is tasty and good for your health and you won’t find a better combination than that. ZIZIKI’S RESTAURANT has a very healthy Greek cuisine, including many vegetarian dishes.

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