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It's All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family's Century-Old Recipes

It's All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family's Century-Old Recipes

4.8 5
by Debbie Matenopoulos, Peter Capozzi (With)

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Debbie Matenopoulos grew up in a traditional Greek household, eating delicious, authentic Greek cooking that her family had passed down for generations. When Debbie started her television career in New York on The View, she began eating a standard American diet. Despite carefully limiting how much she ate, she found herself gaining weight and losing energy.


Debbie Matenopoulos grew up in a traditional Greek household, eating delicious, authentic Greek cooking that her family had passed down for generations. When Debbie started her television career in New York on The View, she began eating a standard American diet. Despite carefully limiting how much she ate, she found herself gaining weight and losing energy. Debbie moved on to anchor and special correspondent positions at E! News and TV Guide Channel, then to many other roles that had her on the go all the time. It was only when she returned to her traditional Greek diet that she found herself easily—and healthily—realizing her natural weight and regaining the stamina she had as a teenager.

In It's All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family's Century-Old Recipes, Debbie shares 120 of her family's traditional Greek recipes and adds her own touch to make them even healthier and easier to prepare. After tasting Debbie’s dishes, such as her mouthwatering version of Spanakopita and her take on Fasolatha, you’ll be amazed that these delicious foods are good for you. Debbie even includes tips on how to adapt her recipes to meet any dietary needs, so all readers can enjoy her hearty meals.

With a foreword by Dr. Michael Ozner, one of the nation’s leading cardiologists, the recipes in It’s All Greek to Me adhere to the healthiest diet on the planet: the traditional Mediterranean Diet. Modern science is catching up to what Greeks have known for millennia: health comes from eating natural, whole-food ingredients that haven’t been processed or pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives.

Let It’s All Greek to Me bring your friends and family together to share in the experience of a Greek meal and way of life. Opa!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This cookbook is deliciously stuffed with tradition and love."
—Nia Vardalos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding

"This book is a must for anyone interested in experiencing the richness of the food and culture of Greece!"
—Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner

"Debbie has really captured the essence of the true Greek classics that are my soul food. It is a must-have for any cook."
—Cat Cora, Iron Chef

“Like Debbie, my grandmother (Yiayia) always had something delicious and healthy waiting for us in the kitchen. I congratulate Debbie for gathering all these wonderful recipes together and never taking the gift of tradition and good health for granted.”
— Melina Kanakaredes, star of CSI: New York

“I don't know anyone who embodies more fire, energy and passion into their everyday life the way Debbie does. You can feel it on every page of this beautifully written and photographed cookbook. The recipes are easy to follow, and the food is absolutely amazing!”
—Cristina Ferrare, New York Times bestselling author and cohost of Hallmark's Emmy-nominated Home & Family

Product Details

BenBella Books, Inc.
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7.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

It's All Greek to Me

By Debbie Matenopoulos, Peter Capozzi

BenBella Books

Copyright © 2014 Debbie Matenopoulos
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-939529-93-0


Philotimo and the Greek Art of Living , Loving, Laughing, and ... Eating Well

This book started with a simple idea. My mother is an amazing cook, so I wanted to write a cookbook with her and include all of our family recipes. For years people have asked me how I learned to cook so well. Many of my friends assumed I had gone to cooking school. That concept seems so strange to me. Of course I know how to cook. I'm Greek. Cooking is in our blood. Growing up in a traditional Greek home, I learned the art of Greek cooking simply by watching my yiayia, my mom, my aunts, my cousins, and my sister. That is precisely how my mother learned to cook, my mother's mother before her, and down the line for generations. That is how most Greeks learn to cook. It is a family affair. To Greeks, food is not just food. It represents love. It represents family. Sitting down to the table to eat is the time when friends and family come together to connect and share their day with one another, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The most impactful and poignant conversations of my childhood and young adult life all happened at the dinner table. This ritual is one of the most important ways that we Greeks keep such close-knit family bonds.

Because of this, spending time in the kitchen has never been stressful for me. Instead, I look forward to my time cooking as a calming and heartwarming experience. I have endless memories of being in the kitchen with my mom, watching her whip up one of her magical meals. With a few sparse ingredients she could create an amazing feast. My dad would bring in some fresh vegetables from our garden, and she would turn them into the most delicious thing I had ever eaten.

As you might imagine, my mother quickly developed the well-deserved reputation for being the best cook in the neighborhood. On any given day there was at least one friend staying over for dinner, often a small army! It was years before I realized that not every mother was as great a cook as mine, nor had the love of food and generosity of spirit to literally feed an entire neighborhood.

I didn't realize how fortunate I was to have such a big, loving family to teach me the beauty of respecting the food we put in to our bodies. When I moved to New York City in my late teens to attend New York University and intern at MTV, I was no longer eating the way I had been taught as a child. The days of well-balanced family meals disappeared, and they were replaced with a standard "American" diet of takeout and deli food. It was cheap, and it was convenient. What wasn't convenient was my expanding waistline and my distressed skin. Although I was eating less food, I was gaining weight. That's when I realized the nutrient-dense, whole food diet on which I was raised was not only full of love but was clearly much better for my body and well-being.

Feeding us a traditional Mediterranean diet wasn't a conscious effort on my mother's part to start my family on a health kick. It was simply the diet and lifestyle she was raised on. It's just how we Greeks eat and have eaten for centuries. A classic Mediterranean diet is rich in fresh organic, seasonally available and locally grown fruits and vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, parsley, lemon, and organic, free-range, and hormone-free meat, poultry, and seafood. Consciously or not, my mother was ahead of her time. I strongly believe this is the way we humans were intended to eat.

As you will no doubt see as you begin to cook from this book, Greek dishes are made with whole, natural ingredients from the earth. In Greece, vegetables are almost always organic because most Greek farmers would never consider using pesticides on something that they would put into their own bodies, much less bring to market for others to consume. It is just common sense to them. Fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness, and they are on your lunch table that same afternoon. The same rules apply for their poultry, livestock, and fish. Animals are treated incredibly humanely and roam free on farms (or in people's gardens), and when another living creature gives its life to nourish us, that creature is honored and never taken for granted. Every part of it is used for some form of sustenance. The eggs, the milk, the wool, the meat, the bones, and even the skins. Nothing is wasted, for that is considered sinful.

Ironically, the word organic has little meaning to Greeks. When people started to become more aware of what goes into the foods we eat here in America, and the word organic was suddenly everywhere, my mom was baffled. She said, "Organic? What is this, honey? Oh, they mean normal and natural. The way God intended." To her, growing up in Greece, organic was all they ever had.

When I reflect on my "Greekness" and what it means to me, the thing I love most about my culture is how warm and welcoming we are. Greeks love to generously share their love of food and their love of life with everyone. There is a word in the Greek language, philotimo, which has no equivalent translation in the English language or any other language for that matter. Its literal translation is "friend of honor" or "love of honor," but those phrases cannot define the true depth and complexity of this seemingly simple word. Philotimo is a powerful concept. It is a way of being in the world and relating to others that all Greeks learn from a very early age. Philotimo is considered the highest of virtues in Greece, and it is something in which we Greeks take much pride. It is about doing what is right, not just what is convenient and right for you but what is right for the universal order of things. Your philotimo is a badge of honor that shows the world what kind of person you are and what kind of character you have. Every family in Greece instills this concept in their children.

Philotimo embodies an array of crucial values. It is about the unconditional love of family and friends, performing random acts of kindness, and never expecting anything in return. In Greece, all of these virtues are practiced on a regular basis. You see, Greeks don't practice philotimo to try to impress others. They do it because it feels right to treat the world we live in and our fellow man with respect. Philotimo is about expressing total gratitude for life. It is about paying it forward. It is one of the core, rock-solid values that all Greeks posses. The ancient Greek philosopher Thales (c. 624 BC–c. 546 BC), who Aristotle considered Greece's first philosopher, wrote, "Philotimo to the Greek is like breathing. A Greek is not a Greek without it. He might as well not be alive."

Personally, I am honored and humbled to be part of such a rich culture. And like so many Greeks before me, I want to share my culture with the world so that everyone can experience the love and the philotimo I have felt throughout my life. My first step in doing so is to share my family's century-old recipes with everyone (much to the chagrin of my sister Maria, who was holding on to her baklava recipe for dear life. Sorry Maria! The secret's out!). I wanted to show the world that Greek food is not just gyro, souvlaki, and Greek yogurt. Although those are all pretty yummy, there is a lot more to traditional Greek cuisine. The recipes in this book will prove it. These are recipes that have been passed down in my family for generations. They are both scrumptious and great for you. And they are all made with love. My hope is to make my family proud by sharing their treasured recipes with you so that you too can enjoy them with your friends and family. Let us all share in the philotimo of Greece together. Opa!!

Stin igieia sou kai kali orexi, (To your health and good appetite,)

—Debbie Matenopoulos

Horiatki Salata (hor-YIA-tee-kee sah-lah-TAH)


Unlike many of the Greek salads found on menus in America, traditional Greek village salads do not contain lettuce. This salad is a staple of nearly every Greek lunch and dinner. Serve it with any of the main dishes in this book for a wholesome, rustic, and traditional supper you and your family will adore.


1 seedless English cucumber, peeled and sliced
4 to 5 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 large red onion, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives, plus more to taste
¼ pound brine-packed Greek feta cheese, drained
and sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
(1 lemon)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon cut into wedges, to serve with salad
Sea salt (optional)

Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and olives together in a large salad bowl and top with the slices of feta. Crush the oregano in your hand to release its fragrant essential oils, then sprinkle over the salad along with capers (if using). Drizzle the lemon juice over the salad, then the olive oil. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or serve immediately with some lemon wedges alongside for added zest. The feta is quite salty, which usually eliminates the need for added salt. Give the salad a taste just before serving, and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the tomatoes and cucumbers, if desired.

Spanakopita (spah-nah-KOH-pee-tah)


I love sharing this Greek favorite with my friends. Over the years I have mastered making an excellent spanakopita. In fact, you'd be hardpressed to find someone working in entertainment news in Hollywood who hasn't tried my spanakopita and who wouldn't agree that it's pretty darn delicious. Still, I must admit that mine will never be quite as good as my mom's. She has the magic touch. Practice makes perfect, and while Mom's is still the best, yours will be pretty fantastic too!


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more
for baking dish
1 bunch scallions, white and tender green parts,
washed and thinly sliced
½ large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 pounds fresh spinach, coarse stems removed,
washed in several changes of cold water,
drained, and chopped
1 pound brine-packed Greek feta
1 cup finely chopped fresh dill
4 large eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) package phyllo dough sheets
(13 × 18 inches), thawed (see tip, page 112)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 × 13-inch baking dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the scallions and the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until just wilted. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and transfer to a fine-mesh strainer. Cool slightly, then squeeze as much excess water as possible from the spinach, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Crumble the feta into small pieces and add it to the spinach mixture. Add the dill and mix gently to combine. Add the eggs and pepper. Mix well to combine with impeccably clean hands or a silicone spatula.

Roll the phyllo dough out on a flat surface, working quickly and keeping it covered to prevent it from drying out. Place 2 phyllo sheets into the baking dish at a time, centering them and letting the edges hang over the sides. Brush the top sheet of each 2-sheet layer with a little of the remaining olive oil, but do not brush the overhanging edges. Continue in this manner until you have used 10 of the phyllo dough sheets. Spread the spinach-feta mixture evenly over the phyllo dough layers in the prepared dish. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the filling, then continue to layer the phyllo dough, brushing each 2-sheet layer with olive oil, until you have used all of the dough. Trim the top layers of phyllo to fit the baking dish. Slowly pour the remaining olive oil on top, and spread evenly.

Before baking, using a large knife, very carefully score the pie into 8 to 10 pieces, cutting through the top layers just until you reach the filling. Precutting makes it much easier to serve, as the phyllo dough becomes crisp and very fragile after baking.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and flaky, watching carefully. Cool for 10 minutes, slice the precut pieces all the way through, and serve.

DEBBIE'S TIP: As noted earlier, as with most of the phyllo pies, spanakopita can be made with either melted butter or extra-virgin olive oil. I find the olive oil version to be a lighter, more healthful dish, but I also love to indulge in my mom's decadent, traditional version once in a while. To make it Mom's way, replace the olive oil used to brush the phyllo with 6 tablespoons of melted butter (see tip, page 112), add an extra egg, and use 1½ pounds of feta instead of 1 pound. It's over-the-top delicious!

Kourambiethes (koo-rah-BEE-YEH-thehs)


Kourambiethes are served year-round at many holidays and special occasions in Greece. They are easy to prepare, buttery, and coated in powdered sugar, which gives them a lovely festive appearance. Their white color indicates wishes for continued happiness and good fortune. These cookies may take a little practice; you want them slightly crispy at first bite and meltingly tender in your mouth. The trick for light, airy cookies is to use whipped butter instead of sticks.


2 cups slivered blanched almonds, toasted until
lightly golden
1 pound whipped unsalted sweet cream butter at
room temperature
2 egg yolks
½ cup confectioners' sugar plus 3 cups more
for dusting
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cognac
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Process the almonds in a food processor or high-performance blender, pulsing until they are coarsely ground. They should retain a slight texture, not become a very fine meal. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, egg yolks, and ½ cup of the confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the almonds, vanilla extract, and cognac. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times during mixing.

Reduce speed to low and add the flour, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and is soft and not sticky. You probably will use about 4½ cups of flour. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for 1 or 2 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated.

Using a tablespoon as a measure, scoop out small, equal-size pieces of dough, shape them into half-moons, and place them 1 inch apart on 2 large, ungreased cookie sheets. If the dough becomes too warm and difficult to work with, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are a pale yellow gold. (Do not brown.) Remove from oven and cool slightly on the baking sheets, about 5 minutes.

Sift about 1 cup of the remaining confectioners' sugar onto a large sheet of wax paper. Using a small spatula, transfer the warm cookies from the baking sheets to the sugar-coated wax paper. Liberally sift the remaining confectioners' sugar over the top and sides of the cookies so that they are bright white and completely covered with sugar.


Excerpted from It's All Greek to Me by Debbie Matenopoulos, Peter Capozzi. Copyright © 2014 Debbie Matenopoulos. Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Both of Debbie Matenopoulos’s parents immigrated to the United States from Greece and instilled in Debbie the concept of philoxenia, a passion for bringing friends, family, and even strangers together over the dinner table for meals made with love.

A two-time Emmy nominee, Matenopoulos has sustained her career as a compelling journalist and talk show host for more than a decade. After starting out on The View as the youngest person in daytime history to hold a permanent co-host position on network television, she went on to launch the TV Guide Channel, host the TBS hit series He’s a Lady, write and sell a movie to Oxygen Network, and co-host FOX’s Good Day Live. She then joined the E! Network family and began co-hosting red carpet events, The Daily 10, and also hosted Fashion Police and Style Network’s Instant Beauty Pageant.

She is now correspondent for CBS Television’s The Insider and covers everything from pop culture trends to the latest hard-hitting news.

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It's All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family's Century-Old Recipes 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delicious recipes that I thought would be difficult to make but it turns out they are simple and delicious.  There are some fun stories alongside the recipes and useful tips.  I have always been a fan of Debbie!  This book makes me want to go to Greece!  The moussaka is my fav!
SandrasBookNook More than 1 year ago
When I was contacted about possibly reviewing this cookbook and participating in the blog tour, I jumped at the chance. I have absolutely loved every Greek dish I've ever tried, so I knew I really wanted a part of this! As soon as the book arrived, I took a break from everything and spent the next hour curled up on the couch reading and browsing through the book. My list of things I want to make finally just got tossed as it was half the book! I homeschool my girls and we are currently studying ancient history. One of their assignments was to make lentil stew, a dish very common to that time. They were very excited to find a recipe in "It's All Greek to Me", and set out to make it. Now, they are not exactly fans of lentils. I make them semi-regularly as they are a cheap, healthy dish, but it's definitely not one of their favorites. However, they all actually enjoyed this version which includes carrots, celery and more. Many of my favorites are in this book from Spanokopita to Tomato, Cumumber and Red Onion Salad, Greek Meatball Soup and of course, there's always Baklava!! Oh, my! Definitely my favorite Greek dessert, I am very pleased to be able to share Debbie's recipe with you!! Baklava (bah-klah-VAH) Here is my family’s secret recipe for the best Baklava ever. Rolling it this way, as opposed to baking it in a flat pan, ensures a light flakiness and just the right amount of the honey syrup running throughout. Around the holiday season, when I was growing up, my mom would make big batches of this so that my sister, my brother, and I could give platters of it to our teachers. Needless to say, every new school year, teachers were very excited to see one of the Matenopoulos kids on their class rosters! YIELDS APPROXIMATELY 39 PIECES FOR THE BAKLAVA 11/4 pounds walnuts (about 5 cups), finely chopped 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 (1-pound) package phyllo dough sheets (13 × 18 inches), thawed (see tip, page 112) (18 sheets) 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted FOR THE SYRUP 2 cups sugar 2 cups water 1 cup honey 1 (2-inch-wide) piece fresh lemon peel 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon, and set aside. Working quickly, and keeping the unused phyllo sheets covered, lay out 1 sheet of phyllo on a clean flat surface. Lightly brush the phyllo sheet with the melted butter. Cover with a second phyllo sheet and butter. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the nut mixture over the top sheet. Repeat this process with 2 more sheets of phyllo and another 1/2 cup of the nut mixture, then again with last 2 phyllo sheets and a final ½ cup of the nut mixture. You will have used 6 sheets of phyllo and 11/2 cups of the nut mixture (3 layers). Starting at the long end (the 18-inch side), gently roll the layered phyllo sheets up into a tight, fat roll. Brush the seam with butter to seal. Repeat the entire process twice more. One package will make 3 rolls. Using a large, very sharp knife, cut the rolls into 1-inch pieces. Lay the pieces cut side down on 2 large ungreased rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and, using a large spatula or tongs, quickly flip the baklava over. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes more or until cooked through, golden and flaky. While the baklava is baking, make the syrup. Combine all of the syrup ingredients except the lemon juice in a medium, nonreactive saucepan. Set it over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 12 minutes, stir in the lemon juice, and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and carefully remove and discard the lemon peel. Let the syrup cool slightly. Remove the baklava from the oven and slowly pour the warm syrup over pieces on the baking sheets. Let stand 1 hour to soak up the syrup. Transfer to individual cupcake wrappers, if desired, and serve. The baklava will keep, covered loosely, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Debbie’s Tip: To make a vegan baklava, substitute a vegan butter (like Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks) for the dairy butter, use maple sugar or organic (vegan) sugar, and omit the honey, if desired. Baklava!! I was also able to get a Q&A from Debbie Matenopoulos to share with you all! “Fall for Greek with Debbie Matenopoulos” Blog Tour Q&A What was your favorite part about putting this book together? Most challenging? My favorite part about putting this cookbook together was gathering all of the recipes from my family and translating them into English. There is so much history in these recipes. It was very nostalgic. My mother gave me my grandmother’s hand written recipe books that were written in Greek along with her own. There were pages that were coming out that were obviously worn by the years of being referenced time and time again. I felt as if I was holding our most valuable family heirlooms in my hands. I feel very honored that my entire family was willing to share their treasured recipes with me and allow me to share them with the world. The most challenging part of writing this cookbook was translating the measurements from the metric system. That was no easy task. As opposed to just going by a chart, I chose to personally re-measure everything just to be certain. I have to admit that this was the one time in my life I wished they had taught us more of the metric system in school. ;) What 5 items are a must in a well-stocked Greek pantry? A Greek pantry is NOT a Greek pantry without some very key ingredients. I know you've asked for 5, but there are actually 7 that every Greek kitchen should be stocked with. They are Greek extra virgin olive oil, dried Greek oregano, fresh lemons, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh tomatoes, and onions. Combined, those ingredients and you have the base of a lot of Greek dishes. The Mediterranean Diet is high in healthy fats. How do you incorporate heart-healthy oils into your recipes? It has been proven time and time again that extra virgin olive oil is the most heart healthy of all oils. It is all I have ever used and it is all that my family ever used growing up. Although the smoke point is much lower than it is on other oils, in my opinion, it is still the best way to go when cooking or flavoring any dish. I wouldn't consider cooking with anything else. Extra virgin olive oil has been proven to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease. As a matter of fact, one of the leading cardiologists in the country, Dr. Michael Ozner, wrote the forward to my book and in it, he discusses this very issue. That's why he too believes that the Mediterranean way of eating that I describe in my book is the most healthy way of eating on the planet. What is your earliest memory of cooking/preparing Greek food? My earliest memories of cooking are from when I was about 4 years old and are of me being in the kitchen with my mom. I was helping her stir the bechamel for the pastichio or moussaka over the stovetop to make sure it didn’t get too thick. She would pull up a stool for me to stand on and make sure to let me know that my job was very important. She would tell me that getting the pastichio or moussaka exactly right all depended on me making sure I didn't let the bechamel thicken too much. That responsibility made me feel so important and made me so proud when we all sat down to dinner. It truly made me feel like I was an integral part in making this delicious meal. I think that's when I fell in love with cooking. What message would you like to resonate with your readers/home cooks? I would like the readers of this blog and the home cooks to not only enjoy the amazing flavors of the Mediterranean cuisine of my ancestors, but also the immeasurable health benefits. And, I’d like them to enjoy this food with their family and loved ones, because after all, food is more than just food to Greeks. To Greeks, food represents love and family. So here’s to you enjoying the deliciousness of this cookbook with your family!! ;) This book is gorgeous and filled with such lovely recipes that I can highly recommend it to anyone. Enjoy! I received a copy of this book from BenBella Books for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
It's All Greek to Me: Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with My Family's Century-Old Recipes, Debbie Matenopoulos ,Peter Capozzi Review from jeannie zelos book reviews I love cook books, and although I'm addicted to my kindle for fiction books like this simply have to be enjoyed in their traditional print format IMO. That way the reader can dip into sections, browse through looking for inspiration and just enjoy the fantastic pictures this book contains. You can’t do that so well on a kindle, even if its a Fire or tablet, I feel. It isn’t just a book of recipes, but more a sample of a way of life, with fabulous photos of Greece, and lots of information on the Greek way of life, especially the Mediterranean way of eating that's become so revered among dieticians recently. Debbie has adjusted many of the recipes to make them lighter and less calorific. That's a great help to those of us that try to watch our weight but love to enjoy tasty and interesting meals.  I’ve found lots of recipes I want to try here, some for when the family are round and we have a huge clan of three generations around the table. That's a great way to enjoy food, talk and good company, and of course a good introduction to foreign cuisine that isn’t juts fried rice, noodles or curries!. Most people now are time short when it comes to meals, and turn to ready meals and quick snacks as a main way of eating, but it tells on our health with them being too often full of fats, sugar, salt and preservatives. This book contains lots of recipes that are both healthy, tasty and easy to make. The section on the typical Greek Pantry ingredients means that most recipes can be easily made with ingredients to hand. Nothing is more off-putting to me that to find something I'd love to make, and then discover I'm missing half the essential flavourings and herbs...I improvise of course, but some things need essential flavourings that can’t be swapped. I’m not a planner,  but tend to  buy meat or fish and then look to my books for inspiration on what to cook. This way I’ll have in my cupboard the things I'll need. Although many recipes are meat or fish based, vegetarians are not forgotten with many recipes suitable for them. My daughter has been vegetarian for almost 25 years now – she was 9 when she decided no animals or fish would be part of her diet, so I always look for those dishes in a book, and was pleased at how many were here. She’s looked at them too and wants to try some out on her family – they eat meat but also enjoy vegetarian dishes. Stars: Five, a great book, a lovely sample of the Greek way of life that can be enjoyed anywhere. ARC supplied via Netgalley and Publishers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had heard the term “Mediterranean Diet”, but always assumed it was just another fad diet, so when a friend recommended this book to me, I was skeptical.  After browsing through it, I saw that it’s not really a “diet” (in the sense of severe restriction from certain foods), but a way of eating and preparing really tasty dishes from that part of the world, that also happen to be more heart healthy.  So we gave it a try. We aren’t Greek, so this was new territory.  And it was a fantastic introduction to Greek food and cooking.  Everything is spelled out, so it’s very user friendly.  It not only serves as a cookbook, but as a reference book as well.  In addition to the great recipes, I thought the photography and brief stories gave the book bit of personality. Our first favorites are the beet salad (great on a hot summer day), the herb-roasted chicken and vegetables (when friends are coming over… it fills the house with the best aroma) and of course, the Revani (yep, I found a cake recipe).  And we still have over 100 recipes to go!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love to cook so I found this book very interesting. I've always wanted to try a little Greek cooking and now I can. I have a few recipes to try. The ARC book only has a few recipes in it. I will be trying the Greek Village Salad (Horiattci Salata) today. I can't wait to try some more recipes in this book. I recommend this book to others. I can't wait to get the whole book and see what other recipes are in there. So I tried the Greek Village Salad and I loved it. Can't wait to try some recipes.