Meatless Monday: Greek Village Salad

by | May 11, 2018 | Food | 2 comments

The key to managing our health with foods is listening to our body. I discuss this in my article on intermittent fasting. Following my own natural eating pattern led me from veganism in my teens and 20s to vegetarianism in my 30s. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I recently shifted back to a plant-based diet. Digesting animal protein became difficult and I transitioned down to poultry and fish only, but finally, my body said “no more”. I listened and turned back to all plants. Over time, our bodies change. Each decade brings new preferences, health states and bio-information to us. What we do with that info determines how we progress on our path to optimal health. For me, right now, more plants. 

I know a lot of you are leaning the same direction, so I want to share more meatless recipes with you and to talk a little bit about Meatless Monday. You’re familiar, right? If not, be sure to check it out and get on board. It’s a revitalized plan from both World Wars when civilians were asked to consume less wheat, meat, sugar and fats, reserving those foods for the military and allies. In 2003, the program was revitalized in an effort to reduce diseases related to excess meat consumption. The movement makes our bodies, planet and bank accounts healthier!

I want to encourage you to join me in eating less meat and more plants, so I’m sharing some of my favorite easy-to-prepare gluten-free Meatless Monday recipes with you. This Greek Village Salad is so simple to put together but it gets rave reviews every time and we never have leftovers. Sad, in a way, because it would make a great next-day lunch salad for me. But it’s good in another way because it means my family loves it so much they just can’t stop eating it! ;-)

It’s similar to a salad I had at a Greek restaurant in Washington, DC, over a decade ago. I remember thinking how fresh it tasted, but when I considered the ingredients, it seemed simple enough to recreate at home. Of course, my version uses about a third of the feta the restaurant loaded on top. You can adjust the amount of cheese to suit your tastes. I leave it off my portion, since I’m dairy-free, but the rest of the family loves the salty addition to the crunchy veggies. You can also use black or kalamata olives if you prefer. I like the salty zing of green olives, so that’s what I use. Use what you think tastes best. I omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt because the olives and feta add plenty of saltiness, but it give it a taste and see what you think. If you need the salt, add it in.

As for Meatless Monday serving suggestions, sometimes I toss this salad with about two cups of cooked quinoa or rice. If I make lentil soup for dinner, I will make this salad to serve on the side with slices of homemade gluten-free bread. It’s a great dish to take along to picnics or potlucks, too!

Meatless Monday: Greek Village Salad

This recipe is free from gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, corn, eggs, and meat. For dairy-free, omit feta. 

Ingredients

Salad:

3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 cup cucumber, chopped

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup red onion, sliced very thin

½ cup pimiento stuffed green olives, sliced

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:

3 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley

Directions

In a large glass serving bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt until emulsified. Reserve the parsley.

Slice the veggies and add them to the bowl, reserving the feta.

Toss the veggies in the dressing until all are coated.

Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve. If I chill this salad before serving, I let it sit out at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving time.

Just before serving, toss the feta in and sprinkle the parsley on top.

2 Comments

  1. Lynn Riley

    I try to do meatless 2 days a week. I believe I feel better, too, for not
    eating so much meat. The rest of the week, I only have 2 ounce portion
    once a day. Too many great veggies and ways to fix them that are way
    healthier. Lynn

    Reply


    • Gigi Stewart

      Hi, Lynn! I agree about feeling better. I have been vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian. I have also eaten meat regularly. Currently, I am mostly plant-based, with an occasional bit of fish. As my body ages, I definitely see the benefit in keeping heavy meats (red meat, pork) and poultry to a minimum. And I’m like you about veggies – I love them and agree there are so many delicious preparations!! Happy Mother’s Day weekend! xo

      Reply


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