What I Ate Wednesday is a series of spotlights on diverse eating styles and recipes, meant to showcase different diets and explore the wide variety of foods we choose to eat! Meghan is our partnerships coordinator.
Giassou! (“Hello” in Greek!)
Recently I had the pleasure of traveling with my alma mater for a service learning program in Greece. The majority of our time was spent in Athens, helping those living on the streets and exploring the city. I also had the opportunity to visit Santorini (if you ever have to chance to visit, do it). In order to stay energized I drank plenty of water and indulged in some Mediterranean cuisine. The food alone will make you want to grab your passport and go!
I was fortunate that the hotels we stayed at had breakfast included, so I could save a few extra Euros to get more souvenirs! My staple breakfast in the states is Greek yogurt, peanut butter, flax seed, and banana. I created a variation of my go-to breakfast with yogurt (in Greece, Greek yogurt is just…yogurt), honey, and almonds. It kept me full and not feeling weighed down.
Though the yogurt kept me full for quite a while, after being in the sun for a few hours, the hunger definitely hits. For lunch I had a simple yet extremely tasty dish called cheese pie. This isn’t your mother’s apple pie. It was almost like a calzone: a baked slap of dough stuffed with feta (a staple of my Mediterranean cuisine) and thyme. To go with the pie, I ordered a fresh squeezed orange juice. Vitamin C is definitely recommended when traveling because your immune system can be compromised.
Is it wrong to say that the majority of my snacks were a glass of wine? The meals were so filling that I didn’t find myself snacking as much as I do at home. However, I did make sure to pack my ENLIGHTENED Sweet Cinnamon and Sea Salt Crisps for the plane rides.
What kind of tourist would I be if I didn’t order a Greek salad while in Greece? A lot of Mediterranean cuisine doesn’t contain lettuce because the land isn’t really suited to grow it. This Greek salad included tomatoes, cucumbers, purple onions, green peppers, olives, olive oil, and an ENTIRE BLOCK OF FETA. I learned it’s better to buy feta in a block than already crumbled because the cheese loses moisture when crumbled. This salad is great for a hot summer day because it contains lots of water based veggies, so it fills you up while cooling you down.
This trip was not only thought provoking in regards to learning about the current events in and obstacles Greece is facing, it also made me question the type of food I am put in my body and how I can incorporate more locally grown items into my diet. Next time you go on a vacation, break out of your comfort zone and try the local cuisine. You never know when you might find your new favorite dish!
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