Greek salads, part of a heart healthy and anti-cancer Mediterranean diet are filled with greens, fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, olive oil, nuts and a protein of your choice. Make this a vegan, vegetarian dish by adding beans or add grilled chicken breast or fish for a complete meal that you can put together in minutes. Oregano is a culinary herb with potent antioxidant activity and rich in essential oils that support normal digestive function as well as the plant phenols such as rosmarinic acid carvacrol known to be active against H. Pylori bacterial infections in the stomach, one of the primary causes of stomach ulcers. Oil of Oregano is well known for its effects on a wide spectrum of bacterial and fungal infectious organisms as well as its cancer fighting properties. Tomatoes are rich in the super antioxidant cancer fighting plant chemical lycopene. Olives and olive oil are rich in healthy monounsaturated oils. Purple and red onions are rich in quercitin, a flavonoid with anti-cancer activity. Add some pine nuts or walnuts for more essential healthy oils and your choice of beans or chicken or fish and you have meal in a bowl!
- 1 head of Romaine Lettuce, leaves washed and torn
- 2 cups of tomatoes (diced cherry tomatoes or sliced red and yellow heirloom tomatoes)
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced into thin half moons
- 1 cucumber sliced into half moons or diced into 1/2 inch cubes (try persian or yellow cucumbers for a variation)
- 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or light sherry, white wine or champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- 1 large or 2 small cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Tear the lettuce leaves into bite sized pieces omitting the ribs of the romaine lettuce leaves.
Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Process the salad dressing in a blender and pour over the salad.
Add any of the optional ingredients to add texture, flavor and protein for a complete meal.
1/2 cup crumbled sheep or goat’s milk feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1/4 – 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
substitute spinach with mixed baby greens or arugula and radicchio for the romaine lettuce
For vegetarian protein add 2 cups of cooked chickpeas, lentils or fava beans
Or for animal protein add grilled chicken breast, grilled salmon, scallops or shrimp
This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Meals | Healthy Gluten free Recipes for the Whole Family by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre