Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cookbook Thursday: 'Healthy Greek Cooking'

Looking to get healthy? It doesn’t require extreme sacrifices but healthy food choices. A good way to start is with a cookbook that outlines such choices. Anna Naltzatzian Bourla has written “Healthy Greek Cooking: An improved Mediterranean Diet” after she visited Greece following a diagnosis of breast cancer. She combines her mother’s experience as a Greek chef, advice from the medical profession and the Mediterranean’s monks to develop recipes that are both healthy and delicious — with lagniappe on their healthy properties. Whether you’re suffering through a life change due to illness or just want to live a healthier life, Bourla’s “Healthy Greek Cooking” offers a way forward, with a decidedly Greek slant. The book is available through Pelican Publishing of New Orleans.

About the Author
The daughter of a painter and a chef, Anna Naltsatzian Bourla is an artist who has worked as an actress, restorer, and homemaker. Raised on the island of Corfu, she lived in New York City for more than forty years. Naltsatzian Bourla was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and moved back to Greece to recover her health and pursue her artistic passions. She lives in Athens.

Tzatziki Yogurt Dip
Strained yogurt (thicker yogurt) can be found in Greek delicatessen shops. Otherwise it can be easily made at home, starting with plain, unsweetened yogurt.
Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 cups Greek strained yogurt (yaourti sakoulas)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps. first pressed olive oil
1 ⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
Pinch sea salt

Directions: Line a colander with cheesecloth or a large flat-bottomed coffee filter. Put a bowl underneath the colander and add the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least an hour, until all excess water has drained and the yogurt has thickened. Coarsely grate the cucumber in a medium bowl. Drain the cucumber well, and then pat it dry with a paper towel to remove any remaining liquid. Return the cucumber to the bowl and add the yogurt, garlic, olive oil, dill, and sea salt, mixing well. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Serve with olives and hot pita bread.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at