All the Greek Festivals!

If you like Greek food and you’d like to take your family for a bit of fun, Greek Festivals are just the ticket. Here I have listed some, but not all the Greek festivals that I know and love.

Early in the summer in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, St. George’s had its Ya’ssoo Greek Festival!

St George Yassoo Fest, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by George Dzahristos

St. Nick’s Opa! Fest in Troy is the largest on-going Greek festival in the metro Detroit area. This is one of my favorites. My friend, blogger, cookbook author, and Chef, Peter Minaki of Kalofagas has given cooking demonstrations at this festival for the last few years.

St .Nicks Opa Fest, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by HOUR Detroit

This weekend, Holy Trinity in Grand Rapids Michigan hosts Yassou! Greek Cultural Festival. I wrote about this festival, and my Greek cousins, in 2011.

Souvlakia, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by Kitoula

Their motto is Eat! Dance! Be Greek!

Yassou! Fest, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by Kitoula

And because Greece is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, you might add, Drink!

Opa Kitoula! All the Greek Festivals


Greek Ikarian Diet for Long Life

Here’s my brief run down on a current, very popular topic: How a Greek Ikarian diet can help you be healthier and live longer. I Googled “Greek Ikarian diet”, and got over 35,000 results.  There have been a lot of articles about the “Mediterranean diet” for some time, but now because of a new book by Dan Buettner, The Blue Zones,  it is getting a lot of buzz. Particularly because of the longevity of the population on the Greek island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea.

Map of Ikaria

So, for those of us who aren’t so fortunate to live in this paradise, we can at least try to eat like the Ikarian people do. That means eating more leafy greens, beans and lentils, cooking with olive oil, avoiding processed foods, and over-eating. We should eat meat less frequently and in much smaller portions. Eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening. Here’s the best part: Drink alcohol moderately and regularly, 1-2 glasses a day!Ikarian home outdoor dining

I have been a big fan of Chef Diane Kochilas for quite some time. I have made and shared her recipes on this blog. Some day I’d like to attend her vacation cooking school on the island of Ikaria.

In 2012 at TEDx Athens,  she talked about how to eat like a Greek, the nutrition of the Ikarian diet, and how all of this could be used to renew Greece’s place in the global community. It’s one of my favorite TED Talks.

Enjoy the video, and kali orexi!

Newly redesigned

Welcome to the newly redesigned This site is responsive to whatever device you are viewing it with; mobile phone, tablet or laptop. It is created from WordPress software using the Twenty Fifteen Theme. I could not have done it without the help of Erick Osia from Gryphon Digital and Christopher Ochs from Vision Production.

Thank you for your patience during the construction. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Vegan Diet, Lent and Fasting

Many people follow a Vegan diet now, and groceries and markets have a lot of Vegan products to offer these days. Vegans are vegetarian, but they also do not eat eggs, dairy products and honey.  A Vegan diet is similar to the diet many Greek Orthodox follow during the Lenten season.

Greek Orthodox Lent began on Monday, March 2nd this year. That is 5 weeks before Holy Week, the week before Orthodox Easter on April 12th. Many Greek Orthodox who follow a strict fast during Lent abstain from meat, fish and dairy products. On some certain days of Lent, fish, shellfish, wine, and olive oil may be eaten.

I have decided to give up red meat, sweets, and sugar for Lent. The most difficult part has been avoiding sweets and sugar.  Sugar is hidden in almost all ready-to-eat prepared foods. So the best way to abstain from sugar is to make all your meals homemade.

My recipe for Lentil Soup can be adapted for strict fasting (don’t use olive oil) and Vegan diets. I also found this Greek Rice Pilaf with Leeks and Saffron recipe from Chef Diane Kochilas’ site. I am definitely going to try it.

Vegan Diet Lent Fasting banner 2015