Mediterranean cuisine begins with healthy basics: fresh fish, grain-based carbohydrates, vegetables, and beans. An abundance of aromatic herbs, plenty of fresh lemon, and a little olive oil add nuance while keeping Greek dishes in particular light and refreshing. In our recipes, ground turkey, low in fat, stands in for the more typical lamb; hearty whole-grain rice takes the place of white rice; and nonfat rather than whole-milk yogurt makes a tangy dressing -- healthy alternatives that highlight the intense Greek flavors.
Simple changes to traditional Greek dishes make them healthier. Stuffed grape leaves, called dolmades, for example, are filled with nutrient-rich brown rice instead of white. Brown rice, with its nutty flavor and chewy texture, is a better source of iron, magnesium phosphate, and potassium.