Sannel Larson

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mediterranean Cooking - Means Healthy Eating

Greece will always be my "second home" in my heart. Greece was the place I enjoyed cooking more than usual. I guess the lovely surroundings and the gorgeous weather has something to do with it, but the main reason probably is the abundance of fresh local vegetables. The Greeks feel the need to share what nature has provided, and it's so charming to have my next door neighbors bringing me vegetables and fruit from their gardens, like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, watermelons or whatever that's in season.

As a vegetarian, I find the Greek cuisine to be extremely satisfying, since fresh vegetables, olive oil and herbs are the basics in most of the dishes. However, meat can be added to many of the dishes, or they all can be excellent side dishes to those who prefers a piece of meat, chicken or fish to go with their meal.

Eggplants (aubergines) are popular in Greek cooking and very versatile. I believe, I could write a Greek cookbook alone, about this immensely useful and tasteful vegetable.

I'll share with you one of my favorite Greek eggplant dishes.  This dish has all the classic Greek tastes; eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and oregano. During the extremely hot season, I usually cooked the meal in the morning, to be eaten cold for lunch or dinner. It's more tasteful that way. However, it can be enjoyed as a hot meal as well.

Greek Stew of Eggplant and Potatoes  ( Melitzanes sti Katsarola)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Yield: serves 4

1 pound of eggplants, peel half the skin away from the eggplants in long strips, so that they look stripy. Cut in egg-sized chunks
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled, cut in large chunks

2 medium red onions, (finely diced)

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 green bell pepper (diced)

2 Carrots (diced)

1 bunch of fresh parsley, (chopped)

2 cups of pulped stewed tomatoes  (or 1 can tinned tomatoes, pureed)

6 tbsp of olive oil

1 1/4 cups of water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

Crumbled Feta cheese. Can be replaced with Graviera.


Heat 6 tbsp of oil in a deep stew pot.

Saute the onions until tender.

Add the, garlic, bell peppers, carrots, eggplants, parsley, potatoes, pulped tomatoes, olive oil, salt , pepper and oregano

Mix until well combined.

Saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the water.

Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat. Cover.

Let it cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until the potatoes are done and most of the juices are absorbed.

Take the pot off from the heat.

Sprinkle the feta cheese or Graviera cheese on top, and let it melt.

Serve it hot or cold with olives and a slice of feta cheese.  

 Bon Appetite! Or as we say in Greece;  Kali Orixi! 


Hippocrates taught us, 
“Nutrition should be your medicine.” 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vincent Moore - The Canadian Poet

Three Books of Poetry

Vincent Moore's  three books of poetry are finally available in print. His latest “In Passionata” is one of them.

The Canadian Poet

Vincent Moore is a Canadian poet born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He grew up in a predominantly Irish area known as Point St. Charles. Life in The Point during the 1950s, and 1960s, is the inspiration for much of his work and the result is a poignant and poetic marriage of tenderness and pain. He now resides on the Canadian Prairies.

Vincent Moore
I am a big fan of Vincent Moore. The first time I read his work, I was immediately captivated by his gift of words, and I have been following this fine poet and his writing for over two years now. I encourage anyone to become a follower of his beautiful poetry website, 
On his website this talented and intriguing poet will share his poetic journey with each and every one of us. His unique poetry is deeply soul stirring and will not leave his reader untouched.

A while back ago, I purchased the Kindle version of the book “In Melancholia” It's a Poetic compilation of memories, thoughts and emotions of this poet's darker side of his childhood. Through his pen he writes about poverty, violence, booze and pain, so strong and gripping, that many times, I can't hold back my tears. 

Life can be cruel yet only we can help ourselves to crawl from the darkness of despair” is an excerpt from “In Melancholia.” Vincent Moore is a survivor and a true example of finding his way out of the darkness by following his poetic path, and to become one of today's greatest poets.

Vincent Moore makes us understand, the heart of his healing is through his burning pen, and through his writing he inspires and brings hope to so many of his readers.

Not only do I admire his strength, compassion and wisdom but also for the very fine and brilliant writer that he is. To catch the essence of this amazing man you have to read his work, and I promise you, you'll fall in love with this poet and his gifted quill as much as I have.

I have just purchased his third and latest poetry book " In Passionata," but in a printed form this time. I can hardly wait to hold it in my hands. I'm so happy that this poet finally decided to let his fans/followers have the ability to purchase his poetry in a printed form. It's a stunning collection of poetry to own.

"In Melancholia" can be purchased at Vincent Moore's Website

In Absinthia can be purchased at Vincent Moore's Website

Friday, August 9, 2013

Crete - An Island of Wondrous and Unspoiled Beauty

The Greek island of Crete, is a place with unbelievable natural beauty and old charm. A place that I consider unique. Crete is a place blessed by a people friendly climate of long hot summers and short mild winters. This island combines the clean, turquoise sea with rough mountains, lush vineyards, olive groves and citrus orchards.

Almyrida Beach

There is a small and picturesque mountain village named Plaka, which I have fond memories of. This charming village with the traditional stone-built houses and spectacular view, is just so lovely. At the break of dawn the neighbor's rooster wakes every one up, followed by the distant bleat of the goats and dogs barking. As the cool morning turned warmer the cicada sounds grew louder and louder.

The uneven and narrow roads are winding in-between the stone-built homes there cats and a salamander or two may cross your path. The life here is very simple with no stress. Here people say hello with a smile, and may even invite you to sit down for a leisurely talk over a glass of Raki, (a strong distilled spirit containing approximately 37 per cent alcohol per volume and is produced from the must-residue of the wine-press.) 

The Cretan locals are famous for its hospitality and generosity, so do not be surprised if they welcome you to join them for food and wine, or bring you vegetables and fruits from their garden.

The neighbors grapes 

Prickly Pears 

I sure miss this wondrous and unspoiled beauty, yes even the obnoxious rooster that woke me up way too early every morning.

The sunset from my window

Crete - Thank you for the lovely memories - I'll be back. . . . Someday.