In addition to the recipes left by my mother in an old tattered notebook, as well as the memories I have of her cooking at home in Pittsburgh, there are three cookbooks that I always consult for recipes and other advice.
Chef Maria Loi’s The Greek Diet has so much good information and recipes in it. It’s not your typical cookbook with fancy photos and stylish displays of delectable food. This book is great because it contains a ton of nutritional information, tips you can use at home– even instructions on how you can make your own Greek yogurt at home.
Sitting on my coffee table– although carrying many stains from my kitchen, as well, is a copy of Mina Stone’s “Cooking for Artists.” This is a beautifully styled and photographed book that includes many recipes that Mina shares from her grandmother. My go-to recipe for Revithada comes from this book and Mina does a great job in sharing the folklore behind some of the recipes.
Ever since I cut down on my meat intake and switched to a mostly-plant-based diet after recovering from cancer, I have started eating more and more like the monks on Mt. Athos. My diet includes a lot of greens and beans, chick peas, and good fish when I can find it.
A friend from Greece sent me a copy of a wonderful book called “The Cuisine of the Holy Mountain Athos” that includes recipes by a well-known monk named Epiphanios. The book is sometimes hard to follow as the measurements are in European standards but with a bit of practice, I’ve been able to standardize many of the recipes for the American kitchen.
The book is hard to come by and is ridiculously priced on Amazon but if I get enough interest, I may see if I can place an order from the company in Greece to distribute them here in the United States. Feel free to email me if you’re interested and I’ll get details.
There is, however, a similar book available on Amazon called “The Mount Athos Diet: The Mediterranean Plan to Lose Weight, Feel Younger and Live Longer.” I haven’t tried it, but from its description it appears to have some of the same meatless recipes that my book has.