Myth & Meal


On vacation, I go to the Leu Garden in Orlando. My family and I pass by the starfruit tree. It is heavy with golden, liquid sweetness. Smashed fruits lie beneath the tree. The children ask, "Pick one! Please?!"

No signs forbid it.

So I pick.

A cry and laughter burst, "You picked the fruit! You are Eve!"

Later, I meet Christianne for dinner (a blessed privilege). I tell her my forbidden fruit story. And how my family and I decided that if we were the owners of the Leu, we'd put the fruit in baskets with signs that say, "Take. Eat. Enjoy."

"Good idea," says Christianne. "No one's going to eat it anyway."

"Yes," I say, biting into my Greek salad. Then a thought comes, "I bet Eve thought that in the garden— 'look at all that Tree-of-Knowledge fruit just falling to the ground. If I don't eat it, who will? What a waste!'"


Today, as I write this, I'm reminded of the Greek Pandora myth. We humans open some boxes, eat some fruit, pillage some of creation's resources thinking, "If not us, then who?" Open. Take. Eat. And we become Eve of Eden, all over again.

On a different note, here's a delicious Greek meal. Nothing forbidden. Deliciously healthy. Make. Serve. Eat. Enjoy...

Greek Meal

Potatoes & Olives

Potatoes & Olives

Add and saute briefly in large pot:

- small pour olive oil
- 5 red potatoes, unpeeled, washed and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 2 garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Add and boil for about 20 minutes or 'til potatoes are tender:

- 1 28-oz. can Muir Glen organic pureed tomatoes
- 1/2 to 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- water to cover all


Salt and pepper to taste, plus a few pours of olive oil. Serve with orzo, lentil salad, and something green.

About Potatoes: Full of fiber that lowers cholesterol, as well as potassium, potatoes are a heart-healthy food choice. (French fries don't count, but I knew you'd ask.)

Lentil & Feta Salad

Lentil Salad

Boil 'til tender, 20-35 minutes, depending on age of lentils:
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups lentils

Drain lentils, add & mix with:

- 1 cup or so roasted red peppers
- olive oil, generous amount
- 4 or more TB red wine vinegar
- large handfull dill, chopped fine
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- salt & pepper to taste


- olive oil
- feta cheese

About Lentils: These legumes were one of the first crops ever cultivated. At about 18 grams of protein per cup (compared to 15 in a 3 oz. beef patty), lentils hold their own in the health department. They also have an excellent balance of fat and carbohydrates. High in calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, and potassium, they're a great choice for both kids and adults!

Photos by L.L. Barkat. Original recipes, modified here, were taken from The Greek Vegetarian

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Blogger kirsten said...

I don't know that I've ever considered it quite that way before: if nothing forbids it, does it mean it's good for me to take it? The wheels in my head are turning ...

On a lighter note, you're making me hungry! Those meals look positively delicious.

(P.S. I also just deleted the most recent post on my blog that you commented on. Shortly after posting it, I decided that I just didn't love it the way it was. I'm going to re-work & re-post when I'm happier with it...) :o)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...


Looks delicious! I made the sauteed cabbage and lentil soup the other night--it was a hit--very delicious.

9:36 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Kirsten... and I hadn't picked up on that part of my own post. I think what you have zeroed in on is what Paul expresses, "everything is permissable, but not everything is profitable." And this surely applies to questions of how we take care of creation.

Andrea... So glad to hear you tried some things out and enjoyed them! Very encouraging over here (to the slow-to-get-the-recipes-up blogger.)

10:53 AM  
Blogger angela said...

That looks really good!! I will have to try all of it!

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What special food, the Greeks certainly know how to eat.

Feel hungry just looking at the pictures and look forward to trying out your recipes.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those photos are just luscious! Reminds me of how you encourage a change in the appetites of others through inviting versus lecturing. Who could resist those meals?! Can't wait to make them.

10:17 PM  

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