Tomatoes, onions, and wine add flavor to healthy Greek pork dish

2013-07-31T00:00:00Z 2013-08-07T23:28:10Z Tomatoes, onions, and wine add flavor to healthy Greek pork dishEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Mediterranean cuisine has long been considered one of the healthiest.

With its focus on fresh produce, olive oil, herbs, and spices, Greek food often finds its way onto the tables of individuals seeking to adopt better eating habits.

Although the majority of Greek recipes are naturally healthy, Chicago's Greek Islands' proprietor Gus Couchell is making it a point to add even more healthful recipes to his restaurant's menu.

"For the last five or six years we've been trying to do more healthy food," said Couchell. He said one of the popular pork dishes called Bekri Meze is made with a pork tenderloin which has less fat. Octopus dishes, he said, also fall into the category of food that's "good for you."

"We also use a lot of olive oil in our recipes," he said. The eatery's summer menu includes a variety of lighter, olive-oil based dishes. Most of the recipes forgo the use of butter or cream in favor of olive oil.

The following recipe for Bekri Meze stars pork tenderloin, which is lower in fat, olive oil, garlic, red wine and fresh produce.

BEKRI MEZE

(SERVES 4)

1 cup extra-virgin-olive oil

2 medium white onions (thinly sliced)

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 pounds pork tenderloin (cut into medallions)

1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup sweet red wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup fresh ground tomatoes

2 cups water

Half each of a green, red and yellow pepper cut into ½ inch strips

DIRECTIONS: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Add pork medallions. When browned, add tomato paste. Add wine , salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Add ground tomatoes and water, lower heat and let slowly simmer for about one hour or until the sauce thickens. Broil peppers and garnish on top.

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