Maya Jankelowitz’s Greek Salad

Health, it’s no mystery. Just like every other aspect of our lives these days, the wellness space has become crowded with too much content and information. We, in partnership with Tropicana, decided to bring it back to the basics.

Remember when coffee was just coffee? In other words, don’t you miss the days when there wasn’t a certain pressure to make our favorite food mainstays complicated or precious? We mulled it over with a few tastemakers, who gave us recipes they’ve been making from the start, through all the thick and thin health “trends.” Turns out, the secret to making wholesome, healthy food may just lie in the mainstays we’ve been making from the beginning. Maya Jankelowitz (of TNP favorite Jack’s Wife Freda) agrees. Her food is all about familiar flavors; think a classic Greek salad, made with love and attention to detail. Read below for the recipe that’s always been her mainstay; it’s as delicious as it is good for you, we promise.

What food/dish did you make today? Why is it your classic go-to?

Today we are making our Kale Greek salad. It is a classic and one of our favorites. It feels like the Greek salad precedes all salads. I think it transcends salads; you can find it everywhere, from your corner deli to any corner in the world. We revised the classic Greek to our own version with kale instead of romaine – yum!

From start to finish, what is your ideal food day?

An ideal food day is when I get to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the appropriate times; working in the restaurant often means picking on fries for lunch or skipping meals!

What are your diet mainstays?

I always have oatmeal in the morning, salad and protein for lunch, or a good pomodoro pasta.

What are your beauty mainstays?

I get facials at Heyday spa, hair straightening done in Chinatown, and have regular visits to our rolfer/massage therapist after a long career of standing on our feet!

Which foods do you try to eat every day?

I strive to have oatmeal and fruit every day.

What were you favorite foods as a child? What are they now?

I loved schnitzel and mashed potatoes, pasta Bolognese, baguette and butter, Greek salads and whole fish. The more things change, the more they stay the same: I still love all of the above.

Whats a beauty secret that hasnt changed since your teenage years?

My hair – I’ve literally been straightening it since my bat-mitzvah.

What item of clothing will you never throw away?

I love my clothes, but I have no attachments to any of them.

Do you have a uniform for getting dressed? What is it?

I wear leggings or sweatpants on days I am running around with the kids and fun colorful dresses when I’m working on the floor.

How important is diet and exercise to you?

Our well-being is the focus of our life, so diet and exercise are absolutely essential.

Do you follow any diets or health regimens? What are they?

I love going to Yoga Shanti as much as possible. I am always working on improving my diet; it’s difficult to maintain!

Is simple food better than extravagantly prepared food? Why?

Simple food is familiar and user friendly. We love finding foods that we can eat every day while extravagantly prepared food is more of a special treat.

Which ingredients make every dish better?

We love adding our homemade hot sauce to everything!

Whats a food trend thats starting to grow on you?

We enjoy poké bowls.

If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mediterranean!

If you could host a dinner party, with any five guests, living or dead, who would be there?

Bob Marley, Golda Meir, Buddha, my husband and kids!

*Sponsored by Tropicana

*Photography by Danielle Kosann

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