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FREEZING …. To death?

FREEZING …. To death?

Food to combat the cold … GREEK STYLE!

The way to warm up during the freezing cold months is not necessarily to wear more clothes but to warm up within.

I’m not saying that you should walk around in a T-shirt while it snows heavily outside or the temperature has dropped near freezing point.  What I’m suggesting is warming up by eating the right food.

The feeling of nourishment and well-being is amazing and believe me, it’s a tried and tested method.

Living in Greece is quite a challenge during the winter months.

Personally, being brought up in South Africa, I was not prepared for these extreme temperatures when I came to live in Athens.

I discovered two amazing soups which I make very often when the cold becomes unbearable.

Coming home after work to a plate of Trahana or Yiouvarlakia is …. Heaven!

Trahana is none other but cracked wheat which is kneaded with yoghurt, rolled out in small “wormy shapes” and left to dry in the sun.

Trahana – dried and crumbled

It is a very economical, nutritious dish and loved by the whole family.

Trahana is made differently in many parts of Greece and can also be found at supermarkets or other food stores.

You get the sweet trahana and the sour one – personally, I prefer the sour one..

Yiouvarlakia prepared and dusted in flour before being dropped into the stock.

It’s delicious and served with feta cheese and freshly baked bread.

Yiouvarlakia is a soup with meatballs.  Sometimes zucchini and carrots are added for extra nourishment.  If your kids don’t fancy veggies, grate the veggies before you add them to your soup.  Small cubes of potato are also great to add as it helps to make it thicker.

Here are the recipes for Yiouvarlakia soup and for Trahana soup.  Get your aprons out and …. Good luck!!!

Extra tip: Add a dried whole chilly in your soups and stews for extra thermal effect.




  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼ t ground black pepper
  • 2 T chopped parsley
  • ½ cup rice (use the type that gets sticky – not long-grain rice)
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 ½ liters water or stock ( I just add a stock cube into the water)
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 t salt

Egg & lemon sauce:

  • 2-3 eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Combine meat, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, ¼ cup rice and egg.  Shape into 30 small balls and dust with flour.

Boil water or stock, tomato juice, butter and salt.  Drop in the meat balls and the remaining rice.  Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Beat the eggs with 2 T water and by spoonfuls add about ½ cup of soup, while stirring.  Add lemon juice.  Pour egg mixture gradually over the meatballs and remaining soup, stirring continuously.  Serve at once.  Serves 4 – 6.




1.5 liters of water

1 stock cube

1 cup of trahana

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt, pepper and chilly power if you like it HOT!!!


Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally as it tends to sink to the bottom of the saucepan and burn.

Bon appetite!!!



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