The Ikarian Lunch
This eggplant-and-halloumi bake has roots in Ikaria, a North Aegean island with Blue Zone status. Ikarians are among the world's healthiest individuals, with one in three living well into their nineties. This satiating bake proceeds from their largely plant-based approach to nutrition, with eggplant—rich in vitamins, fiber, and polyphenols, which help the body metabolize sugar—as the star ingredient. Cubes of tangy halloumi cheese, made from grass-fed goat's milk, are added for calcium, potassium, and stress-relieving tryptophan. Halloumi, it should be noted, is hypoallergenic and can usually be enjoyed by lactose-intolerant individuals.