Mediterranean Diet Foods

The Mediterranean Diet is of course a diet that involves emulating the way that people eat on the European continent. The diet became popular ever since it was found that people who ate a Mediterranean Diet actually lived longer and experienced a lower incidence of heart disease and other issues.

And at first this surprised researchers – after all, the Mediterranean Diet mainly consists of eating fats (olive oil and cheese) and wine! These are things that are traditionally thought to be bad for us.

Upon further inspection it happens that in moderation – and when combined with a nutrient rich diet – they can actually be beneficial.

So what exactly is this nutrient rich diet? How do you eat like a Mediterranean? What foods are on the menu? Let’s take a look…

Salads

One of the mainstays of a Mediterranean Diet is salad. Salad is highly nutritious and provides the body with lots of iron, calcium and other minerals. At the same time, it also helps to bulk up a meal without adding many calories.

One of the very best salads out there for the Mediterranean Diet is Greek salad. This meal consists purely of chopped tomato, cucumber, pepper and feta cheese with a little oil drizzled on top!

Fish

Being near the warm Mediterranean means being near tons of fish. And as it happens, fish is actually incredibly good for you.

The biggest benefit of eating lots of fish is that it will provide lots of essential fatty acids and amino acids without adding too many calories. Fish is lean. Fish is great for the brain, it keeps you full and is all round an excellent option.

Try some calamari to enjoy sea food at its finest!

Seeds and Nuts

On the Mediterranean Diet, a lot of dishes include seeds and nuts for flavouring (alongside lots of herbs). This is a great addition to any diet for numerous reasons once again.

For starters, seeds and nuts keep us full and make a brilliant snack that won’t pack on calories. At the same time, they also provide us with nutrients (zinc, potassium, magnesium) and really make any salad a lot more delicious!

Fruits and Vegetables

Living in a sunny climate also facilitates lots of berries, grapes, tomatoes and root vegetables being ripe for the picking and for adding to the diet. This is a big cornerstone of a Mediterranean Diet and is one of the biggest ‘secrets’ when it comes to making sure that you enjoy a long, healthy lifespan without getting ill!

Fats

Finally, the Mediterranean Diet contains all of the healthy kinds of fats, most notably extra virgin olive oil. That means saturated fats (not trans fats!) which aid in testosterone production while also enhancing nutrient absorption and improving cholesterol!

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

This refreshing salad is full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals but also rich in healthy monounsaturated fat from a trio of avocado, olives, and super-healthy Olé extra virgin olive oil.

It is easy to make. With a combination of artichoke hearts, cucumber, red onion, hearts of palm, tomatoes, and fresh basil, this salad has a delicious Mediterranean twist that you’re going to love.

Ingredients
Lemon Vinaigrette
• 1/4 cup Lemon juice
• 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Olé extra virgin olive oil
• Himalayan pink salt (to taste)

Chopped Salad
• 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
• 1/2 cup hearts of palm, chopped
• 1/2 cup Persian cucumber, chopped
• 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
• 2 tablespoons olives, chopped
• 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
• 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
• 1/2 of an avocado, chopped
• 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped

Directions
1. To make the vinaigrette: Add ingredients to high-speed blender and blend until emulsified. Add salt to taste.

2. In a large salad bowl, combine cucumber, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, tomatoes, olives, onion, capers, avocado, and basil.

3. Toss salad with enough vinaigrette to coat everything. Serve and enjoy.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups

*From: Shape Magazine

 

 

 

 

Coconut-Vegetable and Cashew curry

cococurry

A delicious and exotic one-hour meal.
Recipe from “Fresh & Fast Vegetarian”

Ingredients
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 cups diced (½ inch) unpeeled eggplant (about 8 ounces)
1 can (15–16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups ½-inch cauliflower florets (from ½ small head, cored and thick stems removed)
1 cup diced (½ inch) carrot
1 cup diced (½ inch) onion
1 cup ½-inch lengths green beans (about 4 ounces)
2–3 tsp. minced seeded jalapeño or serrano pepper, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. Madras curry powder
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 can (13.5 ounces) regular or light coconut milk
½ cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted cashews
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup Olé extra virgin olive oil

Directions
1. Heat the Olé extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat for a few minutes

2. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until they are slightly darker (approx. 2 minutes).

3. Add the chickpeas and eggplant and cook, over medium-high heat while sturring for 5 minutes.

4. Add the carrot, onion, green beans, cauliflower, jalapeño, ginger, curry powder, garlic, salt and turmeric. Cook, stirring, for five minutes, maintaining a steady sizzle.

5. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until thickened and the vegetables are tender, (approx. 10 minutes).

6. Spoon the curry into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro and cashews and serve.

Enjoy!

Makes 4-6 servings.

 

** Find Olé extra virgin olive oil on Amazon!

Tomato Basil Pasta with Olé extra virgin olive oil

A simple delicious dish.  It refrigerates well and can be served as a cold pasta salad.

Ingredients

2 cups diced tomatoes

1 small onion, finely chopped

6 tablespoons Olé extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves crushed garlic

6 leaves fresh basil, torn

10 ounces fusilli pasta

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Stir tomatoes, onion, Olé extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and basil together in a bowl
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook fusilli in the boiling water, occasionally stirring, until cooked through but firm to the bite, (approximately 12 minutes)
  3. Drain
  4. Toss warm pasta with feta cheese and Parmesan in a large bowl
  5. Stir tomato mixture into pasta and season with salt and pepper

Enjoy!

Olé extra virgin olive oil black cod poached Alaska with herbs

Get elegant with this light delicious entrée

 

Ingredients needed:

1 Tablespoon Olé extra virgin olive oil

1 Medium red bell pepper, diced

1 Medium onion, diced

2 Stalks of celery, chopped finely

4 Garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 Cup dry white wine

1 Tablespoon of thyme leaves

4 Cups chicken, fish, or vegetable broth

2 – 3 Cups Olé extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover fish fillets)

4 Alaska black cod fillets, (approximately 4-ounces each), fresh or thawed

 

Directions:

Sauté onion, red pepper and celery in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a stockpot until soft (about 5 minutes).

Stir in garlic and continue cooking 5 minutes.

Stir in wine and thyme.

Add broth and cook 5 to 10 minutes,

Turn off heat, cover and keep warm.

While vegetables are cooking, in a shallow high-sided, heavy pan or stockpot, heat 2-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil over low heat until oil appears wavy.

Add salt and pepper to Alaska Black Cod fillets.

Add fillets to Olé extra virgin olive oil, making sure the fillets are covered, adding additional oil, if needed.

Turn up heat to medium and poach 10 to 12 minutes, cooking just until fillets are fully opaque throughout.

Remove fillets with slotted spoon and place each fillet in a shallow soup or pasta bowl. Divide broth over fillets; garnish with fresh herbs.

 

Enjoy!