Friday, February 10, 2017

Mediterranean Diet 101

Note: On previous posting Ham Puff Pastry were to be baked at 400 degrees. It has been corrected in the recipe directions. 
The Mediterranean diet has long been one of the healthiest diets known to man. But it’s not just a diet or even a way of eating … it’s really a way of life. Because for thousands of years people living along the Mediterranean coast have indulged in a high fiber diet of fruits and vegetables, also including quality fats and proteins and sometimes a glass of locally made wine to complete a meal. Meanwhile, this diet has gotten a reputation for disease prevention and even “enjoyable” weight management. 

The Mediterranean diet is well-balanced and encourages control of portion sizes. It is a good choice if you have diabetes, want to lose weight, or just want to start eating healthier. A typical Mediterranean diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, beans, cereals and cereal products, for example whole grain bread, pasta and brown rice. It also contains moderate amounts of fish, white meat and some dairy produce.

It’s the combination of all these elements that seems to bring health benefits, but one of the key aspects is the inclusion of healthy fats. Olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat, is most commonly associated with the Mediterranean diet but polyunsaturated fats are also present in nuts, seeds and oily fish.


With that being said my husband and I are soon to embark on a new adventure exploring Spain and Portugal.  Ever Ready starting Tuesday will take a  new direction and become a travel blog for two weeks as we explore these two countries and experience Mediterranean cuisine first hand. I will post interesting foods and recipes along the way. 
I started a new Pinterest board if you want to take a peek
Mediterranean-foods/
BHG special publication Mediterranean Recipes well I can't say enough good things about this magazine. The recipes are just mouthwatering looking at all the photos and are easy to make and not complicated. I found it an informative magazine with over 100 ways to eat fresh and healthy. The publication is only available until April 17th so don't miss out getting a great resource. Remember Mediterranean Diet is not really just a diet or even a way of eating … it’s really a way of life making smart choices and portion control.  
Caprese  Salad Pita Pockets
Cook's notes: I adapted the recipe by substituting prepared Fat Free Greek Vinaigrette Dressing (2-3 TB.) for the red wine vinegar and olive oil.  Recipe serves four. Each pita sandwich is about 348 calories. 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cucumbers 
  • 3/4 cup mixed spring salad greens
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 TB. green onion, chopped
  • 1 TB. red wine vinegar
  •  1 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2-large whole wheat pita bread rounds, sliced in half
Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl except pita rounds.
  • Slice each round in half and fill each pita pocket with tomato mixture.
  • If desired, wrap each pita in plastic wrap and chill up to two hours before serving. 

RAK Idea: Leave a gift card on a car windshield in a parking lot with a note. Not life changing but know that kindness is contagious.

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