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The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well documented, according to the Mayo Clinic. The different Mediterranean countries have developed cuisines that feature native food sources. The hallmark of this eating lifestyle is meals that are abundant in vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. What a delicious way to eat healthy!
Although many of their dishes are plant-based, Mediterranean cooks still enjoy delicious meats in moderation. Regions on the seacoast incorporate some of the freshest seafood available, like various fish and shellfish. Lamb is a favorite meat ingredient, as well as lean cuts of beef and chicken. Some cultures in the area do not eat pork, but the ones who do create delicious pork recipes.
If you are searching for recipes that are bursting with flavor, the Mediterranean diet is sure to please your family’s palette. Instead of relying on so much salt, people in the Mediterranean region splurge on abundant spices to create mouthwatering dishes. Some of these include oregano, basil, marjoram, and rosemary. Fresh citrus juices (especially lemon) also lend a refreshing taste to their dishes. Trying these cuisines may introduce your family to new and exciting flavor profiles, while reducing extra sodium in their diet.
You will not find much butter or margarine in their recipes. Instead, Mediterranean cooks depend on heart-healthy olive oil for most of their dietary fat. Not only do they cook with it, but they also use extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle over dishes or for dipping bread. Mediterranean cultures adore many varieties of native olives in salads or side dishes. Onions, garlic, and leeks are common flavoring elements in these cuisines, too.
Several whole grains are native to Eastern Africa and found their way into neighboring cuisines in the Mediterranean. Some of these include wheat, bulger, kumat, farro, and freekeh. Mediterranean-style flatbread is simple to make and is a staple at every Mediterranean table. They may also grind other grains for bread or use them whole in salads and other dishes. While many of these cuisines also use rice, let your family discover other delicious and nutritious whole grains they have.
Nonya fuses classic Chinese ingredients like noodles and soy products with delightful Malayan flavors, such as coconut milk, turmeric, and tamarind, as well as notes of lemongrass, chilis, green onions, blancan, and candlenuts. Yams, corn, or tapioca are often featured in their vast array of sweet desserts and drinks.
Dairy products are used sparingly, but yogurt and goat cheese are favorites in many Mediterranean dishes. Mediterranean cooks may grill, broil, bake, or sauté their food, but you will rarely find recipes that are deep-fried. They favor honey over sugar to lend sweetness to their tasty dishes. Since the Mediterranean region is the world’s vineyard, natives love their vast variety of wines, ales, and beer.
Fresh fruit is usually served as a sweet appetizer or dessert. However, they still have plenty of tempting cakes and other sweets available in their repertoire. Enjoy a refreshing Mediterranean recipe and bring the world to your table!
Many Mediterranean-inspired dishes are vegetarian, like this scrumptious stew. Instead of using meat, it gets a hearty texture from nutty farro grain and tender cannellini beans. Fresh parsley and kale go into an aromatic broth, along with sautéed onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. You can have a delicious dish in less than an hour! Garnish steaming bowls of stew with crumbled feta, if desired.
Eggs are cheap to buy and versatile in many dishes. Try these tasty sunny-side up eggs, cooked with Mediterranean staples, like garlic, onions, olive oil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Having a hectic weeknight? These delightful eggs cook quickly in one pan and are just as good for dinner as they are for breakfast. Serve these on a freshly-toasted ciabatta roll.
Leave it to the natives of the Mediterranean region to create such a flavorful meal in one pan! After you brown the chicken, sauté the mushrooms, onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and aromatic spices. The chicken is put back into the pan with some beans, and it simmers for about 10 minutes. In 30 minutes top, your family gets a healthy meal with minimal clean-up.
Would you like to try an easy dessert recipe inspired by Mediterranean flavors? These fantastic pastries are made with store-bought filo dough. Each flaky, buttery pastry is layered with sweet fig jam, crunchy walnuts, freshly sliced figs, and a kiss of mint. They will puff up golden brown in the oven in about 20 minutes. Garnish with more fresh mint and some chopped walnuts.
While natives of the Mediterranean region usually nosh on fresh fruit, they still have a sweet tooth. This yummy candy recipe features orange blossom honey, sugar, and toasted sesame seeds. All you need is a few ingredients, a heavy pan, and your candy thermometer. When the mixture cools, cut it into pieces on your cutting board. Make these delightfully chewy treats by the dozen!
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