International Mediterranean Cuisine Month
Each May, there is a spotlight shone on the fabulous ﬂavors and accessible foods of Mediterranean cuisine. Dishes from Mediterranean region (which include Greece, Lebanon, Italy, Turkey, etc.) tend to be healthy, as they consist mainly of entrees like fish and white meat served with combinations of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. In addition, olive oil is an integral part of traditional Mediterranean cuisine and it takes the place of butter or vegetable oil in the cooking process. Mediterranean cuisine usually limit unhealthy saturated and trans fats, placing emphasis on omega-3 fatty acids and other sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Nutritious and delicious? Let’s Celebrate International Mediterranean Cuisine Month with some of these tasty Mediterranean recipes:
Chickpeas Inzimino (soup)
Total Time: 30 mins.
Nutrition: Calories – 270, Fat – 17g, Sat. Fat – 2g, Sodium – 345mg, Carbs – 23g, Fiber – 6g, Protein – 7g
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- pinch red pepper ﬂakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup low sodium broth (chicken or vegetable, your choice)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 can (15 ounce or so) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 small bunch Swiss chard, rinsed, stemmed and chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, carrot and red pepper ﬂakes 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add the wine and tomato paste and let the wine evaporate slowly, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, broth, chard and water, and cook another 10 minutes until about half the liquid has evaporated. Serve hot.
Quinoa, Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad
Active Time: 15 mins
Nutrition: Calories – 250, Fat – 9g, Sat. Fat – 1g, Sodium – 140mg, Carbs. – 35g, Fiber – 8g, Protein – 10g
- ½ cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- ⅓ cup quinoa
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (about 3 ears if using fresh)
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice (juice of one small lemon or lime)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro or parsley
- 2 Tablespoons scallions (green onions) chopped)
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Cook quinoa with cumin in broth for 12-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
- Cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl and add beans, tomato and corn.
- Mix the last ﬁve ingredients (lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, scallions and garlic) to make a dressing, and stir into salad.
- Chill for 2 to 4 hours until ready to serve.
Notes: This salad is great summer when you can use fresh garden tomatoes and corn. Bulgur (or any other whole grain) can be used in place of quinoa. As with most grain salad recipes, the exact quantities of ingredients can be up to you!
Grilled Ratatouille (side dish)
Total Time: 25 mins.
Nutrition: Calories – 186, Fat – 13g, Sat. Fat – 2g, Sodium – 300mg, Carbs. – 18g, Fiber – 7g, Protein – 2g
- 1 large Italian eggplant, trimmed, sliced ½” thick
- 2 large bell peppers (at least one red)
- 1 red onion, sliced ½” thick
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing eggplant
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 ½ cups halved super-sweet cherry tomatoes
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare a medium-hot ﬁre in a grill. Brush the eggplant and peppers lightly with the olive oil. Grill the eggplant, peppers, and onion over direct heat until both are soft and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes, turning as needed. Remove the eggplant and onion from the grill and dice.
- Toss the eggplant and onion in a large bowl with the diced peppers, oregano, thyme, vinegar, ⅓ cup olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. Toss gently; season with salt and pepper. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Roasted Cauliflower (side)
Total Time: 25 mins.
Nutrition: Calories – 108, Fat – 9g, Sat. Fat – 1g, Sodium – 670mg, Carbs. – 6g, Fiber – 2g, Protein – 2g
- 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets (about 8 cups)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper on a baking sheet; sprinkle with the salt and thyme and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
Baked Chicken w/ Apples & Barley (main dish)
Total Time: 2 hrs.
Nutrition: Calories – 420, Fat – 8g, Sat. Fat – 1.5g, Sodium – 850mg, Carbs. – 55g, Fiber 11g, Protein – 33g
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic, ﬁnely chopped
- 1 medium tart green apple, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 cup whole grain barley kernels
- 2-½ cups chicken broth
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt (or a little minced garlic)
- 3 tablespoons orange marmalade or apricot jam
- Heat oil in large skillet; sauté onion, bell peppers and garlic 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chopped apple and curry powder; sauté 4 minutes longer.
- Stir in barley and chicken broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.
- Pour barley mixture into large baking dish or casserole. Arrange chicken breasts over barley and season with garlic salt. Cover and bake in 375º F oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover; brush chicken with marmalade. Continue to bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving
Chicken Piccata w/ Lemon Sauce (main dish)
Total Time: 50 mins.
Nutrition: Calories – 232, Fat – 9g, Sat. Fat – 4g, Sodium – 346mg, Carbs. – 8g, Fiber – 0g, Protein – 27g
- 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth, divided
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. In a shallow dish, combine the egg substitute, 2 tablespoons wine, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic and hot pepper sauce. In another shallow dish, combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt. Coat chicken with flour mixture, dip in egg substitute mixture, then coat again with flour mixture.
- In a large nonstick skillet, brown four chicken breast halves in 1-1/2 teaspoons oil for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm. Drain drippings. Repeat with remaining chicken and oil. Remove and keep warm.
- In the same pan, melt butter. Add the remaining wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, until sauce is reduced by a fourth. Drizzle over chicken.
Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse (dessert)
Total Time: 2 hrs.
Nutrition: Calories – 328, Fat 18.2g, Sat. Fat 9.8g, Sodium 72.3mg, Carbs. 25.4g, Fiber 2g, Protein 15.8g
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 1/2 oz dark chocolate
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the chocolate, either grated or very finely chopped or shaved. Gently heat the milk until the chocolate melts, being careful not to let it boil. Once the chocolate and milk have fully combined, add the honey and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Spoon the greek yogurt into a large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture on top. Mix together well before transferring to individual bowls, ramekins or glasses.
- Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Serve with a small spoonful of greek yogurt and some fresh raspberries.
- The chocolate mousse will keep in the fridge for 2 days.
With so many countries and cultures to choose from, traditional Mediterranean dishes range from falafel to fig pudding. Look for a Mediterranean cuisine shop or restaurant near you and explore, you may just find something new that you’ll love!
For more nutritional information and your Free Consultation, contact TNT today.