Enjoy Health and Explore Taste During Mediterranean Month!

 

May is Mediterranean Month – the perfect time to incorporate plenty of health promoting foods while enjoying the exquisite flavors of the Mediterranean. Read on to learn more about the Mediterranean way of eating followed by some of our favorite recipes!
The Mediterranean diet is not a diet, but a way of eating that promotes health. Physical activity, a healthy diet and not smoking can prevent 80% of coronary heart disease, 70% of stroke, and up to 90% of type 2 diabetes. Research demonstrates that a Mediterranean way of eating will:
 Lengthen your life
 Promote heart health
 Lower bad cholesterol levels
 Increase good cholesterol levels
 Enhance memory and brain function
 Lessen asthma, allergies, and arthritis
 Improve blood sugar levels, aid diabetes management
 Support weight loss and maintenance
 Help to prevent certain cancers
Traditional Mediterranean meals emphasize foods from countries and cultures near the Mediterranean Sea. Emphasis is placed on whole-grain breads, pastas, couscous, rice and other grains. Plentiful consumption of vegetables, beans, legumes and fruit. Olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Nuts and peanuts are used, as well as olives and flavorful cheeses and yogurt. Seafood, fish and poultry are prominent in the diet, with meat consumed sparingly.
Healthy eating tips from the experts at Oldways
• Base your diet on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
• Keep baby carrots, apples, bananas, and other travel-friendly fruits and veggies around for quick snacks.
• Have quick breakfast of fruit and yogurt.
• Use extra-virgin olive oil or hummus on wholegrain bread and toast, instead of butter.
• Choose grilled fish or poultry for a protein-packed meal.
• Eat fish like tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring twice a week for omega-3’s.
• Enjoy milk, yogurt, and small portions of cheese daily.
• Keep walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts on hand for a pick-me-up.
Also, enjoy lean red meats but only in moderation. Wine, especially red wine, is also included in the Mediterranean way of eating. Moderate wine consumption for women is about one glass per day and up to 2 glasses per day for men and is considered health promoting.

The Mediterranean Food Guide Pyramid, developed by Harvard School of Public Health and Oldies Preservation Trust. Oldways http://www.oldwayspt.org/

Recipes:
Herb-Feta Chicken (about $2.19 per serving)
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Note: check your pantry for on-hand items
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 Tables Meijer extra-virgin olive oil (on hand)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 Red-skin potatoes, washed and sliced (1/8” thick)
3/4 cup Kraft reduced fat Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tsp. McCormick dried rosemary (on hand) or 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tsp. McCormick dried sage (on hand) or 4 sprigs fresh sage
2 Tables. Fresh parsley, chopped
Directions:
Pre-heat grill to medium heat. Tear of 4 sheets of aluminum foil (about 10” long, or the size of a standard paper towel). Use pan-spray and lightly coat one-side of foil with spray. Place a chicken breast in the center of each sheet.
Mix garlic and olive oil in a small bowl, and mash with a fork to blend into a paste-like mixture. Brush the top of each chicken breast with the oil and garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Layer potatoes, feta, and lemon slices evenly over each of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle each with rosemary, sage and parsley.
Pull the foil up around each breast and crimp to form a sealed packet. Place the packets on grill grates and cook over medium heat about 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and chicken is no longer pink and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Carefully open each packet and using a spatula, transfer the contents to a serving plate. Pour any juices over the top. Serve with a fresh green salad and enjoy!
Approximate Nutrition information per serving: 400 Calories; Fat 21g; Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 90mg; Carbohydrate 15g; Fiber: 2g; Protein 39g; Sodium 353mg

Recipe adapted from: Oldways http://www.oldwayspt.org/

Pesto Chicken Pasta (about $1.72 per serving)
Serves: 6
This one-dish meal makes dinnertime easy.
Ingredients:
Note: check your pantry for on-hand items
8 ounces Meijer uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 cups cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus
3 cups (12 ounces) cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, well drained
3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce (Classico Brand)
3 Tables freshly shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (on hand)
Directions:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.
2. Steam or microwave asparagus until tender crisp. Drain. Combine cooked pasta and asparagus in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, onion and olives. Gently toss with pesto sauce. Serve warm, garnished with cheese. Refrigerate leftovers; they make a great lunch.
Note: 1 (14.5-ounce) can Michigan asparagus cuts and tips, well drained, can be substituted for fresh or frozen asparagus in this recipe. Heat asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes in a microwave before combining with cooked pasta.
Simply even more – use a Meijer rotisserie chicken!
Approximate Nutrition information per serving: 404 Calories; Fat 19g; Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 94mg; Carbohydrate 28g; Fiber: 3g; Protein 31g; Sodium 462mg

Creamy Avocado & Cannellini Bean Wrap (about $1.95 per serving)
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Note: check your pantry for on-hand items
2 T. cider vinegar (on hand)
1 T. Meijer canola oil (on hand)
2 t. finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 t. salt (on hand)
2 c. shredded red cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can Bush's cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1 ripe avocado
1/2 c. Kraft 2% milk shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. minced red onion
4 La Tortilla Factory Multigrain Wraps
Directions:
Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion. To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 c. of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap and top with about 2/3 c. of the cabbage carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.
Approximate Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 411, Total fat: 18 g, Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 633 mg, Carbohydrate: 50 g, Protein: 13 g; Fiber: 13 g

Seared Salmon with Grilled Ratatouille (about $3.12 per serving)
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Note: check your pantry for on-hand items
Seared Salmon
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Meijer brown sugar (on hand)
3 Tables. Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. Salmon (4, 4oz. fillets)
1 Tables. Olive oil
Directions:
In a medium pan or bowl mix together water, white wine vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and salt. Place salmon fillets in the marinade and marinate for 30 minutes. Heat 1 T. vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet for 30 seconds over medium heat. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place in the hot skillet with the skin side down. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for about 3 minutes, lifting salmon with a spatula to loosen it from the pan. Reduce heat to medium; then cover and cook for about another 4 minutes, until the salmon has just cooked through.)
Approximate Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 308; Fat 17g; Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 71 mg; Carbohydrate 9g; Fiber: 0g; Protein 25g; Sodium 223 mg

Grilled Ratatouille
Note: cut the vegetables in large chunks to grill – or use a grilling basket.
1 medium Italian eggplant trimmed and sliced 1/2” thick
1 large red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper, cut into quarters
1 red onion, sliced 1/2” thick
1/4 cup Meijer Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 t dried oregano (or 2 T fresh)
1 1/2 t dried thyme (or 2 T fresh)
2 T Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
Directions:
Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat. Brush eggplant, peppers and onion lightly with olive oil and grill over direct heat until softened and lightly browned, turning 2-3 times (about 8-10 minutes). Remove vegetables from grill and dice into large chunks.
Whisk together remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add grilled vegetables tossing to coat. Serve warm.
Approximate Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 167; Fat 11g; Saturated Fat: 2g, Carbohydrate 13g; Fiber: 5g; Protein 4g; Sodium 299mg

Recipe adapted from: Oldways http://www.oldwayspt.org/

1 comment (Add your own)

1. signs of breast cancer wrote:
Health foods are often seen as acting like medicines, in that they are considered to provide specific favorable effects on health.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 4:41 AM

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