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Healthy Eating: The Mediterranean Diet

NEWS-IN-BRIEF FEATURE:

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Photo Credit: atl10trader, 2010: Fish Dish: Mediterranean Cod

Research indicates that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of illnesses such as heart disease and stroke. However, this diet is a lifestyle choice rather than a short-term craze to lose weight and improve health.

The most renown Mediterranean diet research is the 2013 ‘Predimed study’ of 7,447 individuals considered at high risk of cardiovascular disease. This four-year study found those who consumed a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of heart disease and stroke by over 30 percent.

What Foods are Considered as Mediterranean?

This diet revolves around clean eating, where natural foods – those grown in a garden or caught in an ocean – are eaten, instead of processed foods – those manufactured by man.

The basics of the Mediterranean diet are:

  1. Eating two servings of fish weekly.
  2. Adding vegetables to every meal.
  3. Consuming fresh fruit and nuts daily.
  4. Using olive oil for cooking.

To switch to the Mediterranean diet, gradually substitute unhealthy processed foods for those considered as healthy. Make changes weekly to promote long-term lifestyle habits rather than fads.

What Mediterranean Diet Recipes are Popular?

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Photo Credit: atl10trader, 2010: Fish Dish: Mediterranean Cod

Griddled Chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

5 stars (25 ratings) | Ready in 20 mins | EASY | SERVES 4

A light dish of grilled chicken fillets and authentic salad with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomato and mint.
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • 473 kcal
  • 20g fat
  • 8g saturates
  • 35g carbs
  • 8g sugars
  • 2g fibre
  • 37g protein
  • 1.4g salt

Ingredients

  • 225g quinoa
  • 25g butter
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g chicken mini fillets
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300g vine tomato, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa as instructed on the packet. Then rinse and drain.
  2. Mix butter, garlic and chilli into a paste.
  3. Season the chicken fillets with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a hot griddle pan. Cook until cooked through. Then, transfer to a plate. Place the butter, garlic and chilli paste over the chicken and allow to melt.
  4. Place the feta, mint, olives, onion and tomatoes into a bowl. Then, stir the cooked quinoa through the salad. Mix in any remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Next, season well.
  5. Serve by placing the chicken fillet on top of the salad, and drizzle with the buttery juices.
Griddled chicken with quinoa Greek salad
Photo Credit: Good Food Magazine, 2012: Griddled Chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

Griddled Chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

5 stars (25 ratings) | Ready in 20 mins | EASY | SERVES 4

A light dish of grilled chicken fillets and authentic salad with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomato and mint.
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • 473 kcal
  • 20g fat
  • 8g saturates
  • 35g carbs
  • 8g sugars
  • 2g fibre
  • 37g protein
  • 1.4g salt

Ingredients

  • 225g quinoa
  • 25g butter
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g chicken mini fillets
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300g vine tomato, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa as instructed on the packet. Then rinse and drain.
  2. Mix butter, garlic and chilli into a paste.
  3. Season the chicken fillets with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a hot griddle pan. Cook until cooked through. Then, transfer to a plate. Place the butter, garlic and chilli paste over the chicken and allow to melt.
  4. Place the feta, mint, olives, onion and tomatoes into a bowl. Then, stir the cooked quinoa through the salad. Mix in any remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Next, season well.
  5. Serve by placing the chicken fillet on top of the salad, and drizzle with the buttery juices.
Pancetta-wrapped fish with lemony potatoes

Photo Credit: Good Food Magazine, 2012: Pancetta-wrapped Fish with Lemony Potatoes

Pancetta-wrapped Fish with Lemony Potatoes

5 stars (15 ratings) | PREP: 10 MINSCOOK: 10 MINS15 MINS | EASY | SERVES 2

Wrap up sustainable white fish in crispy bacon and serve as an all-in-one tray bake with potatoes.

Nutrition: per serving

  • 521 kcal
  • 25g fat
  • 6g saturate
  • 26g carbs
  • 3g sugars
  • 5g fibre
  • 46g protein
  • 1.6g salt

Ingredients

  • 300g new potato
  • 100g green bean
  • small handful black kalamata olives
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chunky pollock fillets or another sustainable white fish
  • 4 slices pancetta or thinly sliced smoked streaky bacon
  • few tarragon sprigs, leaves picked

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Place the potatoes in a pan of water and boil for 10-12 mins until tender. Add the beans for the remaining 2-3 mins. Drain and slice the potatoes in half. Tip into a roomy baking dish and toss with the olives, lemon zest and oil. Season well.
  3. Season the fish, then wrap with the pancetta or bacon. Place on top of the potatoes.
  4. Bake the fish until cooked through (12 minutes approx). Then squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish, and scatter with tarragon before serving.
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Comments

  1. Wicked. Love this diet. It really works too!

    Like

  2. Loving this diet. I’m gonna give it a go

    Like

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