Mediterranean diet main course and dessert recipes

Mediterranean diet main course and dessert recipes

Mediterranean diet is one of the special diets that is followed by a lot of people for certain purposes.

Lately, people are paying more attention to special diets, according to the 13th Annual Food and Health Survey: more than one in three U.S. consumers are following a specific diet or eating pattern.

Although Mediterranean diet is ranked as the best plant-based diet, however, it is not as famous as vegetarian diet for example even though it is ranked as the fifth.

Also, not everyone actually understand what is it and how to follow a right Mediterranean diet.

What is a Mediterranean diet?

Mediterranean is one of the most popular special diets.

Even though it was discovered by Dr. Ancel Keys and his colleagues in the early 1950s and late 1960s, however, it only became popular in the 1990s.

A Mediterranean diet is defined as a diet that is characterized especially by a high consumption of vegetables and olive oil and moderate consumption of protein, and thought to confer health benefits.

Although Mediterranean diet has its restrictions, but, it is not actually considered as a strict diet.

Since it allows a lot of food and on the other hand it does not prohibit a lot of food relatively.

What food does Mediterranean diet allow?

When it comes to the food that Mediterranean diet allow, we are in front of a very wide variety.

Actually, it gives you the allowance to eat a lot of food with no guilt, however, Mediterranean diet classifies the allowed food into categories.

These categories explains what to eat freely, what to eat within reasonable limits and what to eat on rare occasions.

To illustrate:

What to eat freely:

1.Vegetables and fruits

fruitsandvegetables
Fortunately, Mediterranean diet does not exclude any type of fruits nor vegetables.

In addition to this, it also advises with eating more of them.

Vegetables and fruits are from the food that contain a lot of nutrients, these nutrients include fibers, proteins and vitamins.

2.Nuts

mixednuts
Nuts are from the foods that are loved by almost everyone and all ages.

They come in a lot of different tastes and shapes, also, they make a great snack and also an ingredient in a lot of recipes.

Moreover, nuts have a very high nutrition value and are full of benefits.

3.Seafood

seafood
Seafood and fish are considered the main source of protein in a Mediterranean diet.

To be exact, Mediterranean diet requires eating seafood for almost twice a week at least.

Additionally, seafood and fish taste great and they have a lot of different types to choose your favorites from.

4.Olive oil

oliveoil
Indeed, a Mediterranean diet must include healthy fats, especially, olive oil.

Olive oil is actually the best and the most healthy source of healthy fats.

However, this does not mean that other sources of healthy fats should be ignored, in contrast, they are also beneficial and effective.

What to eat within reasonable limits:

1.Poultry

poultry
Actually, all types of poultry are not so preferred on a Mediterranean diet, however, they are not totally prohibited.

You can still eat chicken, duck, turkey or whatever the type of poultry you prefer, but, as mentioned above, within reasonable limits.

2.Eggs

eggs
Whatever the way you cook your egg, it is still not really recommended on a Mediterranean diet.

Even if it is true that eggs are delicious and also high in nutrients, but, it should not be consumed a lot in your diet.

3.Dairy products

dairyproducts
Just like poultry and eggs; Milk, cheese, butter and yogurt are not preferred.

If you decided to follow a Mediterranean diet, then, you should decrease your intake of all of these foods.

What to eat on rare occasions:

Red Meat

cow
With the uncountable ways of cooking it has, red meat should not be eaten a lot in a Mediterranean diet.

Although it is not a must to cut red meat off, however, it should not be consumed except on very rare occasions.

What food does Mediterranean diet not allow?

Even though on one hand, Mediterranean diet is not strict and gives you a lot of freedom, but, on the other hand, it still requires you stop eating certain food.

1.Sweets

sweets
Ice cream, chocolate and soda are all sweets that we all love, moreover, a lot of people get addicted to these types of sweets.

But, unfortunately, Mediterranean diet can not include these types of food.

2.Processed meat

hotdogs
Processed meats like sausages and hot dogs are not actually to healthy to your body.

And if you decided to follow Mediterranean diet, you will not be able to eat them anymore.

3.Saturated fats

butter
A Mediterranean diet relies only on healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil, but, saturated fats such as butter and margarine are not accepted.

Mediterranean diet recipes

In fact, being committed to a certain diet requires a lot of changes in your food plan.

Accordingly, you are not able to eat whatever you want anymore, however, it does not mean that you should give up eating delicious and various food.

Regardless the limitations a Mediterranean diet puts, it does not force you to eat boring food.

Also, Mediterranean diet, unlike other types of diets, gives you a big space in your food choices.

Lemony Mediterranean Chicken

 Ingredients: 

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 large garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 8 red baby potatoes

Directions

1.Preheat your  oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and black pepper in a bowl.

Place chicken breasts into a baking dish, brush lemon juice mixture over chicken.

3.Place potatoes, red onion and lemon slices in a bowl, pour remaining lemon juice mixture over vegetables.

Arrange vegetables and lemon slices around chicken breasts in baking dish.

4.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes; brush chicken and vegetables with pan drippings.

Continue baking until chicken is browned, the juices run clear, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast reads at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), about 30 more minutes.

Baked apples with cherries

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 small  apples, about 1 3/4 pounds total weight
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dark honey
  • 2 teaspoons walnut oil

Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2.In a small bowl, toss together the cherries, almonds, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until all the ingredients are evenly distributed, set aside.

3.The apples can be left unpeeled, if you like, to peel the apples in a decorative fashion, with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, remove the peel from each apple in a circular motion, skipping every other row so that rows of peel alternate with rows of apple flesh.

Working from the stem end, core each apple, stopping 3/4 inch from the bottom.

4.Divide the cherry mixture evenly among the apples, pressing the mixture gently into each cavity.

Arrange the apples upright in a heavy ovenproof frying pan or small baking dish just large enough to hold them, pour the apple juice and water into the pan.

Drizzle the honey and oil evenly over the apples, and cover the pan snugly with aluminum foil.

Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.

5.Transfer the apples to individual plates and drizzle with the pan juices, serve warm or at room temperature.

Why would you follow a Mediterranean diet?

Logically, people who decide to follow Mediterranean diet have a point behind this decision.

Actually, Mediterranean diet has a lot of benefits to the human health, these benefits include:

  • Prevents heart diseases
  • Reduces risks of Alzheimer’s
  • Protects against Diabetes
  • Helps weight loss
  • Fights cancer
  • Improves fertility
  • Increases longevity

Some final tips:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts as snacks.
  • Eat more fish as a main course.
  • Cook with olive oil.
  • Do not depend on red meat as a main source of protein.
  • Search for delicious recipes on the internet.

Conclusion

Finally, Mediterranean diet is one of the easiest and most flexible diets, it just requires regulating your food intake and cutting off unhealthy food.

If you get the opportunity and been able to follow a Mediterranean diet, know how to well exploit the variety of foods it offers you to choose from.

Do not think that following a diet necessarily means that you should eat the same food, in contrast, you are able to eat hundreds of recipes and stay healthy as well.

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