May Is International Mediterranean Diet Month!
May 02, 2016
May is International Mediterranean Diet month!
* The Mediterranean Diet is a Heart Healthy way of eating based on traditional foods & cooking methods of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea
* The main components of the Mediterranean diet include:
* Minimally processed foods
* Mostly plant-based diet
* Rich in monounsaturated fats
* Emphasis on Fish & Shellfish
* The basic eating pattern includes:
* Generous amounts of fruits & vegetables every Day (think 5 a Day or more!)
* Whole grains & legumes
* Fish or Shellfish at least 2X/ Week
* Healthy Fats such as olive oil & canola oil
* Herbs & spices rather than salt to flavor foods
* Small portions of nuts & seeds
* Small portions of red meat on special occasions
* Red Wine in moderation (optional)
* Being physically active & enjoying meals with others
* Foods to Include
* Fruits & Vegetables – (Aim for at least 5 servings per day)
* Seeds & Nuts (but watch those portions)
* Flax Seed – One tablespoon of ground flax seed/day (Omega 3’s)
* Oatmeal – a good source of fiber (Aim for 25 grams of fiber daily)
* Salmon & Tuna – Good source of heart healthy Omega 3 fats
* Whole grain bread & cereals – (make sure the label does NOT say “Enriched or Bleached” wheat)
* Lean Meats & Poultry – (remember Fish & Seafood are best… and the ”Less Legs the Better”)
* County Market/Cub Foods Skim Milk – (Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products)
* Legumes – the insoluble fiber in them helps to lower blood cholesterol
* Foods prepared with Herbs & Spices (rather than salt)
Here's a delicious recipe courtesy of our friends at Oldways:
Chickpea Spinach Pasta Salad
This recipe can be made ahead and served chilled -- or enjoyed as soon as it's ready, lukewarm. A very simple and economical recipe, ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
6 ounces uncooked whole grain pasta
juice of one small lemon
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh raw spinach leaves, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (also called garbanzos), drained and rinsed
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions (about 8 minutes, usually).
2. While pasta is cooking, mix lemon juice, olive oil and minced garlic in a very large salad bowl.
3. When pasta is done, drain it and put in bowl with dressing, so it can absorb the lemony sauce.
4. Add chickpeas and spinach, and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with feta when ready to serve.
Note: Rotini works well in this recipe, since the little bits of sauce and feta cling to the spirals. Serve lukewarm or chilled, according to your preference.