This new health trend promotes health and longevity by eating a diet inspired by Mediterranean cuisine.
- Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst
Mediterranean Diet Health BenefitsRecent research suggests that people following a Mediterranean-style diet have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and health problems. Unlike other diets, which may lack in nutrients, this one provides heart-healthy doses of protein, vegetables, whole grains, and even a little bit of red wine too! Foods to eat include fish, shellfish, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and herbs. Eggs, dairy, red wine, and poultry are also recommended, but in smaller amounts. These recipes, mixed in with an active lifestyle, are the perfect way to start off a Mediterranean diet.
Whole-Wheat Pasta with Edamame, Arugula, and HerbsSoybeans, fresh vegetables, olive oil, and fresh herbs make this salad an excellent choice.
Tilapia PiccataTilapia Piccata is a spin on the traditional Italian dish of veal or chicken piccata. Flaky tiliapia and tangy capers with fresh lemon juice and white wine deliver exceptional flavor to this classic dish. Feel free to substitute most any flaky white fish for the tilapia, if desired.
Curried Chickpea Stew with Brown Rice PilafThis dish includes protein-packed chickpeas, whole-grain rice, and lots of fresh veggies and spices to lend flavor.
Broiled Tilapia GyrosThis spin on a Greek classic uses broiled tilapia to lighten things up, along with fresh veggies and a Greek yogurt sauce.
Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced AlmondsRaspberries add bright color and several good-for-you nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Chives, members of the onion family, add phenols and flavonoids.
Olive Oil-Poached Mahimahi with Mediterranean Tomato SauceTomatoes, olive oil, and rosemary are the perfect combo to spice up this tender white fish.
Blood Orange SangríaAny good-quality, fruity red wine works well in this cold sipper; a combination of pinot noir and Beaujolais is particularly good.
Whole-grain Penne with Walnuts, Caramelized Onions, and Ricotta SalataThe combination of flavors here plays up the nutty flavor of whole-grain penne.
Pasta with Tuna and Black Olive VinaigretteOlive oil, capers, garlic, and fresh lemon juice make this pasta dish a Mediterranean-inspired favorite. Top with tuna for a complete meal.
Hummus-Veggie Sandwich on Whole GrainHummus, veggies, and a hint of garlice and lemon are a sandwich lover's dream. Hummus-Veggie Sandwich on Whole Grain is hearty and satisfying, and a cool break during a day on the beach.
Shrimp, Lemon, and Spinach Whole-grain Pasta SaladWe lightened up this pasta salad by replacing the usual mayonnaise dressing with Greek-style low-fat yogurt, which has been strained so that it's thick and rich-tasting. Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes.
Olive-Almond Green BeansMove over plain green beans for a side serving of Olive-Almond Green Beans. The kalamata olives give these beans its saltiness, toasted almonds a bit of crunch, and a touch of citrus thanks to lemon rind.
Broiled Salmon with Lemon and Olive OilThis dish is a highly nutritious choice that has a wonderful citrus flavor from the lemon. Monounsaturated fat from olive oil, Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, and fiber from brown rice make for a heart-healthy recipe.