Monday, 28 April 2008

Mediterranean Mezze!

The Mediterranean diet is practised by countries in the Mediterranean regions this includes Spain, Greece, Turkey, Italy amongst others.

It is such a diverse and varied diet which doesn’t particularly stick to a regime as such, which could be good for those of us who have a busy lifestyle or hate diets, which would kind of contradict this being a type of diet but hey... who cares!

The diet is said to be more healthy than European or other diets as the meds eat more grains, such as spaghetti, fruits of all types, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. Basically lots of natural raw produce!

They eat red meat sparingly which seems to benefit health, too much red meat can be bad for you and in place of this they eat fish a few times a week increasing the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.

The negetives...

the diet is higher in fat by 40% than the recommended 30% , the Mediterranean diet is a great alternative to low-fat eating... becoming increasingly popular, I can't say eating more fat appeals to me but on the other hand once in a while its good to know it wouldn't hurt to try it!

A typical Mediterranean diet follows the below principles:
  • There fat ration encourages more monounsaturated to saturated fats
  • They limit wine and alcohol consumption
  • They eat less meat
  • They eat lots natural foods such as cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables
  • Their diet includes lots of fresh fruits as dessert with sweets consisting of nuts, olive oil, and concentrated sugars and honey
  • They limit their intake of milk and dairy products (including cheese and yogurt)
  • Use local produce
  • Have fewer than 4 eggs per week
  • They use olive oil as the principal source of dietary fats even using this to dip their bread in!

I like to challenge myself by cooking different cuisines we decided to try an Italiano mezze spread and here’s how I did it:

RECIPE: Char-grilled vegetable and mozzarella pizza served with mixed marinated olives, garlic roasted mushrooms, tomato basil and balsamic dressed salad and reduced fat hummus.

Basically this is really easy to create and for the best ingredients I recommend Waitrose, slightly more expensive but definitely worth it.

I bought a shop bought pizza from the superstore however you can make your own or buy a base and add your ingredients the pizza we bought was pretty healthy in terms of pizza and has been freshly prepared with light cheese and char-grilled vegetables.

Buy a pack of pre-packed salad and add to this basil leaves, baby tomatoes, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar

Waitrose have a great selection of Olives so select and serve at home!

Buy some flat mushrooms and wash thoroughly, chop up some garlic season with pepper and oven back for 15 minutes with the pizza

For true Italiano add a nice bottle of Pinot Gringo which will complement the flavours delightfully.

Serve with hummus as an accompaniment.

This is great for parties, or if you and a friend feel like spoiling yourselves a bit, I would probably only have this as a treat for being good as I would not usually recommend pizza.

I often eat lots of olives, hummus and snacks however I would be careful as I don't agree with eating too much fat to be honest it scares me so I avoid it. I would tend to always go for the low fat or lighter options if you can and get as many fruit and vegetables in your diet if you can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yummy! Thanks Duckey