You have probably heard that the Mediterranean diet is the world’s healthiest diet. It has been touted to have all sorts of benefits including lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and protecting against type 2 diabetes.
This is because it is majorly plant based, includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. In addition, it emphasises the use of ultra-healthy olive oil. There is something for meat lovers too: lean meats and fish are a part of the diet.
It is not hard to see how one can eat Mediterranean food every day, and if not, at least over a 3 course meal. Here’s a little inspo for you.
Cooking and eating should always be fun so feel free to swap and replace some dishes for ones that you like better.
Call it a starter or an hors d’ouevre like the French do, an appetizer should be a small light meal that is served before the main course. Its purpose is to stimulate the appetite and prepare you for your meal. It shouldn’t be so heavy that it satisfies you, nor should it over power the main course. Sometimes, appetizers are shareable finger foods.
Mediterranean cuisine excels in appetizers. Whether dinning alone or with company, there is something you can choose from. Hummus and crackers are a famous choice, as well as plate of falafels that a group can share.
Since the Mediterranean diet is big on vegetables, the hummus might be accompanied by chopped vegetables or crudités or the appetizer might be avocado stuffed with colourful vegetables, herbs and cheese. Toss in some olives to complete the Mediterranean vibe.
In the 3 course meal, the main course will be the centre piece and both the appetizer and dessert should follow the theme it sets. For instance, if the appetizer you selected was stuffed avocado, it might follow that your main course is a white meat.
Mediterranean cuisine favours fish so a baked salmon might pair well. If you are seeking something heartier, what about shrimp pasta?
If seafood isn’t your style, you cannot go wrong with chicken. Baked chicken rubbed with fresh herbs and accompanied by toasted vegetables is a go to.
Your theme might be more relaxed and call for a meal people can easily pick up. In this case shawarma and kebabs are some dishes to consider. Vegetarians need not despair; a vegetarian risotto can make the perfect main.
And finally, the dessert. There is still no consensus on if a dessert strictly needs to be sweet and it is lucky that the Mediterranean diet offers a lot to choose from when it comes to dessert.
Dessert needn’t be a sweet yogurt, honey and olive oil cake, or toasted fruit (delicious). You can keep it to a classic salad.
The Mediterranean diet is known to promote being physically active. End your 3 course meal with a short walk and maybe after that, a nap.