Tag Archives: Fish

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Hopefully you are convinced (as I am) that the Mediterranean diet is fantastic. It has proven to be a healthy way of life for many people – why not you? Unlike other diets such as the Atkins diet or Paleo diet there is little debate over whether or not it is good for you.

Of course, we have established that it is also quite different from other diets because it is more about food choices and cooking methods – a way of eating – rather than focusing on restrictions. In fact, it doesn’t really even talk about portion control. Although, I do recommend that you use good sense and eat moderately.

Other than that, this is one of the best diets on the planet. It’s tasty, easy to follow, and has multiple health benefits, such as:  reducing your risk of getting nasty diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Also – if you need to lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol . . . the Mediterranean diet is for you. If you want to live a long and healthy life . . . you got it! The Mediterranean diet is for you.

It you are focusing on clean eating, this is a diet that allows you to follow that philosophy, eat well, and enjoy the food.

The diet itself is quite simple and very flexible. You should be able to find most of the food at your local supermarket.

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

The diet can be broken down into a few groups, which makes it easy to shop:

  • Whole grains
  • Healthy oils & fats
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Yogurt and cheese
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Herbs and spices

That’s pretty much it. There may be a few other items, but for the most part, if you stick to these eight categories, you will be eating healthy.

Whole Grains

Please notice it says “whole grains.” In fact, look for the word “whole” or 100% whole wheat or whole grain on the label. Examples would be whole grain bread or whole grain pasta. Good whole grain items would be: pasta, tortillas, bread, oatmeal, cereals, polenta, brown rice, quinoa, barley and pita.

Whole wheat bread dipped in olive oil is a tasty treat.

Healthy Oils

Mediterranean DietHealthy oils are a key ingredient In the Mediterranean diet. Replace butter with healthy fats – especially extra-virgin olive oil, which is excellent for cooking and on salads.

Other suggested oils are: canola, grape seed, sesame, and avocado oil. In the Mediterranean diet, the staple oil used is olive oil. Oils have lots of calories, so try to limit yourself to no more than three tablespoons per day.

Keep the oils in a cool, dark place so that they last longer.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are another group of healthy fats. You must be a little cautious with this group, they are calorie dense. Don’t go nuts with the nuts. Consume them in moderation or you will end up adding pounds you do not want.

A handful a day will provide our body with protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Buy them in bulk and pack them in small snack bags – limiting yourself to one bag per day.

Almonds, cashews, flax, sunflower seeds, walnuts and pine nuts are all good choices.

Vegetables and Fruits

Fruits and Vegetables
Image by by Erdosain

These are nutrition-packed foods filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Always buy fresh, organic produce when it is available. Seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables should be eaten daily.

Frozen fruits and veggies are also fine as long as they are quick frozen with nothing added. Avoid canned vegetables, if possible. If you must use canned, be they are low sodium.

Vegetables – you have many choices:  All the green leafy vegetables, plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, celery, onions, radishes, tomatoes, squash, beets, mustard greens, avocados, green peppers, etc. Obviously, it is a long list!

Fruits are eaten in place of sweets on this diet. Recommended are: apples, cherries, dates, peaches, kiwi, mango, papaya, grapefruit, oranges, melons, and strawberries.  Again . . . buy organic if at all possible; or, you may be ingesting pesticides that are harmful to your body. If not organic, wash extremely well and peel if possible.

Yogurt and Cheese

Dairy is not a major focus on the diet. It is usually eaten in the form of yogurt and cheese.  Both are good options as a calcium source. Stay with whole natural cheeses and plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (need sweet, add a little honey).

Seafood

Baked SalmonSeafood is heavily consumed in the Mediterranean region. Shrimp, salmon, cod, clams, tilapia, tuna, sardines, scallops and crab are excellent seafood choices and are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Eggs are also eaten as a source of protein and a regular part of the diet. Chicken is also served on occasion.  Red meat is eaten rarely – so go very easy on this one.

Lentils and Beans

These are high in protein but low in fats and calories. You have many choices: lentils, chickpeas, clack beans, pinto beans and white beans.

Herbs and Spices

Use fresh or dried herbs and spices to season your food and enhance the flavors. You will not need to use salt or unhealthy fats to make your food tasty. Garlic, mint, cumin, coriander, parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro and pepper are good choices.

Don’t forget the garlic – a favorite in the Mediterranean Region.

Red Wine

Mediterranean Diet
Image by karandaev

I know this isn’t one of the categories – and is optional on the diet. But if you enjoy good red wine, a glass each evening is encouraged (one for women and no more than two for men).

That pretty much sums it up. The diet is primarily focused on fresh fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and seafood with limited poultry and practically no red meat plus minimal sweets – all good reasons why it is so healthy.

Shop wisely and ENJOY!

Healthy Eating the Mediterranean Way

Healthy Eating - Greek Salad
Image by robynmac

Healthy Eating

The Mediterranean Diet has been popular for some time and the reason is simple – It is easy and delicious. Healthy eating the Mediterranean Way may be an easier switch than you think. In fact, when I took a very close look, I realized that I have been eating this way for many years.

The name is accurate because it emulates the way people eat who live on or near the Mediterranean Sea. When studies were done, it was found that people who live on the Mediterranean Diet, experienced a lower incidence of heart disease, reduced incidence of cancer (including breast cancer), Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s – plus they live longer in general.

The findings were surprising at first because the diet includes fats and wine – two things that are usually “no-no’s” on a “healthy diet.” However, further research found that when the types of fats they use (olive oil and real cheese) coupled with good wine, when used in moderation and combined with a nutrient rich diet, can actually be beneficial.

A nutrient-rich diet should be self-explanatory, but in case it is not, let’s take a look at some of the foods that are included in the Mediterranean Diet.

Fish

If you do not like fish – this is not a good style of eating for you.  BUT . . . if you are like me and LOVE fish, a Mediterranean-type diet is a great choice.

Fish is a natural food for people who live near the sea and being near the warm Mediterranean means being near tons of fish – lucky them! For the rest of us, it is not quite so easy, but good fish is available in most metropolitan areas. And . . . fish is incredibly good for the human body.

Fish is lean and low in calories especially when compared to red met and provides lots of essential fatty acids and amino acids – a wonderful “brain” food and, it keeps you full.

Its easy year-round accessibility (fresh or frozen) makes it an excellent main-dish option.

Fresh  Salads

Salads are a mainstay in all Mediterranean homes – and they are a good way to bulk up a meal without adding a lot of calories.  Plus, they are filled with nutrients, providing the body with iron, calcium, and other minerals.

A favorite for people of the area is simple Greek salad. It is a combination of:  chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumber, peppers, olives, and feta cheese – lightly drizzled with olive oil.

Healthy Fats

Going hand-in-hand with fish and veggie salads are all of the healthy fats – meaning saturated fats (not trans fats!) which aid in testosterone production while also enhancing nutrient absorption and improving cholesterol

Seeds and Nuts

Many dishes for this diet include seeds and nuts for flavoring (with lots of herbs). Another excellent choice because they keep you feeling full, which also makes them a brilliant, nutritious snack (including zinc, potassium, magnesium) that will not pack on calories. Add a few nuts or seeds to any salad for crunch and extra flavour.

Fruits and Vegetables

Once again the sunny region in which the diet originated provided lots of berries, grapes, tomatoes, and root vegetables ripe for picking, cooking and eating. This is another big component of the Mediterranean Diet and is one of the biggest ‘secrets’ when it comes to making sure that you enjoy a long, healthy lifespan without getting ill!

In summary, the Mayo Clinic explains:

Key components of the Mediterranean diet

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

If you have not already tried this diet, I encourage you to do so. If you don’t want to go full force, at least try adding some of the elements, such as more salads, fruits and veggies, plus nuts and seeds.

Simply adding wine to your diet will not do the trick. (LOL)

Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa Recipe

Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa
Image © Olga Lyubkin – Fotolia.com

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#db2525″]Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa Recipe[/typography]

Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa recipe is made from nature’s combination of fish from the sea and fresh mangoes, which grow everywhere in Mexico’s coastal areas that border on the tropical parts of the country. This is an incredibly easy and delicious recipe that works as well for entertaining as it does for a delightful family dinner.

INGREDIENTS

The Fish

  • 4 red snapper filets or swordfish steaks (6 ounces each)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 avocado, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 limes cut in quarters

The Sauce

  • ½ cube butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon juice from canned chipotles in adobo
  • ½ cup diced mango (Dice over a dish so you can save the juice that results from the dicing).
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Salt the filets and either broil or grill until just cooked through (DO NOT OVERCOOK).
  2. Make the sauce – This can be done while the fillets are cooking
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add remaining ingredients and simmer for one minute.
  4. Place each filet on a plate, spread the mango sauce over the filets, and top with avocado slices and lime wedges.
  5. Serve immediately with steamed Basmati rice and a bright green vegetable. .

Servings: 4



[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#ff0000″][print_link][/typography]

Balsamic Orange Salmon – End of Summer Series, Day Three

Balsamic Orange Salmon is a lovely summer meal – quick, easy and oh-so-good!  If you love salmon as much as I do, you will love this recipe. Remember the secret to good salmon is to NEVER OVERCOOK it.

IngredientsBalsamic Orange Salmon

The Sauce

  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar (good quality – Newman’s Own™ is excellent)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (finely grated orange peel)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

The Salmon

  • 4 salmon fillets (6 oz each)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Combine the first 10 ingredients in a glass jar, cover tightly, and shake well to mix; set aside.
  3. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof skillet.
  5. Place salmon fillets in the pan, skin side down, and cook until skin starts to crisp.
  6. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (DO NOT OVERCOOK)
  7. Transfer cooked salmon to a warm serving platter (keep warm while finishing the sauce).
  8. Place skillet on burner – high heat.
  9. Pour the sauce from the jar into the skillet.
  10. Stir and cook until warm through.
  11. Spoon sauce over salmon and serve immediately.

Serves 4

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b32034″][print_link][/typography]