Hearty, Healthy and Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Posted on April 12, 2012 · Posted in Diet Mediterranean

 

Mediterranean diet has been widely known as the healthiest diet all over the world. These days, most health experts recommend this diet to their clients because of its nutritional benefits. Studies found out that this meal plan helps in reducing the risks for acquiring cardiovascular diseases and cancer. 

In this article we’ll help people to find the hearty, healthy and easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes that they can follow. But, a quick brief information first about this meal plan. Mediterranean diet is mostly composed of food in moderation, which includes high consumption of fruits and vegetables, moderation in lean meats, fish, poultry and minute consumption of olive oil and wine. 

Listed below are easy to follow Mediterranean diet recipes.

 

Appetizers and Side Salad Dishes

 

Warm Aragula Bread Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

     3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

     2 slices crusty whole-wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (2 cups)

     1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

     8 cups arugula, (7 ounces)

     1 tablespoon minced garlic

     1/8 teaspoon salt

     1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

     2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

     3/4 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (1/4 cup) or grated (1/2 cup)

 

PREPARATION

First, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in bread; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and arugula; cook, stirring, until arugula just wilts, about 1 minute. Push the mixture to one side. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the empty side and cook garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant and sizzling, 15 seconds. Stir into the bread mixture. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with vinegar and toss to combine. Serve warm, topped with Parmesan. 

Main Dish 

Salmon Panzanella

 

INGREDIENTS

     8 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

     3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

     1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped

     1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

     3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

     2 thick slices day-old whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

     2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

     1 medium cucumber, peeled (if desired), seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

     1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

     1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

     1 pound center-cut salmon, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions

     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

PREPARATION

1.    Preheat grill to high.

2.    Whisk olives, vinegar, capers and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Add bread, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil.

3.    Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Season both sides of salmon with salt and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill the salmon until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

4.    Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each with a piece of salmon.

TIPS & NOTES

     Tips: If using fresh bread, you can grill the bread slices along with the salmon and then cut them into cubes. Alternatively, cut bread into cubes, place on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F until dry.

     How to skin a salmon fillet: Place salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.

     To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray before placing it on the grill.

  

Desserts

 

Tiramisu 

INGREDIENTS

     8 ounces ladyfingers, (60 ladyfingers)

     1 cup water

     4 tablespoons brandy, divided

     1 tablespoon instant coffee (preferably espresso) granules

     2 tablespoons dried egg whites, (see Ingredient Note), reconstituted according to package directions

     3/4 cup sugar

     1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

     4 ounces mascarpone cheese, (1/2 cup)

     4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel), softened

     1 cup chocolate shavings, (see Tip)

     Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

 

PREPARATION

1.    If ladyfingers are soft, toast them in a 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir water, 3 tablespoons brandy and coffee granules in a small bowl until the granules are dissolved. Brush over the flat side of the ladyfingers. 

2.    Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine reconstituted egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit over the saucepan. Set the bowl over the simmering water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue beating over the heat for about 3 minutes more. (The mixture should form a ribbon trail.) Remove the bowl from the heat and beat until cool and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. 

3.    Beat mascarpone and cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy. Add about 1 cup of the beaten whites and the remaining 1 tablespoon brandy; beat until smooth, scraping down the sides. Fold in the remaining whites. 

4.    Line the bottom and sides of a 3-quart trifle bowl or soufflé dish with ladyfingers, flat sides toward the center. Spoon in one-fourth of the filling and top with a layer of ladyfingers. Repeat with two more layers of filling and ladyfingers, arranging the fourth layer of ladyfingers decoratively over the top, trimming to fit if necessary. Top with the remaining filling. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. 

5.    Before serving, sprinkle the tiramisu with chocolate shavings and dust with confectioners’ sugar.