The Mediterranean Diet Menu... Made Easy
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
12 super simple tips to help with a healthy Mediterranean Diet eating syle...
Swap your regular cooking oil for olive oil – but transfer it to a spray container so that you can control the amount you use. Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘light’ or ‘extra light’ olive oil are lower in calories though. The term ‘light’ simply describes the blends of olive oil used.
Swap steamed veggies for roasted vegetables from time to time – simply put chopped courgette, aubergine, peppers, red onions and cherry tomatoes in a roasting tin. Brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and black pepper and roast in a hot oven until cooked.
Opt for wholegrain pasta and brown rice – but don’t add too much salt to the water when you cook them.
Make your own pasta sauces rather than relying on ready-made ones. Simply fry a chopped red onion and clove of crushed garlic in a little olive oil. When brown, add a can of chopped tomatoes, a little tomato puree, fresh basil and black pepper. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, then serve with pasta. Your sauce should be cooked in the same amount of time it takes to cook the pasta.
Start every meal with a bowl of salad – but don’t just stick to lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Add peppers, red onions, grated carrot, celery, rocket, fresh herbs, small amounts of avocado, mangetout and baby spinach. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar rather than olive oil to keep calories down.
For a tasty snack serve raw vegetables with homemade tzatziki – simply mix a pot of low-fat natural yogurt with garlic, lemon juice, black pepper and grated cucumber.
Don’t add butter to bread – instead mix a little olive oil with balsamic vinegar and use as a dip.
Make it your mission to eat five servings of fruit and veg every day – try serving chopped fresh fruit with low-fat natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey for breakfast or desert.
Use a little less meat in dishes like stews, soups and casseroles and add beans or lentils, and lots of extra veggies to make it go further.
Eat oily fish at leat once a week – swap canned tuna for grilled fresh tuna, lunch on sardines or mackerel with toast, or serve salmon for dinner.
Ditch the salt pot and instead flavour food with garlic, fresh herbs and black pepper.
Swap crisps, biscuits and cakes for a handful of unsalted nuts or seeds when you want a snack.
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