Incorporating Healthy Mediterranean Cuisine

From the beauty of the Mediterranean itself with its history, mystery and romance to the beauty of its blue seas, food and culture it’s easy to see the lure of the Mediterranean lifestyle. When it comes to food, the Mediterranean diet is more than feta, extra virgin olive oil and fish. Because the Mediterranean Sea encompasses three continents and 21 nations, the cultural range of the region is the reason for the variety in the area’s cuisine.

While much of the Mediterranean cuisine is steeped in history and ancient traditions it has evolved to a more modern blend of culinary practices peppered with tradition. The Mediterranean diet is continually growing in practice in other parts of the world because of its health benefits; simple, yet delicious, ingredients, ease of preparation, and fresh, amazing flavors.

There are some staples of the Mediterranean diet that can be the basis of a meal or side dish before you drizzle on gourmet extra virgin olive oil, flavored balsamic or truffle oils.

Falafel is a seasoned fritter that is a popular side dish made of ground chickpeas or fava beans and then deep fried. Falafel is typically served inside a pita or with a salad, tahini-based sauces or pickled vegetables. Even though the falafel is fried, it is healthy because it is high in complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein and low in fat and salt.

Hummus is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Hummus is made of cooked, mashed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) mixed with sesame paste (tahini), garlic, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Hummus can also be infused with other flavors and as a base it adds a rich, full body flavor to items such as artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers.Hummus is a flavorful spread for pita bread, baked chips or a crudité platter.

Starting a meal with tabbouleh, a light salad, is a popular first course. Tabbouleh originates from Lebanon and Syria and is made from hand chopped parsley, bulgur, mint, vine ripened tomatoes, onions and drizzled with gourmet extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

The implementation of a Mediterranean diet into your everyday living is an easy way to ease into a healthier lifestyle. O&CO. provides gourmet ingredients and recipes to individuals who are exploring a Mediterranean lifestyle through a diet rich in flavorful and gourmet foods.