Fun fact: The Mediterranean diet is a healthy way of eating
inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of the Mediterranean region. It
focuses on eating a balanced diet of quality, whole foods—including pasta.
Barilla® Whole Grain Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Marinated Chicken Breast & Pesto
The USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend making half your grains whole grains. Whole grain pasta tossed with other healthy ingredients, such as vegetables, lean proteins, olive oil and herbs, is an easy way to follow a balanced Mediterranean-style diet—an eating pattern that is considered by nutritionists to be one of the world’s healthiest ways to eat.
Whole-Grain Spaghetti With Caramelized Shiitake Mushrooms And Pumpkin Seeds
Use MyPlate to build your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more. Whole-grain pasta partners perfectly with vegetables, beans, lean proteins, olive oil and herbs—exactly the kinds of nutrient-rich foods you should choose more often.
Oatmeal gets boring; it’s so often the go-to for healthy/easy breakfast, but even true lovers of oatmeal are bound to find it monotonous eventually, especially if they’ve sworn off unhealthy boxed breakfast cereals (which I would absolutely encourage you to do!). So, it’s important to break the cycle and be creative. There are tons of great grains out there that are excellent as hot porridge cereals, even if they aren’t what comes to mind when you think breakfast. I invite you to try mixing it up - you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
First, pick some grains. I usually blend two to four grains in varying proportions for any given breakfast. Just over 1 c of grains yields a hearty meal for two. Some favorites worth trying are:
If you soak the grains overnight (or longer - 2-3 days results in tasty fermentation) they’ll all cook at pretty much the same rate in the morning. This means that, in addition to this being great for improving the nutritional benefits we can get from hot cereal, overnight soaking makes using multiple grains really easy. Soak your grains in an equal amount of liquid - I soak them right in the pot I cook them in. For soaking to reduce the amount of phytic acid in the grains, the soaking medium must be slightly acidic. Appropriate soaking mediums include:
(Water, milk or almond/rice/hemp/etc milk) + (2 t lemon juice, 2 t cider vinegar, 2 t whey or several ounces of yogurt)
In the morning, give the soaked grains a stir and place them on the stove. Turn on the heat and add another equal part of liquid. I usually use water but using milk, kefir etc makes for a richer cereal. Add ½ t salt.
At this point, throw in some goodies. Accoutrements to porridge fall into two categories - A: those that are best cooked in with the grains, and B: those that are best sprinkled on top once the cereal is in your bowl. The possibilities for both are really endless; here are some of my favorites.
A LIST: Cook in with the grains
Dried fruit, especially raisins, apricots, apples and peaches
Fresh apples and cranberries
Cook the grains on a medium/low heat, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are soft. If you need to add more liquid as they’re cooking, do so. Transfer your grains to bowls and embellish from the B list.
B LIST: Add to your bowl
Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts
Whole seeds such as sunflower or pepitas
Fresh berries of any kind
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Honey, maple syrup or whatever sweetener you prefer
Ground flax seeds
Milk, yogurt, cream or alt milk of your choice
Small pat of butter or ghee
Stir it up, pour some coffee and enjoy - a different way every day!
About half a packet of frozen berries (I used blackberries)
Combine quinoa, coconut milk and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked. When you’ve got five minutes to go stir in the berries.
After weeks of holidays and celebrations it is time for some healthier eating.
This recipe for tabbouleh comes from Jerusalem A Cookbook by Yotam Ottelenghi and Sami Tamimi.
1/3 cup fine bulgur wheat
2 large tomatoes, ripe but firm
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus a little extra to finish
4 large bunches flat-leaf parsley
2 bunches mint
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baharat spice mix
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Seeds of ½ large pomegranate - I omitted these
If you cannot find fine bulgur wheat or if you do not know what grade bulgur wheat you have, then soak the wheat in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the bulgur, and then leave it to dry in a fine sieve
Put the bulgur in a fine sieve and run under cold water until the water rinsing through looks clear. Transfer to a large mixing bow.
Using a small serrated knife, cut the tomatoes into slices ¼ inch thick. Cut each slice in ¼ inch strips, and then into dices. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the bowl, along with the shallot and lemon juice. Stir well.
Take a few sprigs of parsley and pack them together tightly. Use a large, very sharp knife to trim off most of the stems and discard. Use the knife to move up the stems and leaves, gradually “feeding” the knife in order to shred the parsley as finely as you can and trying to avoid cutting pieces wider than 1/32 inch. Add to the bowl.
Pick the mint leaves off the stems, pack a few together tightly, and shred them finely as you did the parsley. Don’t chop them too much as they tend to discolour. Add to the bowl.
Finally, add the allspice, baharat, olive oil, pomegranate and salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and possibly a little bit of lemon juice and serve.