The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Delicious

The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health Making the ChangeChanging eating habits may seem like a radical and difficult chore but changing to the Mediterranean diet is easy because most of the foods and cooking techniues are already familiar to us Its a shift of emphasis thats the key to cooking and eating in a healthy Mediterranean styleExcept for olive oil theres no need for special foods in the larderin fact many of the foods featured in the Mediterranean kitchen are probably already in your pantry cupboard Several different kinds of beans both dried and canned long grain and short grain rice cornmeal for polenta and flour for bread pasta in a variety of shapes canned tomatoes and condiments like dried mushrooms and herbs are common ingredients and take no special effort to acuire If theres an Italian Greek or Middle Eastern neighborhood nearby youll have access to first rate olives and cheese otherwise make a special trip some Saturday to adistant market and spend time wandering around examining the offerings If youre far from ethnic shopping areas like these mail order and Internet suppliers are a good if sometimes rather expensive resource See pages for some suggestions We invent all sorts of rationales for holding back on changing diets especially where families are involved But there are compelling reasons for making the switch and most of the obstacles are easily overcome Just remember that where families are concerned change sometimes has to come slowly Whatever you do dont make a big deal out of it Small uiet almost unnoticeable changes areeffective than noisy family food fightsStart off by structuring mealtimes if you dont do that already Its hard for American families with so many of us apart at lunch but dinner at least should be a time for the family to come together and share whatever is on the table Try to have meals on the table at the same hour each day and let people know theyre expected to be there Its the first step in a Mediterranean direction building a sense of food as a fundamentally communal shared experienceSwitch from whatever fats you now use to extra virgin olive oil If you find it hard to get used to the flavor of extra virgin oil start off by combining it with canola oil which has no perceptible flavor or aroma Gradually reduce the amount of canola as you grow accustomed to the delicious flavor of olive oil Experiment with oils by buying several different varieties in small uantitiesthe flavors vary enormously from country to country region to region and even producer to producer Begin by throwing out all those bottles of commercial salad dressing that are crowding your refrigerator shelves Then follow one of the recipes on pages for tasty salad dressings using extra virgin olive oil Start using olive oil to saut meat chicken or fish More flavorful oils are wonderful for frying potatoes especially with a little garlic or onion addedanother way to accustom your family to the distinctive flavor Soon you may find yourself using truly aromatic oils on steamed vegetables or baked potatoes in place of butter or sour cream Then youll be ready for a real summertime treatextra virgin olive oil lavished on fresh seasonal corn Foron olive oil see pages Get out of the butter habit A little butter from time to time is fine but butter is never on the Mediterranean table never assumed to be an automatic accompaniment to bread Even at breakfast only a little jam garnishes the bread which is appreciated for its own good flavor And contrary to American restaurant custom bowls of olive oil even of the finest extra virgin are never put on the table except during the autumn harvest when the flavor of new oil is appreciated Usewhole grains Even though Mediterranean cooks seldom use whole wheat pasta or brown rice they still get plenty of whole grains through dishes like tabbouleh the hearty Lebanese salad and bulgur pilafs And breads throughout the Mediterranean are often made with unrefined wheat and barley flours Fortunately we have much greater access to really high uality bread than we had years ago when I compiled the first edition of this book but if you cant find the kind of bread you want nearby try making it yourself It really isnt time consuming once you get the hang of it and thats uickly acuired And presenting a homemade loaf of high uality bread on the table is just eminently satisfyingBegin or end each meal with a salad Make it from crisp greens and whatever vegetables are in seasontomatoes cucumbers sweet peppers scallions shavings of carrot sherds of fennel celery tender chicory raw fava beans Dont use iceberg lettuce which has almost no nutritional value but do look for dark green leaf lettuces like oak leaf and romaine Add some fresh green herbs for variety but not all at oncebasil at one meal dill at another cilantro if you like it at a thirdAdd bothvegetables and different vegetables to the menu Get away from the American focus on potatoes peas and salad greens Nothing wrong with any of them but life is so much richer The average American consumes just three servings of fruits and vegetables daily and many Americans dont even get that The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the Department of Health and Human Services recommend up to nine servings which is about cups for otherwise healthy people consuming calories a day So let vegetables take up most of the room on your plateEvery day try to get in at least one serving each of cruciferous cabbage family vegetablesbroccoli broccoli rabe cabbage cauliflower turnip and mustard greensand bright colored vegetables and fruits that are rich in antioxidantsagain broccoli and broccoli rabe but also carrots sweet potatoes spinach and yellow suash as well as apricots and cantaloupe just to mention a few Experiment with different vegetables ones that may not be familiarartichokes leeks fava beans are exotic to many Americans and vegetables like Jerusalem artichokes sunchokes celery root and many greens are virtually unknownVegetables dont have to be served separatelyvegetable combinations vegetables cooked in a sauce for pasta vegetables served cut up in a soup are all ways to increase the uantity consumed But no single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy In the end its variety that is the keyCut down on the amount of meat consumed Theres no reason for normal healthy adults to eatthan ounces of lean meat a day and much less is much better Children of course need even less If your family is used to ounce portions start cutting the portions down gradually rather than all at once Eat lean red meat beef pork and lamb just once or twice a week Other meals can feature chicken fish pasta rice beans or vegetablesOne easy way to cut meat consumption is with stews that feature meat as an incidental to lots and lots of vegetables Youll find recipes for such preparations throughout this book Or make a hearty soup the main course with plenty of bread perhaps a little cheese and salad to accompany it Soup is a delicious and cheap way to get lots of vegetables on the tableMove meat away from the center of the plate by adding complex carbohydrates like rice beans and pasta to fill the gap that meat once occupied When you do serve a main course of meat or fish get into the Mediterranean habit of offering a filling first course of pasta or soup before the meat arrivesAnd if youre worried about budgetary constraints think of this by adding olive oil and subtracting meat youll probably come out even over the course of a weekThink about portion size especially when dining in restaurants Americans on the whole now spend almost half their food dollars outside the home in fast food take out and family style restaurants Its no secret that portion sizes have increased dramatically in such food outletsindeed some national chains actually brag about the humongous size of burgers fries and soft drinks and what a bargain they are Some bargain Anyone who saw the movie Supersize Me knows all too well the conseuences of this But when Drs Lisa Young and Marion Nestle at New York University studied the phenomenon they discovered that between the and editions of the Joy of Cooking that venerable cookbook has decreased the number of servings it says a given recipe will yield No wonder were a fat nation cradle to often early graveNow think of a deck of cards thats about the portion size of meat or fish in a restaurant in just about any country in the Mediterranean and the vegetables the soups the pasta and rice dishes are euivalent As for dessert most often if its anything at all its a single small portion of seasonal fruit If theres an actual sweet involved it will be the size of a little espresso cup noSo think about portion size whether at home where its much easier to control or when eating out where its often uite difficult In the right kind of restaurant you can order from the appetizer list where portions are notably smaller Or share a main course with a friend dining with you Or eat half the presentation and ask to bag the rest to carry homeSubstitute wine in moderation for other alcoholic beverages If you enjoy wine with your meals youre already well on the way to a Mediterranean lifestyle Except among strict Moslems wine is part of every Mediterranean meal but breakfast The operative words here are part of the meal In the Mediterranean wine is a companion to food and almost never taken on its own Even a glass of wine or an aperitif as a cocktail before dinner is always accompanied by something to eatif not a full fledged meze then a few olives or a handful of almonds Wine in moderation a couple of glasses a day served with meals seems in fact to be protective against coronary heart diseaseIf you dont care for wine dont turn to soft drinks or fruit juices even natural ones as they are all potent sources of sugar and or calories Drink water insteada bottle or pitcher of water is a standard feature on Mediterranean tables It doesnt have to be expensive bottled water either Most of us in North America are fortunate to have access to good clean water straight from the tap Just dont substitute milk which comes into the Mediterranean diet after infancy only in the form of wonderful cheeses and yogurts or a little hot milk added to morning coffee For normal healthy adults enough calcium should be supplied by cheese yogurt and vegetablesDont fuss with dessert To me dessert seems like useless and unprofitable time spent in the kitchen and its certainly not necessary on the table Far better to spend that time making soup Above all dont buy packaged desserts whether cakes cookies or ice creamwell maybe ice cream as an occasional treat Most packaged desserts are so loaded with saturated fat and sugar not to mention stabilizers and other undesirable additives that they are truly nutritional time bombs All they really do is accustom the palate to sugary fats at the end of a meal If you must have a sweet the simplest of cookies is preferable to a rich cake better yet is fresh or lightly poached fruit which should be sweet enough in itself to satisfy any sugar addicts in the family And with fruit you get valuable vitamins and fiber along with the sweet something that cannot be said for other dessertsMany restaurants will have a simple platter of fresh fruit or fruit with cheese on the dessert menu Choose it instead of the sinfully chocolate drop dead nightmare the pastry chef is so proud of Asof us start asking for fruitfruit will be servedThink about the uality of the food you buy and seek out the best Because Mediterranean food is so simple its worth spending time looking for the best ingredients How do you go about doing this Fortunately it gets easier with each passing season Start with the place where you customarily shop Many supermarkets responding to customer demand have established sections devoted to organically raised produce and naturally raised meatsIf supermarkets have little to offer look for farmers markets and health food stores that carry local healthy ingredients Call the food editor of a local newspaper or your state universitys college of agriculture for information Cooperative Extension agents can also be good information sources Farmers markets are terrific sources When you start to freuent them youll also start to build up contacts with local farmers Theyll not only tell you how the food is grown or produced they may tell you how to cook it too and theyll start to let you know what things are coming along The best run health food stores and co ops are also good outlets for local productionfruits and vegetables whole grains and beans free range chickens and their eggs all of which will be fresher andflavorful than most supermarket offerings Many farmers markets and health food stores take WIC coupons and food stamps if youre on a tightly restricted budget keep that in mindIn restaurants ask uestions about where food comes from and let them know that you care The best restaurants also care and work hard to advance ualityIn the end its the simplicity of it all that makes the Mediterranean diet such an appealing alternative Exotic foods elaborate and time consuming preparations and special culinary techniues are not what its all about Good food carefully purchased thoughtfully if simply prepared and lovingly served and shared thats the secret Children and the Mediterranean DietEnjoyment is the key to supporting great nutrition especially for young children because if they dont enjoy their food they simply wont eat it But if you present food that is freshly prepared and tasty even broccoli children will almost always come around especially if they see that everyone else at the table is enjoying the same thingAll children seem to go through periods when they will eat only one thingonly white food perhaps or only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches not a bad thing as long as theyre made with whole grain bread The best course of action we are assured by everyone from Dr Spock on is not to stress out not to wring hands not to indicate the least shred of anxietyand above all not to rush to offer an alternative But almost all children love pasta and pizza so start your Mediterranean diet campaign with one of those prepared to be appetizing and full of flavor presented as a family meal to be enjoyed all togetherand you may find the battle is over before its even begunNancy Harmon Jenkins is a marvelous writer a fine reporter and addicted to travel people history and good food which makes this book a joy That it points to a healthful way to eat incorporating the freshness and clear flavors of Mediterranean cooking also makes it a daily delight Barbara Kafka author of Party FoodNancy Harmon Jenkinss new book is an irresistible invitation to share the healthiest diet in the world It has one alluring recipe after another each one fragrant with the fresh aromas of the ingredients I love the most fish right out of the water ripe vegetables from open air markets herbs from the garden This book makes an overwhelming argument that the things that taste the best are good for you Alice WatersAlthough its technically a diet book this book is so much a superbly written examination of Mediterranean food and life and one of the most exciting cookbooks of the year Paula Wolfert author of The Cooking of the MediterraneanA great body of scientific data indicates that a generous daily intake of vegetables and fruits coupled with low consumption of meat and other animal products is the basis of a healthy diet In this book Nancy Jenkins vividly demonstrates that giving up meat potatoes and gravy need not be a sacrifice but rather the beginning of a journey into a farinteresting and healthier world of eating Walter Willett Chairman Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public HealthAn essential This revised edition of her bestselling title includes updated nutrition information notes on sustainable agriculture and similar concerns andthan new recipesLibrary Journal starred review

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About the Author: Nancy Harmon Jenkins

En tant u’auteur connu certains de ses livres fascinent les lecteurs comme dans le livre The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health ui est l’un des lecteurs les plus recherchés Nancy Harmon Jenkins auteurs dans le monde