In this week’s blog post, we’re going to focus on another theme for the month of May: International Mediterranean Diet Month! The Mediterranean Diet is the traditional cuisine of countries that border the Mediterranean Sea such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. There is no one standard definition of the diet, but it typically includes high consumption of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, fish, and moderate consumption of dairy products (usually cheese and yogurt), wine, and non-fish meat products. The Mediterranean diet is widely recommended as a healthy way of eating and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The diet also emphasizes the importance of physical activity and eating food with family and friends.
Image source: oldwayspt.org
Mediterranean Bowl with Quinoa and Falafel
Here is a recipe for a Mediterranean Bowl. This is a great dish to make ahead of time and meal prep for lunches or dinners.
First, I made a simple tahini sauce. This is totally optional, but I think it adds some nice flavor to the quinoa.
Tahini is a condiment made from sesame seeds and used in the Eastern Mediterranean.
¼ cup of tahini paste
½ cup of water
¼ tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
Salt to taste
Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a strainer. You can use any kind of quinoa you like. I used white.
Add the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until all the water is absorbed (around 10 to 20 minutes).
Remove pot from heat, cover with lid, and let steam for 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and add to your bowl. Top with the tahini sauce.
While the quinoa is cooking, you can prep your vegetables. I sliced one mini cucumber and washed some cherry tomatoes. Olives would be another tasty addition to this recipe. Add on top of the quinoa.
Falafel is a great non-meat source of fiber and protein. It is made from ground chickpeas or fava beans. You can buy a falafel mix at the store to fry or bake but to save a little a time, I just used some pre-made falafel that heats up in the microwave.
Add your falafel to the bowl with a dollop of humus. Hummus is something else that you can make yourself if you have a food processor, chickpeas, lemon juice, and tahini!
You can add more of the tahini sauce on top.
And there you have it! A simple, healthy, filling Mediterranean meal you can enjoy not only this month, but whenever you'd like!
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