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Celebrating International Mediterranean Diet Month with a Colourful Feast

The Healthy EmployeeBlood pressure & heart disease Celebrating International Mediterranean Diet Month with a Colourful Feast

Celebrating International Mediterranean Diet Month with a Colourful Feast

There is a lot of research out there to confirm the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, which include:

  • Lowered cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Lowered risk of early death by 40%
  • Lowered risk of heart disease by 30%
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Reduced risk of developing diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

 

We often read about the benefits that come with consuming this diet, but many are still vague in what it consists of.

Quite simply you need to stock up on:

  • Large and regular quantities of fruit and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Olive oil as a principle source of fat
  • Dairy products in small quantities
  • Moderate amounts of fish and poultry
  • Small amounts of red meat
  • No processed foods

 

To get you started on your Mediterranean quest, we have a delicious meal to serve the whole family, perfect for encouraging the sun to make an appearance and an unneeded excuse to get the BBQ out!

 

Serves 4

Curried Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 150g low-fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into strips

Method

  1. Combine the curry powder, yoghurt and garlic in a bowl before adding in the chicken strips. Stir to combine and leave to marinade in the fridge if possible to enable it to take on the full flavour.
  2. When ready, heat up the BBQ and cook on the griddle on a medium heat, turning until cooked through.

 

Sun-dried Tomato & Paprika Couscous

Ingredients

  • 150g uncooked couscous
  • 270ml hot vegetable stock
  • 100g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil

Method

  1. Prepare the vegetable stock before adding to the couscous in a heatproof bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Toast the pine nuts by adding to a pan over a medium heat, shake occasionally. They are toasted when they become darker and fragrant, remove from the heat immediately after toasted to avoid burning them.
  3. Remove the cling film from the couscous and add to your serving bowl. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, smoked paprika, toasted pine nuts, parsley and basil and stir to combine.

 

Feta & Aubergine Crunchy Salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 aubergines, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • 100g green beans
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method

  1. Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a container with a lid such as a jar and shake to combine.
  2. Brush the dressing over the pieces of aubergine before adding to the BBQ griddle on a medium heat, flipping after a couple of minutes.
  3. Blanch the green beans for 1 minute to cook through. Add the aubergine and green beans to a platter before topping with the crumbled feta, pomegranate seeds and remaining dressing.
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