Archives for category: Mediterranean Diet

Here’s a batch of pesto I made with some basil from the garden. I used pine nuts, which are pretty expensive, but I’ve since learned you can use walnuts, pecans, or even almonds instead. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week, or you can freeze in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for up to 6 months. Also you can adjust the olive oil so the pesto is as thick or thin as you like. It’s great for pasta, or even as spreads on flatbread crackers, or on sandwiches as a spread.

Fresh pesto - just basil, garlic, parm cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts. Soooo easy I can't believe I used to buy it instead of making it myself.WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil (+ more if you want to thin it out)

WHAT YOU DO:

In a food processor: combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese. Add olive oil as it’s running until emulsified. To make it thinner, add olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Or place in freezer-safe containers (or ice cube trays) to store for up to 6 months in the freezer.

5 ingredient homemade PESTO. Keeps for 1 wk in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 mos.

 

One of my favorite shrimp dishes to make is a four-ingredient zesty lemon butter shrimp. It is SO delicious I could eat it every day if possible. It does have lots of butter, though (thus its deliciousness ha!), so here’s an alternative lemon garlic shrimp recipe I adapted from SkinnyTaste.com. It has the awesome lemony flavor of the lemon butter shrimp, without the butter, and fresh healthy ingredients perfect for eating light.

To make “noodles” out of the zucchini, I used my GEFU spiral cutter. Love that thing!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp on a Bed of Zoodles. Zuchiini spiral cut into 'noodles' with shrimp, lemon, tomatoes, and garlic. Add some spice with red pepper flakes.

 WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. frozen, precooked, de-veined, and peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 small zucchini, spiral cut into noodle/ribbon shapes
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes

WHAT YOU DO:

Heat a skillet over med-high heat.

Add oil and crushed red pepper flakes, then add shrimp.

Season with a pinch of salt, and cook 2-3 mins until the shrimp is heated through.

Add zucchini and tomatoes and toss lightly.

Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and serve.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles (zucchini noodles) - Awesome healthy meal idea for eating light.

 

I’m lovin’ the zoodles… Here’s another recipe I made, topped with tomato sauce.

I recently adapted a salad recipe from a Mediterranean Diet Cookbook called the “Mediterranean Detox Salad.” The name does not sound appetizing to me, but it turned out to be delicious. Here’s what I ended up with…

salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 can artichoke hears (packed in water), sliced
  • 6 cups Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. dillweed
  • Garlic powder, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Set aside half of the cucumber slices.

With a food processor, process the other half of the cucumber, plus 2 Tbsp. lemon juice.

Add EVOO, dillweed, garlic powder, and pepper to processor and pulse.

In a bowl, put artichoke hearts, Romaine lettuce, feta, and cucumber slices. Mix salad and toss with dressing. Top with tomatoes and a sprinkle of dillweed.

I was so excited to find an awesome sale on fresh mozzarella the other day. I love pairing it with fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. Here’s what I came up with:

mozzarella & tomato salad drizzled with EVOO, add salt & peper and basil to taste

WHAT YOU DO

Combine the following, then chill in the fridge before serving:

  • 2 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into chunks
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • basil, to taste (usually I use fresh basil, but this time I used dried sweet basil)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Not only is this fresh, fairly healthy, and delicious, the entire serving is just 4 Weight Watchers Plus points!

ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFORMATION – Recipe makes 1 Serving

Calories: 185
Fat: 13 g
Carbohydrate: 2 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 14 g

 

Fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil crostini. Delicious healthy ingredients on top of thinly sliced toasted bread. Turn this recipe into a delicious crostini! Throw it on top of some bread toasted with garlic and olive oil.

feta artichoke portobello strips with tomatoes, dill, onions & lemon juice

For a healthy lunch, I recently sautéed some veggies in EVOO and topped them with feta, dill and lemon juice. This makes a really big portion, with two servings being only 5 Weight Watchers Plus points each!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems & gills removed, cut into strips

1/2 white onion, chopped

3/4 c. canned artichoke hearts (packed in water), chopped

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2 Campari tomatoes, sliced

1 Tbs. lemon juice

2 tsp. dried dillweed

1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, onions, and artichoke hearts. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, until cooked through. At the very end, add tomatoes, lemon juice, and dill. Dish onto a plate. Before serving, top with feta and garnish with more dill.

Estimated Nutrition Info – Amount Per Serving:
Calories 165.5
Total Fat 11.1 g
Carbohydrate 13.5 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Protein 6.6 g

Here’s a recipe I came up with to use some of the fresh veggies we’re accumulating around here.

And of course I added one of my favorite “splurge” items: feta!

Also this is only 4 Weight Watchers Plus Points per serving. A great side dish, or you could even eat the whole thing as a filling entrée for only 8 points.

Lemon Feta Mushroom-Fest

Lemony Feta Shroom-Fest: summer veggies, EVOO, lemon juice, dill, feta. Yum!!!

 

Makes 2 Servings

What You Need:

  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed & sliced
  • 1 Tbs. onion, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, peeled & sliced
  • ¼ c. Athenos crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • ¼ tsp. dried dillweed
  • juice from ½ of a lemon

What You Do:

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan.

Add garlic and veggies. Sauté until tender.

Serve on a plate and top with feta, tomato, dill, and lemon juice.

Estimated Nutrition Facts – 2 Servings

Amount Per Serving:

  • Calories 141
  • Total Fat 11g
  • Cholesterol 16.7 mg
  • Sodium 214 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 7g
  • Dietary Fiber 2 g
  • Protein 5g

I wanted to make a healthy snack with feta & avocado – two of my favorite ingredients.  Here’s what I came up with: Avocado, Feta & Tomato-Topped Pita Crackers

pita crackers, feta, tomato, avacado, lemon juice, dillweed

Here’s what you need:

• 9 Pita Bites baked pita crackers

• 1/4 c. Athenos crumbled feta cheese

• 1/4 of a haas avocado, cut into chunks

• 1 sliced Campari tomato

• lemon juice, to taste

• dillweed, to taste

What you do:

Lay the pita chip crackers on a plate, then top with feta, avocado, then tomato. Add a sprinkle of lemon juice, and then top with dill.

feta artichoke pesto

Inspired by Mediterranean food ingredients I made a chilled pasta dish with whole-grain penne, feta, pesto, and fresh veggies.

It’s perfect for healthy eating!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 oz. whole-grain Barilla penne pasta, cooked and cooled (2 oz. uncooked ends up being approx 3/4 c.-1 c. cooked)
  • 1 Tbs. pesto (here’s my 5-ingredient pesto recipe)
  • 1/4 c. artichokes canned in water, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 Tbs. chopped red onion
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 grape tomatoes
  • pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Mix the penne and pesto together until combined. Top with artichokes, onion, feta, and tomatoes. Serve chilled.

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditching the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods.

Here’s one I came up with (still working on the photos):

Mediterranean Artichoke Shrimp & Pasta Toss

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 11 medium/large frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 2 oz. whole-grain penne pasta, cooked and cooled
  • Artichoke hearts, canned in water (to taste)
  • 5 grape tomatoes
  • 5 black olives

WHAT YOU DO:

While thawing shrimp in cold running water according to package directions, combine the remaining ingredients.

Toss in thawed shrimp and enjoy.

Entire serving: 8 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Related Recipes:

I recently created some new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean Diet, and included them while tracking my Weight Watchers points.

I incorporated lots of fresh ingredients, ditching the processed foods, and included heart-healthy fats and oils.

The best part is they are quick and easy, and share lots of the same ingredients, so I could shop once and make lots of different variations with the same foods.

Here’s one I came up with (still working on the photos):

Mediterranean Shrimp and Artichoke Salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 11 medium/large frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
  • artichoke hearts, canned in water (to taste)
  • baby spinach
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice (more or less to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

WHAT YOU DO:

While thawing shrimp in cold running water according to package directions, make a bed of baby spinach on your serving dish. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper and toss. Top with thawed shrimp and enjoy.

Entire serving: 6 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Related Recipes: