Vegetables are easily incorporated into your diet and will supply you with the many vitamins and antioxidants that are crucial for good health. They will also spice up your meal times and satisfy hunger pangs by filling out your plate. Vegetable-rich Mediterranean diet offers many creative ideas on how to incorporate veggies into your diet. Here are some top tips from Mediterranean!
Mediterranean Vegetable Dishes
Mediterraneans add vegetables to many different dishes making them tastier and more substantial. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a chunk of wheat bread and cover with a healthy topping of feta, sliced tomato and leafy greens drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon;
- add shredded carrot, finely chopped green or red peppers, mushrooms and a handful of chopped spinach to fresh tomato sauce and fold into freshly cooked pasta;
- take sliced onions, peppers, zucchini, large mushrooms, eggplant and tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and grill. Garnish with sundried tomatoes and add a sprinkling of grated cheese.
- steam broccoli until tender then toss with a little olive oil, salt, minced garlic and a few flakes of red pepper.
Get into the habit of eating leafy greens and have a portion with at least one meal per day. They can be made much more interesting by adding a little olive oil and lemon juice. Be sure to avoid high-calorie, creamy dressings.
When preparing vegetables try not to overcook them as they become dull and lose flavor and important nutrients. A few extra chopped vegetables with a little grated cheese will make your meals much more interesting and fun.
Many people nowadays use the excuse that they just don’t have the time to prepare salads and vegetables but there are plenty of pre-made products available on the market that are organic and pre-washed.
Pizzas are popular at meal times and unlike American pizzas, Mediterranean versions are light with healthy toppings. A freshly baked whole-grain crust smothered in fresh tomato sauce and topped with vegetables such as mushrooms, garlic, onions, zucchini, broccoli and peppers makes the perfect dinner.
There are many different ways to eat Mediterranean and snacks are no exception:
- Add freshly chopped carrots to peanut butter sandwiches for an interesting twist;
- stir canned pumpkin into hot oatmeal with a little added cinnamon and brown sugar or as a dessert add a generous spoonful to applesauce or stir into vanilla yogurt for added zing;
- microwave sweet potato or yam until soft for a fiber-rich snack or
- make sweet potato or yam chips by brushing with olive oil and baking at 400 degrees until tender.
There are so many different ways of making your diet more Mediterranean and once you start to experiment and mix different vegetables into your recipes you will be amazed at all the different versions you come up with. It doesn’t really matter if the vegetables you bring into the mix are traditionally grown or eaten in the Mediterranean because it’s the concept of eating vegetables grown on the land around you that’s important.
Adding vegetables to your plate will add excitement, color and a host of other substances that are vital to your body.