You've probably heard people talking about all the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. High in fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, and healthy fats like olive oil, the diet is thought to be good for your heart and to reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Mediterranean food also tastes great! If you're planning a trip to the new Mediterranean restaurant in your city, here are a few dishes that may be on the menu and that you should definitely consider trying.
If you're in the mood for a seafood appetizer, shrimp saganaki is a great choice. This dish contains tomatoes, garlic, onions, and feta, in addition to shrimp. It's a great introduction to a Mediterranean meal. None of the ingredients will feel unfamiliar, but it's a great example of a healthy, vegetable-heavy Mediterranean appetizer.
Be careful not to confuse "shrimp saganaki" with "saganaki", however. You may see both on the menu, and they're very different dishes. The word "saganaki" refers to a traditional Greek cooking pan called a sagani. Anything cooked in that type of pan gets the word "saganaki" added to its name. But while shrimp saganaki is a seafood dish full of tomatoes, onions, and feta, plain saganaki is a type of fried cheese – tasty, but not necessarily healthy.
If you want a healthy and hearty main dish, souvlaki is a great choice for you. These are grilled meat skewers that come with vegetables and tzatziki sauce (the same cucumber, yogurt, and mint sauce that's served on a gyro). You can usually order them either as a platter or as a sandwich with pita bread.
You can choose from chicken, pork, lamb, or beef. Choose a leaner, higher protein meat like lamb or chicken to make the meal healthier.
Dolmades are a great accompaniment to any Mediterranean meal, either as a side dish or an appetizer. They're made by stuffing grape leaves with rice flavored with lemon and herbs, then steaming them. It's a simple, tasty, and filling way to round out your meal.
Gigandes plaki is another great choice for a Mediterranean side dish. If you like baked beans, you'll probably enjoy this flavorful dish as well. Gigandes plaki is made from giant white beans (or lima beans, occasionally) and cooked in a tomato sauce with onions, olive oil, parsley, and sugar. Some recipes include smoked pork, sausage, celery, and carrots as well.
Once you get a taste of these Mediterranean flavors, you'll understand why so many people are enthusiastic about following a Mediterranean diet. It's a delicious way to add some healthy habits to your diet. To learn more, contact a restaurant like Maura's Mediterranean CuisineShare