Maybe you're on the Meditteranean diet, or perhaps it has sparked your curiosity. Whatever the reason - I am extremely happy you are here. This way of eating is one of the healthiest ways to live, and it's also very realistic. It doesn't involve joining memberships, or buying special foods, or forbidding you from eating certain things, like keto diets. I could never wrap my head around not being able to eat pasta or bread. Homemade spaghetti, or more specifically, my son - Nathan's spaghetti, is something I live for. I was inspired by the Mediterranean diet because of its emphasis on what to add to your meals, rather than what to remove. It allows me to enjoy my favorite meals but also to experience tasty new ones.
I've always thought, as a family - we ate pretty healthily. After some recent doctor appointments, we realized that our diets needed adjusting. He suggested adapting to this way of eating for not only good heart health but for our overall well-being. We decided to give it a 3-month trial. I know there are many Mediterranean recipes online, but I really wanted to commit to this program, so I purchased two books that feature simple meals that we all will love. I think what has shocked us the most about this diet, is how inexpensive this way of eating is. With the price of groceries lately, that is a welcome bonus. I have included shopping links for these two books that so far we are very impressed with.
Simple principles we follow for this diet are:
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for 7 to 10 servings a day of fruit and vegetables.
Opt for whole grains. Switch to whole-grain bread, cereal and pasta.
Use healthy fats.
Eat more seafood and fish.
Reduce red meat.
Enjoy some dairy.
Spice it up.
One of our favorite recipes so far is the Mango and Black Bean Taco. This is a great example of how the Mediterranean diet principles can be applied to even Taco's in a crazy delicious way. You won't be able to stop at one, with its fresh flavor of mangos, jalapeno's, and bell peppers topped with creamy avocado yogurt. It very well could be one of your favorite meals this summer.
Mango and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Yogurt.
Makes 8 tacos (We double this recipe to make more)
This is our version of the recipe, inspired by the cookbook
What you will need:
For Mango Salsa:
2 cups (330g) chopped mango (fresh or frozen, let thaw if frozen)
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed 2 tbsp lime juice, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For Black Bean Mixture:
1 (15.5 oz, 439 g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small white onion, diced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup of water
For Taco Seasoning:
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
For Avocado Yogurt Topping:
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 cup (240 ml) plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp pepper
Plus you will need
2 cups finely chopped lettuce
8 small flour or corn tortillas, lightly charred
Make the mango salsa first, so it has time to marinate, while everything else comes together. In a small bowl, combine the mango, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and cilantro. Stir to combine and set aside.
Mix together, in a small bowl - taco seasoning for beans. Add chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. along with crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, and black pepper.
In a pan (we use cast iron), fry the white onions until translucent, then add black beans. Pour in a cup of water to the pan, and mix in your taco seasoning mix. Simmer to boil down the water (about 5 minutes).
For the avocado and yogurt topping, smash the avocados with the back of a fork until smooth, add in yogurt and pepper and mix until creamy.
To give the tortilla shells a charred look, place them on the grill (we use our BBQ), and lightly toast them.
Now it's time to assemble the tacos. Place the lettuce on the bottom of the tortilla first, then top with black beans, some avocado yogurt, and finish with mango salsa.
This is truly a delicious alternative to meat and a fresh way to enjoy tacos.
It has been about 2 months since we have been eating this way, and I can honestly say, we all feel great and are looking forward to trying new yummy recipes.
Go ahead and give Mediterranean recipes a try!
Happy Eating x