Kick Start Your Mediterranean Diet in 2019
By Elana Iaciofano • January 07, 2019
*****GIVEAWAY ALERT! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for information on how to win one of FIVE 2 Liter jugs of our Mediterranean Olive Oil.*****
Everyone is looking for ways to be healthier at this time of year. Diets are started and dropped, along with gym memberships. Here at Colavita, we promote the Mediterranean "diet", not so much as a diet (think calorie counting and restrictions), but as a lifestyle. In fact, US News and World Report lists the Mediterranean Diet as the NUMBER 1 diet plan to follow in 2019 because it is the healthiest overall and it's easy to follow.
The Mediterranean diet is a way to eat and cook that places and emphasis on vegetables, healthy fats and omega-3's (HELLOOOO, olive oil!), whole grains, nuts, legumes and fish. It leaves little room for processed foods. Your plate should be colorful and nutritious. Not to mention delicious.
This lifestyle celebrates food, probably because it was born in countries that celebrate food, like Italy. You're not eating a carbohydrate, you're dining on linguine with clams! It's not fiber, it's a fetoush salad with golden beets! It's not overly restrictive or exclusive, AND it has been proven to benefit heart health, lower cholesterol and decrease the liklihood of certain cancers.
Does all this sound good to you? If so, these recipes should taste pretty good to you, too. Most of the recipes that we have on our recipe library are Mediterranean diet inspired. But we've hand-picked ten recipes that we think will really start your new year off right.
First up is an Avocado Toast with White Beans. I know, I know....if you see ONE MORE avocado toast, you're going to....eat it? This version is such a delicious mini meal. Enjoy it post workout in the morning, or mid-day for a healthy snack. The white beans add protein and you get a double punch of healthy fats from the avocado and the Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Baby it's STILL cold outside. and it will probably remain so for a while, so why not have soup? A traditional Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and bean soup) is a hearty and healthy way to lunch or dinner. Add in some sausage (chicken or pork will do) for extra protein. The tomato based broth gives you added lycopene - bonus! We recommend cooking your pasta separately from the soup. In this way you can add just the amount of pasta you want and not worry about it getting too soggy from sitting in the leftover container in the fridge....
Want more veggies in your pasta? Try making a smooth sauce with blended vegetables. This Carrot and Ginger Pesto Pasta is made with hazelnuts and mixed with our Gemeli pasta. It's fresh, packed with vitamins C and A and the beautiful bright color will keep your plate looking fresh.
Linguine with Clams is an incredibly simple dish that pulls together in a matter of minutes. It's got classic flavors of garlic, white wine and fresh parsley. Fresh clams add a sea-worthy quality to the broth. We wouldn't blame you for slurping up that leftover sauce.
Mediterranean Chickpea and Tomato Salad is a perfect vegetarian lunch or snack. With a block of feta cheese placed in the middle it also makes a stunning party app (serve alongside crostini). Make sure to drizzle those tomatoes and chick peas with lots of Colavita Olive Oil.
The incredible edible egg... We wholeheartedly support the food trend of "putting an egg on it". In this Anda Bhurji, eggs are slowly scrambled with tomatoes, peppers, onions and spices like turmeric (anti-inflammatory) for a flavorful and quick breakfast.
An egg purist? Then you won't be disappointed with these Clouds Eggs. The whites are puffed with Pecorino cheese, whipped and baked into an easy and delicous breakfast.
This Caramelized Onion Hummus with roasted vegetables takes regular old hummus to the next level. The caramelized onions add extra umami to blended checkpeas, while an assortment of roasted veggies makes this platter dinner-worthy (and drool-worthy).
Finally, a non-traditional take on a fetoush salad—our Golden Beet and Spring Onion Fetoush packs in the most vegetables per square inch of your salad bowl. It even uses the beet greens (zero waste!) as the leafy salad base.
Give these recipes a try. If you snap a photo, please tag us on Instagram with #colavitaoliveoil to be featured in our stories! And stay tuned for the next installment...healthy pastas and soups!
If you'd like to kick start your Mediterrnean Diet resolutions, you can enter to win one of five 2 liter jugs of our Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All you need to do to win is comment on this post AND follow us on Instagram @colavitaoliveoil. Make sure you leave your Instagram handle in the comment so we can contact you if you win!
Winners will be notified on January 23, 2019.
For the Avocado Toast with White Beans: Choose a whole grain or sourdough bread for your base. If you're gluten free, there are plenty of GF bread options.
For the Pasta e Fagioli Soup: Cooking your pasta separately from the soup. In this way you can add just the amount of pasta you want and not worry about it getting too soggy from sitting in the leftover container in the fridge. Choose a curly pasta like elbows or cavatappi.
For the Carrot and Ginger Smooth Sauce: Choose a sprial cut of pasta to scoop up chunky sauces like pestos. We used gemeli, but cavatappi or fusilli work as well. This pesto also works well on a pizza—this one.
For the Caramelized Onion Hummus: We recommend using our Premium Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It's got a nice peppery and bold flavor that is perfect for hummus.
For the Golden Beet and Spring Onion Fetoush: Got some beets without greens? Just sub in spinach, or any dark, leafy green of your choice.