Sun filled Holidays in the South of France

Holiday Home to let in Aigues Mortes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

 

 

Healthy Mediterannean food and diet meals to get you in the mood!

Whilst staying in this region of france you will feel the influence of the Mediterranean Sea so why not take this oppertunity to sample some of the food influenced by the area and famous for its health benefits. The Mediterranean diet is renouned for the health benefits it provides and has received a lot of attention lately from doctors and dieticians who agree that mediterannean food has tremendous potential for health and longevity and the people of the mediterranean regions do indeed seem to live to a ripe old age and retain their health and vitality too.

Please find below a selection of mediterranean recipe suggestions to help you along, not only healthy but also absolutely delicious and all the better if you have fresh produce from the local markets for your ingredients and a bottle of the local red wine to accompany, healthy food with no feelings of guilt afterwards....

 

Tuna Salad Recipe
It is a little more involved than the title leads you to believe but it’s really something special and is often regarded as a taste sensation considering it’s a salad.

Ingredients:

Serves 4 to 6

* 1 head escarole
* 6 ounces (150 g) canned tuna fish
* About ‘½ pound (200 g) salt cod’ Make sure it’s desalted.

You should know, this recipe is normally prepared with dried tuna. However, not everybody has access to it. High quality fresh or canned tuna fish in olive oil is a good substitute and is widely available.

* 8 anchovy filets
* 8 to 10 kalamatta olives

 For the dressing
* The crumb of 2 slices bread
*15 to 20 almonds roasted
* 10 hazelnuts roasted
* 4 ancho peppers seeded
* 3 garlic cloves
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 4 or 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil only

Preparation:

Cooking time: 0 minutes (no cooking…Yay!).
Preparation time: 45 minutes.

1. Soak the dried peppers in water for an hour. When you want to start preparing the tuna salad recipe, poor boiling water over them. Soak for 10 minutes, or until they sink to the bottom. Halve the dried peppers and seed them. With a teaspoon, scrape the inner part of the pepper to collect the edible pepper meat.
* If you don’t have time to soak the dried peppers for an hour, let them soak in boiling water a little longer. This will also work.
2. Soak bread crumbs in the red wine vinegar.
3. Peel the hazelnuts and almonds by scalding them in hot water for a few minutes, and toast them in the oven (you don’t have to toast them).
4. Add the peeled garlic cloves to a mortar and pound them. Add the almonds and hazelnuts and crush them with the pestle. Work it into a thick smooth mixture. You can use a blender, I do.
5. Add the edible pepper meat, and continue working the mixture. Once you reach paste stage, add the bread crumbs soaked in vinegar. Mix it.
6. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil while you continue mixing the mixture with the pestle until it is thick and smooth.
7. Rinse the escarole thoroughly, and dry. Tear the leaves into larger pieces. Add the escarole to your salad bowl.
8. Add sauce to the bowl with the escarole and mix well.
9. Top the escarole with the tuna fish, the cod fish, and the anchovies. Garnish with olives. Finally, add a few teaspoons of the sauce.
10. Serve. You can place the rest of the sauce on the table so everyone can add some if they choose.

 Mediterranean diet snack and side dish recipes

Honey Curls

6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups vegetable oil (for deep-frying)

Beat the eggs well with vanilla extract. Add the flour slowly, kneading lightly. Add the 1/3 cup oil and mix well. Separate the dough into five sections.

Keep the unused portion covered to keep it from drying. Roll one part on floured board until it is paper thin. With a pastry wheel, cut into strips 2 inches wide and the length of pastry. Roll on a fork to form a circle. Drop into very hot oil in a deep fat fryer so that the dough will rise properly. Drain on absorbent paper. Dip Diples in hot syrup; sprinkle with cinnamon and nuts.

Syrup
2 cups honey
1 cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Boil for 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Polenta

4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Bring water and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually sprinkle in cornmeal, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Gently boil 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until it is very thick, but still pourable. Remove this from heat and stir in 1/4 cup butter and cheese. Now, rinse a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch jellyroll pan with cold water, and do not dry it. Spread hot Polenta evenly in the pan with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Make 3 lengthwise and 5 crosswise cuts in Polenta to yield 15 squares. Arrange the polenta squares, slightly overlapping, in baking dish. Mix with 1/4 cup butter, basil, rosemary and garlic. Melt, then pour over polenta. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

 Eggplant hummus

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup drained canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons (generous) tahini (sesame seed paste)*
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, then score flesh in a crisscross pattern at 1-inch intervals, 1/2 inch deep. Rub the cut sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt. Place eggplant on rimmed baking sheet with the cut side down. Bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly, then scoop flesh into processor, but discard the skins. Add the garbanzo beans, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic; puree until the mixture is almost smooth. Transfer it to bowl; stir in parsley.


Bruschetta recipe for the taste experts
Provides a Bruschetta recipe way more tasty than the more common Bruschetta recipe. Bruschetta is a popular favourite among many Mediterranean countries and has developed according to taste. You'll love this because it's so easy to prepare and it tastes great. There is a choice of cheeses because now many people are adopting Feta as a tasty alternative to Parmesan - you choose the cheese you prefer. I like both! This is one of the easiest Mediterranean diet recipes to prepare and is great when you're short on time, guests are coming or you're about to watch a good DVD with a friend. Here's how you do it.

Bruschetta recipe for the taste experts
Bruschetta is a popular favourite among many Mediterranean countries and has developed according to taste. You’ll love this because it’s so easy to prepare and it tastes great. There is a choice of cheeses because now many people are adopting Feta as a tasty alternative to Parmesan – you choose the cheese you prefer. I like both! This is one of the easiest Mediterranean diet recipes to prepare and is great when you’re short on time, guests are coming or you’re about to watch a good DVD with a friend. Here’s how you do it.


Required Ingredients

* 6 tomatoes, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup fresh basil, no stems
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 French baguette
* 2 cups parmesan or feta cheese

Directions

1. Preheat the oven for grilling.
2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, basil, and pepper. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
3. Cut the baguette into thick slices. Place on a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Gril or broil for 11/2 minutes, until golden brown (light).
4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with your choice of cheese.
5. Grill or broil the cheese so it is just slightly melted.

Tip – I add slices of Kalumatta olives to mine for extra oomph.

Nutritional information -

Calories Per Serving approx. 215 | Fat: 7 to 10g | Cholesterol: roughly 12mg

Artichoke Omelette Recipe
A Mediterranean diet recipe for a Greek artichoke omelette. This is a Greek dish (more so Crete) known as Omeleta me Aginares. There's nothing like fresh artichokes in spring time, any time actually. Some people use frozen artichokes in the off season periods too. It's origins (Greece) indicate that it is generally are a larger type of omelette which also includes vegetables. Even the hardest tummies to fill will like this meal.

This is a Greek dish (more so Crete) known as Omeleta me Aginares. There’s nothing like fresh artichokes in spring time, any time actually. Some people use frozen artichokes in the off season periods too. It’s origins (Greece) indicate that it is generally are a larger type of omelette which also includes vegetables. Even the hardest tummies to fill will like this meal.
The ingredients -

•2 pounds (1kg) of fresh or frozen artichoke hearts, (requires about 4 pounds (2 kgs) of fresh artichokes before trimming)
•juice of 1 lemon
•3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
•6 to 7 eggs plus a dash or tablespoon of water, mixed with a fork
•4 cups of salted water
The Preparation -

Remove the stem and fresh outer leaves and remember to cut off the top then scoop out all of the choke with a spoon. It’s quite easy.
Place the artichoke hearts in a bowl of lemon juice and a dash of cold water. This stops them from going dark or black.
Boil some water in a pot. Then boil the artichoke hearts and the lemon juice for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure you drain everything well and then you cut the hearts into quarters.
Use a non stick frying pan and heat up the extra virgin olive oil using a low heat. At this point you add the artichokes and the lemon juice and let it cook for about 18 to 20 minutes.
Now pour in the beaten eggs over the artichokes but make sure it’s evenly distributed across the frying pan. Turn it twice each side cooking for about 1 minute. This will usually serve 4 or 5 people.

Mediterranean Style Cod and Tomatoes
Provides a Mediterranean diet recipe for Cod and tomato salad. This is not only really tasty but it is choc-a-bloc with nutrition. You really have to taste this to believe it. It is not a meal for refrigerating and eating later. It is best served fresh and immediately after preparation. Mediterranean style cod and tomato is a common dish which is popular in several countries across the Mediterranean region. This has come about because of its ease and speed of preparation and its tasty flavour.

Mediterranean Style Cod and Tomatoes
This is not only really tasty but it is choc-a-bloc with nutrition. You really have to taste this to believe it. It is not a meal for refrigerating and eating later. It is best served fresh and immediately after preparation. Mediterranean style cod and tomato is a common dish which is popular in several countries across the Mediterranean region. This has come about because of its ease and speed of preparation and its tasty flavour.
Mediterranean Cod and Tomatoes
(takes about twenty minutes)

Ingredients -

* A few small strips of cod fillets
* 1 large onion (sliced)
* 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* ½ cup vegetable broth
* *¼ cup chopped Kalumatta olives
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* *1 tablespoon of capers
* Some chopped basil
* 2 tablespoon chopped rosemary
* 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
* cod fillets – sliced into 2 inch strips
* Pinch of red chili flakes to taste
* cracked black pepper to taste

Directions -

1. Slice onions and chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon broth in a stainless steel pan. Sauté onion over medium heat for about 5 minutes in broth, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
3. Add rest of broth, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Once it begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
4. Add herbs, Kalumatta olives, capers, and fillets.
5. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, depending thickness of the fish.
6. Spoon some of the suace over the cod before presenting.

 Tzatziki (a Greek appetizer)
Tzatziki is traditionally served as an appetizer and can be left out as an accompaniment to any meal. The key to great tzatziki is the thick creamy texture that allows it to be eaten alone, as a dip, or a spread.

It is really tasty and is highly recommended for all ages. Did I mention it is easy to prepare too?

Preparation Time: 12-15 minutes
Ingredients:

•16 ounces (approx. 2 cups) of Greek yogurt
•5 to 10 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
•1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber
•1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
•2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Preparation:

Prepare in advance. Combine extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Mix yogurt in slowly, make sure it mixes well with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic, according to your taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed. Garnish with and serve well chilled.


 

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