Food: What You’ll Find In My Mediterranean Kitchen

For every site I find suggesting what constitutes healthy consumption of food, there is another, stating otherwise.  I have to admit. I take all of the information offered with a grain of salt and continue to, simply follow what I’ve learned from generations past about our Mediterranean cuisine and lifestyle. Sure I tweak the recipes a little or experiment with a ‘healthier alternative’, but at the end of the day; I think my grandmother, and my aunts had and my mother has to this day, the secret to the best method of preparing the healthiest of meals.

The reality is – the ingredients produced in masses today, no matter organic or otherwise, mostly filled with additives, or certain mystery matters, lacking the pure quality from decades ago, make it difficult to sustain a healthy cooking style.

As a result, in some cultures today, we can only strive to learn and do our best with what we have, to  create the healthiest meals possible for ourselves and our family.  Everything else is simply information overload. 

  • Meat: Free-range Chicken or Grass-Fed Beef, and lamb only to feed guests, I am not a fan of lamb.
  • Cheese: A variety of cheese to a pair with a great bottle of wine  – and for every day – Halloumi, Parmesan and Feta/Goat cheese.
  • Starch:  Rice for Pilaf (for the family) and Pita bread, filo dough, Semolina for occasional baking and  spaghetti pasta, listed here.
  • Vegetables: All. We cook with lots of vegetables, Cauliflower is high in demand in my household. Onions and garlic is a must no matter what meal.
  • Vegetables which are considered fruits:  Organic Persian cucumber, Vine-tomatoes, green bell peppers for stuffing, grape leaves also for stuffing.
  • Fruits: In season and always fresh and seldom off-season.
  • Spices: Crystal Sea Salt or Himalayan, Whole Peppercorn pepper, dried mint, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and Syrian hot pepper flakes
  • Butter/Oils: Organic pure Ghee is the closest I get to my grandmother’s fresh churned butter.  Grass-fed Kerrygold salted and unsalted butter for all cooking or baking. Pure Extra virgin olive oil from Italy or Greece. A bottle of avocado oil I’ve begun to use recently.
  • Yogurt: Plain– only plain and purely made with no additives available from middle eastern specialty markets.
  • Pasta Sauce, or sauce for cooking: Always home-made with fresh tomatoes or the purest organic imported tomato paste/sauce.
  • Wine: Red mostly  and a bottle of Marsala for cooking.
  • Nuts: Raw almonds and walnuts.
  • And lemons – lots of lemons
  • No junk food – or only on special occasions – a bag or two of chips while watching American football.

 

Where to find Mediterranean recipes to jump-start your cooking lessons.

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Everyone is entitled to an opinion, it’s what you do with it that counts the most. I choose to share the beauty of what the world offers to maintain a positive outlook and live a fulfilling life. That's my take.

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