Lunch or Dinner Entrees on the Mediterranean Diet
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Mediterranean Diet Recipes: Hearty Stews

Stews are a great one-pot meal. From Morocco to Italy, you can find some amazing new stews to bring to the family table. Even though they often take a while to cook, they’re usually very simple to prepare. They’re the perfect meal to quickly throw together on a Sunday afternoon and then enjoy the wonderful aroma as the pot simmers all afternoon.

Chicken Stew with Chickpeas and Plum Tomatoes

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 skinless chicken thighs

1 small onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

One 14.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained

One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, with juice

6 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/4 cup red lentils

1/2 cup long-grain rice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Add the onion, celery, spices, and chickpeas and cook for 3 minutes to heat the spices.

  2. Pour in the tomatoes (with their juice), stock, lentils, and rice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  3. Stir in the lemon juice and divide the stew into six bowls. Garnish each bowl with 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and serve.

Per serving: Calories 346 (From Fat 82); Fat 9g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 38mg; Sodium 721mg; Carbohydrate 47g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 22g.

Seafood Stew with Shrimp, Cod, and Tomatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced, plus 1 whole clove

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1-1/2 cups dry white wine

One 8-ounce bottle clam juice

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Zest of 1 small orange

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 slices French bread or crusty whole-grain bread

Salt to taste

1 cup parsley, chopped

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for 8 minutes, stirring every minute.

  2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme, zest, and fennel seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the fish and shrimp and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, broil the bread until lightly toasted on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Rub the raw garlic clove over each piece.

  4. Season the soup with salt, stir in the parsley, and serve along with the bread.

Per serving: Calories 417 (From Fat 49); Fat 5g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 180mg; Sodium 790mg; Carbohydrate 32g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 49g.

Tangine Stew

Prep Time: 12 minutes, plus refrigeration time

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

One 1/2-inch piece ginger, grated or minced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

Peel of 1 preserved lemon, or 1 tablespoon preserved lemon peel, chopped

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 cup pitted green olives, halved

1 bay leaf

One 2-inch cinnamon stick

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine the first eight ingredients and rub the mixture on the chicken. Allow the chicken to sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours; afterward, sprinkle the chicken lightly with flour.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken. Drain the chicken on paper towels.

  3. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic to the hot pan and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the lemon peel strips to the pan and then return the chicken to the pan.

  4. Add the stock, olives, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and stir in the cilantro; add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Per serving: Calories 228 (From Fat 93); Fat 10g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 76mg; Sodium 499mg; Carbohydrate 11g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 23g.

Preserved lemons are lemons that have been pickled in salt and their own juices; they’re common in Middle Eastern and Moroccan cooking. You can also buy just the preserved lemon peel so that you don’t have to deal with the rest of the lemon. Look for these products in ethnic grocery stores.

Beef Stew with Red Wine

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 pounds beef chuck shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds

2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 cups crimini mushrooms, quartered

2 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups red wine

One 14.5-ounce can diced or petite diced tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium beef stock

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 cup parsley

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Brown the onions in the oil for 5 minutes and remove them from the pan with tongs.

  2. Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, and pepper; dredge the beef in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Add the meat to the pan and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

  3. Return the onions to the pot and stir in the carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and oregano. Add the wine, tomatoes, stock, and sugar, stirring to blend.

  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover; drop the temperature to low and continue to cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Per serving: Calories 291 (From Fat 73); Fat 8g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 47mg; Sodium 418mg; Carbohydrate 20g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 21g.

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