My Lifestyle of a Mediterranean Diet
What is special about the Mediterranean diet?
You probably read about it, and have even seen on television, but you will never know unless you live in these parts of the world.
The Mediterranean Diet is the most pleasing, and simple diet anyone can take on in their daily menus.
There is no pressure on eating in this unique style.
The easy to do recipes are healthy and don't include any fast foods.
Don't be fooled by what you think is the correct Mediterranean Diet. What I have to offer you, will open your eyes and mind to the real and most sure way of eating.
A daily means of living, from winter to summer.
The short in between change of weather encourages individuals to eat properly and healthy even more.
I am South African and didn't know much about the Mediterranean Diet. Since my move to the most southern part of Europe, called konavle, in Croatia. I improved my knowledge of the much healthier lifestyle.
Olive oil, olives, lots of fresh green salads, fish, home-made smoked dried meat, red wine, walnuts nuts, daily outdoor life, green cabbage, called Collard greens, and fresh garlic have awesome benefits.
The herbal spices picked close to mountains, like mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, and not to forget the wild asparagus which is harvested during April. It is a bitter tasting vegetable.
Since living in Croatia, not only have I adapted to a new lifestyle, I enjoy the different foods, and the way such foods are prepared.
The Mediterranean Diet has taken many parts of the world by storm. I live here and know exactly how the local people eat and live this specific way. For twelve years it has opened my eyes to another way of eating.
A new way of life, and I didn't have a problem with the daily routine of eating unique foods.
It is no diet for me I look at Mediterranean foods as proper way of eating.
I have never been on any specific diet eating this way makes me feel great.
By just preparing the most healthy meals everyday becomes part of my routine. If you make it part of your daily menus then you don't call it a diet. The people who live out of this part of world would call it The Mediterranean Diet.
I have visited many neighbors, and had on certain occasions had meals together, and was really impressed by how they prepare their food.
A healthy way of life, and in a simple way. Such foods don't cost much and is truly amazing of how tasty it can be. A handful of salad can be when dressed with some olive oil, and a bit of salt, vinegar, and some fresh and finely chopped garlic.
The Walnuts nuts are great to eat after cracked out of a shell, and when made into a sweet liqueur it is a good appetizer.
I prefer eating the walnuts!
Olives are harvested during November until January; you can fry the olives for a few minutes, cover the bottom of the pan with some cooking oil, or some olive oil, and try it.
If you like, try roast the olives add some potatoes, onions or carrots, and have a for a good variety of vegetables.
The olives taste slightly bitter but once you start on eating them, you can't stop, just as snacking on peanuts. and you eventually acquire the bitter taste.
The green salads are made from lettuce, and another green leafy lettuce called Zucenica, grown in their back yards.
The fresh purple and sweet tasting onions chopped into medium-sized pieces, some garlic finely chopped or grated, olive oil, and salt, adds a creamy taste to the fresh green salad.
Cimunica, a name in the Croatian language used for the younger shoots of the Collard greens the crispy green leaves of the green cabbage.
Another main ingredient that is added to the daily foods, it grows only in the winter, the green cabbage prefers growing in cold climate.
The smoked and dried meat is a traditional method which has been successful for many years. The dried meat is often cooked with the green cabbage (Collard Greens), and potatoes.
An excellent combination with a slightly salty dried meat and potatoes.
It makes a good and healthy meal.
Just boiled and eaten, the flavors of the smoked dried meat, such as the head of the pig, a delicacy to the Croatian tradition and home-dried-made sausages are slightly fatty, and an easy to prepare meal.
Add all the ingredients as the above-mentioned require simmering for about forty minutes or until tender.
The fresh garlic and onions are eaten in salads or added with most meals. Red wine after a meal is most often a choice for many local people.
However, most of the local people have wine with a mix of water, calling it bevanda.
Red wine is known to have great benefits providing you don’t exceed the limits. The key to everything in life is moderation.
Every individual has their own limits, and some like fatty foods or lean foods, but it doesn't interfere with their healthy eating.
The outdoor life takes care of that. After a meal is eaten outdoor activities is the answer to get rid of the belly or waistline.
Most local people have siesta time after lunch, for about two hours daily in the afternoon this helps out after a hard day of work, resting is crucial to a person’s health.
The daily outdoor life is incredible, something I have grown to enjoy myself.
The fresh air and working in the fields is much better than going to the gym. It is fun, only if you are into such a kind of life.
Working around the olive and fig trees, in preparing them for the next season, for the bearing of more fruit keeps you active on most days.
Walking is a natural way of losing weight too. I enjoy walking, during the winter, as well, but the weather can be unpredictable during the over five months of winter.
Try some of these Recipes of a True Mediterranean Diet; you won't go wrong by the simple cooking.
Buy one kilogram beef, slightly fatty, or lean ask your local butcher to sell you beef for a goulash.
One finely chopped Kapula, a name for the purple sweet onions.
One clove of garlic peeled and chopped.
Two red tomatoes, skinned and cut into pieces.
Six carrots, cleaned and cubed.
Add some salt and pepper to taste.
Chop up a stem of Rosemary.
Two bay leaves for good flavor.
Two fresh green peppers, seeded, cored and chopped into small pieces
Eight potatoes peeled and chopped into little pieces so that all the ingredients can cook well together.
Add canned peas or frozen peas toward the end of the cooking.
Add the meat in some water covering the bottom of the pot.
Allow the meat to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes thereafter add all the ingredients, including the spices and cook until tender. An occasional stir is required. A perfect goulash with thick sauce for the family and healthiest too with no oil added. You can cook chicken or lamb in the same way.
Barley and Chicken Wings:
Partially boil half kilogram barley
Leave aside after boiled, while preparing the chicken wings
Fry the onions until lightly brown
Add the tomatoes, or tomato puree
Add some vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, red peppers, chickpeas, or Brussels sprouts, try being creative when making this meal. Add a variety of vegetables.
Juice of one lemon and add a teaspoon of sugar for a tangy taste.
Mix the ingredients together making a sauce from all the little additions; you can also add Worcestershire sauce, to give it a slightly spicy taste.
Note, that the local people here don't eat spicy foods, but I am used to eating spicy foods and enjoy my meals better with some spice. Add olive oil when cooking or sunflower oil, just to cover the base of the pot.
Add the chicken wing casserole to the barley and put into an oven dish straight into the oven at one hundred and eighty degrees Celsius.
Allow to cook until barley is soft in stirring the mixture every twenty minutes to avoid the meal from drying out. You need to keep the sauce, so don't forget about it in the oven.
When done you will have a most delicious meal.
The Collard greens are boiled with potatoes, until soft and olive oil is added to the ingredients, with some salt to taste, finely chopped fresh garlic.
Kale is also eaten in the same way, one of the most popular green vegetables in Croatia.
Kiwi fruit is eaten for breakfast, with yogurt, or a fruit salad is prepared with the addition of other fruit such as, apples, or a Rock Melon, a very juicy melon.
Sometimes walnuts are added for the extra bite. Citrus fruit, such as oranges and mandarins are eaten to prevent colds and flu, and is also good for the skin.
Fish is eaten on Wednesdays and Fridays as most Catholics usually do, and, is a popular among other cuisines of the Mediterranean foods.
The tiny fish are lightly spiced, dipped into flour and fried crispy, eaten with boiled vegetables such as Collard greens and potatoes. The whole fish is eaten.
A peasant way of eating as most of you may think but is such a healthy way.
There is no weight gain in eating this way.
Those who gain weights don’t eat the healthy foods; instead eat out more than cook a meal at home. Most of the above mentioned meals are cooked at home, only the traditional foods are prepared at restaurants.
A Croatian traditional meal called Menestra is cooked with a variety of smoked dried meats, with green cabbage (Collard greens) and potatoes a popular meal in most regions.
Another Menestra is prepared with dried beans instead of the green cabbage, or Collard greens, and with the same kind of dried meat.
Sarma, a special meal cooked over the period of each Near Year. In this recipe soaked Cabbage leaves from vinegar is used or you can boil the leaves in salted water, the mince is wrapped with these cabbage leaves and cooked in a sauce, also known as Stuffed Cabbage Leaves.
Stuffed Cabbage Leaves:
Ingredients required for this recipe as follows:
Four large cabbages leaves
Quarter cup butter
Half a kilogram of lean mince
Two medium-sized onions chopped
One and a quarter tablespoons tomato paste
One and quarter tablespoons water
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Set the oven at one hundred and eight degrees Celsius.
Cook the cabbage leaves in a large pan of salted water for five minutes, Drain and cool. The hard stem should be removed, from the base of the leaf.
Melt the butter in the pan and add the onion. Fry the onions until brown and the cabbage leaves slightly fried, don't brown the cabbage leaves. Add the mince and fry for five minutes. Stir in the tomato paste the water, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Cool slightly, divide filling between cabbage leaves, fold sides over and roll up. Place stuffed cabbages in a greased oven-proof dish, join side must be faced down. Bake in the oven for fifty minutes or until cooked, serve while hot.
What most important about life here, most people live healthy lifestyles in these parts of the world, not sedentary lifestyles and eat plenty of green salads and fresh fruit.
Figs are eaten when freshly picked or dried and is also part of our diets. The daily eating foods which each individual would have no problem to stick by.
A sweet tasting cabbage if cooked correctly.
Try this super duper recipe red cabbage is sweet and is most pleasant tasting you know how to cook it.
One medium-sized red cabbage, finely shredded
One pound cooking apples, peeled cored and sliced
One cup of water
Four tablespoons sugar
One teaspoon salt
Six tablespoons vinegar
Four tablespoons butter
One and a quarter tablespoons redcurrant jelly
Put the cabbage and apples into a saucepan, and add the water, sugar, salt, and cloves. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the cabbage is tender. Remove the cloves, and stir in the vinegar, butter and the redcurrant jelly.
The meal freezes well, if ever you need to, and should be used within two months. To serve from frozen allow to thaw, at room temperature for six hours.
Reheat gently in a saucepan, stirring frequently.
Ground paprika, hot or sweet is used to flavor foods; it has been adopted from the Hungarians. Trout is a specialty, and is barbecued; most meals are prepared on a barbecue during the summer. A mushroom called the Penny Bun, often eaten with eggs, with a bit of bacon, and with some fried or fresh onion. Vegetables are used in every meal.
Fresh water fish, Carp and Trout is used to make Paprikash
Cooked into a sauce with a few ripe tomatoes, add some freshly crushed garlic, and lemon juice added for the tangy taste. Add the fish ten minutes before the sauce is cooked.
A meal of this kind is cooked over an open fire in a Cauldron.
Homemade cheese, from goat and cow's milk is mostly eaten by the village people.
Strawberries are an excellent treat for breakfast or a snack too.
Pumpkins are eaten roasted or pumpkin fritters are made, a tasty deep fried doughy and crumbed treat.
Misanca is a mixture of wild grown Mediterranean herbs, at times there can be more than twenty different kinds, used in fresh salad.
Dressed with olive oil, red wine and vinegar, cooked briefly, and eaten as a side dish, to meat and fish, and can be eaten with other vegetables too.
Mushrooms are used in this diet as well, the Chanterelle, another kind of mushroom which peasants eat, and know exactly how to identify them as well. About ten varieties are edible which are found in forests.
A blessed mushroom called, Smrcak or morel is eaten in most villages and, where there are hardly any bachelors, and women eat lots of this mushroom and are most jovial afterward.
The Mediterranean herbs are used for flavoring almost every food.
Veal with potatoes roasted in a pan with a bell shaped cover and the heat of charcoal cooks the meal at slow heat, making the meal very tender and tasty. One of the best tasting meals you could ever have.
From olive oil to baked or fried olives, to figs eaten fresh or dried the Mediterranean diet is the best way for me, and is the healthiest lifestyle.
Photos of Mediterranean Foods
What is your favorite Diet?
© 2013 Devika Primić