Mediterranean Food Is ‘Not’ A Diet!

by | Mediterranean, World Cuisine

Mediterranean Food is a way of life and a cuisine built on the ingredients of a region that just happens to be among the healthiest foods in the world!

tapas dining
Tapas Dining

Mediterranean Lifestyle

Lifestyle of the Mediterranean would certainly be healthy when your cheese comes from animals that have been herded in open land since ancient times!

sheep milk
Sheep Milk

Mediterranean Desserts

Desserts would certainly be healthy when the desserts you love are most often made from the sweetness of local bee farms and the ingredients are  often nuts and fruit!

Baklava honey pastries
Baklava Honey Pastries

Baklava Recipe

Mediterranean Dining

Dining approach would certainly be healthy when large families seek to share at least one meal a week together; not rushed, elegantly indoors or al Fresco!

the lost art of table setting
The Lost Art Of The Table Setting
dining al Fresco
Dining al Fresco

Mediterranean Yogurt

Yogurt would certainly be healthy when you’ve been making your own yogurt since you were a kid and it was always used as the starter for the next batch… ie Real Yogurt!

homemade yogurt
Homemade Yogurt

Many dishes are made with yogurt. While Americans have become familiar with Tzatziki, there are so many other dishes made with yogurt.

Cilbir, a traditional Turkish dish of poached eggs over garlic yogurt. This dish is a savory meal in itself. Beautifully enjoyed with a bread Turkish bread known as Simit.

Cold Cucumber Soup, often associated with French cuisine, is a soup made with mostly Greek flavors. Refreshing and bold on a hot summer day.

Mediterranean Plant Milk

Plant milk would certainly be healthy when you grew up making your own almond and grain milks long before it was ever sold in a grocery store!

making almond milk
Making Almond Milk
homemade almond and cashew milk
Homemade Almond Milk and Cashew Milk

Easy Homemade Almond Milk

Mediterranean Breads

Bread would certainly be healthy when all your bread is made at home, from scratch, with whole grains or at least from the local bakery that made their bread the same way!

homemade rustic bread
Homemade Rustic Bread

Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

homemade date and nut bread
Homemade Date and Nut Bread

Mediterranean Herbs

Herbs would certainly be healthy when garden grown herbs, used for cooking, are cultivated year round, even if it’s in a windowsill pot, or spices were roasted, ground and blended by you often!

homemade Za’atar
Homemade Za’atar

Homemade Za’atar Blend Recipe

homemade pesto with roasted garlic
Homemade Pesto with Roasted Garlic

My Mediterranean Heritage

Yes, MY Mediterranean Heritage! I was born in America, of a first generation Syrian mom. Her only girlfriends were Lebanese, Egyptian, Italian, Greek and Spanish, from Spain. They were all either immigrants themselves or first generation. 

my mom and her friends
My Mom and Her Friends

These women all had a common desire to share ‘their’ recipes, their techniques for food preparation, along with their stories.

It was this memory, that filled my mother’s kitchen every weekend. I grew up with this memory and have sought to weave it throughout my own life.  

Mediterranean Food

From Greece and Spain to Syria and Egypt, the region of the Mediterranean Sea and the countries surrounding the sea all have one thing in common: spectacular ingredients. 

Grapes to olives. Sheep milk cheese to tomatoes. An abundance of seafood to animals herded on open land, the Mediterranean region is rich in some of the healthiest ingredients for cooking, in the world. 

We don’t have to live there to cook and eat like we do. If we develop the mindset to cook like we do, then for sure we’ll swear that we’ve moved there! 

What is your usual, go-to breakfast? Do you put something in your tummy after 8-10 hours of rest time in the morning; or just jump up and start running that tank on empty?

homemade granola
Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola Recipe

Small meals, often throughout the day, plenty water, lots of fruits and raw veggies are all the way to eat, no matter the cuisine, but do we?

Let’s take a look at some of the Mediterranean ingredients that are easy to keep readily available in your kitchen. This will make it easier to incorporate the Mediterranean dietary as a way of life.

Olives and Olive Oil

olive oil tasting in Paso Robles
Olive Oil Tasting in Paso Robles

I suppose I never thought of olives as a fruit, but darn if they’re not! Olives fall into the same category of fruits as peaches and cherries. Almonds and pistachios are also in that fruit category, which sure surprised me when I learned that. 

Olive oil is most often the fat used in the Mediterranean diet or cooking of that region. While I love olives in so many of the savory foods I prepare, I also love the flavor olive oil gives in the making of cakes and pie crusts. 

olive bread
Olive Bread

Olive Bread Recipe

Simit Bread - Both Traditional and Spelt
Simit Bread – Both Traditional and Spelt

Simit Bread

olive oil pie crust
Olive Oil Pie Crust

Olive Oil Blueberry Pie Recipe

Garlic

Dare I tell you that garlic not only makes food taste fabulous but it is also a powerful form of medicine? Yep! The use of garlic and its health benefits have been documented by many major civilizations that again are part of the Mediterranean regions. 

garlic
Garlic

While I am not a nutritionist, I do know that Mediterranean food is rich in nutrients, based on its ingredients.

Veggies In Mediterranean Cuisine

From Tomatoes on a pizza made with a homemade pie crust, to our favorite Mediterranean salad. Let’s not forget roasted veggie sides, eggplant, artichokes, radicchio to name a few. These ingredients make for a variety of scrumptious dishes, all loaded with health benefits!

tomatoes
Tomatoes
artichokes
Artichokes
radicchio
Radicchio
Mediterranean salad
Mediterranean Salad
eggplant and tomato towers
Eggplant and Tomato Towers

Seafood

Seafood, we certainly can’t forget seafood from the abundance of the Mediterranean Sea! The dishes, recipes and ways both the sea life as well as salt from these waters make the Mediterranean Cuisine nothing less than Rich!

seafood stock
Seafood Stock
fish wrapped in fig leaves
Fish Wrapped In Fig Leaf

Fish Roasted In A Fig Leaf Recipe

Cook And Dine With Me!

Have I stimulated your appetite for the Mediterranean Diet that’s NOT a diet yet? There’s more, so I invite you to browse through my blog, explore my recipes and lifestyle because for sure… they will keep you coming back for more!

My Mediterranean Table - Robin Daumit
My Mediterranean Table – Robin Daumit
 

My Muffin Madness

 

In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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