11.30.2011

As I'm sure I've mentioned in past posts, the food here in Israel is definitely Delicious, and to make it even more palatable, following a Mediterranean diet is known to be tres healthy!

According to the Daily Express:
“Following a strict Mediterranean diet offers substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's”


What is a Mediterranean diet you might be asking?

A Mediterranean diet is a diet that is high in olive oil or any monounsaturated fat. I've noticed a lot of avocado oils on the shelves here as well. I've not tried it yet, but it seems it must be comparable to olive. A Mediterranean diet also consists of lots of fish and chicken and much less..much much less, red meat. Lots of fresh..plucked from the lush Arab gardens fresh! fruits and vegetables. High in legumes. I've never eaten so much hummus in my life. Low in dairy. You cannot find processed cheese anywhere on the shelves. nope. Not a can of cheese anywhere. There is however quite a lot of yogurt..greek with honey is one of my favorite, and labaneh [a sort of light spread for pita which is an alternative to cream cheese and just as tasty] is a favorite here. I decided to try my hand at cooking Mediterranean last night and made us some Shakshuka and Balkan bread. The pot was licked clean. We loved it..I was not as crazy about the bread as my husband was, but I will make the Shakshuka again. Following is the recipe for the Shakshuka, [very much reminded me of my Dad's recipe for Hungarian Goulash with more spice] as well as Labeneh should you want to try your hand at something a wee bit different next meal. Really a perfect dinner for cold winter months~

Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce]
Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup olive oil
5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims; I would go for 3 or 4 next time for a more moderate but still gentle kick)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
6 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

Labneh

2 C Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Line a large colander with a cheesecloth. Stir salt into the yogurt, and pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth. Set the colander in the sink or bowl to catch the liquid that drains off. Leave to drain for 24 hours.

2. After draining for the 24 hours, transfer the resulting cheese to a bowl. Stir in the olive oil. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Make sure you buy Greek yogurt [without the honey :-0 ask me why I warn you, dear reader..unless of course you intend your cheese spread to be sweet] or any pure yogurt free from sweetener or gelatin.
You could get very creative with this recipe~ easy, healthful and deelish.



Credits go to Smitten Kitchen , Health News and All Recipes for some of the information and recipes in this post.

2 comments:

Shel said...

Oh my this sounds so yummy!! I'm printing it out now!! :)

Sweetwater Designs said...

Its worth a try Shel..if you like tomato dishes and spice, you'll love it!