The Mediterranean Diet

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Guest Post By: Amanda Shumaker, Aramark Dietetic Intern

 

The Mediterranean Diet ranked #1 in the Best Diets Overall according to U.S. News. It is known as the easiest diet to follow and best for healthy eating. The Mediterranean diet is more of an eating pattern rather than a structured diet. This sustainable diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and flavorful herbs and spices. Fish and seafood are encouraged twice per week; poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in moderation, while saving sweets and red meat for special occasions. Add some red wine, physical activity, and you are good to go.

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet may include:

  • Preservation of memory and prevention of cognitive decline
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Strengthens bones
  • Protect against cancer
  • Manages diabetes and controls blood sugar

It is likely that many Mediterranean foods are already among your favorites. There are so many choices! Check out our favorite Mediterranean dish below.

Mediterranean Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 6 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of grape tomatoes
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 can whole pitted black olives
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley
  • Optional: Protein of your choice

 

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the pasta al dente then drain.
  2. While pasta cooks, prepare your vegetables and other ingredients: mince the garlic, halve the cherry tomatoes, drain and roughly chop artichokes, drain and slice olives in half.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red flakes. Cook garlic until fragrant and tomatoes begin to break down (about 1-2 minutes).
  4. Add pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add artichokes and olives. Drizzle the lemon juice over pasta. Continue tossing and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.
  5. Toss and enjoy.

 

Nutritional Information

  • Per serving: Calories 267, Fat 13g, Carbohydrates 27g, Protein 18g
  • Yields 4-6 servings
  • Cook time: 15 mins

 

 

Amanda Shumaker is a recent graduate of Texas Tech University and current dietetic intern with Aramark. Amanda is very active with various nutrition and dietetic organizations and in her free time enjoys exercising, hiking with her dog, and spending time with friends.  

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