Welcome to Eat Well Every Day

Welcome to Eat Well Every Day!

I've spent years researching nutritional information, food ideas and recipes, because cooking and eating - especially with family & friends - are some of life's great pleasures. And guess what- healthy food doesn't have to be boring! It can be exciting and delicious!


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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taste the Mediterranean – taste of health

There are hundreds of diets and eating plans designed to help people lose weight, gain more energy, build strength or endurance - diets where you have to count every gram of food, and diets where you can pretty much eat whatever and how much you like.

But there is one diet that isn’t so much a diet as a lifestyle, a reflection of thousands of years of a culture’s way of life, and that t is proving to be one of the best diets around for protecting and maintaining daily health.

What I’m talking about is the Mediterranean diet, eaten for thousands of years by people living in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. It is a way of eating that is high in vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, legumes and olive oil, with small amounts of dairy foods, but low in red meat, saturated fat and processed foods.

The Mediterranean diet is credited with preventing heart disease and high blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, depression, preventing asthma in small children, and even protecting the skin against sun damage and wrinkles!

Why the Mediterranean Diet is So Good

The basic foodstuffs in this food tradition provide all the essential elements the human body needs to function properly:
Fruits and vegetables: antioxidants, vitamins and riboflavin, iron, calcium and fibre
Fish: protein and Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Grains and legumes: protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins and fibre
Dairy: protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamins A & D
Olive oil: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats for healthy skin and nervous system.
Wine is also a basic foodstuff in this eating scheme, especially red wine. Red wine contains the antioxidant polyphenol resveratrol. Perhaps equally important is that wine drunk in moderation relaxes the mood, allows us to enjoy good food and company and promotes digestion.

In Australia, we can not only enjoy the Mediterranean diet as an essential part of our eclectic multi-ethnic cuisine, thanks to all the Greek, Italian, Spanish, Croatian and Jugoslav, Turkish and Lebanese migrants who came here in the decades after the second world war. We also have a Mediterranean-style climate in much of eastern Australia, so we can grow the fruits and vegetables in our backyards and balconies, and eat them fresh picked. To say nothing of growing the grapes for home-made wine. How good is that!

As it’s summer, here’s a couple of cool dishes ideal for eating outside – a salad and a dip.

Greek Chickpea Salad

• 500 grams canned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
• 2/3 cup spring onions, chopped into rings
• 3 medium cloves garlic, minced, pressed or finely chopped
• 2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
• 3 medium ribs celery, diced about 1cm pieces
• small handful chopped fresh mint
• small handful chopped fresh parsley (flat-leafed Italian parsley is
preferable, but curly parsley will do)
• 1 small head romaine, cos or other lettuce, torn or shredded

• salt & cracked black pepper to taste
• extra virgin olive oil to taste
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to taste
• 1/3 cup feta cheese cut into cubes (optional)

Toss together salad vegetables and beans in a large bowl. Make a dressing with the oil and vinegar or lemon juice and condiments, pour over salad and garnish with feta cubes. Serves 4

Tsatsiki: Greek Yoghurt & Cucumber Dip

Make this at least an hour before serving to allow the flavours to blend and chill. It will keep, covered, in the fridge for three or four days

Blend together
• 500 gram tub of Greek or plain unsweetened yoghurt
• 1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and cut into tiny cubes, or grated
• 3 cloves of garlic, pressed, minced or finely chopped
• salt to taste
• a few roughly chopped mint leaves (optional)

Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and serve with pita bread, toasted Turkish bread or crusty Italian bread. Tsatsiki also makes an excellent dip to serve with crudities.

Buon Appetito!


  1. Sounds Yummy. This blog is really Great! Keep on trucking, you are onto something.

  2. Vitamin A and D-fish oil is good stuff. Vitamin D provides nutritive support for normal, healthy skeletal growth, strong bones and healthy calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Vitamin A provides nutritive support for healthy skin, bones and teeth.


  3. In reply to Paul, most of those nutrients can be obtained from a healthy diet and sufficient exposure to sunshine. Fish oil, indeed is not necessarily a safe food/medication source: as well as the risk of mercury from the concentrated oil, for people with low immune systems, fish oil can be an additional immune suppressant.