Feeling inspired to make your diet more Mediterranean? Many Israelis and people living in Mediterranean countries eat lots of whole grains, nuts, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Adding more of these foods to your diet is simple, affordable, and helps keep your heart healthy. Here you will find some easy tips for making common Israeli dishes that follow a Mediterranean style and won’t break your budget.
Eating nuts and beans is an easy way to get some protein and feel full throughout the day. Some popular nuts in Israel include almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, and cashews. For less expensive options, choose almonds or peanuts. You can even freeze nuts to keep them fresher longer! Beans are more budget-friendly compared to nuts. Use beans in soups, chilis, dishes like tacos or enchiladas, or paired with rice to pack more protein into your meals. Another way to eat beans is by making hummus. Try this quick and easy recipe to make your own hummus at home.
Add more whole grains to your diet by choosing whole-wheat pita bread, pasta, or naan. Brown rice, barley, and oats are other great whole grain choices. They’re great as a side dish on their own or paired with other foods such as meat and vegetables or even fruit and nuts!
How often do you eat vegetables at breakfast? Take a tip from Israel and try having veggies at breakfast by making a salad. Marinated cauliflower salad is a tasty way to add veggies to your meal and is easy to make. This tomato and cucumber salad is a popular Israeli breakfast item but can be eaten any time of the day!
Tomato Cucumber Salad
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber
- 3 green onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Scoop out the seeds and throw them away.
- Cut the cucumber and green onions into small pieces.
- Mix the vegetables in a large bowl.
- Right before serving, mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir well and serve!
*Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.* Recipe adapted from https://www.thespruce.com/classic-israeli-salad-2121980
How will you use these tips to Eat Smart this week?