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7 Mediterranean Recipes To Spice Up Your Fall Menu

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The fall isn’t ALL about comfort food. Let your taste buds travel through the Northern Mediterranean by adding fresh vegetables and whole grains to your diet.

Canyon Ranch Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein, an expert in healthy indulgent cuisine, shares his insight as well as a few recipes. Try out these 7 healthy, delicious, and simple recipes and bring some Mediterranean flair to your kitchen.


EggplantRoasted Eggplant

Savory vegetables are the secret to Mediterranean cuisine. After traveling around the world, Chef Scott found that fresh, seasonal vegetables add great taste to meals in the Mediterranean. He builds his dishes around vegetables and then adds grains and proteins. This roasted eggplant recipe is easy to cook up and accentuates a seasonal vegetable.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced Roma tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly coat a baking sheet with canola oil.
  2. Place eggplant on baking sheet and roast for 30 to 45 minutes until well done. Scrape insides of eggplant into a medium bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Makes 6 (1/2-cup) servings, each containing approximately: 

  • 40 calories
  • 6 gm. carbohydrate
  • 2 gm. fat
  • 0 mg. cholesterol
  • 190 mg. sodium
  • 1 gm. protein
  • 2 gm. fiber


White Bean & Kale Soup

Instead of focusing on the protein of the meal, Mediterranean cuisine is centered on veggies. Chef Scott emphasizes that it is, “A different way of thinking and includes smaller portions.” He continues that although there might not be a significant amount of protein in the meal, the abundance of vegetables is very satisfying. With the plethora of summer farmers markets and fresh vegetables at the store, it is easy to stir up this nutritious soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans white bean, drained and rinsed
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup chopped and packed green kale, stems removed
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, sauté onion, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add beans, vegetable stock, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. Stir in kale, lemon juice and zest, parsley, salt, Worcestershire sauce, fennel seed and           black pepper. Cook to wilt kale, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil over top of each serving of soup.

Makes 6 (3/4 cup) servings, each containing approximately:

  • 155 calories
  • 26 gm. carbohydrate
  • 3 gm. fat
  • 0 mg. cholesterol
  • 6 gm. protein
  • 359 mg. sodium
  • 10 gm. fiber

Related: 7 Dinners You Can Make in 25 Minutes or Less

 

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh Salad

Switch up your dinner and add some healthy whole grains. Keep your white rice in the cupboard for tonight and try bulgar wheat. High in fiber as well as low fat, Chef Scott emphasizes that cooking with whole grains is both healthy and delicious. Plus the fresh peppermint in this recipe is refreshing.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 bunch chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh peppermint
  • 1 1/2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place bulgur in a small bowl, add hot water, cover and let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine bulgur with remaining ingredients and mix well.

Makes 8 (1/3-cup) servings, each containing approximately:

  • 75 calories
  • 8 gm. carbohydrates
  • 4 gm. fat
  • 0 mg. cholesterol
  • 2 gm. protein
  • 126 mg. sodium
  • 2 gm. fiber


Farro Salad with Tomato and Lemon

Farro is an ancient grain has been used in Northern Italian cooking for hundreds of years and it is easy to cook up under your own roof. This whole-grain is high in fiber and contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Plus, the zesty lemon gives this salad a great kick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry farro
  • 4 roasted Roma tomatoes (see recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

To make the roasted Roma tomatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Slice tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with canola oil sliced side up.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until tomatoes begin to brown and caramelize.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.

To make the salad:

  1. In a large bowl, fill with water to cover farro and soak overnight. Drain and rinse well.
  2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add farro. Cook for 5 minutes until cooked but still firm. Drain and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Dice roasted tomatoes. On a small baking sheet, toast fennel seed in toaster oven at 350 degrees until golden. Grind toasted fennel seed in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Mix all ingredients with the cooked farro. Serve 1/4 cup.

Makes 8 1/4-cup servings, each containing approximately:

  • 135 calories
  • 21 gm. carbohydrate
  • 3 gm. fat
  • 3 mg. cholesterol
  • 6 gm protein
  • 113 mg. sodium
  • 3 gm fiber

Helpful Tip: Farro comes in many forms; hull on, semi pearled and pearled. While soaking overnight is not necessary for pearled and semi pearled, it does dramatically reduce cooking time.

Related: 6 No-Sandwich Lunch Recipes to Take to Work


Farro Salad with Tomato and Pine Nuts

For all the nut-lovers out there, pine nuts could be added for a more earthy taste.  Plus pine nuts are rich in protein, magnesium, and other essential vitamins.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry farro
  • 4 roasted Roma tomatoes (see recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

To make the roasted Roma tomatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Slice tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with canola oil sliced side up.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until tomatoes begin to brown and caramelize. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

To make the salad:

  1. In a large bowl, fill with water to cover farro and soak overnight . Drain and rinse well.
  2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add farro. Cook for 5 minutes until cooked but still firm. Drain and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Dice roasted tomatoes. On a small baking sheet, toast pine nuts and fennel seed in toaster oven at 350 degrees until golden. Grind toasted fennel seed in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Mix all ingredients with the cooked farro. Serve 1/4 cup.

Makes 8 (1/4-cup) servings, each containing approximately:

140 calories 22 gm. carbohydrate 5 gm. fat 0 mg. cholesterol

5 gm protein 112 mg. sodium 4 gm fiber

Helpful Tip: Farro comes in many forms; hull on, semi pearled and pearled. While soaking overnight is not necessary for pearled and semi pearled, it does dramatically reduce cooking time.

 

Homemade Hummus

Hummus


For a quick and easy meal, try this hummus recipe. The Mediterranean diet is rich with beans, and this way of eating has been proven reduce the risk of heart attack and other health issues. Plus it is easy to bring hummus on the go! Pack it up and picnic in the backyard to enjoy the great summer weather.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame tahini
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  If hummus is too thick, add more water until reaches desired consistency.

Makes 8 (1/4-cup) servings, each containing approximately:

  • 90 calories
  • 9 gm. carbohydrate
  • 5 gm. fat
  • 0 mg. cholesterol
  • 3 gm. protein
  • 143 mg. sodium
  • 1 gm. fiber

Related: Kale Chef’s  Salad With Egg, Walnuts and Avocado

Hummus & Eggplant with Lavosh

Olive oil has been used for thousands of years. It is one of the healthiest oils and used in most Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Scott roasts vegetables with the oil and garnishes his dishes with it. Olive oil is used in this dish to bring out the rich flavors in the hummus and eggplant mixture. Also the lavosh crackers give this dish a good crunch!

Ingredients:

  • Hummus (link to the other hummus recipe)
    • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon sesame tahini
    • 1/4 cup water
  • Roasted Eggplant Mixture
    • 1 1/2 cups peeled eggplant, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons diced red onions
    • 2 tablespoons diced Roma tomatoes
    • 2 teaspoons fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 8 1/4-ounce Lavosh crackers

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. To make hummus: drain beans and reserve 3/4 cup liquid. Place beans in blender container with 3/4 cup juice from beans or water. Add spices, garlic, rice vinegar and salt and puree until smooth. Add sesame tahini and olive oil and continue to puree. Add more liquid if too thick.  Consistency should be spreadable.
  3. On a baking sheet, spread diced eggplant in a single layer and roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned and soft.  Cool slightly.  Place eggplant into a medium sized mixing bowl and using a hand-held immersion blender mash the eggplant.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Serve 1 lavosh cracker with 3 tablespoons hummus and 3 tablespoons roasted eggplant mixture.

Makes 8 servings, each containing approximately:

  • 140 calories
  • 24 gm. carbohydrate
  • 3 gm. fat
  • 0 mg. cholesterol
  • 6 gm. protein
  • 197 mg. sodium
  • 6 gm. fiber

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