Mediterranean food is well-famed for its benefits to the body especially when it comes to weight loss and the prevention of heart disease. Aside from its health perks, the staples of this type of diet often gives palatable and eye-pleasing dishes.
So if you are putting together a Mother’s Day surprise for mom or your wife or for them both, definitely go for a Mediterranean-inspired dinner. Of course, you can up your game by putting together the menu for this special meal at home. And this blog will help you with that.
Know the Mediterranean food basics
One of the good things about having a specific cuisine in mind when putting together a menu is that it helps you narrow down your food choices. The main components of the Mediterranean diet goes as such according to AuthorityNutrition.com:
- Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat in Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
- Eat Only Rarely: Red meat.
- Don’t Eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.
Pick a salad for your appetizer
Compared to serving soup, salads are definitely easier to serve since there will be no cooking involved. Just chop, slice, and shred the ingredients. Prepare your choice of dressing or use Greek yogurt. Check out this Baby Bok Choy Salad recipe from our blog. You may want to borrow this green salad recipe that has baby bok choy, tomato and homemade garlic butter croutons, held together by Greek yogurt.
Choose one-pot recipes for main dishes
One-pot or one-skillet recipes are popular these days and that is mostly because they employ a cooking technique that makes cooking fancy dishes more convenient. Thus, simplifying your menu. And when your menu is simplified you’ll be on the dinner table with everyone instead of hustling in the kitchen.
The list of Mediterranean main dishes you can make one-skillet style is endless. But here are a few picks that you can do in 20 to 30 minutes:
Braised fish in a bed of fresh tomatoes, greens, and olives. This dish features rich Mediterranean flavors in a single pan. Prep time: 20 minutes
Shrimp, scallops, mussels and squid – in a tomato-rich pasta dish. Prep time: 30 minutes
Do you want to go for a Whole30, Paleo main dish that’s loaded with vegetables and chicken? This is it. Prep time: 30 minutes
Mother’s Day is a good time to serve something with a little red meat. So try this rice pilaf and sirloin fillet one-dish combo. Prep time: 30 minutes
Would you rather go all-out on red meat just for this meal? Better serve this Mediterranean-style tri-tip. Prep time: 20 minutes plus marinate time of 1 to 2 hrs
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Desserts should go beyond dinner
Think of ways to make this last phase of the meal go beyond the dinner table. For instance, go for desserts that can be a take home treat like these Greek Baklava Bars.
You can’t go more Mediterranean on the your choice of dessert than this. And this only takes about 20 minutes to prep and bake.
Serve creative drinks
Wine is always great to have for celebrations such as this. Pairing wine, whether red or white, is never hard to do especially with Mediterranean food. No wonder it’s a staple for lunch and dinner in Mediterranean basin countries like Italy, France, and Greece. So if this Mother’s Day is an all grown-up affair, go grab your favorite bottle of wine.
However, if you want something that is fun and yet kid-friendly as well, there are other drinks that will complement your Mediterranean menu. Lemonade is a great example.
Pump-up the health-giving perks of the whole meal and go the all-natural route when making lemonade. The best lemons are easy to come by these days. Up the fun factor by trying these fresh and easy lemonade recipes by Sara Lynn Cauchon of TheDomesticGeek.com.