Mediterranean

Wholegrain Italian Flatbread

Since it was #PizzaFriday, I decided that it was time to make this flatbread I had been craving. Of course, I put a healthy spin on it by using some wholegrain stoneground flour that I had in the pantry and a whole lot of wonderful toppings. Choosing toppings had everyone involved and discussing their options. This is my favourite way of eating, getting everyone around the table and actively engaging with the food and eachother. Happiness on a plate!

Wholegrain Italian Flatbread

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Mediterranean

4-6

Wholegrain Italian Flatbread

Mediterranean Diet, Sugar Free, Family Friendly

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole grain, stoneground flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups ice water

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients in the order given, one at a time, stirring well in between to combine. Knead a bit by hand for the final mixture, adding a little water depending on the flour used. Work fast to keep the dough tender.
  • The dough should be soft but easily rolled out.
  • Cut into 10-12 equal pieces. Roll out thin on a lightly oiled surface.
  • Prick the top of the bread with a fork, then add your toppings and place under a grill for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked.

Notes

I started with a tomato puree base, then added a selection of toppings from salami, anchovies, olives, basil pesto, tomato, sun dried tomato, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese and red onion. Would also work well with roast vegetables or grilled plain and served with humus and olive tapenade.

https://mammachefjozi.com/wholegrain-italian-flatbread/

This recipe is from Week 1 Meal Plan of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge with Food Lover’s Market and the #LoveFoodMovement.

week-1-one-grand-family-challenge-recap-wholewheat-flatbreads-various-toppings

Mediterranean White Fish Shakshuka

As you know, I am always looking for new ways to include fish and I love a good shakshuka. The fragrant spices in this recipe accentuate the fish so well and cooking it in the tomato ensures that it’s juicy and almost melts into the sauce. (Disclaimer: if you’re not a fan of fish, there’s no hiding this one with mayo!)

This recipe features on Week 1 Meal Plan of the #OneGrandFamilyChallenge with Food Lover’s Market and the #LoveFoodMovement.

Mediterranean White Fish Shakshuka

Category: Weekday Dinners

Cuisine: Mediterranean

4-6

Mediterranean White Fish Shakshuka

Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Family Friendly, Mediterranean Diet

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 3-4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 500 g hake fillets
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the sumac, cumin and turmeric to make the spice mix. Set aside.
  • In a large, deep pan (with a lid) heat 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Saute onions for 2 minutes then add the garlic. Cook on medium-high, stirring often, until fragrant and golden in colour, about 2 more minutes.
  • Now add the tomatoes and half of the spice mix (keeping the remainder of the spice mix until later).
  • Add tomato paste, lime juice, water, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a high simmer, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
  • Cover and cook the tomato mixture for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, season the fish fillets lightly with salt and pepper and coat on both sides with the remaining half of the spice mix.
  • Gently add the fish fillets to the tomato mixture, nestling the fish pieces nicely in it. Cook on medium-high briefly, then reduce heat to medium.
  • Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through (flakes easily).
  • Serve with your choice of rice, or crispy bread and garnish with fresh parsley.
https://mammachefjozi.com/mediterranean-white-fish-shakshuka/

mediterranean-white-fish-shakshuka

Recipe inspired by The Mediterranean Dish

Mediterranean Chicken Bake with Artichoke Hearts

A low carb, Mediterranean diet inspired recipe. Wonderfully warm chicken bake with artichoke hearts, served with brown rice.

Mediterranean Chicken Bake with Artichoke Hearts

Category: Meat Free Mondays

Cuisine: Mediterranean

4

Mediterranean Chicken Bake with Artichoke Hearts

Low Carb, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free (omit cheese), Family Friendly

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts/thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tin quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto or fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken all over with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan and brown both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Then transfer thighs to a large oven dish and arrange in a single layer. Add chopped artichoke hearts and black olives.
  • Pour tomatoes over the top, sprinkle the basil pesto evenly, then top with grated cheese.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Turn oven to grill and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, to lightly brown cheese on top.
  • Remove from oven and serve with brown rice.
https://mammachefjozi.com/mediterranean-chicken-bake-with-artichoke-hearts/

Recipe adapted from All Day I Dream About Food

Baby Kingklip with Tuscan Style Vegetables

Something fishy

The Mediterranean Diet prescribes plenty of fish and less meat. This baby kingklip recipe is gluten free, sugar free, super low carb and super high in nutrition.

It also tastes divine, especially made with baby kingklip, takes only 30 minutes to make and it’s so very easy!

Baby Kingklip with Tuscan Style Vegetables

Browsing around my local Food Lover’s Market for fish, I wanted something other than Hake. I noticed that 500g Hake fillets were R70 and 500g Kingklip portions were R140. Then I spotted the Baby Kingklip at R89 for 800 grams and thought this was quite a good deal. Something different and for a great price relative to their fully grown kin.

Anyway, on to the recipe!

Baby Kingklip with Tuscan Style Vegetables

30 minutes

Category: Weekday Meals

Cuisine: Fish

4-6

Baby Kingklip with Tuscan Style Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tins peeled & diced tomatoes
  • 2 tins cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 200 g fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 800 g baby kingklip or hake fillets, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley and lemon to garnish
  • juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  • In a large, deep pan with a lid, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onion and 1 tsp garlic. Saute until onion has softened. Garlic mustn't brown.
  • Add chilli flakes and rosemary if using. Add diced tomatoes and cannelini beans. Stir well then cover the pan, and reduce heat to simmer while cooking the fish.
  • In a large non stick pan on med-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp garlic. When garlic is sizzling, add fish fillets and cook for a couple of minutes. Lift the edge of the fish when it is becoming opaque on top, and see if it is nicely browned on the bottom. Carefully turn the fish using a spatula. While fish cooks on the second side, add fresh spinach to the bean and tomato mixture. Stir well, and replace the lid. Turn off the heat. Allow the spinach to wilt. Check for seasoning. Stir.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cooked fish fillets.
  • Divide the vegetable mixture among your plates or bowls.
  • Top each with a fish fillet, and garnish with parsley and a wedge of lemon if desired.
https://mammachefjozi.com/baby-kingklip-with-tuscan-style-vegetables/

Beautiful Intention Part 2 – Eating Balanced & Nutritious Meals

Eating positive!

Beautiful Intention Part 2 - balanced nutritious meals

 

Now that we’re drinking more water and have the blood flowing through the body smoothly, one of the basics is in place. The next step is to consider the food. Here’s your guide to cooking and eating healthy, balanced and nutritious meals.

Obviously there are a multitude of different diets out there, many of which make some sense and many of which just don’t.

My personal opinion with regards to healthy eating is the same as with most things, life’s too short to be worried about a complicated diet that involves a million rules, counting of any kind (I count enough in my business) or not having wine! I feel it’s best to keep it simple and delicious, again treating your body with love and not punishment.

I also mentioned my food philosophy in a post from last year, which essentially echoes the philosophy of Jamie Oliver.

The philosophy of eating

The main thing is that food shouldn’t be made to be an enemy. The latest research that aimed to determine which was the most evil between carbohydrates and fat may surprise you in its outcome. You can read the article here. What it boils down to (and while I’m at it, don’t boil your veggies) is that neither actually makes much difference!

What does matter is the quantity (amount of calories) and quality of the food you’re eating! You don’t have to go counting every calorie but eat sensible portions and make healthy choices. One thing that must be avoided though, is sugar.

Why avoid sugar?

I always want to know the why’s. Aside from weight loss, here’s a quick list of reasons to avoid sugar from MindBodyGreen.com

  • Directly linked to higher levels of anxiety, stress and depression
  • causes inflammation which in turn
  • negatively impacts the immune system
  • increases blood pressure
  • adversely affects mental function
  • Speeds up ageing and can cause acne
  • Blood Sugar spikes and crashes, affecting energy levels
  • Increases risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

How to avoid sugar

Cooking your meals from scratch using fresh ingredients means that you avoid eating processed foods, premade sauces and meals that contain high amounts of sugar (and sodium).

Ditch the sweets for fresh fruits and berries, nuts and look for snack or treat recipes you can make with eg. raw honey, nut butters and dark chocolate. There are soooooo many different options for healthier choices.

Dump the fizzy colddrinks and fruit juices and instead, drink water*, unsweetened rooibos or herbal teas etc.

Don’t choose low fat products as they generally contain added sugar to make up for the taste.

Healthy eating

Beautiful Intention Part 2 - balanced nutritious meals

After all this, what are the healthiest food and diet choices?

Firstly, crash diets and fads are so old hat. The only way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle is with a sustainable eating plan, balance and moderation and yes, some exercise. You don’t need a gym, walking is also great and there are various fantastic workout apps including all different kinds of exercise.

Back to food!

The Mediterranean Diet is my guideline of choice for several reasons. It’s widely known as the world’s healthiest diet mainly because it largely reduces risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer. Let’s be honest, if your heart has stopped working it won’t really matter what your body looks like.

It also wards off chronic disease, promotes brain health, aids weight loss and slows ageing… what more could you possibly want?!

The key aspects of the Mediterranean Diet are:

  • plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits
  • fish and white meat, with red meat in moderation
  • whole grains along with nuts, beans, lentils and seeds
  • olive oil for the win!
  • lots of herbs and spices for wonderful flavour without excess salt
  • limit dairy to hard cheeses and plain yoghurt
  • a glass of red wine daily (again, moderation applies)

Stay away from the cakes, sweets and processed foods. Stick to produce as close as possible to it’s natural form. Choose whole grain over white.

Give yourself a treat now and then! Don’t be mean to yourself for having a block or two of that choccie, it’s not going to crush the scale tomorrow morning… a small treat once a week is fine.

What appeals most to me about the Mediterranean Diet is that it’s the closest to the way we eat as a family in any case, therefore I don’t have to make different meals for different people.

If I don’t feel like having pasta for example, I simply don’t dish the pasta portion and happily have the delicious protein and veggies or salad. It’s uncomplicated, easy to cook, incredibly tasty, GOOD food!

Change your mind – change your life

Food is a friend. You don’t need to make it your enemy. Approach food with positive energy, cook with love, feel the joy of sharing healthy, nutritious meals with your family and caring for your body in the most loving way. You will be surprised at how much this changes your relationship with food as well as your body!

Favourite Weekday Meal Feature – Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps

The perfect weekday meal for hot summer evenings when you just can’t bring yourself to eating anything that has been near a stove.

These tuna lettuce wraps are healthy, refreshing and substantial enough to fill even the hungriest of tummies! Gluten free option with lettuce as a wrap only, or add some fibre with a wholegrain tortilla wrap. It’s juicy, crispy, tasty and ready in a flash!

Click on the image for the recipe card.

Favourite Meal Feauture Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps

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