Mediterranean diet- If you have been reading my stream of consciousness emails for the past couple of years, I have probably already told you this. One of my favorite memories of my childhood is when Papa would come home with paper bags full of fresh fruits and nuts and lay them all out on the kitchen table to be sorted and put away. The giant paper bags were often filled with pistachios, dried apricots, dates, and raisins during winter months.
In spring and summer, there would be delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. Cucumbers smelled so good and fresh that it was hard to wait for them to be washed before taking a bite out of them. In Autumn, pomegranate, persimmon and fig...yum! just heavenly!!! The daily routine for my family was Papa making breakfast for us before taking us to school which usually consisted of fresh bread, feta cheese, and olives. When we would get home from school, we usually snacked on leftovers from our parents lunch. These lunches usually consisted of a light vegetable dish such as green bean hash, cauliflower hash, and fasolia.
After dinner instead of dessert, every night Papa would peel and slice tons of fruit for all of us to eat. It didn't matter how full we were, he would make us eat every bit. I don't think I had ever peeled an orange till I was 21. Anyway, the reason this story comes back to mind is that I just keep reading and hearing about the "Heart Healthy Mediterranean Diet". The fact is though that there is not one particular diet that all Mediterranean countries follow.
The lemony cuisine of Southern Italy is very different than the spicy dishes from Libya or Morocco and same is pretty much true with the other cuisines in the region. However, all Mediterranean countries have one thing in common, they all emphasis on daily consumption of vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grains, and more seafood than poultry and beef. With our weekly meals, we try to follow Mediterranean way of eating regularly. This weeks menu is in particular inspired by food of that region and memories of the delicious goodies Papa used to bring home.
We are looking forward to cooking this weeks menu for you; and hope that you will be enjoying it as much as we will be preparing it.
From everyone at Ezie and Emil... It's All about food!