Eating Mediterranean Style with Convenience Foods

by Meri on September 12, 2012

Some how life just picked up the pace right after we moved (still don’t have pictures hung yet…sigh). Mark and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and the little one’s 3 year birthday is right around the corner. Birdie and Mr. are being evaluated to see if they qualify for various programs through the school district (speech, OT, etc) and we finally have 2 kiddos potty trained. Another example of how life just gets busy even when you aren’t trying to add more to your plate.

Recently I was speaking to a friend about having mac and cheese for dinner on one of those hectic days and to my surprise…she was quite surprised. Since I’m trying to live a Mediterranean lifestyle she assumed I was cooking full blown Mediterranean cuisine all the time. Eating Mediterranean foods like beans, lentils, whole grains, seafood, lots of fruits and veggies and olive oil is definitely important, but I also see the style of eating as useful too.  This leaves room for a busy schedule when you just need to use that mac and cheese or chicken nuggets. Here’s a couple of pointers about the style of Mediterranean eating:

  • Eat several servings of fruits and/or veggies with each meal
  • Eat mostly a plant-based diet
  • Choose smaller portions of lean meats
  • Choose smaller portions of starchy carbs like pasta or rice
  • Enjoy produce prepared in different ways (cooked, raw, canned, dried)

An example of using some convenience foods may look like this…chicken nuggets, tator tots, kale chips and grapes. I know…I know…weird to have kale chips and tator tots, but that’s how I roll. Using the foods I have on hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another example using mac and cheese, freeze dried fruit, steamed broccoli and raw cucumbers…sorry for the messy plate, but you get the idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t buy into the notion that these foods are quicker to make, but let’s face it…they’re convenient and 2-year olds love them. You can find healthier versions out there as well that don’t contain trans fats or other undesired ingredients, or make your own and keep the extras in your freezer.

I believe the most important nutrition concept from the Mediterranean diet is more plant based foods. So just serving up some simple fruits and vegetables with those easy items can make a big difference in health.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple September 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

Yep. Chicken fingers from TJ’s and roasted root vegetables on our menu tonight.

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