Fresh Fridays 
Beat the Budget Blues

As the country struggles to sort out debt issues, you're not alone if you find yourself thinking more and more about the cost of food, and what you spend on it each week. If you turn to the basics of the Mediterranean Diet, you can enjoy healthy foods and great flavors without overspending.


Stretch your food shopping dollars: 

  • For a weekday meal, instead of buying seafood at $16 per pound, find ways to use canned sardines, tuna, or salmon for a quarter of the price.
  • Build a meal around eggs, which currently cost about $2 per pound or less and deliver plenty of protein.
  • Buy whole grains such as brown rice, bulgur, barley, and farro and get into the habit of cooking them frequently. Cook more than you need for one meal, freeze in zip-lock bags, and microwave in a serving bowl for lunch or dinner. Mix with diced cooked or raw vegetables, chopped herbs, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Include plenty of legumes in your daily meals. Beans are inexpensive, provide protein and fiber, and keep you feeling full for hours.    

Cooking Tip:

Buy vegetables and roast them as soon as you can to coax out extra flavor and have leftovers on hand for salads and wraps. Toss sliced zucchini and onions in a little olive oil, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 425F for about 10 minutes. Or use carrots, celery, mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, winter squash, or sweet potatoes, and vary the cooking time as necessary to soften and brown the vegetables.  


And spend a little time being creative, which doesn't come with a price tag. Presenting humble food in a pleasing way is another sure way to add value to everyday meals.


Here are three recipes we think you'll enjoy:


Just Ask for Whole Grains  

Whole Grains Online Tool  

Learn about a helpful new resource from Oldways Whole Grains Council (WGC) that provides easy access to the latest health studies.

Turkey Trip

 Come to Turkey with Us!  

Join Chef Ana Sortun and Oldways for a culinary adventure, March 17-25, 2012.


Add years to your life  

 Add Years to Your Life! 

Research from the Netherlands confirms the remarkable health

benefits of the Med Diet.


Roasted Tomatoes and
Mediterranean Bulgur Salad
Tomatoe Bulgar Salad
Is bulgur a staple in your kitchen? It's so easy to prepare. Just soak it in boiling water until it softens, and then combine it with garlic, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, a dash of salt, and some herbs for a delicious salad or side dish. This recipe calls for olives, roasted tomatoes, which you can buy in a jar, and

fresh mint.

Baked Eggs with Goat Cheese
and Green Peppercorns
Baked Eggs with Goat Cheese
Save time and money by giving eggs a starring role as dinner fare. Combine them with Swiss chard or spinach, easy to find now at farmers markets and farm stands, and tomatoes. The cracked peppercorns add a nice bite. If you don't have an adjustable grinder, wrap a few in a kitchen towel and pound them with a hammer.


Grilled Eggplant Slices with
Tomato Sauce and Greek Yogurt
Grilled Eggplant Slices
Spend a few extra minutes creating molds from aluminum foil to contain these appealing and tasty eggplant stacks. They're easy to make and economical, too, since they use just five ingredients. Allow time for them to chill before serving.
Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:   

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA) 

12 great ways to use hummus

 Elephant Garlic Festival
Celebrate garlic in all its

glory this weekend at the
14th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival, August 12-14, in

 North Plains, Oregon.

Recipes from an Italian Summer
Recipes from an
Italian Summer

by the editors of
Phaidon Press


As we head into the high season for fresh, local fruits and vegetables, spend some time with this lovely book, compiled by the authors of The Silver Spoon.  It offers more than 400 easy recipes for sublime flavor, using just a few ingredients.