Fresh Fridays 
Special Treats for Special Celebrations
Spring is in the air! This weekend many of us will embrace one of the foundations of the Mediterranean Diet--eating with family and friends--as we celebrate Easter or Passover. Food, of course, is central to these holidays, and no doubt your feast will feature one or several traditional dishes.

Find ways to include an array of fresh vegetables in your menu, perhaps watercress, asparagus, new potatoes, artichokes, broccolini, or baby kale, lightly steamed or roasted and served with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of herbs. Salads, too, can offer promise now. Fill a bowl with tender mixed greens, add thin slivers of fresh fennel and bright bell peppers, and top with a light vinaigrette.

Encourage little eaters to try new flavors around all the excitement by setting the food out on platters and letting everyone serve themselves. Keep in mind that children's palates take time to develop, but they will remember the smells and the sights of holiday meals all their lives.

Here's a thought for you to try on as you plan your weekend meals: There's no time like right now to start your own new holiday tradition of making and serving heart-healthy desserts to those you love. Think about ways to feature fruit as the finale and use traditional favorites such as Medjool dates, walnuts, and coconut. Dress dessert up if you wish by relying on yogurt as a healthy Mediterranean-style substitute for heavy cream, cream cheese, sour cream or ricotta.  

Click on the titles and photos below to link to Oldways recipes.

Web links

WG April Whole Grain of the Month
Black Bean Salad
Healthy Eating Springtime Tune Up
Fresh Papaya with  
Grand Marnier Cream
Here's a super easy, delicious, and beautiful dessert for any occasion.  Serve it in fancy dessert bowls or go rural-chic and present it in small mason jars. Try this recipe with other fruits, such as pears, melon, or berries, or a mixture of several.  
Strawberries Romanoff
Start making this dessert one day ahead of when you plan to serve it. The yogurt cheese topping, which is a heart-healthy alternative to whipped cream, requires several hours to drain and you will need to allow a few more hours for the topping to chill.

Raw Energy Squares
This nutritious no-bake treat is good enough to cut into small pieces to serve as dessert following your holiday meal. It will remind you of fudge!  Serve squares in colorful mini cupcake papers or arrange pieces on a doily-lined plate. Be sure to allow time for the mixture to chill before you cut it into squares.  
Date Porcupines Date Porcupines
Try something new this spring and make these little goodies to highlight the delicious sweetness of Medjool dates. They are a delicious departure from traditional cookies, but look every bit as appealing. Serve with tea, mixed nuts, and an assortment of fresh fruit. 

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 learn more about the Mediterranean Diet, please visit:    

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)     




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Let the old ways be your guide to good health and well-being. 

12 ways to use beans  
Med Diet USA
 Cherry Festival
The Dalles, Oregon
April 27-28
Coming soon! Now in its 33rd year, this event, 80 miles east of Portland, celebrates the local sweet cherry crop with a parade, open-air market, and plenty of ideas for how to enjoy this popular fruit.

Oldways bookstore

Vegetables, Revised

 by James Peterson

Discover helpful tips for preparing a number of
fresh vegetables, plus delicious ideas for coaxing
maximum flavor from each.