Fresh Fridays 
October 5, 2012
Vol. IV, No. 20    
Summer has slipped away and all of a sudden many of us are spending more time indoors. It's time to catch up with neighbors and old friends, get back to our committees and community groups, hob nob with parents over issues at school, reconnect with the book group.

Bring the Mediterranean Diet along to both planned and impromptu gatherings by providing a healthy, tasty, vegetable-based dip and some raw veggies or pita bread, pita chips, or corn chips for dunking. You'll discover that delicious, healthy snacks bring people together in a special way.

If you have the time, make your own dips from fresh vegetables, herbs, beans, spices, or yogurt. It's so easy. Play a little and ramp up the flavor by adding a pinch of smoked paprika or Aleppo pepper.

When you're in a rush, rely on the wide assortment of Mediterranean favorites sold in virtually any grocery store: hummus, tzatziki, baba ghanouge, and ingredients such as goat cheese, feta, or plain Greek yogurt which can become dips with a whir in the food processor and the addition of herbs and spices.
Find creative ways to use dips as more than appetizers, too.

Web links

Read the latest studies touting the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.
Learn more >

October is corn month
CORN: Grain of the Month from the Whole Grains Council     
For example:
  • Use a healthy dip in place of mayonnaise to deliver nutritional benefits and great flavor. Spread on sandwiches, wraps, and pita bread before adding the fillings.
  • Instead of tomato sauce, top unbaked pizza dough with your favorite dip, add toppings and cheese if you wish, and then bake.
  • Serve dips to your kids as part of an afternoon snack. Set out carrot and celery sticks, slices of red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, cucumber slices, snap peas, bread sticks, or thin slices of whole grain bread.
  • Combine a few spoonfuls of your favorite dip with a splash of wine and stir to thin it slightly. Then add to hot cooked grains or pasta for an instant sauce.
  • Combine about one tablespoon of dip and 2 tablespoons of hot water in a small bowl, whisk to blend, and use as salad dressing.
Here are three dips to get you started.
This Mediterranean classic is very easy to make at home. Eggplant becomes sweet and very soft when it is roasted. You can omit the pomegranate seeds, but they lend a beautiful touch that makes this dip look festive enough for a holiday party. 

Photo courtesy of Alwadi Al Akhdar 
Feta and Tomato Dip
Fresh cherry tomatoes are a colorful and tasty addition to this dip, which you can make in minutes. Look for feta cheese that is sold crumbled, to make preparation even easier. If you wish, serve it with pita bread or pita chips.   
Photo courtesy of Président Cheese              
This creamy, slightly spicy dip is sure to disappear at a party. Don't skimp on the cilantro, which lends a nice herby flavor.  Experiment with substituting cannellini or kidney beans. And if there is any dip left over, use it as a spread for a sandwich or wrap.        


Photo courtesy of Pompeian

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)       



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