Fresh Fridays 
January 25, 2013
Vol. V, No. 2        
Fast and Flavorful

How often do we come home at the end of the day worn out from work and wish for dinner to make itself? Thankfully the Mediterranean Diet offers not only healthy meal options, but also ingredients with bold flavors making it easy to get a delicious, flavorful meal on the table quickly and easily at the end of a long day.


Try incorporating these traditional Mediterranean Diet ingredients into your meals to boost flavor without adding lots of extra prep time:

  • Feta Cheese: Feta's firm, crumbly texture and tart, salty taste beautifully complement fruits, as well as eggs and grains. Just a little bit goes a long way in a salad, omelet, or on a flatbread.
  • Herbs and Spices: Oregano and basil might be the most familiar Mediterranean herbs on your spice rack, but don't be afraid to experiment with others like cardamom, cilantro, dill, fennel seeds, ginger, rosemary, saffron, or turmeric.
  • Olives: With the extensive variety of olives available, ranging from very bold dry Greek olives to mild black ripe olives, it is easy to find a variety that suits your palate. Try adding olives to salads, pasta dishes, and pilafs.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes have an intense flavor and pack 12 times more lycopene (an antioxidant associated with reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease) than raw tomatoes! Use them in wraps and sandwiches, or pasta sauces and bean dips.
  • Wine: Adding wine to cooking liquids can deepen the flavors in seafood and vegetable dishes. Try including a little white wine in a risotto or red wine in your next tomato sauce.

Here are some other ideas to help you speed up the dinner-making process:

  • Freeze your grains: On a day when you have time, prepare a large batch of brown rice or other whole grain. Let it cool, and then freeze it in small portions. Pull out a portion and defrost it in the refrigerator while you're at work or pop it in the microwave for a few minutes when you're ready to use it.
  • Purchase pre-cut vegetables: Look for prepackaged vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and squash in the fresh produce section, or pick up bags of frozen vegetables, which are both prewashed and pre-cut.
  • Plan ahead: Plan all of your dinners for the week on Saturday or Sunday. Make a shopping list and take just one trip to the supermarket. Set aside the recipes or mark the pages in your cookbooks. Having everything on hand when it's time to start cooking will get dinner on the table faster.
Consider these quick and easy recipes when planning your menus for the week.
(Click on the titles or photos below to link to the recipes.)

Web links

january grain of the month
Think beyond breakfast! Find oats recipes for lunch and dinner  here.

Click here to order our newest publication!

12 great ways to use olive oil

Plate of pasta with sundried tomatoes.
The concentrated flavors of sun-dried tomatoes make it easy to get a flavorful dinner on the table quickly. Try this recipe for an easy weeknight meal. Make variations on the dish by adding different vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, celery, broccoli, or peas.  
Photo: Mooney Farms/Bella Sun Luci 
Steaming mussels is an easy way to get fresh seafood on the table with minimal hassle. Using wine for the steaming liquid adds extra flavor to the dish. Serve mussels alongside bruschetta and a veggie plate for a quick and satisfying meal.
Photo: National Fisheries Institute  
This refreshing salad is easy to prepare and comes together quickly thanks to the fast-cooking orzo. Let it rest in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of your meal.
Photo: North American Olive Oil Association      
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)        



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



Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 

Find us on Pinterest   

Oldways Bookstore
Peanuts in the shell.

Peanuts, along with beans and peas, are legumes. Peanuts grow underground, as opposed to nuts like walnuts and almonds, which grown on trees and are often called "tree nuts." Learn more about peanuts and how they fit into a healthy diet at