Fresh Fridays 
February 8, 2013
Vol. V, No. 3         

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and whipping up some delicious homemade treats is the perfect way to show your sweetie (or your whole family) that you care! With a nod to Mediterranean ingredients and attitudes, the tips and delectable recipes below can help you put a delicious bite on the table as a treat for a special occasion like Valentine's Day.


Favor Fruit: Fruit is naturally sweet and comes loaded with nutrients. Fresh fruit tastes its best when it is ripe, local, and in season. This time of year, try dried fruit for extra concentrated flavors. Consider frozen fruit or canned fruit packed in 100% fruit juice if the ingredient you want is out of season.


Bake with Whole Grains: In most cases you can replace half or more of the white flour in your favorite recipe with whole-wheat flour. (Try white whole-wheat flour if you have picky eaters skeptical of the brown color of regular whole-wheat flour.) Or go beyond wheat - substituting other whole-grain flours and meals for some of the wheat can add a satisfying nuttiness and density to baked goods. For best results, seek out recipes that call for whole grains.


Stir in Nuts: Cooking with nuts is a great way to pack extra flavor into small bites. Toast nuts lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat to intensify their flavor before adding them to your favorite recipe. Nuts also offer endless variations on recipes. Try switching walnuts to pecans, or almonds to hazelnuts in a recipe for a new take on your favorite treats.


Savor a Small Serving: A key part of the Mediterranean Diet is the idea of enjoying the pleasures of the table. Enjoy meals with family and friends, and take time to notice and appreciate the foods on the table. Take a small serving and savor its aroma, texture, and flavor. Being mindful of what we eat is especially important during those special times when we have reason to celebrate.


(Click on the titles or photos below to link to the recipes.)

Web links

February grain of the month-Barley
Make your Valentine a batch of Barley Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies. 
Med Diet USA

Olive Season 2013, Sonoma Valley
Olive Season
Finale Weekend
February 15-18, 2013

Visit Sonoma next weekend to celebrate the Olive Season Finale Weekend with olive themed events, cooking classes, and artisan markets.     







20th Anniversary Celebration - Win a Book!

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of our Oldways Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Many things have changed over the past 20 years but one fact remains the same: the Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest diets, providing a seemingly endless stream of positive health benefits-and US News & World Report agrees. In US News & World Report's latest diet review, they declared the Mediterranean Diet one of the best! As we reflect on this fact we ask you, why do you love the Mediterranean Diet? 


We invite you to share your insights for a chance to win our new book, The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan. Entering is easy, just post your comment on our Facebook page, Tweet us or email us for your chance to win. We will accept entries starting today, February 8th, through Friday the 22nd. The winner will be announced the week of February 25th.

Cup of chocolate mousse garnished with fresh olive sprig.
Extra virgin olive oil adds richness and silkiness to this dark chocolate mousse. A small serving of this decadent mousse serves as the perfect close to a special meal.  
Photo: Cat Cora's Kitchen by Gaea 
Dates' natural sweetness makes them the perfect dessert fruit. You and your sweetie can enjoy these truffles on a special occasion without loading up on added sugar. Make variations by soaking the dates in different liquids, mixing spices into the cocoa powder, or dipping the truffles in melted chocolate.  
Photo: Bard Valley Natural Delights  
Fresh fruit makes this elegant dessert beautiful, colorful, and flavorful. Make endless variations of this tart by switching the types of fruit you include. Select fruits that are in season and local to your region for the best flavor.
Photo: USA Rice Federation     
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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Let the old ways be your guide to  good health and well-being.       



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Oldways Bookstore
February is Black History Month and African American Heritage & Health Week just concluded (Feb 1-7). Discover where the Mediterranean Diet and African Heritage & Health overlap in Paula Wolfert's The Food of Morocco:

The Food of Morocco (book cover).

Brown egg standing on end.
Eggs are enormously versatile! They serve a variety of purposes in cooking: they can be an emulsifier, leavening agent, thickener, binder, coating or glaze; they add color, flavor, moisture, and nutrients. Learn more at