Fresh Fridays

October 3, 2014
Vol. VI No. 19

In This Issue

Despite the name, meatless meals are not merely meals without meat.  Meatless eating is really about a well-planned and well-balanced diet. It's possible to be a vegetarian or even a vegan by eating only iceberg lettuce salads or cereal with nut milks, but that's not healthy and balanced meatless eating.

If you're one of the 59% of Americans who are cutting back on meat, or one of the 41% who are actively trying to do so (according to a 2013 survey by the Meatless Monday Campaign), the Mediterranean Diet is the perfect well-planned and well-balanced diet to bring incredibly delicious meatless meals to your table.  

While the Mediterranean Diet normally includes fish and small amounts of meat, these are usually used as flavor accents, not the center of the meal. At its essence, the Med Diet is, by definition, a plant-based diet, with a world of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits, herbs, spices and healthy oils to blend together for meatless meals.  

The reasons for going meatless are varied. The health benefits are well documented, perhaps none so definitive as the 2013 Loma Linda Study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showing that vegetarian diets lead to longer lives. Beyond issues of personal health, animal rights, and growing concerns about inhumane conditions at feedlots and industrial slaughterhouses lead some to embrace meatless eating, whether vegetarian or vegan. Others, still, are convinced by the power of reducing environmental impacts of meat production (water, soil and air pollution; vast amounts of land and water are needed for grazing and, also, to grow the feed that animals eat).  

And, still, others go meatless simply because it is delicious and budget-friendly.  

No matter the reason, switching to Meatless Mediterranean meals doesn't mean missing out or sacrifice. However, smart planning and a change of mindset is needed to make balanced and interesting meatless meals. It's not the big hunk of protein on the plate (steak, chicken, burgers, for example) that defines the meal. It's the combination of whole grains, vegetables, beans, fruit, and healthy oils that combine to define the plate. 

Many of these Meatless Mediterranean meals and ingredients are familiar ones: Spanish gazpacho, Italian pizza or healthy pasta meals, Greek salad, rice pilaf from Turkey, vegetable kebob, hummus and taboulli from Lebanon and Israel, and vegetable couscous from North Africa are all familiar dishes that just happen to be meatless.

Finally, these dishes are affordable. The Mediterranean Diet was once thought of as the diet of the poor, and is still an affordable way to put family meals on the table. Beans, legumes, and vegetables all cost less per pound than meat.

Not to worry about the how-to. The Oldways website is full of helpful hints and recipes to go meatless. Or look for the soon-to-be-released 4 Week Vegetarian Diet Menu Book, the recipes below or any of the wonderful books in this week's Fresh Friday Bookstore.  

Click on a photo or recipe title below to link to the full recipe. 
This recipe, developed by Wolfgang Hanau, was a winner at the Plains Peanut Festival Recipe Contest. Serve on small plates with a few slices of bread.


Recipe developed by Wolfgang Hanau, a winner at the Plains Peanut Festival Recipe Contest; Text, and photo courtesy of The Peanut Institute.
Perfect for fall when the grocery stores are full of squash, this dish offers a great combination of flavors and plenty of plant power.

Recipe, content and photo courtesy of Barilla.
When you hear the word "coca" in Spain, it doesn't mean a soft drink, it's a pizza! And the best part about it is that there are a thousand variations. Usually a coca is topped with fresh vegetables, making it a healthy, meatless treat.

Recipe by Chef Joanne Weir for the California Walnut Commission; Content and photo courtesy of the California Walnut Commission.
This dish is very popular in some Italian-American households, and is commonly just called Cicoria. This vegetarian version is made with the idea of preparing something with dandelion and something that could be a full meal or a side. This is a highly nutritious and protein-packed dish that is very tasty to boot!

Recipe and content by Christine Dutton for Mediterranean Living; photo courtesy of Mediterranean Living.

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)        





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



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Nov. 9-11, 2014
 Hyatt Boston Harbor

Misunderstandings and rumors abound in the grain world. We'll cover all the key grain issues, such as:

Is modern wheat different? Who should avoid gluten? What defines a "good carb?" How can I keep my blood sugar from spiking? What makes sprouted grains worth exploring?

Join us for solid science, delicious food, great networking, and more. Sign up today while there are still spaces available.

12 CPE credits for RDs.

  By Aglaia Kremezi
This is Aglaia's latest book, Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts (published this week!). Aglaia is a great, longtime friend of Oldways, and was instrumental in introducing Greek cooking to an American audience. Now, Aglaia has gone back to her roots, rediscovering the delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make recipes she grew up with.

By Yotam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the world's most beloved culinary talents, and in this highly anticipated followup to his bestselling and award-winning cookbook Plenty, he continues to explore the diverse realm of vegetarian food. To be published on October 14, 2014, Plenty More is organized by cooking method, and features more than 150 recipes that emphasize spices, seasonality, and bold flavors.


 By Deborah Madison


Originally published in 1997, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone was both ahead of its time and an instant classic. Now, The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone picks up where that culinary legacy left off. It's not just for vegetarians and vegans -- it's for everyone interested in learning how to cook vegetables creatively and healthfully. 

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