Got a bumper crop of tomatoes? I’ve got you covered. This salad combines all the goodies of a Mediterranean diet in one bowl. The salad is vegan, but can be modified with the addition of cheese, grilled chicken, fish or shrimp if you like.
The Mediterranean diet has been ranked number one by US News & World reports for 3 years in a row. Why, you say? Maybe because it’s loaded with health benefits including reduced rates of cancer, heart disease and obesity. AND- it’s delicious and sustainable.
A Mediterranean diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins like beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean poultry and fish and low-fat dairy products. This type of diet is high in fiber and antioxidants to help fight disease. It’s not restrictive and can be versatile and affordable.
The key to this delicious salad is the creamy dressing made with tahini. Tahini is an oily paste made out of ground sesame seeds. It’s typically used in hummus and makes an excellent dressing. If you don’t have tahini on hand, try natural peanut butter (the type made with just nuts and salt).
Health benefits of each ingredient:
Greens– high in lutein and beta-carotene to protein your eyes. A source of potassium to help lower blood pressure. Vitamin C protects against cancer and heart disease.
Tomatoes– a source of lycopene to protect against prostate and ovarian cancer. A source of vitamin C and potassium.
Chick peas– a great source of soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol. A plant-based, inexpensive source of protein.
Olives– high in mono-unsaturated fat to help sustain HDL (healthy cholesterol) levels. A source of sodium for flavor, low in carbs.
Cucumbers- high in water for hydration.
Onions– a source of quercetin (and antioxidant to protect cells) and inulin- a pre-biotic fiber to protect your gut.
Tahini- a source of polyunsaturated fat as well as zinc and magnesium.
Lemon juice– high in vitamin C
4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped (can sub spinach leaves or arugula)
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ cucumber, chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 Tbsp. diced red onion
Juice of 1 lemon or 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. oregano
1-2 Tbsp. water (as needed)
- Place the lettuce, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and red onions in a large bowl.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, cumin and oregano. Add water to make a thinner dressing.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
This recipe was shown on Fox 19 in Cincinnati earlier today. Check out the video: Chickpea Salad with Lisa Andrews – clipped version (fox19.com)
Growing up, fruit was a seasonal thing. We ate apples in the fall, citrus fruit all winter and berries, melon and cherries in the summer. I would never dream of eating strawberries in February or oranges in July. Fruit is most nutritious, least expensive and best tasting when it’s in season.
These days, you can have just about ANY fruit you’d like any time of year- with the exception of a few fruits, including cherries. Cherries have a short growing season. The ones grown in the US blossom in April and are available in the summer months. They’re grown in nearby states like Michigan, which is considered a local product.
Cherries pack a nutritional punch being a good source of vitamin C and other antioxidants such as polyphenols found in red grapes, blueberries and red wine. Cherries are known for anti-inflammatory properties, which may protects against arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
Cherries are versatile and can be eaten solo, added to salad, yogurt or made into delicious pie. The sky’s the limit!
Celebrate cherry season with me with some fun bada bing swag. Tell the world you’re a cherry fan!. Chews from totes, tees, mugs and onesies for little cherry fans. Sale ends Friday, July 16th at midnight.
As a registered dietitian, I’m very proud of the way I can help people. Dietitians are specifically trained to provide MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy), which is a fancy way of saying, “there are certain diets that will benefit certain diseases”. Dietitians earn at minimum a 4-year degree, endure 1200 hours of supervised training and take a rigorous credentialing exam. We also have to have 75 hours of continuing education over 5 years.
Being able to counsel people with medical diagnosis separates us from health coaches, chiropractors or other non-licensed professionals. I like to say that RDs are the “Real Deal” when it comes to diet therapy.
This past year, I was offered a second opportunity to write a diet and disease related cookbook. My first cookbook focused on gout- a type of painful arthritis that’s more common in men, but is also linked with being overweight or obese. A diet that’s low in purines helps reduce the risk of gout attacks. Avoiding alcohol and excess sugar in your diet will also help. My book was well received and I was hopeful I’d get the chance to write again.
And, I did just that! My second cookbook is on managing thyroid disease. When people hear of thyroid disease, they often associate it with weight gain and hair loss, but there are other symptoms and concerns that can arise. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) may cause weight loss, arrhythmias and temperature dysregulation. Left untreated, it may cause heart damage.
The Complete Thyroid Cookbook contains diet restrictions that people may not be accustomed to, such as gluten-free and dairy free. It has 3 different elimination diet protocols. I provided research to support the advice of eliminating certain foods in order to improve symptoms and prevent complications of over- or under-active thyroid. This is Medical Nutrition Therapy and it’s not meant for those not dealing with thyroid disease.
- Prepare to eat well―Find 85 affordable recipes for everything from dinner to sweets and snacks, with detailed meal plans for each diet.
- No experience required―Even casual cooks will find everything they need for success with this thyroid cookbook full of clear instructions, shopping lists, and recipes that are quick to put together.
If you’re interested in the book for yourself, a friend or family member, you may pre-order it here: https://amzn.to/2RTsLU3
The book officially releases July 20. I hope you enjoy it!
Now that temps have warmed up and picnics, parties and potlucks are on your radar, lettuce fire up the grill! Grilled burgers, dogs and poultry are favorites for many, but after packing on the “Covid 19” (or more), many may be seeking healthier options.
Grilled fish, lean meat and poultry are healthier proteins to toss on your grill, but even these foods should be eaten in moderation. A 2018 research study presented at an American Heart Association conference suggests that consuming grilled food more than 15 times per month (roughly every other day) is associated with high blood pressure. Cooking these foods at high temps may also raise blood pressure. 1
Nearly 50% of US adults suffer from high blood pressure with only 25% of them having it under control. High blood pressure is linked with heart attack, kidney disease and stroke. In addition to limiting grilled food this season, reducing sodium intake is advised as part of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. 2 Pritikin Foods can help!
Plant-based by Pritikin
Did you know that Pritikin Foods offer some delicious low sodium, plant-based burgers? I received a few samples of these delicious burgers to review and enjoy. Unlike the latest plant-based burgers that mimic meat, these won’t “bleed” or taste like beef. Instead, you’ll get two differed bean-based burgers made with whole foods like black beans, egg whites, peppers, corn and a blend of seasonings. Pritikin Foods’ burgers are low in fat, saturated fat and sodium but full of flavor. Pair them with your favorite salad this season.
Speaking of salads, they’re an excellent way to get more fruits and veggies in your diet. Did you know 9 out 10 US adults don’t meet their produce needs? Unfortunately, salad dressings can often be a hidden source of sodium. Many commercial dressings contain between 150 t0 250 mg of sodium in one tablespoon. Who uses one tablespoon of salad dressing?
Pritikin Foods’s Tangy Mustard Dressing has just 5 mg of sodium per serving while their Horseradish Dressing has 20 mg per 2 tablespoon serving. That’s well below the 2300 mg of sodium per day advised per the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines. 3
Why Pritikin Works
Pritikin has been around for over 40 years, based on scientifically-proven guidelines using food as medicine, as well as incorporate an active lifestyle and healthy mindset. Pritikin Foods delivers directly to your door delicious, convenient food created following these guidelines. Their dietitian-approved meals and condiments are made from whole ingredients like lean meat, whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables. In over 100 peer-reviewed studies, research shows that the Pritikin Program, including The Pritikin Eating Plan may help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease. 4
Whether you’re enjoying a big leafy green salad or looking for other ways to “put your plants on”, give these new Pritikin foods a try. Delivered from their kitchen to your door. Your heart and waistline will thank you.
Use SOUNDBITES20 at the checkout at Pritikin Foods and save 20% off any items!
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- Could grilling your meat raise blood pressure? (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Facts About Hypertension | cdc.gov
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and Online Materials | Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Does Pritikin Work? Science Based Results and Diet Criticism
It’s finally summer, which means it’s ‘thyme’ to turn up the grill! Grilled foods are great for gatherings of friends and family, but don’t forget the delicious appetizers and sides that go with them. Instead of chips or other fried snacks, fresh healthy veggies are a welcome addition to your spread.
According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults meet the suggested number of servings of daily fruits and vegetables. The recommended amount advised is 1 ½ cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. It’s so important to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables add vitamin C, potassium, fiber and other notable nutrients to a person’s diet. In addition, they’re also high in water, making them a simple source of hydration in hot summer months.
Mediterranean for the Win
A Mediterranean Diet is a healthy eating plan that features lots of fruits and vegetables. This delicious plant-based style of eating has been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. A Mediterranean diet may have anti-inflammatory effects due to phytochemicals in several plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables.
In addition, a Mediterranean diet may aid in “waist control” as it’s high in fiber, low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. As with any other weight control plan, calories should still be controlled.
When it comes to summer meal prep, fresh vegetables are the star of the show. They’re low in calories and very versatile. Vegetables add color, texture and flavor to any of your grilled dishes.
Grilling vegetables makes them slightly charred and smoky, changing the taste and texture. This also brings out their sweetness. Combining both fresh and grilled vegetables in recipes makes them more interesting, and tasty.
Benefits of Pure Flavor® Vegetables
Pure Flavor ® vegetables https://pure-flavor.blog/SBN-Snacking-Veggies are available all year round and are the perfect addition in appetizers, salads, sides, or main dishes. These organic, non-GMO beauties add a pop of color, flavor, and texture to any meal or snack.
Juno Bites Grape Tomatoes are sweet, crisp and delicious and provide cancer-fighting vitamin C as well as lycopene. They’re also a good source of potassium to protect your heart. Dip them into your favorite hummus, add them to salads or include them on a kabob to be grilled.
Aurora mini sweet peppers also offer loads of vitamin C with a crispy, crunchy texture that can’t be beat. These peppers bring bright red, yellow pops of color and touch of sweetness to any recipe. Eat them raw, sauteed or grilled.
If you haven’t tried Uno Bites Nano Cucumbers, you’re in for a treat. These zippy, juicy, bite-sized cucumbers are perfect for “pop in your mouth” snacking. Add them to your favorite veggie tray with dip or charcuterie board. They can be chopped and combined in your favorite salad or salsa. Kids love these snacking cucumbers but they’re also perfect for teen and adults that want a healthy, low-calorie snack on the go.
Whatever you’re grilling this summer, be sure to add Pure Flavor® vegetables. They’re nutrient packed and will help keep your family and friends healthy. https://pure-flavor.blog/SBN-Snacking-Veggies offers a variety of perfect produce year-round to live a more delicious life.
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