Looking for a fun way to serve a Mediterranean diet lifestyle snack? Need some Mediterranean platter ideas? We’ve got you covered with what we’re calling our Mediterranean Summer Sampler.
Well here we are with the second Lemon & Olives Med Monday post. To get up to speed, you can check out our first post here: Kale and Quinoa Summer Salad.
We’re basically highlighting Greek Mediterranean foods, or Greek inspired foods, and tips for following the Mediterranean lifestyle each Monday. We are really looking forward to this and excited to share what we know as well as what we learn along the way.
As we’ve mentioned previously, we’ve been spending a lot of time lately redoing our eCookbook. We’ve completely redesigned it (had to learn InDesign), fixed all those pesky spelling mistakes, and we’re updating the book to include new sections, such as a meal plan and shopping lists.
Therefore, all of our free time is dedicated to this. I think the only breaks we take, besides cooking and shooting new recipes, is to get our workouts in – remember the base of the Mediterranean food pyramid is 30 minutes of physical activity every day (in whatever form you can do).
Since we are short on time – seriously who isn’t? – we’ve been trying to come up with little creative ways to snack while staying within the confines of the Med pyramid. People tend to break away from the pyramid during snack time – and hey we get it, so do we sometimes – but staying the course the majority of the time should be your overall goal. With recipes like our Mediterranean Sampler recipe, it becomes easy to do.
Mediterranean Summer Sampler
First and foremost, you can make this whenever you need a quick meal fix. It’s summer so we threw it in. The important part is to use whatever is in season where you live.
We wanted to focus on a few different aspects of the Mediterranean food pyramid for this dish: fruits, nuts, olives, cheese, and meats.
Staying true to the pyramid, we had less of meat and cheese, and more for fruits and nuts.
Fun fact – olives are considered a fruit.
Eating more fruit and nuts, gives you healthy energy, carbs, fats, sugars, fibers, and all that good stuff your body needs – some more moderate than others.
Essentiality, you can just use what’s in season (or on sale) to hit specific parts of the food pyramid and ensure you’re following the Mediterranean lifestyle!
Overall, this is what we used:
Strawberries – they are delicious and full of flavor in the summer months. 1 cup will set you back about 47 calories and roughly 11 grams of carbs, and 3 grams fiber.
Grapes – same as strawberries, we love grapes in the summer time. We tend to freeze some, as they make a delicious little frozen snack on their own. 1 cup of these is around 104 calories, with 27 grams of carbs, 1.4 grams fiber, and 23 grams of sugar (try to limit to a cup a day if you’re watching your sugar intake)
Figs – we love figs. The ones in our picture are from Kalamata, Greece (Καλαμάτα) – but you can get them anywhere and from a lot of different regions. Figs are high in carbs, so it’s best to limit them on days where you’re less active. 1 fig (about 100g) is 107 calories, 28 grams carbs, and 0 sugar, which is nice because they are sweet and delicious.
Olives – a Greek or Mediterranean dish wouldn’t be complete without olives. We used Greek green olives and Kalamata olives here. 1 cup of these is around 160 calories. 14 grams of fat (the healthy kind), 8 grams carbs, 4.5 grams fiber and 0 sugars. We could eat olives all day.
Almonds – always a great source of healthy fats. Nuts are a great part of the Med lifestyle, but in moderation, as they can creep up on you. One serving, ¼ cup (most nuts are at this serving amount) is 200 calories, 18 grams of fat (the healthy kind, again), 7 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, and 8 grams protein. These pack a healthy punch, but stick to around ¼ cup a day.
Feta – for our cheese, we used Feta. I know, no surprise there. We cut them up into 1 inch cubes. Each cube is about 45 calories and 3.6 grams fat. Every other aspect of the cheese (fat, carbs, etc.,) is less than 1%. We love this stuff and put it on everything.
Sliced meats – this is something we love. Due to the amount of fat, we only limit ourselves to 2-3 slices, which can range from 100 to 200 calories. Everything else varies by type of meat and producer, so if you’re going to use this, compare a few different ones at the market and make the healthiest choice.
Well, there you go. A Little breakdown of what we used for our Mediterranean Summer Sampler and an outline of where this fits into the food pyramid.
Feel free to sub things out, change it completely, and be creative. You could make a Mediterranean platter like this every week and have it never be the same. One thing we really like about this, is that since we share it, it forces us to stop, talk, and relax a bit – and that’s the true Mediterranean lifestyle way of eating 🙂
Kenton & Jane
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- 2 strawberries, sliced
- 2 figs, sliced
- ½ cup red grapes
- ¼ cup olives
- 4-6 cubes feta
- 3 sliced meats
- Place everything on a plate and serve!