Recipes for good health: 4 fresh Mediterranean dishes

By: Jennifer Brown  |  Friday, July 17, 2009
For years I’ve been eating the Mediterranean way, packing my diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, “good” oils like olive oil, whole grains, nuts and fish. In May I got to eat this way in an actual Mediterranean country—Tunisia!
I enjoyed the delicious local cuisine, which includes couscous, lamb, grilled seafood and lots of fresh veggies. Many of the dishes are prepared with olive oil— a staple in Mediterranean cooking. On my travels I learned about the process of turning olives into olive oil and sampled several different oils. They were light and pungent, and I bought a can of my favorite olive oil to enjoy when I got home. I’ve used it in some of these delicious Mediterranean recipes. Try them and taste Tunisia for yourself!
Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip – This roasted eggplant and feta dip gets a kick from a fresh chile pepper and cayenne pepper. Serve with toasted pita crisps or as a sandwich spread.
Tunisian Spiced Lamb Chops & Chard – A great complement for lamb, the bold dry rub in this recipe is a typical Tunisian combination of spices that includes cumin, caraway and crushed red pepper. Sautéed chard gets a twist with toasted pine nuts and sweet dates.
Tabbouleh with Grilled Vegetables – Grilled vegetables add a layer of rich, complex flavors to the popular Middle Eastern salad of bulgur and herbs. Serve with whole-wheat pita bread or use as a sandwich filling.
Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad – Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. Serve with warm, crusty bread or pack it in a pita for a sandwich. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.