Ready to enjoy a way of eating that is great tasting and good for you? Then the simple, delicious and satisfying Mediterranean way of eating may be right for you.
Created by N.C. State Extension and the Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, MedInsteadofMeds.com is filled with recipes and resources that make Med Month a great time of year to start eating the Med way.
The Med way reﬂects a way of eating that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea and includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil and limits highly processed foods and added sugar. This approach to eating has been extensively studied and is associated with promoting health and decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases including some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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The following story appears in the Aug. 2020 edition of Thrive magazine. If you would like to read more articles and view more photos like this, please pick up a copy of the magazine at various locations through out the county, or call the circulation department at (336) 626-6141 to subscribe so issues will be mailed to your home.
As such, the Mediterranean way of eating is recommended around the world, including in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
In 2019, the Mediterranean diet won the gold as 2019’s best overall diet in rankings announced recently by US News and World Report. The analysis of 41 eating plans also gave the Mediterranean diet the top spot in several subcategories: best diet for healthy eating, best plant-based diet, best diet for diabetes and easiest diet to follow.
Fortunately, the Med Instead of Meds program isn’t all about pasta and olive oil (although there’s nothing wrong with those tasty ingredients!) The program also lends itself to creative and delicious uses for much of the fresh harvest available in fall.
Wild mushrooms and barley risotto
Barley is a great grain with lots of nutty flavor and a nice bite. We often see barley in soup, but it can be used for many dishes. This risotto takes advantage of this grain’s great taste and creamy texture when cooked using this method. Risotto is often thought of as a dish made with rice, but it is actually a cooking method. It seems hard at first, but it is not difficult. Just get a glass of your favorite beverage, stand and stir and contemplate life for a few minutes. The extra effort is worth the trouble. This dish is a great example of adding lots of vegetables in a grain dish to decrease calories and boost fiber.
6 cups mushroom, vegetable, or chicken broth
1½ cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced onion
½ cup red wine
3 cups sliced or coarse chopped mushrooms, any variety or combination
1½ cups uncooked barley, rinsed (do not use quick cooking)
6 cups baby spinach or Swiss chard (chopped)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese (omit to…