One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to getting their diets in check is jumping on the latest fad bandwagon in an effort to find that magic bullet for weight loss---especially this time of year! In an effort to kick-start their resolutions, people tend to go on highly restrictive diets without researching whether or not the plan is sustainable—or even healthy for that matter. The bottom line is that there is no “quick fix” to a healthy lifestyle. You have to put in the work—and you have to make it work for you.
That’s why it’s no surprise that US News and World Report named the Mediterranean Diet the best diet for 2019 (and 2018—but who’s counting). According to this article on Popsugar.com, the diet has stood the test of time because not only has it been proven to aid in weight lose, but it can help boost brain health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and it’s really easy to follow. Characterized by a combination of healthy fats, fruits, whole grains, fish, fruit, legumes, and low starch vegetables, it is low in sugar, red meat and refined starches.
“It is one of the most researched diets out there,” says HEB Culinary Nutritionist Charlotte Samuel. who is a big proponent of this way of eating. “It focuses on high quality foods in the right quantities, and teaches people how to eat real food in the real world instead of being just a collection of recipes.”
Here is one of Charlotte’s favorite Mediterranean Diet approved recipes, the Spicy Basil Buddha Bowl. See what you think!
Cook Time Minutes: 35
Prep Time Minutes: 10
12 Oz Broccoli Florets
2 cups kale, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, rough chop
1/4 cup(s) olive oil
2 Tbsp Everything Bagel Spice
1 each lemon juiced and zested
1 1/2 Lb Ground Chicken or any protein you prefer
8 4/5 Oz White and Red Quinoa, cooked in microwave according to package directions
1 Tbsp Honey, optional
1 Avocado, diced
2 Tbsp Cashews, crushed or other nut
1/4 cup(s) chopped basil
Preheat the oven to 400 and line a pan with foil.
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, kale, bell pepper, and onion. Set aside.
In a small bowl or resealable jar, combine lemon zest, olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of the Everything bagel spice, 1 tablespoon Basil Jalapeno Pesto mix well. Drizzle half of the mixture over vegetables and toss to coat.
Transfer seasoned veggies to sheet pan and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 30 minutes or until well browned.
Meanwhile, lightly spray a nonstick pan with nonstick spray and heat over high heat. Add in the ground chicken, season with remaining Bagel spice. Cook for several minutes, breaking apart as you cook, until browned and no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
To create your vinaigrette, Add the honey, lemon juice, and remaining basil jalapeno to the half of the veggie marinade and mix well.
To build bowl, place the heated grains on the bottom of the bowl, top with roasted veggies, cooked chicken, and diced avocado. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top of the bowl and garnish with cashews and a pinch of bagel spice if desired.
Chef's Note: Bowls can be built in resealable containers and stored for lunches or dinner later in the week.