Certainly, you’ve heard the saying “it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Well, in the case of the “Mediterranean diet,” that is certainly true—at least for the millions of people in countries like Greece and Italy whose eating habits were emulated to create this Western trend. The Mediterranean diet rests upon a few different pillars:
- Meals are based around plants—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, beans nuts, legumes, and seeds, flavored with plenty of herbs and spices.
- Stick to light proteins—especially fish and chicken.
- Limit your red meat consumption to three-ounce portions eaten sparingly.
- Drink plenty of water a day and enjoy a glass of wine(!) with dinner.
A big reason this diet is so popular is because of the health benefits. It can help stabilize your weight, reduce inflammation, and prevent disease in the long run. The other reason people love it? The Mediterranean Diet is easy to follow and delicious. There are so many ways to cook delicious meals under these guidelines. Want proof? We’ve crafted a full menu based on the Mediterranean Diet that is easy to make and will please the entire family. We’ve incorporated Texas Olive Ranch olive oils and balsamic vinegars to give each recipe an extra kick of flavor while still being healthy. Check it out:
Texas Olive Ranch Lemon Crisp Oven Roasted Broccoli
You won’t have any trouble getting the kids to eat this broccoli—tossed with toasted bread crumbs this side dish delivers the crunch of fried food, minus the fat. The pairing of Texas Olive Ranch Meyer Lemon Olive Oil with garlic is a tried and true combination that you’ll want to revisit again with your other favorite roasted vegetables.
-1 lb. broccoli, washed and cut into florets
-2 tbsp. Texas Olive Ranch Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
-¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
-1/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
-1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
-1/8 c. lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spread the whole wheat breadcrumbs into a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan and place into the oven for 2-3 minutes until the crumbs are lightly toasted.
Meanwhile, place the broccoli florets into a mixing bowl and toss with the Texas Olive Ranch Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Remove breadcrumbs from oven and toss with the broccoli mixture in the bowl. Return mixture to the pan and place back in the oven, roasting for about 8-10 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
Remove from the
Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss with cheese and lemon juice before serving.
Texas Olive Ranch Sweet Basil Pesto with Spaghetti
Yes—you CAN eat pasta and still be healthy! Today there are so many whole grain variations of your favorite pastas it’s easy to incorporate this starchy favorite into your menu guilt free. Our Texas Olive Ranch Sweet Basil Olive Oil was made to be served with pesto and brings a nice, fresh contrast to the chicken souvlaki recipe below.
-16 oz dry whole grain spaghetti (Trader Joe’s makes a great option with brown rice & quinoa)
-1/4 c. Texas Olive Ranch Sweet Basil Olive Oil
-3 tbsp. minced garlic
-1 c. cherub tomatoes, halved (optional)
-1/4 c. pre-made pesto
-Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Fill a pot 3/4s of the way with water and a pinch of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Toss in the spaghetti and cook until tender based on the pasta’s instructions. Once cooked, transfer to serving bowl while you prepare the pesto.
Add Texas Olive Ranch Sweet Basil Olive Oil to a saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, pesto, and tomatoes (if desired) and cook until warm, about 3-4 minutes. Pour the mixture over the spaghetti and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
Texas Olive Ranch Hill Country Herb Garden Roasted New Potatoes
A potato recipe as good as French Fries? We’re willing to place our bets on these scrumptious, flavor packed roasted new potatoes. Prepped with our Texas Olive Ranch Hill Country Herb Garden Olive Oil, these potatoes turn out super crispy on the outside and buttery soft on the inside.
-1 ½ lb baby red potatoes, washed and cut into halves or quarters
-2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
-2 tsp. onion powder
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. kosher salt
-1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
-1/4 c Texas Olive Ranch Hill Country Herb Garden Olive Oil
-Non-stick cooking spray
-1 tbsp. chopped parsley
-1/2 c finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and cover with non-stick spray liberally.
Spread halved & quartered potatoes on prepared pan and sprinkle Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle with Texas Olive Ranch Hill Country Herb Garden Olive Oil and toss with rubber spatula to evenly coat potatoes.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on pan and bake for 45 minutes, until crispy. Remove from oven and top with parsley and cheese before serving.
Texas Olive Ranch Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
Heat up the grill and get ready for a protein-packed main dish that will please every palette. These chicken souvlaki skewers are fun to eat for the kids and hearty enough for the adults. You can serve the sauce on the side if it’s a dipping kind of crowd, or top skewers over the Texas Olive Ranch Sweet Basil Pesto Spaghetti and drizzle the sauce over it for a gourmet-like presentation.
-1/4 c + 1 tbsp. Texas Olive Ranch Texas Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-1 ½ lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tbsp. lemon juice
-6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
-1/2 cucumber – peeled, seeded, and grated
-2 tsp. Texas Olive Ranch White Balsamic Vinegar
-Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
-1 lemon, sliced (optional)
-Wooden skewers- about 6-10- soaked in water for about 10-15 min
Combine 1/4 cup Texas Olive Ranch Texas Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 cloves of the minced garlic, lemon juice, and about ½ tsp. salt in a large plastic re-sealable bag. Add chicken pieces and shake to coat before squeezing out any excess air, sealing the bag, and placing in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to marinate.
To create the sauce, mix yogurt, cucumber, 1 tbsp. Texas Olive Ranch Texas Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 clove of the minced garlic, Texas Olive Ranch White Balsamic Vinegar, and a pinch of salt together and refrigerate for 1-2 hours while flavors meet.
Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high and lightly oil the grate. Once chicken is marinated and skewers are soaked, thread chicken onto skewers. Discard unused marinade.
Grill chicken skewers, turning frequently until slightly brown or charred on the outside and chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 8-10 minutes per side. Once all chicken is cooked, skewers can be served with sauce on the side or drizzled all over for a more festive presentation. Garnish with salt & pepper and serve with lemon slices if desired.
Texas Olive Ranch Garlic Roasted Zucchini
As you maybe have noticed, roasted vegetables are an easy way to incorporate more plant foods into your diet. It’s an easy way to cook plenty for the whole family, but even with similar preparation, you’re getting something different based on your vegetable of choice. The broccoli—crunchy; the potatoes—varied. This roasted zucchini recipe brings something different to the plate altogether. This tender, meaty backyard garden staple really rounds out the plate and helps make this meal a feast. Don’t leave it out!
-1 lb. zucchini, cut and quartered
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbsp. Texas Olive Ranch Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil
-Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
-1 tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, placing a rack at the highest elevation.
Toss zucchini, garlic, and Texas Olive Ranch Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil in a bowl and spread out onto a foil-lined roasting pan, skin of the zucchini faced down. Sprinkle with salt and place in oven.
Roast zucchini for about 8-15 min, or until brown and tender. Once cooked, remove from oven and place in serving dish. Garnish with salt, pepper, and thyme.