Mediterranean Pilaf Recipe

Did you know May is Mediterranean Diet Month?  The Mediterranean Diet associated with many health benefits, including lengthening your life, preventing certain cancers and improving brain function!  Characteristics of this diet include:

  1. Eating lots of vegetables, including at least one plant-based meal per week
  2. Serving smaller portions of meat overall and having at least 2 servings of seafood per week
  3. Sticking to good fats, such as high quality extra virgin olive oil
Do you think this is a program you could get on board with?  For a great visual of the plan, check out the Mediterranean Food Pyramid from the sponsor of this event, Oldways and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance.

The goal of this event is to generate awareness of the delicious foods and wide-ranging health benefits associated with the Mediterranean Diet and its vibrant lifestyle.  The Oldways website provides great resources about the Mediterranean Diet, including recipes.  I’ve been having a blast testing them out and tweaking them so I can continue my efforts to Eat Like a Champ.  Here is one that has become a new favorite in my house:

Mediterranean Pilaf

MediterraneanPilaf

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable of broth
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions:
  1. Bring 1 cup water and the veggie broth to a boil in a saucepan over high heat
  2. Add the rice, cover, and simmer over medium / low heat for about 30 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed
  3. While rice is cooking, place lentils in a different saucepan with 1.5 cups of water over medium heat and cover
  4. Let the lentils simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Drain lentils and allow them to cool
  6. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice and lentils.
  7. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and garlic in a small bowl
  8. Pour the dressing over the lentils and rice in the big bowl
  9. Add the green onions and cherry tomatoes
  10. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours
  11. Just before serving, add the arugula and crumbled feta cheese and gently stir it all together

This pilaf is hearty enough as a vegetarian main dish or can be served with grilled chicken.  The zesty homemade dressing will make this a healthy addition to upcoming summer BBQs.

Question for you:  What is your favorite Mediterranean meal?  Please share in the comments – I’d love to get your recipe and include it on the blog!

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