What is the most important fat to use nearly 100% of the time while living the Mediterranean Lifestyle? Drum roll, please….It is:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the go-to fat in a Mediterranean Diet. I’ve cooked with EVOO for months now, using it to scramble eggs, to saute anything else, and to pan-fry meats to seal in the flavor. It works as well as any fat I’ve found, and it doesn’t turn brown like my other favorite, butter, does. A win-win, I’d say. (I do not cook at high heat when I’m using EVOO in my skillet, as it will smoke.)
Yes, yes, I know that Fats pack the most calories, can do harm to our hearts and our weight, and have been linked to almost every disease there is. Yet we need fats in our diet. Weight gain in America began when we started eating low-fat foods because the fat was replaced by sugar. White table sugar causes weight gain and triggers cravings. So when you add sugar to foods like salad dressing, sauces on fast food, super-size sodas, etc. your health goes downhill.
Back to EVOO. This is your go-to fat. It satisfies our hunger longer and is essential for brain health. EVOO is full of heart-healthy benefits, tastes good, and makes a wonderful base for salad dressings.
My Favorite Salad Dressing Recipe
Let’s start our Mediterranean Lifestyle recipe collection with my favorite salad dressing recipe. Feel free to experiment with different flavors of vinegar, and various herbs to suit your tastebuds.
Mix equal parts EVOO and vinegar together. (I like balsamic vinegar.) Use 4 ounces of each.
Add 3-6 drops of liquid stevia (you do not need a sweetener);
a T. of Herbes de Provence;
And shake well. (I use a clean glass jar with a lid. I do not store my salad dressing in plastic.)
The dressing keeps in the cabinet for a week-10 days, with no problems. I routinely do this. If you would prefer to make a smaller amount of dressing, simply cut the recipe ingredients in half.
You can easily vary this dressing by adding different spices, herbs, and vinegars. I often add a squirt of hot mustard, or another mustard, to a batch for a little kick. I like stevia for a hint of sweetness to cut the bite of the vinegar. (Stevia is from a plant and doesn’t count as added sugar.) Use this sweetener, or a T. or less of raw honey if you want your dressing just a tiny bit sweet.
Next week, we will discuss a healthy Mediterranean salad you can add different fruits and proteins to make delicious and complete meals. This keeps salads exciting and delicious to eat. This simple salad dressing works with any addition to your salad.
Feel free to share your Mediterranean recipes with me.
Oh, real quick. Just a reminder, I am hosting a speaker, Dr. Margie Williams, at a Mediterranean Lifestyle luncheon in my home on Wednesday, March 6, at 11:30. You should be receiving this the actual day of the luncheon. I hope you attend! Dr. Margie will be previewing her new talk she’ll be presenting in Ireland this May: A Mediterranean Lifestyle and Brain Health.
Excellent talk for moms of young children, and those of us who are aging and want to preserve our minds!
Have a healthy, blessed week!
Suzanne Bonner, Author
Thriving in God’s Love:
Seven Powerful Steps to Heal Body, Soul, and Spirit After Breast Cancer
“But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.” Psalm 52:8 (NLT)