Egyptian lentils-recipe of Mediterranean diet
It is a well-known fact that the Mediterranean diet incorporates all the traditional healthy living habits of people from the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It includes lots of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, breads, fruits, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, as well as plenty of fish, poultry, and small amounts of red meat—and, in many countries, wine to drink with food. All food that falls under the general heading of
Mediterranean is fresh, unprocessed, unrefined, and usually low in saturated and trans fats. The Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the healthiest ways of eating, with statistics of heart disease and obesity generally recorded as being much lower in those countries where this sort of regime is followed, when compared to other more northern countries. Recent news that eating a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy might ward off childhood allergies and asthma just adds to the list of studies suggesting this style of eating has a lot to offer. Living longer and having lower risks of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and possibly birth defects have all been linked to eating a Mediterranean diet.
Of course, there is no one “Mediterranean” diet. There are twenty-one countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Diets vary between these countries and also between regions within a country. Many differences in culture, ethnic background, religion, economy, and agricultural production result in different diets.
But the common Mediterranean dietary pattern has these characteristics:
• high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other whole grains, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds
• olive oil as an important monounsaturated fat source • dairy products, fish, and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat
• eggs consumed up to four times a week
• wine consumed in low to moderate amounts
Mediterranean food is not just really good for you, it is also really delicious to eat and pretty to look at. It encompasses the culinary traditions and cultures of all the countries that border the Mediterranean waters. This is convivial food that suits the climate and the pace of life, consisting largely of lots of little dishes made out of tantalizing and delicious local specialties—from grilled fish to delicate filled pastries, tasty stews, and fresh produce combined into salads. This is food that will enliven even the most jaded palate, where the key is always variety to satisfy even the hungriest diner.
- 1 cup brown lentils presoaked
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
- 1 cup small macaroni
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 fresh red chile peppers chopped
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce or puréed canned tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- Place lentils in a pan and cover generously with cold water (there should be about 2 inches of water lying on top of the lentils)
- Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes or until tender.
- Drain lentils and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add rice, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff cooked rice with a fork, and add to the lentils.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook until tender.
- Drain and add to the lentils and rice.
- Put half the olive oil in a small skillet with the chopped chiles.
- Fry together for about 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce and vinegar and stir together for 2 or 3 minutes more.
- Set aside until required.
- In another skillet, heat the remaining oil and fry the onions until golden.
- Garnish the lentil mixture with the onions and pour the tomato and vinegar sauce over the top to serve at once.