Healthy food doesn't have to be boring and bland. Look to the Mediterranean for innovative, fresh, and nutritious ideas. In Against the Grain, award-winning cookbook author Diane Kochilas offers up a collection of satisfying, good-for-you recipes inspired by the exotic dishes of the Mediterranean.
Whether you're trying to lose weight or simply improve you're eating habits, sticking to a good carb diet is a great idea. The Mediterranean diet isn't all breads, grains, and pasta -- it includes plenty of fish, chicken, lamb, vegetables, and fruits. Against the Grain includes recipes for everything from light bites, such as tapas, soups, and salads, to hearty entrees and sides. The ingredient lists are supermarket-friendly and prep time is minimal, so busy home cooks can whip up healthy meals in minutes, every night of the week.
In addition to classics like Fresh Tomato Soup with Moroccan Spices, Chicken Cacciatore, and Pan-Seared Shrimp with Romesco Sauce, there are innovative, exotic new dishes like Grilled Skewered Lamb with Mint and Garlic Pesto, Pork Medallions Marinated with Olives and Orange, and Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Soufflé.
One of the basic principles of the Mediterranean lifestyle is that everything should be enjoyed in moderation. In Against the Grain, no foods are forbidden or totally off limits. Instead, you'll find formerly "sinful" ingredients like rich cheeses, potatoes, rice, fragrant nuts and oils, and wine incorporated into savory meals. Yes, the recipes are healthy and nutritious, but, more important, the dishes in Against the Grain are hearty, satisfying, and flavorful.
By combining weight-loss tenets of the South Beach Diet with the touted health benefits of the Mediterranean way of eating, Kochilas (Meze; The Glorious Foods of Greece) brings flavorful, nourishing, low-calorie foods to the dieter's home kitchen. The success of the collection's dishes lies in the use of whole grains rather than processed white flour, copious use of vegetables and a sensible "nothing-in-excess" approach. Kochilas advocates easygoing meals made with fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients, and encourages use of herbs and spices to add flavor without calories. She recommends generous use of heart-friendly and delicious olive oil, the "liquid gold" of the Mediterranean. Home cooks will easily master Kochilas's easy, precise recipes, which include Asparagus, Basil, and Tomato Frittata; Roasted Red Pepper Hummus; Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken Breasts; and Spicy Lamb Kebabs. Her combination of good-carb dieting with the richness of the Mediterranean table is bound to bring some much needed joie de vivre to low-carb dining.