by Holladay Allen
Native Foods Cafe
The Mediterranean diet has long been heralded as wonderful means to health and longevity. So much so that Wikipedia refers to is as “a modern nutritional recommendation.” So what exactly comprises the Mediterranean diet? Well the staples are:
- olive oil
Then pepper in some fish, a bit of dairy, a glass or two of wine and meat in small amounts. So pretty much a vegan diet…. with small amounts of non-vegan foods. This diet is based on the traditional diets of Italy, Greece and Spain…. and Morocco too. And of course, there is a nice amount of exercise worked in there too. And I’m not talking going to the gym and doing an hour of intense physical activity on a machine… but rather walking instead of driving, swimming and other mild, “regular” everyday activities.
Here is the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Chart I found on One Green Planet:
So you know someone did a study to measure the effects of this: A 10-year study found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet and healthful lifestyle was associated with more than a 50% lowering of early death rates. A 5-year study of 7,447 people reported that the Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of heart disease in people at high risk by "about 30 percent" when compared with individuals on just a low fat diet. (Wikipedia) Wow, that is pretty impressive! And imagine the increased positive results if you eliminated the meat, dairy and fish. And it isn’t really that hard. For instance, when I think Mediterranean diet, I imagine sitting in Greece eating delicious tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh baked bread, maybe some hummus… and I know a lot of folks would be envisioning feta cheese thrown in that mix. And guess what? It is super easy to make vegan feta…. Yes! Vegan feta!
Herbed Vegan Feta
1 pk firm tofu (not silken, I love Wildwood)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Crumble tofu in to small pieces and place in bowl. (Sometimes I let the tofu sit in a some vinegar or lemon juice for a few hours, then drain and add the marinade.... I think it helps curdle it a bit more... for a cheesy effect... and sometimes I just marinate it with the dressing below. Depends on my mood.)
Place remainder of ingredients in blender and buzz. Add more salt, pepper and oregano if needed. Pour over tofu and let marinate at least overnight…. But the longer the better! Should keep nicely for up to 2 weeks.
Update: A guest shared with us an article by Dr. Dean Ornish that refutes some of the findings in the study mentioned on Wikipedia. Here is the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-dean-ornish/mediterranean-diet_b_2755940.html
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