Recipes for the Aegean Diet.
Here are some great recipes for anyone interested in following the Aegean diet. You can adjust the flavors and seasonings in any and all of them to make it more to your own specific taste. Also, depending on allergies or aversions, feel free to leave out or substitute other ingredients found within the Aegean range of flavors. For example, I cannot eat black olives because they trigger migranes, so I tend to leave them out of recipes or replace them with extra tomatoes or peppers.
One of our favorite dishes to eat is Lamb Aegean. Here is the recipe:
-roughly one pound of boneless lamb
-1 leek, chopped
-1 teaspoon of lemon rind that has been grated
1 tablespoon of lemon juice, fresh squeezed if possible
-a cup of white wine
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
-1/2 of a cup of sliced olives
-3 cups of long-grain rice
-also add coriander, cumin, red pepper powder, and salt according to taste.
Chop the lamb into cube pieces and add them to a non-stick skillet. You should add the leek at the same time and cook until the lamb has browned on all sides. Then, drain the fat. Next add wine and all other ingredients except for the tomatoes and olives, which are added at the end. Bring the mixture up to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the dish and let it stay that way for up to 20 minutes or until your lamb is very tender. Finally, add in the tomatoes and olives and let them heat a little in the mixture before serving. This recipe generally feeds about 4 people.
Another of our favorites is Lamb Stew:
-1 pound of lamb, chopped
-3 medium (or 2 large) potatoes, chopped
-1 medium sized onion, chopped
-2 pieces of celery, chopped
-1 small bell pepper, cut into chunks or slices
-1-2 teaspoons of salt according to taste
-pepper, according to taste
-2 tablespoons of parsley, freshly chopped or dried
-3-4 tablespoons of water blended with 1-2 tablespoons of flour
-Optional ingredients: several small carrots, diced rutabaga, or canned tomatoes
Chop the lamb into ½ inch to 1 inch pieces and place in a pot or deep pan. If you have lamb chops, you may include the bones. Add just enough water to cover the lamb, usually about 1 and ½ cups or so. Cover your pot or pan and simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes. Do not boil! After 45 minutes, add the vegetables and salt and cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the vegetable and meat mixture seems tender then remove from heat. At this point you should remove any of the bones you may have included earlier. Add the water/flour mixture (you may add a bit more water or flour depending on how thick you wish to make your stew). Place the mixture back on the stove and continue cooking until the mixture thickens. Last, add the parsley and extra salt if needed. Enjoy! This stew generally serves about 4 people.
Another very popular one in our house is Pasta Salad:
-approx. 12 ounces of your favorite small pasta
- ½ of a cup of olive oil, I highly recommend extra virgin
- ¼ of a cup of balsamic or red wine vinegar (depending on preference)
- ½ a cup of chopped olives
- ¼ of a cup of chopped parsley ( you can add less or more depending on how much you like parsley)
-2 cups of chopped tomatoes, I recommend cherry or grape tomatoes, but larger ones are fine
- 1 cup of shrimp. *You can substitute this with chicken or salmon if, like in my house, someone has an allergy to shrimp.
-8-10 ounces of Feta cheese, crumbled
-salt and pepper to taste
*optional ingredient: Pine nuts about ½ of a cup
Cook the pasta until it is tender yet still firm. Drain it and run it under some cold water and drain again.
Place the pasta into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the olive oil, the vinegar, and the lemon zest. (To switch up the flavors, you can leave out the zest and add a tablespoon or 2 of mustard (Dijon is our favorite).) Pour this mixture over the pasta and toss it gently to coat it fully. Add in the parsley and the olives and stir. Next add the feta, the tomatoes and the shrimp (or chicken or salmon). It’s ready to serve. It can also be refrigerated and served cold.
This is a great salad alternative, though it does break the rules a little on combining protein and carbohydrates.
These are three recipes that I cook quite often and are a great favorite in our household. Feel free to adjust where you deem necessary. I will often add or subtract things depending on mood or to avoid food allergies. Remember that there are literally hundreds of recipes available and you will never get bored with food on this type of diet.