When you’re pregnant, you begin to be more intentional about the way you eat. If you’re searching the internet for healthy recipes, and I know you are, it can be hard to figure out which ones may be best for you. This new four-part video series breaks down four popular healthy diets – the Whole30, Mediterranean, Paleo, and Keto diets. They stem from different philosophies about food. All are healthy, but they differ from each other – no dairy with Whole30, no beans with Paleo, almost no fruit with Keto.
So far we’ve talked about the Whole30 diet with my daughter, Alessandra. You can watch that video right here. This week we’re talking about the Mediterranean diet. Next up will be Paleo and Keto diets. At the end of today’s video, I show you a simple, delicious recipe for a pasta salad that is perfect for summer gatherings.
Interest in the Mediterranean diet started in the 1960s when scientists observed that people who lived in countries around the Mediterranean Sea seemed healthier than most people and experienced lower rates of heart disease. Their secret? A largely plant-based diet, with seafood, olive oil, and whole grains mixed in.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plants, so it focuses on vegetables and fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, or canned. Just make sure that any canned fruit is not packed in syrup. Healthy fats like olive oil are used for cooking and flavoring rather than canola oil or butter. Fish (especially fatty fish like salmon) and poultry are the meat mainstays. Eggs, beans, nuts, and dairy are allowed, with occasional red meat.
Watch the video for examples of Mediterranean-friendly foods that you can incorporate into your diet to have a healthy pregnancy.
The recipe for the pasta salad is listed below.
- 8 ounces cooked orecchiette pasta
- 4 ounces cooked pancetta (baked, microwaved, or pan-fried)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 sliced green onions
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups diced melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, Tuscan melon, etc)
- 1-2 ounces shaved Ricotta Salata or crumbled feta cheese
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
Place the cooked and drained pasta in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and gently stir. Add salt and pepper last after tasting.
This salad is great at room temperature or refrigerated. A little chewy, a little sweet, a little salty – my favorite combination of flavors!