The Mediterranean diet has been getting a lot of attention of late. It is said to have a whole host of benefits, including preventing stroke, heart attack, and even premature death. The most stunning aspect of it all is that the diet includes lots of fat. How is that even possible? Read on, to find out.
Where is the Mediterranean Diet Followed?
In theory, it refers to the diet followed by the countries adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. That covers 22 countries from 3 continents – Asia, Europe, and Africa. Each of these countries has a very distinct diet, culture, and religion – meaning that in reality, one overarching ‘Mediterranean’ diet cannot exist. But, for all practical purposes, it refers to the diet specific to Italy and Greece.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
The diet consists of fresh and wholesome foods. It includes local vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seafood, dairy, olive oil, and wine.
Why is the Diet Such a Hit?
The Mediterranean diet has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, even increasing life expectancy. One of the prime reasons for such benefits is eating loads of fresh veggies, lean meat (fish), and wine. To top it all, consuming lots of olive oil helps immensely. Being an unsaturated fat, it provides your body with good cholesterol, which helps lower its unhealthy counterpart substantially.
Why Combine the Mediterranean Diet With the Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot reduces cooking time so much that you can easily find the time to cook healthy. Plus, you can set the time and forget about it- easing the stress on your day. The best part, of course, is that it retains more nutrients and flavor than any other way of cooking.
If you’re looking to get an Instant Pot, but are confused as to which model to opt for, check out this review and find which electric pressure cooker is better. While you check out the difference, you could also browse the 1000+ lip-smacking, Instant Pot recipes on corriecooks.com too.
So, let’s get started with some great Mediterranean recipes for your Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Spicy Black Bean Soup
This Instant Pot Spicy Black Bean Soup is wholesome comfort food that’s convenient too. It needs just 10 minutes of prep time, and you can be doing just about anything for the 30-minute cook time. Even better, there’s just one pot to wash!
1 red onion, diced finely
2 celery ribs, diced finely
½ red bell pepper, diced finely
4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced finely
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp chili powder
1 – 2 tsp cumin, ground
½ tsp pepper, ground
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
2 cups water
2 cups black beans, dried, rinsed well
10 oz canned tomatoes
Green chili, diced, as per your taste
Put the Instant Pot into Saute mode, and put in the celery, onions, and bell pepper, along with a little bit of water/broth so it doesn’t stick.
Stir well, and throw in the spices as well as garlic and let it simmer, till the aromas are released – around 20 seconds.
Stop the cooking, and pour in the water as well as the broth. Then add the rinsed, dried black beans and chilies. Stir well.
Put in the canned tomatoes on the top, and do not stir.
Seal the lid, and cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.
Once done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and then quickly let off the remaining steam.
Take a couple of cups of the soup, and mix in the blender until the texture is smooth. Pour it back in, and stir.
Garnish with any topping you like – cilantro/green onions/lime wedges, and serve hot with a smile.
Instant Pot Garlic Hummus
Hummus is perhaps the healthiest, tastiest dip on the planet. While the exact origin is still up for debate, it’s extremely popular all over the Mediterranean and is now charming the whole wide world too.
1 cup dried chickpeas
2 bay leaves
1 garlic whole head, crushed
1 onion, halved
1 tsp salt (1 ½ tsp if the chickpeas are unsoaked)
4 cups water
1 tsp cumin, ground
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup tahini
2 lemons, juiced fresh
If you have the time, soak chickpeas overnight (10 – 14 hrs) with 1 tablespoon of salt.
Rinse the chickpeas well, and drain.
Put the chickpeas, whole garlic, bay leaves, and onion into the Instant Pot. Add the correct amount (1 or 1 ½ tsp) of salt too.
Pour in the water, mix and cook under high pressure for:
60 minutes (Unsoaked)
15 minutes (Soaked)
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, and then release any remaining pressure quickly.
While the pressure is slowly venting, soak the remaining garlic cloves and lemon juice inside a blender.
Drain the chickpeas and garlic, storing the water in a bowl. Throw away the bay leaves and onion.
Add the chickpeas, ¾ cup chickpeas water, garlic, and cumin into the blender. Blend till smooth.
Empty the blender into a large bowl, and mix in the tahini.
Adjust the seasoning, spray some extra virgin olive oil, and garnish with herbs/spices of your choice.
Instant Pot Artichokes and Mediterranean Aioli
Artichokes are incredibly loaded with antioxidants, and this recipe comes with an aioli that’s pumped with Mediterannean flavor.
For Steamed Artichokes
1 cup vegetable broth
3 artichokes, medium-sized, stems cut off
For Mediterranean Aioli
5 garlic cloves
2 tbs rosemary and oregano, fresh, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
1 cumin pinch
½ tsp dried coriander, ground
1 tbs mustard/honey mustard
½ – ⅔ cup olive oil
2 egg yolks (Use 1-2 tbs mustard/yogurt/vegan mayonnaise if you don’t eat eggs)
2 tsp lemon juice
Pepper and salt, as per your taste
1 tbs greek yogurt if you want to make it thicker
Place a trivet inside the Instant Pot, and put the artichokes upside down on it.
Pour the broth over the artichokes
Seal the lid, and cook under high pressure for 10 – 15 minutes. (10 for small sizes, 15 for large.)
Release the pressure quickly when done.
Cut the artichokes in 2 (scoop out the center if you wish), and plate, sprinkling a bit of broth on them.
Blend all the ingredients for the aioli (except the oil) together. Run for a minute, until smooth and creamy.
Pour in the oil slowly, while blending on high. Run for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally.
Put in a bowl, and allow it to set by placing in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
Garnish with herbs and spices of your choice.
Place the bowl beside the artichokes, and serve.
Well, if you’re on the lookout for a healthy diet, we suggest you pair it up with a healthy cooking device too. The Instant Pot is a pimped up version of the good old pressure cooker and comes with a whole bunch of features that make your life massively easier. Have you tried the Instant Pot yet?