By now, you’ve likely heard about the Mediterranean Diet. You may have heard it’s good for you, can help you manage your weight and even allows you to enjoy some red wine. But is it true? Can you really enjoy yummy foods and still look and feel great? The answer is – ABSOLUTELY!
The Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle change that helps decrease your risk of cardiovascular events in the future. Research has shown that people who incorporate plenty of produce, fish, whole grains and healthy fats not only weigh less, but also have a decreased risk for heart disease, depression, and dementia.
Because the Mediterranean diet should be a lifestyle choice, it involves the daily consumption of a variety of fruit, vegetables, vegetarian proteins (beans, nuts, legumes), moderate amounts of whole grains (whole wheat breads and pasta, brown rice) and small amounts of red meat. It is important to avoid processed and pre-packaged foods and meals, as they may provide excess fat, sodium and preservatives.
Here is an easy recipe I enjoy making for my family. The leftovers are great for lunch the next day! Feel free to add olives, peppers or any other vegetables of your choosing!
SALMON NICOISE SALAD
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from one lemon
- 1.5 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- pinch of kosher salt
- ground pepper
Wisk the following ingredients together:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- pinch of salt
- pepper to taste
- Salmon filets (I use ¾ pounds for 3 -4 servings but make a pound if I want more leftovers)
- ¾ lb fingerling potatoes, boiled
- large handful green beans, steamed
- 4 eggs – hard boiled and cut into quarters
- baby spring mix
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Marinate the salmon for 10-30 minutes.
- Bake the salmon for 20 minutes (or until desired doneness) on a foil lined pan with marinade poured over the top. The salmon should be cooked through so it can be flaked apart into the salad.
- Assemble the salad with the baby spring mix on the bottom and the eggs (quartered), green beans, potatoes and flaked salmon on top.
You can dress the entire salad with the vinaigrette or serve the salad and dress after. I reserve portions of spring mix, potatoes, egg, green beans and salmon to assemble in a Tupperware when cool for lunch the next day, and reserve a portion of the vinaigrette in a separate container.
Check out our other heart-healthy recipe ideas!
To discuss your risk factors for heart disease and to learn more ways to help prevent heart disease, please schedule an appointment with the Emory Women’s Heart Center by clicking here or calling HealthConnection at 404-778-7777.
About Dr. Cutchins
Alexis Cutchins, MD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Cutchins completed medical school at Emory University School of Medicine before going to New York Presbyterian Hospital for her Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine. She completed an NIH-supported research fellowship in vascular biology and a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the University of Virginia in 2012. She has a special interest in heart disease in women in addition to heart disease prevention and risk reduction in cardiology patients.
Dr. Cutchins has published several different articles on adipose tissue distribution and obesity in journals such as Circulation Research, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and Stroke and has a special interest in the effects of adipose tissue distribution on the heart.
Dr. Cutchins is board certified in Internal Medicine (2007) and Cardiovascular Diseases (2012). She is a member of several professional organizations including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Cutchins sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Emory Saint Joseph’s.
She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, their three daughters and their dog. She loves to cook and ride horses.