The Best Apps for Discovering Mediterranean Cuisine: 5 delectable, heart-healthy tools to keep you vigorous for life

Guest Post

Today’s Guest Blogger is Jane Johnson. Jane is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news and commentary as well as reviews on everything from used cell phones to the latest 4G Tablets.

If you’re looking hoping to lose a little weight while adopting a lifelong, heart-healthy diet, the Mediterranean diet is ideal. Research proves that a traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death, as well as its ability to help prevent cancer and the onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Those who live in the Mediterranean have incorporated the ideal balance of healthy eating—a diet consisting largely of seafood, fresh vegetables, lean proteins, filling chickpeas, flavorful yogurts, plus a  hearty dash olive oil and even a daily glass of red wine (rich in antioxidants, of course)!

For those new to the Mediterranean diet or those who want to expand their recipe books—here are the best apps for discovering the delicious flavors of Mediterranean cuisine…

1. Mediterranean Cuisine Recipes ($0.99 – for iPhone)

The Mediterranean Cuisine Recipes app serves up a delectable collection of traditional Mediterranean favorites, including include cucumber and yogurt salad, tabbouleh, hummus, Greek salad, lamb or chicken shawarma, assorted meat kabobs, falafel, and baklava…oh my! Each recipe is accompanied by a full list of ingredients, cooking directions, nutritional information, and mouth-watering pictures. Plus, the app offers a huge recipe database that’s easy to search according to meal (i.e., appetizer, entrée, dessert) or ingredient. On top of that, this recipe data base is constantly updated with new Mediterranean delights on a regular basis. Sample and bookmark your favorites and even submit your own.

2. Mediterranean Recipes (Free – for Android)

Many folks don’t realize that Mediterranean cuisine encompasses the flavorful tastes of Greece, Southern Italy, Spain, Turkey, and parts of Portugal as well. Sample them all with the Mediterranean Recipes app—featuring over 30 step-by-step recipes complete with stunning photos and an interactive grocery shopping list too! You will even get both metric and U.S. Imperial measurements so you don’t have to worry about downloading an extra conversion tool. Browse the many delectable recipes by region, ingredient, or meal type and treat your family to the fresh and flavorful way of eating. They won’t even realize they are eating something really, really good for them.

3. All Natural Food Finder (Free – for iPhone)

If you’re a fan of Mediterranean foods, you’ve probably heard of Tribe Mediterranean Foods, the makers of products like pre-packaged Hummus and Tzatziki.  Well now the company is taking interest in customer wellbeing with the All Natural Food Finder app, a tool to help consumers find natural foods stores and farmers’ markets near them via their smart phone. This app uses the GPS navigation in your phone to detect natural food stores and markets nearest to your current location. The app also features Tribe’s own recipes, recommended shopping lists, and more reason to eat a healthy meal—regardless of where you are!

4. iCooking Greek ($0.99 – for Android)

Are you ready to savor the Greek islands and every delicious morsel they have to offer? The iCooking Greek app can take you there in a matter of a meal with 50 of the most delicious, simple to prepare recipes from the cliffs of Santorini to the shores of Mykonos. Sample mouthwatering squid or succulent eggplant dishes to die for. This app contains everything you’ll need—including grocery lists of ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions—to whisk your loved ones on a trip of delectable, health-inspired discovery!

5. Mediterranean Diet Planner & Calorie BMI Calculator ($0.99 – for iPhone)

If you’re thinking of losing some excess weight, but want to do it in the healthiest way possible, the Mediterranean diet offers a lifestyle meal plan that concentrates on heart-healthy foods that will trim your waist line and peak your taste buds. The Mediterranean Diet Planner & BMI Calculator features daily menus jam-packed with flavorful meals that offer the exact calories and nutrients needed to keep you energized and healthy.  Simply customize the tool to your goals by entering your current age, height, gender, and daily exercise level. Plus, you can use this app anywhere as there’s no internet connection required.

 


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It’s okay to feed your child fast food at _______ years old!!

Healthy Living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moms always try to give their children the best, beginning in the womb. We eat healthier; we give up certain cheeses and luncheon meat, and who can forget giving up spicy tuna crunch rolls?? Yes, I gave up SUSHI for 37 weeks and definitely feel like I deserve a blue ribbon for that!!

It continues…Once your child is born, many moms, including myself, try breastfeeding since it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is “supposedly” healthier for your child.  But, what about moms like me who cannot continue breastfeeding for health reasons or moms who simply do not want to breastfeed.  Does that make us bad moms??

It continues…Once your child hits 4 to 6 months, they need some “real” food. Some moms go the extra-mile and make homemade baby food. I mean who would feed their child from a jar? (j/k). Although I make about 75% of Jude’s baby food, I purchase organic baby food jars for the remainder. Do you know how many dirty looks I get when I open a jar in front of other moms??  As if giving my son jarred baby food makes me a shitty mom even though my jar contains ORGANIC food, and most likely they are giving their child homemade baby food with a bunch of pesticides in a plastic container that is probably NOT BPA free!!J So which mom is doing what is best??

It continues…Once your child hits a year old, you say no fast-food and no ordering from the children’s menu at a restaurant since most restaurants offer children low-quality options such as chicken fingers, buttered pasta, pizza, or a burger.  Is that okay to say no though and when is it okay to actually say YES?

When it comes to nutrition for our children, we try so hard early on, but then somehow by the third grade almost every child has had a Happy Meal or chicken fingers and fries at the local-chained restaurant. It’s almost like a rite-of-passage.

So my question for all the moms (and dads) out there is not do you feed your child fast food, but rather at what age is it okay to feed your child fast food or off of the children’s menu? When do we stop caring about what is going into the mouths of our children??

 


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Mediterranean Rice Pudding

Dessert, Recipe

When I researched rice pudding, I found that it is made in nearly EVERY country  in the world in some variety. I also discovered that a recipe can vary greatly between people in the same country. Rice pudding was one of my late father’s favorite dishes, and whenever I make it, I am reminded of my dad which makes it extra special for me. :-)

Rice pudding is made from rice and is usually mixed with water or milk. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener.  Rice pudding can be boiled or baked, and it can be thick like a pudding or thin like a drink.

Below is a list of the most common ingredients of rice pudding across the world:

  1. rice (all types- long-grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine, etc)
  2. milk (usually a thick milk such as whole, heavy cream or evaporated, etc)
  3. spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, etc)
  4. flavorings (orange blossom water, vanilla, almond, orange, lemon, etc)
  5. sweetener (sugar, honey, brown sugar, etc)

In the US, most rice pudding recipes are based on European immigrants; but more recently, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American recipes have become more popular.  Below is my Mediterranean Read the rest of this entry »


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Pomegranate Molasses Recipe

Recipe, Spice

 

After last week’s post on Muhammara, I received a lot of questions about pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses is made by boiling down pomegranate juice to a tart variety, and it is used in many Mediterranean meals including dips, meats and salads. Pomegranate molasses can be puchased in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery stores and can be found in Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets.

You can also make it on your own using the recipe below. I prefer to make it on my own because I can determine the sweetness of the molasses.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Read the rest of this entry »


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Muhammara or Fire Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Dip, Recipe, Vegetarian

Muhammara is a popular Mediterranean dip that originates from Aleppo, Syria and is eaten by people all over the Mediterranean region. Muhammara means “reddened” in Arabic. The main ingredients are fresh red peppers, walnuts and breadcrumbs. The walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and make it “heart healthy”. Muhammara is eaten as a dip with bread, as a spread for toast and as a sauce for kebobs, grilled meats and fish. You can garnish it with fresh mint (as pictured). My favorite is to spread it on pita bread.

Ingredients:

  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • 6 ounces walnuts, crushed or whole
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes or red chili powder
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mint, to garnish
  • pita bread, crackers (optional) Read the rest of this entry »

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