WE are constantly being told that eating a Mediterranean diet is good for our health.
Lots of us have happy memories of eating amazing meals on holidays around Europe.
Mediterranean diet is known for its health benefits so why not stick to it all year round?
But often, when we come home we go back to the recipes we’ve been making for years.
Here are three recipes, traditionally from Greece, Spain and France, that you can try for yourself.
They are healthy, tasty and perfect served up at a barbecue.
Follow Mrs Crunch’s simple recipes to keep that summer glow right through winter
Spanish Gazpacho Soup – 56p per serving
Spanish Gazpacho Soup goes down well any time of the year
SERVES six. Preparation time: 20 mins. Cooking time: 5 mins.
One serving contains 112 cals (five per cent of recommended adult daily intake), 8.2g fat ( 11 per cent), 1.2g saturated fat ( six per cent), 6.3g sugar (seven per cent), trace salt.
700g firm red ripe tomatoes
10cm piece of cucumber, peeled and chopped
3 spring onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ large red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 heaped tsp fresh chopped basil
4 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp whitewine vinegar
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the garnish:
½ large red or green pepper, deseeded and very finely chopped
10cm piece of cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 heaped tbspfresh chopped parsley
salt and freshly milled black pepper
METHOD: Begin by placing the tomatoes in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. After a minute or two the skins will loosen and slip off very easily.
Halve the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the seeds and roughly chop the flesh.
Put the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, crushed garlic and chopped pepper in a liquidiser, adding salt and pepper, the herbs, oil and wine vinegar. Or use a hand blender.
Blend until totally smooth. Pour the soup into a bowl. Stir in a little cold water to thin it if necessary – about 150-250ml. Cover and chill thoroughly.
Serve the soup with an ice cube in each bowl.
Serve the garnishes in separate dishes so diners can choose what they want in their soup at the table.
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The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world, with lots of dishes easy to prepare
French Nicoise Salad – £1.88 per serving
French Nicoise Salad is perfect for those summer barbecues or as a healthy side to a warm fish dish
SERVES two. Preparation time: 20 mins. Cooking time: 15 mins.
One serving contains 640 calories (32 per cent of recommended adult daily intake), 40g fat (57 per cent), 6.3g saturated fat (31 per cent), 8.4g sugar (nine per cent) 2.4g salt (40 per cent).
300g new potatoes
50g French beans
1 can of tuna in oil
4 ripe tomatoes
50g small black olives, pitted
2 baby gem lettuce
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers
For the dressing:
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
Pinch of coarse salt
Small handful of basil leaves, torn
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp red wine vinegar
METHOD: To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a jug. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for ten minutes until tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beans to pan.
Cook for two to three minutes or until bright green and just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water.
Drain and add beans to potato. Add tuna, tomato, olives, lettuce, egg, spring onions and capers to potato mixture.
Add red wine dressing and toss gently to combine.
Greek salad – 81p per serving
Greek salad is a classic choice and the perfect addition to warm and cold mains
SERVES four. Preparation time: 1hr and 20 mins – including marinating time.
286 cals (14 per cent of daily RI), 26g fat (37 per cent), 7.7g saturated fat (38 per cent), 4.4g sugar (four per cent), 1.1g salt (18 per cent).
½ red onion, thinly sliced;
2 tbsp red wine vinegar;
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
10 smallish, sweet tomatoes;
25 chilled Kalamata olives, preferably stone in;
1 tbsp capers, drained;
3 sprigs of fresh oregano with leaves roughly chopped, or a generous pinch of dried oregano;
150g feta cheese.
METHOD: Whisk the vinegar with half the oil and stir into the onion.
Then soak for one hour. Cut the tomatoes into generous bite-sized pieces. Roughly chop the cucumber into chunks and arrange on a serving dish.
Add the tomatoes, onions (reserving any liquid), olives and capers.
Whisk the rest of the oil into any liquid remaining in the onion bowl then use this to dress the salad, along with most of the oregano.
Crumble the feta on top and sprinkle with the remaining oregano to serve.