The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating a primarily plant based diet and including healthy fats, especially from olive oil. Olive oil contains primarily monounsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats can help decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Per 1 tablespoon, olive oil contains 10 grams of monounsaturated fat. Olive oil also contains a polyphenol called hydroxytyrosol which may help reduce your risk of heart disease. Bonus: 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 13% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin E.
Olive oil is made by pressing whole olives. Olives themselves are also packed with the same nutrients as olive oil. There are tons of varieties of olives. Darker colored olives have been shown to contain more polyphenols and antioxidants than lighter colored varieties. Black olives are high in copper, iron, fiber, and vitamin E. I’m a sucker for kalamata olives, but I always watch the portion size due to high sodium levels from curing. Olives can be great as part of a well balanced snack too!
Mediterranean Pesto Bowl
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
- 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 tbsp pesto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: 1/4 cup feta cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together pesto, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine quinoa, tomato, cucumber, artichoke hearts, and kalamata olives. Dress with pesto dressing and top with chives.
Number of servings: 2 | Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 225, total fat: 18 g, total carbohydrates: 14 g, dietary fiber: 2 g, sugars: 2 g, protein: 3 g
What is your favorite way to eat quinoa? Tell me below!