Turning Sunday Lunches Into Mediterranean Feasts

When we think of the Mediterranean it conjures up images of hot weather, crystal white beaches lining a sparkling turquoise sea, beautiful Persian girls belly dancing and exotic food. The people of the Mediterranean are usually very healthy and in shape. If healthy living and eating is a priority for you, check out Authority Health, a great site dedicated to delivering  interesting health articles online.

The Mediterranean diet is very healthy and plant-based.The ingredients are always nutritious and include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, herbs and spices as well as olive oil. It includes many dishes all laid out at the table at once and is perfect for a group of friends or family setting so forget the regular Sunday barbeque, close the grill, put away the beer and get ready to serve up Mediterranean style.

Mediterranean Décor & Music

The setting of the table should represent colors of the Mediterranean regions like Greece and Italy, Israel, Portugal or Spain and other places richly associated with the Mediterranean. It’s best to either go for a cooling white, blue and turquoise theme in the summer or a rustic theme with pleasing reds, calming oranges and earthy yellows and coppers in the winter. You can decorate the table with pomegranates, figs and bunches of grapes and keep a beautiful set of wine glasses on the table. It is also a great idea to have Mediterranean music in the background just to create a great ambiance. There is a variety to choose from.

Alcohol

Mediterranean fare usually goes well alongside gorgeous wines. Depending on main dishes,  you should choose rich, red Cabernet Sauvignons, Shirazes and Merlots when serving beef and lamb dishes and lovely fresh and light Pinot Noirs, white wines and champagnes such as Moët & Chandon and Dom Pérignon and Rosés such as Mirabeau Pure Provence Rosé with fish and vegetarian dishes.

Dips

This is the part that gets really exciting. There are so many beautiful dips you can make from taramasalata which is a dip made from tarama and offers a gorgeous fishy taste to the ever-so-popular hummus, derived from chick peas to tzatziki, made from greek yoghurt and covered with cool english cucumber. Other dips include eggplant, olive and capsicum varieties. This can all be accompanied by warm pitas cut up in quarters or halves.

Mezzes

Mezzes refer to the selection of small dishes that are served with the dips and alcohol. Typical Mediterranean mezzes include dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice), lamb meatballs, small meat kebabs, spanakopita triangles (Greek spinach triangles), falafels, chopped Israeli salad (made from onions and red, green and yellow peppers), red cabbage salad and feta cheese and olives. There is always something for everybody.

Main Courses

These include dishes such as large Portuguese sardines, beautiful chicken livers cooked in red wine, paella which is a beautiful Spanish dish of saffron infused rice entwined with seafood and sausages and is large enough to feed many. There’s also beautiful lemon and herb spiced chicken, lamb kleftiko and many more main course options to whet one’s appetite.

Desserts

Mediterranean desserts are always fun,different and offer the palate a taste of a different kind. There are dishes such as halva ice cream, pastries such as baklava and kataifi as well as rice puddings and different flavoured gelatos such as pistachio nut.

So there you go. Why don’t you spruce up your Sunday lunches and make them more exciting, healthy and nutritious by offering a Mediterranean flavor accompanied by beautiful wines (children can stick to grape juice) and enjoy all it has to offer. There is no doubt that your guests will have a great time and the ambiance will be one of joy and laughter!

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