Toasted pumpkin seeds and thoughts on the Mediterranean diet
It's been awhile since I posted a healthy snack recipe (perhaps because I haven't made any recently?). This one is so easy: toasted pumpkin seeds. These aren't like the big white ones you separate from the gooey brains of a jack-o-lantern (which are also tasty toasted), these are small and green. I guess it's just a different type of pumpkin. You can find them in the bulk section of your grocery store. What I do is pour the seeds into a bowl, add a bit of olive oil just to coat and mix in some salt. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. You'll hear them pop a little, and you might keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Everyone's oven is a little different. You just want them a little brown. I intended to have these on hand for salad toppings, but everyone just kept grabbing handfuls for little salty snacks.
I've become really interested in the Mediterranean diet -- not for losing weight, just as a lifestyle framework. Everything about it makes sense: fruits and veggies are the focus, followed by legumes, nuts and seeds (voila), whole grains and olive oil. In moderation: low-fat dairy, fish, healthy fats, red wine and other lean meats. Mediterranean cultures put a lot of emphasis on eating with family and relishing food, and they have a history of physical activity tending crops and such. I'm the kind of person who needs a theme, some sort of direction. Food overwhelms me, and I often feel panicked and uncertain about what to do with it. Am I really nourishing my family? Maybe I can adapt this Mediterranean way of preparing and thinking about food to my family's taste and lifestyle and ultimately feel more confident in the kitchen.
I'm reading The Mediterranean Prescription right now, and I really like the way this guy talks about food and health and tradition. Some of the recipes, particularly the soups, sound really good and not intimidating. I've got another cookbook on hold at the library. Has anyone else embraced the Mediterranean diet?