I wear black leggings almost every day. You can throw on a Lululemon jacket and look like you are going to do some yoga (even if you’re not). Or a flannel and Hunter boots for a cute look on a dreary day. Top them with a long, dressier cardigan, cool jewelry and some badass booties and you’re ready for date night.
It’s the same thing with these veggies.
They can be served as a side dish. Throw in some protein (I’m thinking shrimp or chicken) and you’ve got an awesome meal. Or do some canned beans or tofu for plant based protein. Mix them into your scrambled eggs, which is what I did today. If you are ok with dairy, grate some parmesan cheese on top. Or toss in some feta. They would be amazing with any of the pasta alternatives that I told you about a few months ago in this post: If you love pasta
Oh yeah, this recipe is also paleo, primal, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, vegan, and Whole30 approved. So it pretty much makes everyone happy!
Not only that, with so many veggies you are getting a wide variety of nutrients…you can’t lose!
Let’s look at what I used:
Avocado oil gives a rich buttery flavor, and contains monounsaturated fat. It’s important to consume some fat along with your produce…it actually helps you absorb the nutrients. I am in love with the avocado oil from Primal Kitchen. I use it on everything, both for the rich, buttery flavor and amazing nutritional profile. But if you don’t have avocado oil yet, don’t let it stop you. Use a high quality olive oil. (Then order the avocado oil…you’ll thank me later!)
Onions are a great source of polyphenols. They may even lower your risk of some forms of cancer. And they taste great. I don’t tolerate raw onions, but do fine if they are cooked until they are soft. They’re also less stinky that way!
Mushrooms are a vegetable source of vitamin D and contain many B vitamins. Studies have shown that mushrooms can be helpful with weight loss, probably because they are very satisfying yet low in calories.
I added a little bit of pink Himalayan salt while I was cooking the onions and mushrooms. This salt adds great flavor and an impressive array of trace minerals. You may not even need to add any salt, since you are already getting it from the tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives. Totally up to you!
Tomatoes are a source of many antioxidants. The one you hear about the most is lycopene, which is great for your eyes, brain, heart and bones. And it may protect against certain forms of cancer.
I used two kinds of tomatoes in this recipe…canned diced tomatoes and sun dried. I was happy to find organic canned tomatoes. They had some Italian seasoning which worked out fine, but I have made this with plain canned tomatoes as well and it was just as delicious. The sun dried tomatoes I used were pretty moist. I just cut them with a scissors into smaller pieces. If you have some that are more leathery you may want to soak in warm water and drain them before using.
I don’t think there are any huge health benefits to canned artichoke hearts…I just love the tangy flavor that they give to this dish. They do contain some vitamin C and fiber.
Kalamata olives are another source of healthy fat. Make sure you buy the ones that are pitted!
Spinach is one of my all time faves…quick cooking and blends well with so many flavors. Spinach, like all leafy greens, is a great source of vitamins and minerals. I consider leafy greens to be one of my top skin foods. (Read this post to find out some of the others: People always ask me… )
So here’s the recipe. I use that term loosely…add or subtract whatever you like!
happy, healthy and hot Mediterranean veggies
one tablespoon avocado oil
one yellow onion, diced
one 8 ounce package of sliced mushrooms, rinsed
one 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
quarter cup of sun dried tomatoes, cut into smaller pieces
one half teaspoon of oregano
one 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts
one 5 ounce package of spinach (smaller clamshell)
quarter cup of kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Heat the avocado oil in a very large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes until it starts to soften and smell good, stirring occasionally. Then add the mushrooms and cook until they start to soften and shrink a bit. I sprinkled a little pink Himalayan salt on at this point. Feel free to skip this…there is plenty of salt in the olives, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes. Dump everything else in except the spinach and stir to combine. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add spinach. You don’t even need to stir at this point, just cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let it sit for a few minutes until spinach is softened but still bright green.
And that’s it…the rest is up to you! Let me know how you use this recipe. If it sits for awhile or you reheat it, the spinach might not be as pretty. Don’t worry, it will still taste amazing.
So, can these Mediterranean veggies help you feel happy, healthy and hot? Absolutely!
You will feel happy cooking and eating something so easy and tasty. With only one pot to clean! As far as healthy, this dish is loaded with veggies that provide a wide variety of antioxidants. The fat from the avocado oil and olives help your body absorb the nutrients. Adding more veggies to your diet can be helpful with weight loss, and leafy greens and healthy fat give you glowing skin. Very hot!
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