This healthy Mediterranean salad can be a perfect summer dinner

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There are times in your life when staying healthy is a priority. A healthy lifestyle is based on following a balanced diet, avoiding stress, sleeping properly and exercising frequently. All this helps minimizing the risk of diseases.

This may be too much to face at once, but if you start taking a few steps, the rest will be easier. You can begin this process by planning an exercise routine and reviewing your eating habits.

According to some experts, you need at least 30 minutes of workouts a day for being active and keeping your body in good condition. If you are thinking this is an impossible task, you can start by doing a 10 minutes activity, and increase it gradually until you reach 30 minutes. It does not have to be a daily activity, but try to do it most days of the week.

To make this more interesting for you, practice something you enjoy like martial arts, dancing lessons, walking, running, hiking, riding bikes, or any activity that implies the movement of your body.

As for eating habits, you must eat food that gives you all the nutrients your body needs to have sufficient energy and work properly. You must avoid fast and processed food. Fresh food should be your objective for getting a balanced diet. It must include vitamins, minerals, water, carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

How to make a healthy menu?

Summertime is coming, it could be a good opportunity to change into a healthy lifestyle since daylight hours increase and you have more time to do workout activity. Besides, this could help you to be more creative in your kitchen.

When checking your eating habits for this summer, you will find it somewhat difficult to take some ingredients out of your common meals, like sugar, oil, butter, dressings, and processed drinks.

It could even be harder to include new foods in your daily meals, particularly ingredients you have never tried before. Check some of the foods for a balanced diet, and maybe you’ll realize you already have some of them at home:

  • Fresh vegetables.
  • Fruits.
  • Whole grains, you can also include refined grains but in fewer amounts.
  • Plant protein, like lentils, peas and beans.
  • Oils like olive and canola.

Including more salads in your diet

This can be a little bit confusing at first. However, you may start introducing new recipes little by little. A good piece of advice could be to include as many salads as possible in all your meals. Or at least, include them in some of your summer dinners.

There are countless salad recipes: green salads, vegetable salads, pasta salads, legumes, grains, mixed salads, and fruit salads. You already know how to make some of them, but including new recipes in your diet would be interesting and give you extra reasons to innovate with your meals.

If you are thinking of going this way with salads, remember to use fresh ingredients, and avoid processed dressings.

Most Mediterranean salads provide vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium and best of all, they’re low in calories. They are mainly made of tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and lemon dressing. You can include extra ingredients for making a complete meal like quinoa or orzo.

Perhaps you don’t know how to cook orzo yet. No worries… It is very easy to prepare. Follow the recipe below and start your path to a healthy diet.

Mediterranean salad

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 cup of Orzo.
  • 2 cups of water.
  • 1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes.
  • 2 chopped green onions.
  • ½ chopped green bell peppers.
  • ¼ cup of feta cheese.
  • ¼ cup of Kalamata olives.
  • ¼ cup of chopped parsley.
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh dill.
  • 2 teaspoons of capers.

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup of lemon juice.
  • Lemon zest.
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 minced clove of garlic.
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation:

  1. In a saucepan, pour water and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, and let it cool.
  2. In a bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, green onions, green bell peppers, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, parsley, dill, and capers. Stir very well.
  3. In a small bowl, make the dressing by mixing lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  4. Incorporate cooked orzo into the salad, and add the dressing all over it.
  5. Refrigerate, and serve cold.

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