I saw a nutritionist this summer because I needed some advice on eating better. I thought I was doing OK. I rarely drink sodas or eat chips. At home, my wife and I prepare most of our meals from scratch, not from a box. On the exercise front, I typically get the recommended 30 minutes of activity daily.
So the nutritionist told me I was basically eating fine. She advised me to increase my protein intake, switch from whole milk to a lower-fat alternative, drink a glass of water before each meal, cut back on sweets and eat all the fruits and vegetables I want. Her approach to better eating was: eat more of the good stuff, less of the bad stuff. Banning foods is not productive. That’s good, because I like dairy foods and did not want to give them up.
I was also in a rut with recipes. The nutritionist steered me to some websites. Coincidentally, a new book crossed my desk. “Living the Mediterranean Diet” (Ulysses Press, Berkeley, Calif.) is full of recipes, many of which call for dairy ingredients. The easy-to-make recipes and color photographs inspired me.
The authors, Nick Nigro, Bay Ewald and Rea Frey, recommend one to three servings of dairy a day. You’ll find mozzarella balls in the recipe for Caprese Boats, Greek yogurt in a dill sauce for salmon, and goat cheese in a beet carpaccio salad.
Nigro and Ewald are co-founders of a culinary arts company called comewecreate. Follow them on Instagram at @comewecreate. Frey is an award-winning author and nutrition specialist.
The authors have organized the chapters by season, and many of the recipes call for seasonal ingredients. Butternut squash, apples and pumpkins figure prominently in autumn recipes.
The color photographs of the finished dishes are beautiful. The recipes are easy and call for spices and ingredients most home cooks have in their pantries.
If you are looking for a holiday gift for a foodie friend or relative, this book would be appropriate.