Book Review—30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Friday, January 17, 2020
At the beginning of the New Year it is the time we tend to give ourselves a fresh start. We look for new and better ways of living a healthy lifestyle. We check out new tools and resources that can help us a long the way.

My favorite thing to do is to check out new cookbooks that focus on healthy foods and healthier ways of cooking. We have found that no matter the healthy eating lifestyle you choose to follow, it works with Livliga. I was given a copy of a cookbook called 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Serena Ball, MS, RDN & Deanna Segrave-Daly, RDN at a conference. As the New Year approached I thought it was time to check it out.  What immediately appealed to me about this cookbook was that the authors explain that they don’t like the work “Diet” and instead prefer the term “Mediterranean eating lifestyle”. The authors also point out that this form of eating has been proven and tested for centuries. We know it works.

A little about the authors of this cookbook.  Serena Ball, MS, RDN & Deanna Segrave-Daly, RDN have over 20 years of food, nutrition and culinary communications experience between them. As they describe it, they’ve dedicated their careers to helping people get delicious and nutritious meals on the table. The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is their first cookbook.

What this cookbook offers.  In this book you get great information about the Mediterranean eating lifestyle and how to practically incorporate it into your daily life. Specifically here is what is provided:

  • Guidelines for eating the Mediterranean way, as well as tips for navigating your supermarket
  • Recipes that follow the Mediterranean eating lifestyle that have been developed to be less complicated and take less time
  • Use of healthier ingredients that are available in your local grocery store
  • Meals and recipes that focus on whole foods showing how it is not only healthier but very possible to avoid highly processed or pre-packaged food items in preparing meals
  • Mediterranean-style recipes that can be tailored for specific dietary needs, i.e., gluten free, dairy free, nut free, Vegetarian or Vegan
  • Prep tips and ingredient tips
  • Nutritional information with each recipe

Chickpea Patties in Pita Served Up on Livliga

My experience with the recipes in the cookbook. One of the first recipes I did was the Chickpea Patties in Pita on page 74. True to the cookbook’s promise, the recipe was quick and easy to prepare, even with the added steps to prepare the hummus recipe to provide one of the ingredients called for in the chickpea patty.

It was visually appealing and had tasty textures to enjoy. The feedback I got from the family, which was similar to some of the reviews I found on Amazon, was that it was a little chalky and bland. Next time I plan on adding some sweet paprika and plain yogurt to the patty to address the blandness and chalkiness. Everyone liked the idea of the recipe and the ingredients. Taste is in the mouth of the eater in reality so adding spices and other tweaks to a recipe is the way to make it just the way you like it… just so long as you keep it healthy!

Overall impression of the cookbook. It is a well-constructed cookbook packed with helpful and informative content. The recipes are creative and in keeping with a Mediterranean eating lifestyle. Hopefully, in the next edition they will add photos of the recipes, which will greatly benefit those using the cookbook.

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