Welcome back to my website. Thank you so much for clicking on this article. We are doing the first mediterranean diet meal prep of 2023.. It is january, it’s very, very cold, where i am right now, so we’re talking insanely easy recipes, very seasonal recipes, very comforting ingredients, very filling ingredients.
So i love to switch up my different meal preps, sometimes they’re vegetarian. Sometimes it’s a dairy free, just kidding it’s! It’S! Never dairy free with me, but it can be, there’s always options to change up the meal prep. However, if it’s you, i have at least three or four meal.
Prep articles planned to filmed right after this one, so i promise they’re, not all vegetarian. I just love to give as many options as possible, so if you’re here just for the cooking just for the recipes go ahead and fast forward to this time stamp. If you care to know a little bit more right now, as you guys can tell if you follow along with my journey, i have switched from my kind of broken, very teeny, tiny, itty, bitty kitchen in my grandma’s apartment in italy. To now my other grandma’s kitchen, which is much different, it’s kind of more of like a dollhouse. It’S honestly, they don’t, she doesn’t use it very much to cook, but it’s all that i have right now, so we’re gon na make the most of what i have.
I know normally i mic up. I have a little bit more lights. It’S a little bit. I try to have a little bit more better of a setup, but right now i am working with what i got and it’s enough. Hopefully it’s still an enjoyable article.
It’S still a good enough article, i’m in the process right now making a lot of life decisions. As far as my next move, what kind of my next career moves are, because i did not expect this channel to explode the way it did at the new year with the mediterranean diet, but i’m just i’m in shock by how much kind of growth this channel’s Had so if you have recently followed me, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, i’m so happy to have you here, you’re going to love the recipes that i’m going to share for this year, but of course remember it’s not just the diet.
It’S the lifestyle. That’S what this channel is all about, not just the diet, it’s the whole entire way of living. I just wanted to give that little bit of an update, because i haven’t uploaded a article with that update yet which will be coming, but anyways we’re ranting. We’Re talking a lot, which is what i do best. I am caroline franco.
After all, i never shut up, so i’m so excited to start. The first mediterranean diet meal prep of the new year, but we’re gon na start off with recipe number one we’re gon na turn on the oven, because we’re gon na start with the recipe that takes the longest amount of time. We are turning the oven, all the way up to 425 and we’re going to start off with the beautiful beautiful ingredient we all know and love garlic, there’s a specific way that i love to make it especially all time of year, but especially during the winter, when We’Re already having that oven on for all our warm cozy foods, so we’re going to make roasted garlic.
So you want to start off by cutting off the top of the garlic you want to expose, basically every top. So if you have a few of the smaller ones on the side, you kind of want to just make sure you cut off the top of them that you want to take as much of the outer layers of that skin off.
So as many layers as you can get off the skin, it already smells so strong, just barely cut off the top of each and every clove, and you want to expose it so that way the olive oil, salt and pepper can get in there. I feel like when i say the word meal prep, you think diet, culture. You know meal prepping, rice, chicken and broccoli kind of thing, but meal prep is in my mind just having these ingredients of pure flavor bombs or just pure convenience that just make eating. So much more delicious flavorful enjoyable! If you prep a container of roasted garlic at the beginning of the week, you can spread it on toast.
You can add it into any pasta dish. Any rice dish that you’re making you can puree it in with hummus or vegetables or put it into a dip which you’ll see here in a few minutes. So we’re kind of just setting ourselves up for delicious flavors to have in the kitchen that we can make with so many things. It’S so versatile. So once you put on the olive oil, salt and pepper, you want to make a little burrito or just wrap it up.
You basically want all the seams because we put in that olive oil. You don’t want to put any of the seams down at the bottom, because you don’t want that olive oil to fall through and then burn your the bottom of your oven and just throw this in the oven. For the second recipe. We are going to be doing a beautiful tray of roasted root vegetables. I love parsnips because they’re, sweet and chewy and then we have your classic sweet potato.
We have golden beets and red beets and then we have a fun one. I don’t use very often, which is, which is a sun choke on root, meaning that they just grow in the ground and they’re a very hearty vegetable. If you’re, not a fan of vegetables, i will argue with you that it’s just because you haven’t had them prepared. The right way with root vegetables too, they all will kind of cook at the same rate, because they all kind of have the same textures, yet different flavors. So basically the only ones that i’m not gon na peel, i’m gon na keep with their skin on.
Because i actually enjoy their skin is the sweet potato in the parsnips you can take the skin off. If you want to its preference, i like the extra added fiber extra added texture of it, have a vegetable like this that you want to cook evenly, but it’s kind of awkward. You want to kind of cut it and section it off. So i take off the tops and the bottom, because that’s never good. So basically, what i’m going to do is i’m going to cut down this portion right here and then leave that so i’m going to cut this into thirds and then cube it that way, and then this just in half cut off the big part.
Have it and then, because i’m kind of just doing nice roasted cubes of it, i cut it down into thirds. So we’re looking at three pieces like this, i’m sorry! If it’s out of focus eventually, i will up my camera game. I promise right now, half it or drop it so, half and half when you get awkward funky vegetables, which is ideal because that means they’re more organic, you kind of just section off the different sizes and cut it accordingly. If that makes any sense, hopefully it does sunchokes are not as popular of a vegetable i feel like, but the thing is with winter produce is there’s still a lot of it.
I think we get caught up. That summer is just so abundant with your berries and all your vegetables, we just there’s just so much, but with winter there is a bunch of produce too. It’S just comes in different varieties and just because it’s more white produce white white in the i feel like in america, we’ve labeled as bad like white pasta is bad. White rice is bad white. Vegetables aka potatoes is that it’s not the case at all, still incredibly full of nutrients and all the things and so sun chokes are incredibly sweet and kind of nutty in the winter time.
It’S just as important as every other time of the year to keep the variety going. Our bodies benefit so much from a mass amount of variety and nutrients. So if you’re just eating broccoli every single day for months straight, it’s actually unhealthy because you’re missing out on all the other nutrients that all the other foods give you so kind of my other kind of love for meal prep. Is it kind of forces me to switch up my recipes constantly and get new ingredients that i’m working with our bodies? Oh no, not beets!
With my white pants, we benefit so much from variety. All right. We’Re gon na switch to an ugly cutting board good thing. I have one hiding in the sink over here that you guys can’t see. Did i perfectly clean before i got started, of course not take your knife and you just kind of cut off the skin of the beets and you make sure to cut away from you, because we don’t want the beet juice on us so cut the beet in Half it’s such a pretty vegetable, there’s just so much beauty.
That is a beet. If that’s even focusing, i don’t think it did probably make one two three: four: okay, fun fact, because i’m adding beets to the mix, it might change the color of the other vegetables, but that’s okay. They just make them beautiful. I can smell the garlic already. It smells delicious, i have finished the tray of chopped deliciousness, i’m gon na separate the beets or like at least try to, because i don’t want them to completely stain all the beautiful white vegetables.
But it’s probably gon na happen and it’ll, be pretty it’ll, be like art, so we’re gon na be making honey, balsamic glazed veggies, so starting off with the wonderfulness, that is, olive oil, we’re going to go in with about a fourth a cup. Oh dear god. This is going to take a while hold on. Let me go grab the costco, so i actually got a comment at one of my articles saying that they couldn’t find a costco product that i had used.
If you can’t find it, i would just suggest going to a different costco location, because costco tends to to carry different products at different locations, so just check the few costcos that are in your neighborhood or in your city, you’ll find what you were looking for.
So anyways one part balsamic two parts, olive oil. You can use regular balsamic, vinegar. If you want to level it up, it comes in a bunch of flavors. Sometimes this is a fig one which is really delicious. With these vegetables.
It has a little bit more like the sweet fruitiness that pairs really well with the fruity olive oil. This is also a reduction, which means there’s no sugar added. It was just brought down more to intensify those flavors. We have the balsamic and the olive oil, and next i’m gon na go in with i’m using orange honey. Caroline.
We are so weird using fig balsamic orange honey. I, like all the flavors i i can sneak in any extra flavors. I do it. Does it really taste like orange? Not really, it just adds a little bit of floralness, which just adds dynamic deliciousness to all of this.
Is this honey that i brought home from italy and that they didn’t find in customs, maybe about half a teaspoon of pepper and then a nice sprinkling of salt? I just realized i’ve been using coarse salt. You want fine, add that in to the mix, get a little fork, give it a nice stir. Caroline, i don’t have honey. Can i use maple syrup of course go right ahead.
Caroline, i don’t have maple syrup or honey. Can i use agave? Yes, caroline? I don’t have any of those. Can i use sugar, it’s not that sugar isn’t the same thing as maple and honey.
It’S just that the liquid will really help with getting these fully coated. We’Re gon na pour two thirds of this mixture on top of them. Basically toss these lovely vegetables: the vegetables are fully coated in the delicious honey balsamic glaze i’m going to go ahead and throw these into the oven. We’Re missing two ingredients, but that’s why i reserved a little bit of the glaze because we’ll get into that after they get roasted they’re going to take some time. So i don’t want to burn the other ingredients.
So i’m going to go ahead and let these get in there we’re going to start roasting them and once they’re ready to turn about 25 minutes in we’ll add the rest of the ingredients we have the oven on. I don’t want to waste the oven being on we’re going to make the second ingredient second ingredient. The second recipe that is using that beautiful, roasted garlic is going to be a roasted garlic, white bean and artichoke dip or sauce.
So if you’ve watched a handful of my meal prep or recipe articles by now, you know that i love to have my staples covered heading into the week. So that means some delicious incredibly good, complex carb source, so whether it’s some kind of bread or grains or pasta or something kind of delicious in that sense, so we’ll get to the grains in a bit and then i always love to have a delicious protein source.
A delicious vegetable source and then we’re gon na move into the kind of the pull it all together. The fun one which is the sauce or the spread or just it just adds so much flavor, and it just just brings so much different ways. You can make different types of meals when you have kind of those four basics, so we have one container one can of cannellini beans. Here i ate a lot of beans while i was living in italy these past few months. Beans are just such a delicious staple.
They’Re so full of fiber and protein, they have just such amazing nutrients and then i’m also going in with some artichoke hearts. Artichokes are in season. I bought artichokes thinking that i was gon na cook. Them ended up cooking them for this recipe, it turned out terrible. Clearly, i did not pay enough attention to my grandma when she taught me how to cook the artichokes, because they did everything she did.
I don’t know if, because they were an american artichoke, i don’t know what it is so you add about. I was trying to be cute with a little guy, but i used too much olive oil to use that little guy we’re gon na go in with about a fourth, a cup of extra virgin olive oil, and why? I also love this recipe? Is you don’t even have to chop anything we’re gon na? Take some sprigs of sage sage?
Is such a nutty earthy herb? It is used a lot of times in the winter. It is a winter herb. We’Re gon na do about two to three sprigs of rosemary and then lastly, some thyme, i love using winter herbs, but i don’t use like a ton of them and i love always using a variety of herbs, so i always opt for the poultry pack at the Grocery store it comes with thyme, rosemary and sage, and that way you get your variety of herbs. You don’t get too many too much rosemary too much of anything, and it’s just really easy to use it up quickly, because it’s a smaller pack of everything get in a good pinch of salt.
So now we are going to mix this all together and just kind of braise, really slowly um in that olive oil, these artichokes and white beans. I’M not really trying to get much color on them. I’M just trying to marry all the flavors together get some cooking done within the herbs and kind of just soften everything, so that way they blend seamlessly and all these kind of roasted buttery olive oily, salty herby nutty flavors go together. So i’m gon na throw this into the oven. I’M gon na go ahead and check on our roasted garlic.
Oh my god. It smells amazing. I just got a little steamed facial garlic. It’S got some caramelized golden brown, goodness water break. Let’S finish up the roasted vegetable situation, i’m going to take the leftover herbs.
The sage is really easy. You just pick off the sage with the thyme. Is you just kind of pull backwards and the leaves will come right off for the most part? If you get a few, stems, it’s not the end of the world. The one thing that i do like about a lot of the winter herbs, i’m gon na do the same thing with the rosemary and just pull it backwards.
Is they do last for a good handful of time in the fridge they’re much heartier like say, like i just feel like they’re considered woodier herbs because they have like thicker stems so i’m just going to give the rosemary, thyme and sage a nice chop. Add it to the left over little glaze that we made with the honey and the balsamic and the olive oil and spill it everywhere, because i’m caroline and nicheness has never been my forte all right here we go so i store my nuts a lot of times In the fridge, you can even store them in the freezer. They just stay much more fresh there. When anything is filled with a ton of fat, it can spoil very quickly so nuts nut butter. They spoil very quickly.
They get stale very quickly because they’re just loaded with fat, the good fats, the fun fats, we love fat, that’s great! So i’m going in with about a half a cup to a cup of walnuts. I have a love for walnuts because just the taste of them is delicious during christmas time. It’S super fun. My grandma keeps around a bowl of nuts like crack them at the table and just keep the conversation going and just basically it’s another excuse to eat and do something and stay at the table and talk for longer because that’s the mediterranean lifestyle.
You just hang out and talk and just continue on with your eight courses of eating, because you don’t want the party to end ooh beautiful, give them a nice toss. So now i’m gon na go in with those walnuts, because another thing about vegetarian meal prep is i’m trying to make sure everything is super balanced super flavorful, super textured, but also like the texture. So i want different textures in every bite, but i also want to make sure i get that protein in. So i try to make sure that every recipe that we’re working with today, even though it is vegetarian, it’s full of protein, so root vegetables. Don’T get me wrong.
Vegetables have protein believe it or not, but i’m gon na go in with the last bit of our glaze just to re-glaze all the vegetables, so to add another layer of glaze, so the nuts can also get a fresh amount of glaze on them. So the nuts are kind of being treated as vegetables too, so the root vegetables definitely have protein, but the walnuts are just going to add a little bit more protein they’re going to also add extra crunch. Add extra dimension of flavor. Add variety. As you can see, i basically just repeat myself all throughout these articles: another way to make these roasted vegetables a game.
Changer is if you wanted to make a soup, so just take out the walnut aspect and then once they’re completely finished, roasting and they’re super super soft and caramelized put them in a blender with some broth, maybe some milk or a little bit of cream. Oh, can you hear that sizzle from the olive oil, the garlic, is also out so we’re letting both of those things completely cool? We have the vegetables done. They just need to finish cooking so now we’re moving on to the grain portion. So this is lentils and barley.
I specifically chose this mix as i dropped them all over the place. I chose those two together because they cook about the exact same time. I’M gon na go ahead and give them a rinse, real, quick. So the lentils i mean barley has protein in it, but also the lentils. So this is like a protein powerhouse combining the two together.
I have a nice ugly saucepan here, i’m going to coat the bottom completely with olive oil, so i have the pan coated in olive oil and then a delicious spice mixture. It’S a lot of spice too. It smells unreal. I’M gon na go ahead and throw this on the stove and heat it up on medium low heat, because we don’t want to burn anything. This spice mixture is a mixture of cumin, coriander, smoked, paprika and sumac.
You guys know how much i love sumac. If you watch my other articles, it’s a very, very lemony kind of spice, you can add cayenne. I opted out because i’m not a spice girl, but if you love spice, basically there’s so many ways to add spices into all my recipes as far as like heat spice, i just don’t do spicy like heat wise and then what else was in there cinnamon. So cinnamon kind of throws some people off. I love kind of the sweetness that synonym synonym, cinnamon kind of acts, kind of developing the flavor of the spices, i’m kind of warming them up and then i’m going to add in the delicious lentils and barley and toast them in with that olive oil.
So they can get even more toasty nutty flavor. It’S really not hard to make delicious food, it doesn’t need the more ingredients you add to a recipe does not make it any more delicious. I swear it is all in the ingredients that you choose from the start. So the quality, the freshness and the preparation, the mediterranean diet has taught me my italian grandma and all of her cooking is. She doesn’t use more than like five ingredients sometimes like to make delicious incredible recipes.
She just knows how to do it, so we’re just developing and layering and layering flavors, giving that a stir about every uh minute and a half, because it’s super easy for them to stick to the bottom and burn and we’re gon na give it about three to Four, maybe five minutes and because i’m only using, i think, a half a cup of each. That means i only need about three cups of chicken broth, but i’m gon na start off, not chicken, broth, vegetable broth, we’re doing a vegetarian mix. Here, i’m only gon na go in with about two cups to start we’re gon na go in with an orange. This is super optional. It might be a little bit too much flavor for some people with the spices and the orange.
I just think they complement so well and if you didn’t know my name is caroline, i am the queen of zest. So if you do not see zest happening in one of my recipe articles, i need you to call the police call. The hospital call call a therapist for me because something’s going on so anyways, i zested the orange and now we’re to cut it in half and we’re going to use half of the orange in place of some of the vegetable stock to just bring home the flavors [ Applause ], my lentils and barley have come up to a boil, as you can hear, so i’m going to go ahead and bring it down to a simmer and continue to stir and make sure that nothing like none of the spices or anything stick to the Bottom great news: we are in the home stretch of all the recipes, the vegetables completely done. The lentils and barley are slowly simmering away stirring them every few minutes and then, when they’re, almost completely done, i’m going to add in half of an orange and a tiny bit of zest just to complement those spices and all of that goodness. Next, we’re going to do the protein source.
I am keeping it so simple, because something i ate a lot for lunch and dinner. While i was living in italy, was a lot of eggs. Eggs are seen in america as kind of breakfast, but in italy and in a lot of the mediterranean cultures they’re, even lunch or dinner eggs can really transform into any dish, can be a protein source in any dish. And how do you prep eggs? In my opinion, i was hard-boiled them and i know what you’re thinking hard-boiled eggs gross, not if you make them jammy, hard-boiled eggs, and so what i mean by that is i’m bringing a pot of water to boil and, as i just put it on the stove Top i’m going to bring out four eggs, so usually meal, prep, four eggs at a time, so jammy eggs, you get that hard white exterior, and then you get that runny jammy, yolky flavor.
The recipe ideas i had going in is when you have a bowl of greens, top it with a little bit of roasted vegetables, throw on a spoonful of this artichoke white bean dip, or you can even thin it out to make it the sauce. On top of this grain bowl, then i was thinking like kind of what protein source could. I have because i have the protein from the lentils and the barley. I have the protein from the cannellini beans and then the other ingredient. That’S super high in protein going into that sauce.
So i was thinking like what vegetarian options are kind of left as far as protein sources, and i kind of wanted more of like a piece like instead of a piece of chicken or instead of a piece of steak, a piece of salmon, a piece of egg. A quick and easy way to have a protein source ready to go um again when something’s ready, you’re gon na eat it when something’s not ready, you’re going to eat other options that you didn’t really want to eat. I’M going to throw these in for exactly seven to eight minutes. It depends i like it extra jammy, so i’m going seven minutes. If you don’t want it like absolutely running you’re gon na want to do it.
Eight minutes then you’re gon na throw it in an ice bath for exactly one minute and then they’re ready, and then you can store them in the fridge peel them when you want take them on the go. These jammy eyes could be great on top of toast. On top of salads, on top of grain bowls, you need them, like, i said, with hummus, with this white bean dip with a variety of things. Let’S finish, this delicious roasted garlic, artichoke white bean dip, so i have to let the white beans and the artichokes cool. So all i have left to do is take the herbs and kind of just they come off so easily from the stem so stem caroline.
Can i talk today? I cannot so kind of just get the rosemary off take off this time. You just take white beans. Herbs and artichokes that were slightly roasted, i’m making sure to get every last drop we’re gon na go in with the roasted garlic, which i showed you guys earlier turned out incredible. I’M gon na do probably about three cloves.
It just falls right out. It’S like a paste. It’S so caramelized pause, this real, quick, i’m gon na go ahead and add the orange into the lentils, because they’re almost done in barley, because they’re almost done cooking. So we have the two things that we prepped the white beans and the artichokes. The roasted garlic and the last thing is a cup of cottage cheese, gross caroline.
What cottage cheese? Let me explain: you could easily use greek yogurt here, which would probably be like the most familiar ingredient, but the thing is with greek, yogurt or even skyr, which are that type of yogurt or even you could use like lemonade or some kind of delicious tangy yogurt. The issue with using a yogurt is it’s so tangy and the tanginess kind of takes away from the whole recipe. It’S just a very strong, strong, tanginess cottage cheese is not as tangy but it’s incredibly high in protein and i’m making sure to use like a four percent or higher milk fat to keep that high fat creamy delicious satisfying goodness. I know cottage cheese kind of freaks.
The little people a lot of people out, i didn’t grow up eating cottage cheese. I always thought it was a little bit gross because, like the curds kind of freaked me out, but if you get a really really good brand, where it’s the small curds, it’s delicious, it’s not as tangy it’s so high in protein and when you blend it up, You don’t even know that it was cottage cheese. You just know that there’s this insanely creamy aspect, but because we’re using cottage cheese everything else needed to be kind of room temperature. If you want to make it a sauce, go ahead and add half a cup of water start off small with like a fourth a cup and it will get thinner and thinner. And then you just keep on adding, maybe a tablespoon or two until you get that consistency that you want for a sauce.
So a sauce could be a pasta sauce on top of salad as a salad dressing. On top of your grain bowls, because a dip is great too or spread is great on, like i said, like toast, um, and to go with your eggs to dip vegetables into kind of think of it as a hummus, um kind of substitute. It’S just something different because everything was room. Temperature it’ll definitely thicken a lot while it’s in the fridge, but i will confirm that i taste tested it. It’S incredible.
I just realized everything’s done so let me pull everything together. Okay, so i’ve lost my natural lighting. The sun is about to set somehow that took me three hours in real time without filming it would only take an hour. I swear, but anyways we’re all finished. We have four ready to go hard, boiled eggs, the amazing roasted garlic, white bean, artichoke dip, slash, spread, slash, sauce, slash anything you wanted to be the orange winter spiced hearty delicious grains and lentils.
And last but not least, my favorite, i think of the bunch – is the insanely, delicious honey, balsamic, glazed, roasted root vegetables and that’s the roundup of all the recipes. This is my first recipe article after a few months. So i’m sorry that was a little bit rusty, not in my own kitchen, we’ll get there please be patient. Please try these recipes, they’re, amazing and they’re all so simple to make. I really can’t express how simple all these recipes are.
So i really really really hope you enjoyed. I really hope you got at least i hope you’re excited to try at least one recipe from this article. I’M so so excited that you chose to learn more about the mediterranean diet. It is, it is an incredible incredible. Diet – and i hope you watch more of these articles and just learn more from the diet and the lifestyle and everything that it is and how you can just live your very best, most stressful life through the mediterranean lifestyle.
So, thank you again so so much for watching, i hope you enjoyed. I hope you got some kind of value if you do try these recipes. Let me know in the comments i love to hear your honest feedback. It helps me so much. You have no idea any feedback at all.
Any comments make my day and until next time i hope you create a very, very successful day: ciao.