By Andrea K. Walker
New research has found that the Mediterranean diet is linked to a healthy heart.
The diet is rich in vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts. Thinking of switching or adopting some of the principals of the diet? Here is a Mediterranean diet recipe from the Mayo Clinic to get you started.
Have a healthy recipe you'd like to share? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 small eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small yellow zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small green zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
6 medium mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded, cored and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups coarse polenta (corn grits)
2 teaspoons trans-free margarine
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, sliced
6 dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water to rehydrate, drained and chopped
10 ripe olives, chopped 2 teaspoons oregano
Heat the broiler (grill). Position the rack 4 inches from the heat source.
Brush the eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and red pepper with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange in single layer on a baking sheet and broil under low heat. Turn as needed and brush occasionally with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When tender and slightly browned, remove from the broiler (grill). Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for later use.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a decorative, ovenproof 12-inch flan or quiche dish with cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and slowly whisk in polenta. Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes. When polenta comes away from side of pan, stir in margarine and season with 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper. Remove from heat.
Spread polenta into the base and sides of the baking dish. Brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Drain spinach and press between paper towels. Top polenta with spinach. Arrange a layer of sliced tomatoes, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Top with remaining roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with oregano and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. When warmed through, remove from the oven. Cut into 6 wedges and serve.