Recipes for Mediterranean Diets
Who is Martha Rose Shulman? Why is she an expert on Mediterranean diets?
Martha Rose Shulman is an author of more than 25 cookbooks, of which three won awards:
THE VEGETARIAN FEAST, winner of a 1979 Tastemaker Award of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP); ENTERTAINING LIGHT, winner of a 1991 IACP Cookbook Award; and PROVENÇAL LIGHT, winner of the IACP 1994 Bertolli Olive Oil Award.
Her other cookbooks, such as MEDITERRANEAN LIGHT and MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST: VEGETARIAN RECIPES FROM THE WORLD’S HEALTHIEST CUISINE, are all cookbook award nominees.
She has taught cooking classes around the country and has been featured on GOOD MORNING AMERICA and the FOOD NETWORK.
Prevention Guide: First of all, thank you for being with us here today. Please tell us about yourself, your website and your more than 25 cookbooks.
Martha: For over 30 years I’ve been writing cookbooks and I have a column - Recipes for Health - at NY Times.com that are devoted to healthy diets or to eating well.
Prevention Guide: You have been writing cookbooks for more than 3 decades. What kind of recipes will we find in them? Also, are there particular cusines or diets that have inspired you?
Martha: Most but not all of my recipes are vegetarian, though I do cook chicken and fish, and include them in some of my books of recipes. The emphasis is always on big flavors, fresh produce, food that is vibrant and healthy.
I want my recipes to empower people to cook, so they are just simple recipes. They aren't too difficult. The emphasis is on home cooking. I'm inspired primarily by the cuisines of what is known as the Mediterranean diet. But I also look to Asian and Mexican diets for my recipes.
Prevention Guide: You emphasized cooking foods for both pleasure and health. Can you explain this concept further?
Martha:I would never want to create recipes that are simply healthy but not pleasurable to eat. And I also believe that one can make sensual, pleasurable food that is nonetheless light. The two can go hand in hand.
Prevention Guide: Your latest book "Mediterranean Harvest" is already out. Please tell us more about it.
Martha: Mediterranean Harvest, which is now coming out in paperback, is a large collection of vegetarian simple recipes from the Mediterranean diet.
Although vegetarianism per se is not prevalent in this part of the world, so many of the recipes have produce, grains, eggs, and some dairy products like yogurt at their base. The recipes are full of flavor and are designed to appeal to vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Prevention Guide: I know you were a cooking teacher before you wrote cookbooks and now you are back to teaching. Please tell us more about your cooking school. Why did you decide to go back to teaching?
Martha: I never really stopped teaching. But my colleague, Clifford A. Wright, and I decided to start a cooking school now because we believe that there is a generation of young cooks who are eager to learn more about cooking and specifically, more about the Mediterranean cuisines or diets that we specialize in.
Our school is for home cooks; it isn't a training program for professionals.
Prevention Guide: I believe you are aware that the Mediterranean diet has been discovered to be not only heart-friendly but it also fights inflammation which is the root cause of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis and a lot more. Was this the reason why you are into recipes for Mediterranean diet? If not, what has influenced you?
Martha: No, this isn't the main reason I'm into Mediterranean cooking. I'm into it because the cuisines of the Mediterranean diet (and there are many different cuisines in this part of the world) are really interesting and delicious cuisines.
I'm passionate about healthy cooking, and I'm attracted to cuisines that are inherently healthy. But if they didn't taste so good, I wouldn't be so enthusiastic over these diets.
Prevention Guide: One of your principles of healthy cooking is to sit down to at least one meal with your family or by yourself daily. Can you explain this principle? Why is it an important part of healthy cooking?
Martha: I believe that if we were all more mindful about eating, there wouldn't be so much over-eating and health-related problems that stem from it. Most cultures in the world stop to take their meals. When that stops, health problems ensue. You can't be mindful about what you're eating, and you can't really enjoy good food, if you are eating on the run.
I would like to thank Martha Rose Shulman for sharing her expertise on the Mediterranean diets.
For more info on her, you can visit Martha Rose Shulman.
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