Faithful readers of this blog and my books know that I’m not a fan of meal replacement bars. But what I am a fan of is handy and healthy snack foods that we can have available to keep us away from the vending machines full of over-processed snacks that not only add to our waistline, but also confuse our metabolisms with all sorts of unnecessary ingredients. Thankfully, there are some innovative companies like Mediterra Mediterranean Nutrition that are offering us options that turn the average snack bars (even those that claim to be “healthy”) on their ears… Or on their packages anyway.
Gotta love a selection that includes actual savory flavors as well as sweeter varieties. Created to compliment a Mediterranean Diet, these healthy alternatives to junk food can be used with any eating plan or diet (after all, variety is the spice of life… Or something like that). The pre-packaged portions are great for those of us who still have issues with portion control (that still includes me by the way).
What’s more, it’s fun to get inventive with the savory flavors (which include Sundried Tomato & Basil and Black Olive & Walnuts). For example, both make a great — and healthier — alternative to adding croutons to salads or soups. I love crumbling them onto salads for dinner parties. People think I’ve created some sort of super healthy, super delicious concoction and are usually very impressed. Do I admit I simply took the ingredients out of the “clean label” wrappers and that it involved no work at all? Usually. But only after the compliments have died down!
Mediterra’s website (full of interesting articles for anyone interested in investigating the Mediterranean diet) has a bunch of recipes that use their bars in very unique ways (check out the Traditional Mediterranean Green Bean Salad with Sundried Tomato & Basil Bar recipe, below). This is what I love about these bars. They’re not about meal replacement. They’re about meal — and life — enhancement… With real food. (Crazy concept — at least it seems to be to many of today’s traditional food manufacturers.)
And no, none of this is a paid endorsement. I consider it my duty to share ideas for food products that can contribute to our overall health rather than rob us of it.
Recipe: Traditional Mediterranean Green Bean Salad
(made with with Sundried Tomato & Basil Bar)
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 scallions, trimmed and cut into paper-thin rounds
1 small garlic clove, minced
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (preferably Greek)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Greek honey
2 Mediterra Sundried Tomato-Basil bars, chopped
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Steam green beans in a steamer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente.
2. Once the beans have cooked, transfer them into a colander, and run cold water over them immediately. Let the green beans drain well.
3. Place the green beans, scallions, garlic and tomatoes in a large serving bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, honey, salt and pepper. Pour onto the salad and toss. Garnish with the broken up Mediterra Tomato-Basil bars and serve.
Recipe used by permission. For more recipes utilizing Mediterra bars, click here. For anyone wanting to check out the various flavors of Mediterra bars, you can visit their website or even find them at select Target stores. (If you don’t see them at your local Target, ask for them and other healthy snack alternatives! The more available these types of foods are for purchase, they healthier we’ll all be!)
Photo Source: Mediterra