WATCH: 5 Middle Eastern dishes that are nutritious and healthy

WATCH: 5 Middle Eastern dishes that are nutritious and healthy

QL Videos
By QL Videos

Keeping in view the importance of good nutrition now, more than ever, today's QL Flashback Friday focuses on 5 Healthy Middle Eastern dishes that not only taste good but also do wonders to your immune system.

Remember, nutrition plays a key role in keeping up a well-rounded lifestyle that's good for your body, mind and soul.

Here are the five healthy dishes:

1. Hummus

Hummus is a Levantine dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and around the world.

Not only is hummus a good source of plant-based protein, but it can also help fight illness and disease, decrease inflammation, and help your digestion and intestinal health.

Hummus is high in vitamins and minerals, supports bone health, can help protect heart health and boost energy.

The earliest known recipes for a dish similar to hummus bi tahina are recorded in cookbooks written in Cairo in the 13th century.

Though chickpeas were widely eaten in the region, and they were often cooked in stews and other hot dishes, puréed chickpeas eaten cold with tahini do not appear before the Abbasid period in Egypt and the Levant.


2. Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is an eggplant dish that originated in Levant cuisine, frequently used for dipping. It is served mostly as an appetizer.

The dish contains mainly olive oil and eggplant. Some cultures add in tahini, garlic, and pomegranate concentrate or lemon juice to add depth of flavour.

In Turkish culture, it is called both baba ghanoush and patlican salatasi, which means eggplant salad.

Most of the time it is either boiled or broiled until it is soft and then mashed with additional flavours and olive oil. Many cultures serve the mashed mixture with rice, pitas or another type of bread native to their nation.

Baba Ghanoush is eaten in many Middle Eastern countries such as Syria, Lebanon and extending as far as the territorial reach of the Ottoman Empire. But, Baba Ghanoush is also big in Brazil and West India.


3. Yoghurt salad

Aside from the key ingredient of yoghurt, this salad is often blended with shredded cucumber and flavoUred with mint, parsley and/or dill. The variety of flavoUring options makes it a versatile dish that is low in calories and fat while packing a decent protein punch.

Fresh mint leaves are frequently used in Middle Eastern dishes due to their high manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A concentrations.

Mint leaves and peppermint oil extracts have also been found to help soothe stomach problems such as indigestion and aid the body in neutralizing free radicals among other benefits.


4. Shish tawook

Shish kebab is a popular appetizer and entrée in Middle Eastern cuisine, but it is not typically a healthy meal to consume on a frequent basis.

Shish kebabs are commonly prepared with beef and lamb which contain higher fat counts.

Shish taouk is a chicken shish kebab meal that, like chicken shawarma, can be served with a variety of components including tomatoes, peppers and onions.

Unlike beef and lamb shish kebabs, the shish taouk is served with white meat chicken (make sure to get white meat) which is a leaner meat that has a lower fat content.


5. Vegetable tagine

Many people don’t commonly associate Middle Eastern cuisine with vegetarian meals. There is a seemingly endless list of Middle Eastern dishes containing beef and lamb which have high-fat contents.

Vegetable Tagine is a Moroccan dish that offers a nice vegetarian option for fans of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Tagine is a stew-like dish that is often served in a clay pot and consists of a tomato base with chickpeas and raisins as the primary ingredients.

Vegetable tagine has a high fibre count and healthy antioxidants that make it a good choice for dieters and the health-conscious alike.

What are your favorite Middle Eastern dishes? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Cover Image Credit: nutrizonia.com.

Inline Images Credit: 1 - diabetes.org.uk, 2 - realfood.tesco.com, 3 - dishocean.com, 4 - strongertogether.com, 5 - foodmatters.com.

By mohdata• 21 Feb 2018 07:50
mohdata

most middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisine is healthy nutritious and of course super duper delicious; its my favourite and even more so than my own native cuisine which is awesome too :-) good food is one of the biggest pleasures of life subhanallah yummy!!!

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