mediterranean diet spread mediterranean diet spread It's time to add more Med to your meals. (Photo: Antonina Vlasova/Shutterstock)

How to get started on the world's best diet

The Mediterranean diet took top billing on U.S. News and World Report's Best Diet ranking. It's time to rev up your menu.

With a new year upon us, your fitness, weight loss and overall health goals have likely taken a front seat this week. So allow us to provide you with another reason to make your resolutions stick: U.S. News and World Report just ranked the Mediterranean diet No. 1 in their annual Best Diets ranking.

The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern marked by lean proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables and fatty fish for meals that are heart-healthy as well as filling. The diet also took the top spot in several subcategories – including best diet for healthy eating, best plant-based diet, best diet for diabetes and easiest diet to follow.

Fans of our Israeli Kitchen channel are aware how fantastic this diet is, and why. We've been singing its praises in the form of eye-opening research studies, numerous meal ideas and detailed how-tos for those who are curious about the diet and its benefits. So you might say we've got some authority over this particular topic.

Between the myriad coverage of the diet and our dependable expertise, it's quite clear that this is the way to go if your goal is to get healthy in 2019. But how, you might ask? Allow us, once again, to get you started: with a full Mediterranean diet-approved meal straight from our Israeli Kitchen recipe archives, all handpicked to give your body the nutrients, energy and dynamic flavors it craves.

Starter: Israeli salad

Israeli salad Israeli salad is a medley of diced vegetables like tomato and cucumber. (Photo: Fanfo / Shutterstock)

This is a good starter for any meal, but what we like about this is the versatility of this salad: you'll find it across homes in Israel as a staple, but also for sale by the bowlful in street-corner cafes for customers to spoon over their hot falafel. Eating it on its own ain't too shabby, either. And it's a simple combo: fresh veggies, chopped to your liking, with a lemon juice spritz, a drizzle of olive oil and some mint leaves for garnish. You can also fancy it up, as our chef Miriam Kresh did in her 2015 recipe: a few grated carrots, some green or black olives, perhaps a bell pepper for a splash of color ... go ahead, get chopping!

Our full recipe: Israeli salad

Main course: Grilled sea bass in spicy lemon marinade

Grilled sea bass Grilled sea bass (Photo: Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock)

Keeping meals simple and allowing the foods' natural flavors to shine through are frequent recommendations among Mediterranean diet adherents. You'll be pleased with the results if you take those recommendations to heart when preparing your fish, as in this grilled sea bass in spicy lemon marinade prepared by Kresh. Any fish will do for this recipe, but what makes this dinner pop is its rich aroma of lemons and herbs atop a fresh-from-the-grill, hot fillet. Variations of this dish are commonly served in Mediterranean restaurants around the world, to the delight of hungry (and often health-conscious) guests.

Our full recipe: Grilled sea bass with spicy lemon marinade

Side: Smoky cauliflower steaks with horseradish sauce

cauliflower steaks Cauliflower makes a great meatless entree centerpiece. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

If you haven't been enlightened on the versatility and flexibility of cauliflower, now's your chance: You can rice it, mash it, roast it, puree it, even turn it into pizza crust. Here, we keep it fairly basic: Cut a fresh cauliflower head into three steaks, starting at the root end to hold it together; lay them on a baking sheet, shmear with olive oil, and sprinkle with smoky salt and pepper.

Our full recipe: Smoky cauliflower steaks

Dessert: Raspberry banana 'nice cream'

raspberry banana nice cream With hemp seeds for protein, this nice cream is truly a powerhouse snack. (Photo: Esther Berkowitz)

Next time you're in the mood for ice cream, make it "nice cream," or nana cream, made with a frozen banana base. This gives the treat a creamy texture and a mild banana flavor that works well with almost any other fruit, chocolate, cinnamon or coffee additions to up the flavor profile. It doesn’t get more delicious (and easy) than this. And with the added hemp seeds for protein, this nice cream is truly a powerhouse end to your meal.

Our full recipe: Raspberry banana 'nice cream'


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How to get started on the world's best diet
The Mediterranean diet took top billing on U.S. News and World Report's Best Diet ranking. It's time to rev up your menu.