Mediterranean Cooking for the Holidays

by CHWB Team
December 13, 2022

The Mediterranean diet has become a top diet followed by people all over the world for its health benefits and delicious options. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the Mediterranean diet number one on its 40 Best Diets Overall list for 2022 (Hinzey, 2022), citing its many health benefits including; it may reduce a women’s risk of stroke, may prevent cognitive decline, and may protect against cancer (Salomon, 2022).  Along with the three listed above, Everyday Health shared eight health benefits of following the Mediterranean diet. Here are a few: 

  1. “The Mediterranean Diet may reduce your risk of heart disease.  

Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. One study completed had participants randomly assigned to three groups; all of them received guidance on the Mediterranean diet and were not advised to restrict calories. One group was given free extra-virgin olive oil with instructions to consume a minimum amount; another group was given free mixed nuts and guidance on a minimum to consume; and the third group was given nonfood gifts. Those who ate the calorie-unrestricted Mediterranean diet with supplemented olive oil or nuts had about a 30 percent lower risk of heart events at the end of the follow-up period than the control group.  

  1. The Mediterranean Diet May Help with Weight Loss and Maintenance 

Likely because of its focus on whole, fresh foods, the Mediterranean diet may help you lose weight in a safe, healthy, and sustainable way. 

  1. Some Foods in the Mediterranean Diet May Ease Depression 

The Mediterranean way of eating is linked to lower incidence of depression, according to an analysis of 41 observational studies. The pooled data from four longitudinal studies revealed that the diet was associated with a 33 percent reduced risk of depression, compared with participants who followed a “pro-inflammatory diet” (richer in processed meats, sugar, and trans fats) that is more typical of a standard American diet” (Salomon, 2022). 

With holiday meals with friends and family right around the corner, there is no better time than now to add something new to your holiday feast. The Center for Health & Wellbeing hosts cooking classes in our Nutrition Theatre during which attendees learn about the benefits, ingredients, and recipes that lead to a healthier you. Our “Mediterranean Cooking for the Holidays” class focused on incorporating Mediterranean recipes into the festive season. Chef Collette Haw, a classically trained Culinary Institute of America graduate with a passion for seasonal and sustainable cooking, demonstrated how to make four delicious additions to add to your holiday spread. During the program, Chef Collette cooked ground lamb dolmas, fig cookies, rosemary chicken with whipped feta and roasted garlic and presented an antipasto platter. Below is a recipe for Chef Collette’s rosemary chicken with whipped feta and roasted garlic that you can add to your festive feast this holiday season.  

Create Delicious Meals with a Cooking Class at the Center for Health & Wellbeing 

Interested in attending future cooking classes at the CHWB? Register for our cooking classes and other Community Education programs here.  


Hinzey, E. (2022, September 23). Mediterranean Diet. U.S. News. 

Salomon, S. H., Lawler, M., & Kennedy, K. R. (2022, June 10). 8 Scientific Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet.  

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