Memory Diet

Mayo Clinic's Women's Healthsource July newsletter reports that the Feburary 2009 issue of Archives of Neurology suggests a Mediterranean-style diet will help keep our brains sharp.

That means plenty of fruits, veggies, fish, whole grains, and unsaturated fats (think olive oil).

It's pretty strong stuff. The study found that participants with a "mid-to high-level adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet were significantly less likely to develop cognitive decline when compared with those with a low adherence to this way of eating." 

Marie, over at Blue Ridge Blog, wants the recipe for the grilled veggie photo I posted a couple of days ago. Just so happens, it comes from a cookbook called The Mediterranean Diet by Nancy Harmon Jenkins.  (I'll post the basic recipe at the end.) Timely, eh?

The grilled veggies are not as big a pain to prepare as you might think. I did a whole pile of them on my old indoor grill, layered them in a shallow pasta bowl, poured on the marinade, covered the dish with plastic wrap, and went swimming. 

Buck and I used "leftovers" of the grilled veggies and tuna from dinner the night before to make our lunch yesterday. Tasty way to amortize both cost and effort! And there are still some veggies left. They will go great with grilled chicken tomorrow. The white blob on the plate by the tuna is wasabi mayonaise. Looks bland, but it's got a nice little kick.


There are lots of recipe variations for grilled veggies. Nancy Harmon Jenkins's recipe, "Grilled Vegetables with Oil and Vinegar," calls for 2 eggplants, 2 red peppers, 2 yellow peppers, 3 zucchini and a little olive oil for brushing on the veggies. I only used one eggplant, and one red pepper to go along with the 3 zucchinis.

Her marinade calls for: 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced (or use a little salt to taste if you don't want to use the hairy fish), and one tablespoon of minced fresh mint, thyme, or oregano (no contest here, for me — I pulled a few sprigs of oregano and thyme from the weed patch).

Jenkins says to cut lengthwise 1/2 inch slices of the eggplant, put them in a bowl with salted water to cover (1/4 cup salt for every 2 quarts water is her recommendation, but I didn't measure either one), weight them down with a can of tomatoes on top of a plate (just so they don't float to the top). Leave them to soak a couple of hours, then drain, dry off with paper towels, brush with oil and grill.

Slice the zucchinis on a deep diagonal, brush with oil and grill. Jenkins recommend cutting the peppers in half, but since I only had one, I cut it into 6 wedges. Use common sense, and grill them until they're as done as you like them. 

Gotta run. I'm going to go eat another handful of those gorgeous, sweet U-Pick blueberries Harold brought by this morning.

p.s. Blueberries are some of the best brain food around. I'm going to get a double handful!

4 thoughts on “Memory Diet

  1. I’m inspired now 🙂
    We always have a fourth of july block party which is really just an excuse for beef, potato chips and twenty million different desserts. I’ll stick out as the oddball I’m getting more and more used to being – but I’ll remember what I ate 🙂


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