The Mediterranean Diet in the menus at Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria

One of the reasons to go to a thermal spa is to combine health, wellness and the pleasure of life.
These are also the fundamental ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet.
Our chefs at Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria periodically attend culinary medicine courses sponsored by the Mediterranean Diet Foundation. Here, the gastronomic culture merges with the scientific knowledge: it is by combining the recommended levels of nutrient intake and the raw materials of the mediterranean tradition that the dishes in our menus are created.

The rules for the ideal menu

The menu entails three main components.

50% is made up of one or more fibre rich aliments and bioactive components (fruit and vegetables, except for potatoes and legumes). The vegetables should be seasonal and of local or national origin.

25% is an energetic aliment rich in carbohydrates, among which cereals (better if whole wheat) and elements similar to cereals, such as rice, spelt, barley, millet, oats, maize, quinoa, amaranth or their derivate (pasta, bread, polenta). Potatoes also fall into this category.

The remaining 25% is made of a protein rich aliment: one could choose between legumes, fish (blue fish is preferred), lean and white meats (chicken, turkey, rabbit), eggs and cheese.

Fats: extra virgin olive oil is the absolute star
When choosing fats for our diet, we shall choose those of vegetable origin, especially extra virgin olive oil, the most typical one for a Mediterranean diet.

Salt: the less, the better, we shall replace it with spices

We should consume as little salt as possible, and we should prefer sea salt rich in trace elements that are beneficial to our health. It would be best to employ spices and aromatic herbs, which add flavour to our meals and have phytotherapeutic properties.

By respecting these percentages and criteria, we can create a single dish or a menu consisting of three separate recipes:

vegetable starter, main course or first course, main course and side dish

together they provide the same nutrients as the single dish.

Here are some recipes

The menus at Grand Hotel Trieste & Victoria embrace the Mediterranean Diet with pleasure, creativity and variety.

Here are some of the dishes that our chefs created by following the rules of the Mediterranean Diet, and that we serve at our Diaz Restaurant.

Buckwheat bulgur with Edamame

Single dish with the carbohydrates of buckwheat bulgur, the protein of edamame, and the good fats of extra virgin olive oil.

Caciucco di Cicerchie

A single dish with the protein of chickling peas and the carbohydrates of wholemeal bread, the good fats of extra virgin olive oil and, above all, the large number of vegetables with their supply of vitamins, minerals and bioactive substances. Lots of fibre and few calories.

Cacciatora vegetable fricassee with rabbit, porcini mushrooms and potato, and millet pie

A single dish with few calories and all the macronutrients: the carbohydrates of millet and potatoes, the proteins of rabbit meat, the good fats of extra virgin olive oil.

Vertical Salad

A riot of nutrients, with lots of vegetables adding vitamins and minerals to the amberjack protein.

Roll of juicy Carrot flesh, Marinated Sea Bass with Oranges and Peaches

Whole grains, fish, fruit and vegetables in one dish. Venus rice for the carbohydrates and fibre, sea bass for the protein and omega-3, and then the fruit and vegetable combination for the vitamins and minerals.

Curry Ginger Salmon with Millet Meatballs and Vegetable Garden

Savoury spices such as curry and ginger (even if they are not part of the Mediterranean tradition) are an expedient to reduce the use of salt and fatty seasonings but still give taste. In this dish, the rich protein and omega-3 content of the salmon is combined with the vitamins and minerals of the many vegetables used to enrich the dish.

Vegetable Cous Cous Timbale, Indian-style sauce, St Erasmus Island Vegetable Demidoff and Turmeric-scented Chicken Supreme

A unique dish with plenty of local vegetables, cous cous as a source of carbohydrates, chicken to provide protein. Curry and turmeric are valuable flavour enhancers because they reduce the use of salt. A dish that provides about a third of the recommended daily amount of fibre.

Bulgur Timbale, Vegetable Noodles and Prawns on Creamed Potatoes

The fibres of the bulgur with its whole grain, the proteins of the prawns, the carbohydrates of the potatoes, the minerals of the vegetables. All in a single dish with high taste value.

Spelt Oring with Pumpkin and Olive Powder

Spelt is part of Italian gastronomic history, rich in carbohydrates, fibre, minerals and B vitamins. Steaming the pumpkin allows a more effective absorption of its carotenoids.

Tomatoes stuffed with Amaranth, Quinoa and Basil-scented vegetables

A fresh, light and nutritious first course or appetiser with the carbohydrates of amaranth and quinoa and plenty of vegetables. Even the seasonings correspond to the dictates of the Mediterranean Diet: extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, which enhance the flavour while reducing the use of salt.

Spelt pie, roasted celeriac cream, baby carrots in oil

A first course with an excellent source of carbohydrates and a high fibre component, covering one third of the recommended daily intake.

Chickpea Croquettes with Chia Seeds and Sesame on a Tomato and Basil coulis

A legume-based main course that provides the plant-based protein of chickpeas and the good fats of chia seeds, sesame seeds and extra virgin olive oil.

Mackerel fillet with Orange

An important element of this second course is the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, of which mackerel is one of the richest fish. Omega-3 is valuable for the nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems.

Fillet of Gilthead Seabream in a Black Lentil Crust on Beetroot and Honey Sauce and Sautéed Chicory Nest

A main course with protein of high biological value and a good amount of fibre. Beetroot is rich in antioxidants, and chicory has a high content of inulin, a prebiotic fibre useful for intestinal microorganisms.

Salad of Broad Beans, Kidney Beans, Courgettes and their Flowers

A second course with a wide variety of vegetable ingredients, especially legumes, rich in protein. Aromatic herbs and dried tomatoes provide flavour while reducing the use of salt. It provides about one third of the daily fibre quota.

Rabbit loin with leeks on a bed of stewed black cabbage with marjoram scent and port reduction

A white meat main course with protein containing all the essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of vitamin B12, necessary for the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Cicerchie Polenta with Vegetables

Chickling peas, rich in carbohydrates, are accompanied by numerous vegetables that provide vitamins and minerals. The touch of extra virgin olive oil helps provide the good fats that the body always needs.

Smoked Salmon on Courgettes and Orange with Balsamic Glaze Drops

Salmon provides excellent quality protein, as well as being an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, which protect cells from oxidative stress and help maintain a healthy immune and nervous system.

Mackerel fillet in almond crust with Thyme-scented grilled courgettes and trio of coloured cauliflowers

The omega-3 richness of mackerel combines with the vitamins of cauliflower for a main course that combines the savouriness of the sea with the intensity of earthy flavours.

Tajine of Rabbit Legs stuffed with Red Tropea Onions

A white meat main course, an excellent source of protein of high biological value and low in saturated fat. The pink onion and spices add the flavour notes, reducing the need to load up on salt and seasonings.

Chickpea and Vegetable Tigelle

The canons of the Mediterranean diet call for at least 2-3 portions of legumes per week. They are an important source of protein and fibre, and contain no saturated fats. The richness of vegetables (aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes) ensures the supply of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds.

Eggs Asparagus and Truffle

A second course full of energy and taste. Eggs provide protein and vitamins (D, A and the entire daily requirement of B12). Asparagus contains fibre, iron and vitamins. This dish covers more than half of the daily requirement of vitamin K and almost the entire requirement of folic acid. Note that up to four eggs per week do not lead to an increase in cholesterol.