Mediterranean Diet: Weekend Comfort Food Ideas, Panini & Pasta Recipes from Mooney Farms

Italian Panini from Mooney Farms

Italian Panini from Mooney Farms

Mediterranean Diet

For centuries, the people of the Mediterranean countries knew of the value of diets low in saturated fats, high in fruits and vegetables to be an important element in their longevity. Ancel Keys, an American who studied the influence of diet on health and who lived himself until 101 years of age, popularized the Mediterranean Diet whose followers had the lowest rates of chronic disease.

Mediterranean food contains less cholesterol and has more healthy fats, including monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats, which contain the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. The Mediterranean Diet is associated with less heart disease and protection from some cancers.

A popular ingredient of the diet is Sun Dried Tomatoes which contain lycopene, a phytochemical and proven antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. Ounce per ounce, sun dried tomatoes have 12 times the amount of Lycopene than a raw tomato and studies show that a tomato rich diet is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, digestive disorders, breast, lung cervical cancers and heart disease.

Here are two recipes supportive of the Mediterranean diet presented by Mooney Farms, producers of sun dried tomatoes.

Italian Panini

1 flat bread

4 thick slices mozzarella

4 slices prosciutto di parma

1/2 cup Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomato Pesto

½ cup fresh spinach

4 to 6 whole basil leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

Brush one side of flat bread with olive oil, flip over. Spread sun dried tomato pesto on uncoated side of bread. Layer slices of mozzarella, prosciutto, fresh spinach & basil leaves. Fold over and grill. Slice and serve.

Bella’s Perfect Mediterranean Pasta


16 ounces Linguini

1-8.5 ounce jar Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Halves in Olive Oil & Herbs

1 clove roasted garlic

½ cup walnut pieces, toasted

1 cup arugula, chopped


Cook linguini according to directions. Strain. Gently toast the walnut pieces in a dry skillet over medium heat until they brown and are slightly fragrant. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel away outer layer of garlic bulb skin leaving individual cloves inside. Cut ¼ inch off top exposing cloves, place in a pan and drizzle evoo to coat. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Scoop cloves into pasta and toss with the sun dried tomatoes in olive oil & herbs, walnut pieces, and arugula. Serve.


About Mooney Farms
Mooney Farms began in 1987 as a family owned kiwi farming operation, selling their products locally at the farmer’s markets in Northern California. But when they added sun dried tomatoes to their offerings, the Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil & Herb sold out in a record four hours. Soon, a focus on Sun Dried Tomatoes and the Mediterranean diet began. Built on a foundation of family values, Mooney Farms has grown into the largest producer of Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil in the United States.
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