THE HEALTHY BONES PACKAGE DEAL: MEDITERRANEAN GRILLED SARDINES

From all I’ve seen so far, osteoporosis prevention tends to rest on three pillars: calcium, vitamin D, and weight-lifting. I think the latter may not be fully achievable through home cooking (unless you count carrying groceries) but combining calcium with vitamin D surely is. At this stage of our lives, most of us are taking some sort of calcium supplement, but I find it’s always best if I can complement it with hearty, exotic dishes.
These tiny Mediterranean grilled sardines are the ultimate package deal for osteoporosis prevention:  sardines have both tons of calcium and a relatively high amount of vitamin D, and they’re covered in olive oil (another remarkable bone-boosting food) and fresh lemon slices. See for yourself:


grilled sardinesINGREDIENTS:

  • 8 large cleaned sardines
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 4 lemons
    3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

  1. Rinse the sardines and pat them down gently with paper towels.
  2. Place one thyme sprig inside each sardine, and arrange them in a ceramic dish.
  3. Squeeze and grate 3 lemons, then whisk together the juice with olive oil, cumin, and garlic.
  4. Pour over the resulting mixture on top of the sardines and sprinkle the grated lemon rind on top. Cover and let marinate (in the fridge!) for at least two hours.
  5. Place the sardines on a greased broiler rack – but don’t discard the marinade – and cook for 3 minutes per side. One minute before they’re done, re-add the marinade.
  6. Slice the last lemon in wedges, and serve! Use the lemon and some leftover thyme for garnishing.

Although this recipe requires some planning-ahead while it marinates, you can do the first part up to 12 hours in advance. It works great as a no-saturated-fat alternative for a potluck BBQ, or just a normal main dish alongside some salad. Also, it’s perfectly compatible with a Mediterranean diet, which is full of benefits for hormone balance and general health.

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