5 healthy meal ideas from the Blue Zones
Try these meal ideas from the areas of the world where people live the longest
This Blue Zone in Loma Linda, southern California, is populated by a group of Seventh-day Adventists. Try our salad that includes ingredients of the Loma Linda Blue Zoners’ diet.
Spinach salad with almonds and oranges
Wash and dry a few handfuls of baby spinach leaves and a handful each of pea sprouts and baby arugula. For the dressing: Pour a couple of tablespoons of almond oil into a jar with a tablespoon of orange juice, a half teaspoon of Dijon mustard and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover the jar and shake well. Toss the dressing with the salad leaves; top with almonds and fresh orange slices.
This Blue Zone is in the mountains of the Nicoyan Peninsula in western Costa Rica. Try our meal idea that reflects elements of the Nicoyan Peninsula Blue Zoners’ diet.
Black bean starter
To a small pot over medium-low heat, add one can of rinsed black beans. Stir in two chopped plum tomatoes, half of a finely chopped onion and one finely chopped jalapeño pepper. Simmer gently, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with some light cheddar cheese, if desired, and serve with soft corn tortillas for dipping. And, of course, the perfect finish to any meal: tropical fruit salad and fresh Costa Rican coffee.
This Blue Zone is a hilly area of the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Italy, and is inhabited mainly by shepherds. Try our meal idea inspired by the diet there.
Fava stew (for two)
Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan. Add one diced onion, a chopped green pepper and some crushed garlic; cook until soft. Stir in a can of diced tomatoes, plus basil and/or oregano. Stir in a can of rinsed fava beans. Add two handfuls of diced lean beef, if desired. Simmer, uncovered, on low for 20 minutes. Top with grated pecorino cheese, and enjoy with whole-grain bread and a glass of red wine.
This Blue Zone is in Greece, on the island of Ikaria in the Aegean Sea. Try our meal idea that reflects elements of the Ikarian Blue Zoners’ diet.
Veggie Souvlaki and Potatoes for two
Thickly slice two large potatoes and place in a small casserole. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Bake, covered, at 350°F until tender, 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, skewer chunks of bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant and onion onto four souvlaki sticks. Brush with olive oil and grill on medium-high heat, turning to cook evenly. Serve with potatoes, and sliced tomatoes sprinkled with a little soft goat cheese.
This Blue Zone in Okinawa, an island in southern Japan, is populated by a tightly knit community of gardeners. Try our meal idea inspired by the Okinawan Blue Zoners’ diet.
Tofu stir-fry with fish (for one)
Grill a piece of firm fish, such as halibut; set aside. Marinate a few cubes of firm tofu in light soy sauce and grated fresh ginger. Thinly slice one sweet potato, and wash a handful of broccoli florets. Heat a little corn oil in a skillet; add tofu cubes and cook until golden; remove and set aside. Add veggies and stir-fry a few minutes. Add a cup of vegetable stock; simmer gently. Add cooked tofu and gently toss. Serve with fish and some rice.