Med Diet Food Glossary

You have reached our glossary of food terms for all types of foods, spices, dishes, and more. We don't want anyone to pass up trying a new food simply because they do not know what it is! Below, we have explained a few terms you may have encountered on a menu or in a recipe. If you have questions about a term that is not listed below, please feel free to contact us.

Arborio Rice: [ar-BOR-ee-o] A short-grain rice whose starch helps turn risotto creamy.

Arugula: [ah-ROO-gah-lah] A zesty salad green with a peppery, mustard flavor. Also called "rocket."

Baba Ghannouge: [ba-ba-gha-NOOJH] Roasted eggplant mixed with lemon juice, tahini, and spices; often served as a dip.

Bouillabaisse: [BWEE-ya-base] A traditional fish stew from France's Provençe region, including fish, shellfish and vegetables such as leeks, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.

Bruschetta: [brew-SKETT-a] An Italian dish made by topping toasted bread with olive oil and various accompaniments like tomatoes, basil, garlic, eggplant, artichokes, and cheese. Often served as an appetizer.

Couscous: [COOS-coos] A grain-like food made by rolling flour and liquid between the fingers to create little "pearls." Typically enjoyed as a base for stews and other foods in North Africa, couscous can be made from wheat or many other grains.

Dukkah: [DUE-kuh] A crumbly mixture of nuts, herbs and seeds. Bread can be dipped in olive oil and then in dukkah.

Falafel: [fuh-LAH-fel] A Middle Eastern dish made from ground chickpeas (or fava beans) and spices that have been shaped into patties and fried (or baked). Flavonoids: A type of water-soluble antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and some drinks (like red wine and tea) that have been found to protect against heart disease and cancer.

Fattoush: [Fah-TOOSH] A Mediterranean salad made with tomatoes, vegetables, and torn-up pieces of bread.

Feta Cheese: [FEH-ta] A type of cheese, cured in brine, popular in Greece, Turkey, and throughout the Middle East.

Gazpacho: [gahz-PAH-cho] A cold tomato-based soup made with raw vegetables, originating in southern Spain.

Hummus/Hommos: [HUM-us] A thick paste made from chickpeas, tahini, oil, lemon juice and garlic; served as a dip or spread. It is an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Meze / Mezze: [MEZ-ay] An array of small dishes served as an appetizer or meal in many areas of the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Moudammas: [MOO dah mess] Cooked fava beans; a popular dish in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Moujaddara: [moo-JUD-a-rah] A popular Arabic dish made of pureed lentils and spices.

Mousakka: [MOO-sah-kah] A famous eggplant casserole popularly made in the Middle East and Greece.

Paella: [pie-YAY-ya] A classic Spanish dish made with rice and seafood.

Pasta e Fagioli: [PAH-stah ay fah-JOE-lee] A traditional Italian soup with pasta, beans and vegetables.

Pesto: [PESS-toe] A paste made of greens, olive oil and other ingredients. While pesto from basil and pine-nuts is perhaps best known, it's fun to try other combinations, too, such as spinach and walnuts.

Pita: [PEA-tah] A flat pocket bread typical of the Middle East.

Ratatouille: [rah-tah-TWEE] Not just the name of a movie! Ratatouille combines eggplant, tomatoes, onions, peppers, olive oil and herbs in a delightful stew.

Tagine: [tah-JHEEN] A slow-cooked North African stew, named after the conical clay pot in which it is cooked.

Tahini/Tahina: [tah-HEE-nee] A sesame seed paste used in several Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and baba ghannouge; It is an excellent source of calcium and potassium.

Tapenade: [tah-peh-NAHD] A thick Provençal spread most commonly made from puréed black olives, capers, and anchovies; however, several other ingredients like roasted red peppers and artichokes can be used.

Tzatziki: [tsah-TSEEK-kee] A Greek and Turkish sauce made of yogurt and cucumbers, with olive oil, garlic, salt, and other optional ingredients such as mint or lemon juice.

Recent Blog Posts

It’s easy to think that when you embrace a vegetarian or vegan diet...
Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of attending an event at the Cu...

E-Newsletter Sign-up

Sign up for one or more of our Oldways newsletters. After you enter your email and click Submit you’ll be given a chance to choose which newsletter(s) you want.

Email: