Did you know that the Mediterranean diet ranked first as the best overall diet in 2019?
In short, if you’re looking for a diet that tastes delicious and has real health advantages, the Mediterranean diet is your best bet.
It’s practical, emphasizing good-for-you foods without limitation, but it’s also a traditional diet that’s been around for generations — and it’s tasty. If you’re new to the diet and you’ve been looking for a nice mix of Mediterranean food recipes, then you’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of what constitutes Mediterranean cooking and our favorite eight Mediterranean diet recipes.
The Mediterranean Diet 101
There’s a reason why so many of us want to live near the shore. It not only connects us to our natural surroundings. But, it also enables us to appreciate the basic pleasures of life. This entails going back to basics and prioritizing fresh, simple, and healthy foods in terms of cuisine.
Many of these dishes were influenced by my trips, which helped me better appreciate Mediterranean food.
Here are a few essential ingredients to look for in Mediterranean recipes.
The Building Blocks of the Diet
First, consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. I’m constantly trying to sneak in more greens, as you know. Veggies and fruits are nutrient-dense, fiber-rich, good for digestion, and have many anti-inflammatory properties.
Then, you’ll want to choose lighter meat and more seafood.
Fresh fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients. Chicken is also high in protein, which is beneficial to bones and heart health. The trick is to strike a healthy balance, to include more seafood in your weekly meals.
Also, you should include legumes and grains in your diet.
These plant-based alternatives are high in fiber and protein, and they’re also very satisfying. Plus, there are so many different ways to prepare and consume them!
Don’t forget to enjoy every moment of it.
This way of living necessitates slowing down and spending time at the dinner table with friends and family. It encourages you to eat more slowly, to savor each mouthful, to listen to your body, and to prevent overeating.
Now, let’s explore the recipes that will change your life. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to calculate your Mediterranean diet macros to stay true to your diet.
1. The Queen of Mediterranean Food Recipes: Grain Bowls With Chickpeas and Lentils
Consuming more beans and lentils while you’re new to the Mediterranean diet is one method to make a significant difference in your eating habits (and health).
A foundation of wonderfully chewy farro, lentils, and chickpeas is topped with vegetables, avocado, Kalamata olives, and feta — adding a vibrant lemony garlic sauce — for a substantial lunch or supper. Even better, leftovers are easy to store for a fast throw-together dinner the following day.
It’s a quick and healthy recipe that will ease your way into the diet.
2. Roasted White Beans With Vegetables
Beans are a wonderfully filling dish, mainly when served with crusty whole-grain bread on the side.
The extra step of using dry beans may not be something you’re accustomed to, but the unbelievably smooth texture is well worth the extra effort.
3. Arugula Salad With Orange Slices
If there was ever a recipe that earned a prize for being the most beautiful, this is it. And the fact that it’s visually stunning alone will entice you to make this meal.
Peppery baby arugula is paired with sweet oranges, creamy goat cheese, crisp almonds, and radishes in this salad. With a piece of roasted white fish on the side, you’ve got yourself a light yet substantial dinner.
4. Mediterranean Breakfast Spread
Let us introduce you to the Mediterranean breakfast board if you’re stuck in a breakfast rut.
Instead of making pancakes and eggs on a Sunday morning, put up a lovely board of Mediterranean favorites, including sliced cucumber and tomatoes, pita, falafel, hummus, feta cubes, and artichokes, marinated olives, and mushrooms. Allow everyone to go to town designing their dish.
5. Pan-Baked Veggies and Shrimp
Weeknight meals are difficult to come up with. That’s why a dish that takes only 25 minutes to prepare (including prep time) is a godsend. Plus, there’s just one sheet pan involved, so cleanup is a breeze.
This dish, like many others in the Mediterranean Dish, is known for producing high-flavor meals from simple ingredients: Asparagus, cherry tomatoes, onion, and shrimp are marinated in olive oil, garlic, cumin, and sumac before being roasted in the oven until caramelized.
6. Creamy Greek Salad Pasta
Most pasta salads can get a bit boring. But not this one.
If you want to take pasta salad to the next level, this recipe is for you.
A creamy, herby Greek yogurt dressing is wrapped around cooled pasta and various veggies (onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and corn). Make this the next time you’re expected to bring a dish to a potluck or serve at a party.
7. Farro Salad With Feta and Avocado: Bonus of Roasted Cauliflower
Salads made with grains are ideal for bringing to work. Toss roasted cauliflower with salty Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and sundried tomatoes in a large pot of farro (you’ll enjoy it even more than brown rice).
This salad will become your new favorite when served on a bed of greens.
8. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
You probably already know that pasta is an essential part of a Mediterranean diet.
This dish calls for whole-grain pasta, and the chef is encouraged to cook the noodles al dente, which reduces the glycemic index of the noodles, meaning they are absorbed more slowly, and you won’t experience a blood sugar rise and fall. Choosing whole-grain noodles can also help you prevent a crash.
Weight Loss Recipes Don’t Have to Suck
There’s no denying that changing up your nutrition plans is one of the most common new year resolution items. The tricky part is picking a diet plan that’s fulfilling, delicious, and high in nutrients at the same time.
This is where a Mediterranean diet shines. We hope that our guide has given you the top eight Mediterranean food recipes that will help you make the switch stick forever.
And, if you liked reading our article, then you’ll love checking out our additional tips and tricks. You’ll find them all in our lifestyle section.