The Mediterranean diet focuses on foods like fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fibre breads and whole grains, nuts, and olive oil while cheeses, sweets, and red meat are very limited. The recommended foods are rich with monounsaturated fats, fibre, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are all considered heart healthy. If you’re planning to follow or already on a Mediterranean diet, but struggling to find interesting recipes to keep variety in your diet plan, don’t fret.
We have some delectable, must-try recipes to try on a Mediterranean diet:
1. Authentic Greek salad (serves 2)
With ingredients like juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, traditional Greek feta cheese or sweet and creamy fresh Anthotyros cheese, raw onions, crunchy green bell pepper, whole Kalamata olives, a dash of oregano, and a drizzle of virgin olive oil, this authentic Greek salad has a distinct flavor to it. Toss together fresh ingredients right before a meal and serve this Mediterranean diet recipe with crusty bread. Ingredients and instructions:
- 4 tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 onion, diced into medium-sized cubes
- 2 green bell peppers, cubed into bite-sized pieces
- 8-10 whole Kalamata olives
- 6-7 oz fresh Feta or Anthotyros cheese
- 3 teaspoons virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Put all the cut vegetables and olives in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top.
- Season with some oregano, fresh or dried, sprinkle a little black pepper and salt, and give everything a gentle mix.
- Place the cheese on top of this, sprinkle more oregano and coat it with a dash of olive oil.
- Enjoy this fresh and healthy Greek salad immediately.
2. Eggplant lentil curry (serves 2)
Eggplants and lentils are cooked in a tangy, spicy curry for this delicious Meditteranean diet recipe. Quite easy to make, this fragrant dish tastes better when allowed to soak well in mint and olive oil.
Ingredients and instructions are as follows:
- 1/2 cup brown or green lentils, washed and soaked for 3 hours
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 4 eggplants
- 8 ripe tomatoes, chopped roughly
- 2 green bell peppers, cut finely
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, washed and chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons dried mint
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon freshly-powdered cumin
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- Fresh coriander or parsley for garnishing
- Salt to taste
- Add a little salt to the lentils and cook them in about 2 cups of water. Keep this aside.
- Take some cold water in a bowl and add a little salt to it. Slice the eggplants into small cubes, add these to the salt water and leave aside for 30 minutes.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil.
- Add the chopped garlic and onion and sauté until soft.
- Add-in the tomatoes, green bell peppers, mint, thyme, cumin, red chilly powder, and salt.
- Cook this well until the tomatoes are mashed and the sauce thickens.
- Transfer the eggplant to a colander and drain the saltwater. Spread the drained eggplants on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Add the eggplants, lentils, and pomegranate molasses to the tomato gravy.
- Cover the pan tightly and reduce the heat to a minimum. Simmer this stew for an hour, and give it a gentle toss every 10 minutes.
- Switch off the stove and let the eggplant lentil stew rest for some time.
- Garnish with fresh coriander or parsley and serve this flavorsome Mediterranean dish with bread or rice.