Mediterranean recipes embrace vibrant foods that are rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats. With a focus on plant-based ingredients and all sorts of seafood, these easy and healthy meals will have you feeling good from the inside out!
The Mediterranean Lifestyle
There’s a reason why many of us gravitate towards a coastal lifestyle. Not only does it connect us with our natural environment, but the temperate climate allows us to enjoy the simple things in life. In the realm of food, that means getting back to basics and putting fresh, easy, and wholesome ingredients first.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because that’s what Downshiftology is all about! Many of these recipes were inspired through my travels, helping me understand what Mediterranean cuisine really is. Here’s a few key components of Mediterranean recipes:
Load up on veggies and fruits. You know I’m always trying to sneak in more greens! Veggies and fruits are nutrient dense, loaded with fiber, great for digestion, and boast a plethora of anti-inflammatory benefits.
Opt for more fish and lighter meat. Fresh fish provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a variety of vitamins. And chicken is rich in protein that’s good for bones and heart-health. The key here is to keep a good balance, with the goal of incorporating more seafood into your weekly meals.
Embrace legumes and grains. These plant-based options are full of fiber, protein, and as you might imagine, they’re quite filling. Plus, there’s so many creative ways to cook and eat them!
Savor every minute of it. This lifestyle calls for slowing things down and enjoying time with friends and family at the dinner table. It encourages you to eat at a slower pace, appreciate each bite, and tune in to your body and avoid overeating.
Mediterranean Recipes For Breakfast
Loading up on vegetables and good-for-you proteins is highly encouraged, especially at breakfast. And good news – there’s an endless array of satiating breakfast ideas to choose from.
Shakshuka: This is a classic Mediterranean dish that combines simmering tomatoes, onions, spices and poached eggs into a nourishing and filling meal.
Sweet Potato Toast: Upgrade your “avocado toast” with sweet potato as the base, and top it off with a poached egg, spinach, avocado, and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Green Shakshuka: This healthy green spin on the classic dish is a great way to make use of leftover veggies in your fridge, such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, and zucchini.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash: Turn you average breakfast hash into a colorful, nutrient-dense one that goes beyond just using white potatoes.
Homemade Yogurt: Add this to a bowl along with fruits and nuts for a sweet and healthy way to start your morning.
Breakfast Egg Muffins: Incorporate your favorite vegetables and proteins into the most delicious, on-the-go breakfast option (that’s perfectly portioned).
Orange Shakshuka: If the fall weather is near, this shakshuka is a creative and delicious way to enjoy roasted butternut squash.
Smoked Salmon Frittata: Salmon for breakfast is always a smart idea, and weaving it into a frittata couldn’t be more delicious.
Easy Oatmeal Recipe: Last but not least, create sweet and savory oatmeal bowls for a hearty and filling breakfast.
Mediterranean Recipes With Legumes
You’d be surprised what you can do with a bag of lentils or a can of chickpeas. Sure, you can toss them into salads for an extra source of protein. But did you know you can bake them into a flatbread or blend into a hummus?
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: Chickpeas are the star of this dish, accompanied by fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, feta cheese, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette.
Best Hummus Recipe: Ah, a Mediterranean must-have for almost any meal. Dip it, spread it, or dollop it – this creamy blend of chickpeas is extremely versatile!
Very Best Lentil Soup: Lentils are a mighty source of protein and work beautifully in a variety of soups – especially in this one with a smoky, savory flavor.
Falafel: These little balls of chickpea goodness will certainly have you going back for seconds! Just don’t forget to drizzle them with my homemade Tahini sauce. It makes all the difference.
Falafel Flatbread: If you’re looking to get extra creative, bake blended chickpeas and herbs into a delicious flatbread!
In between meals, fruits, nuts, and fresh cut veggies are ideal when you want something to nibble on. You can also pair veggie sticks with creamy and flavorful dips to make them that much more enjoyable.
Fresh And Easy Mediterranean Salads
It goes without saying that salads are an easy way to toss together fresh ingredients. Just grab some of your favorite greens, fruits, and even seafood. Then tie it all together with the best homemade sauces and dressings for a flavorful-packed, satisfying meal.
Salmon Avocado Salad: Pan-seared salmon is layered on top of spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and red onions for a salad that’s big on nutrients and flavor.
Israeli Salad: A simple combo of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, and fresh herbs goes a long way.
Caprese Salad: Ripe tomatoes and creamy mozzarella make such a simple, yet elegant salad that stands the test of time.
Easy Cucumber Salad: With the help of onion, dill, and vinegar, sliced cucumbers never tasted so good!
Baked Sweet Potato: The beauty of a baked sweet potato is that it’s great as a side dish on it’s own. But you can also stuff it with veggies, legumes, and shredded chicken, plus a drizzle of tzatziki sauce for a meal in itself .
Beet Soup: If you love beets, this vibrant, savory, heart-healthy soup is loaded with nutrients.
It’s All About Fish In Mediterranean Recipes!
As I mentioned earlier, fish is the go-to protein when eating Mediterranean food. From salmon to tuna to cod, there’s so many delicious options to choose from. Bonus, they’re a no-fuss ingredient when it comes to cooking (hello 30 minute or less meals!).
Baked Tuna Meatballs: You best believe that your canned tuna can be transformed into the most delicious, savory meatballs!
Best Baked Cod: With the help of garlic, butter, and lemon, cod is baked into a perfectly flaky fish every time.
Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers: Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, these grilled shrimp skewers are easy to make and marinated with the best garlic herb mixture.
For days when you want to splurge on red-meat, here’s a few lighter favorites:
Build Delicious Mediterranean Bowls
When you have leftover odds and ends, build a Mediterranean bowl! Start with a base of grains or leafy greens. Pile on fresh or roasted vegetables, chickpeas, falafels, nuts, seeds or olives. Then add a dollop of your favorite hummus blend or a drizzle of tzatziki sauce. Here’s a few tasty ideas for added colors and textures:
If you make any of these delicious Mediterranean recipes, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.