Lunch or Dinner Entrees on the Mediterranean Diet
Eating a plant-based diet is one of the fundamentals of Mediterranean cuisine and one of the major reasons for the health benefits found in the Mediterranean diet. Many regions in the Mediterranean enjoy pasta as well, but it’s the crown jewel of Italian cooking in particular. Adding vegetables to pasta is a no-brainer.
The bottom line is simple: The more nutrients you eat from your foods, the better health you experience. Part of the goal with eating the Mediterranean way is to decrease animal protein and increase plant-based proteins.
Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables isn’t the only way to incorporate plant foods; people who live on the Mediterranean coast also consume a good amount of legumes, otherwise known as lentils and beans, which are chock-full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are a good source of protein. (They also contain trace amounts of fats.)
Residents of the Mediterranean often eat pasta as a side dish with simple sauces and fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices. You can also find vegetarian pastas as main entrees, often with cheese and beans for protein.
Every culture has its version of fast food. However, Mediterranean fast food isn’t about greasy drive-through restaurants; it’s quick, easy-to-pull-together foods. Pizzas, pitas, gyros, and sandwiches are all popular forms of quick meals on the Mediterranean coast.
Use the Pizza Dough recipe and add your own flavorful toppings. Remember, though, to use a whisper of sauce or olive oil on your crust and just a sprinkle of cheese. Let the flavor of the dough, fresh vegetables, and lean meats you choose really come through.
Grilled Chicken and Roasted Pepper Panini
Italians in particular love their bread, and you see it used in many different ways throughout their cooking. Paninis are a popular style of Italian sandwich that involves smashing the final sandwich between hot irons similar to a waffle iron. Of course, big crusty bread topped with local favorites like vegetables and seafood is another common choice.
So throw out those boring old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and try a Mediterranean-inspired twist.
Mussels with Tomatoes and Basil
If you love seafood, shellfish is probably at the top of your list. The Mediterranean Diet embraces all sorts of seafood. The good news is you don’t have to eat out. Many shellfish recipes are easy to make from your own kitchen, where you can control the amount of oil or butter that's added.