May is Mediterranean Diet Month, and to celebrate I’ve decided to compile the some of the basics for a Mediterranean diet and a list of the Best Mediterranean Recipes from Innocent Delight (all of which are on a heavy rotation in my household). You’ll find everything from Breakfasts to Dinners, and everything in between. Let’s get started…
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Mediterranean Diet Principles
Mediterranean Diet is easy to follow. In fact, some may say that it’s actually more of a lifestyle then the actual diet. As it’s name implies, it’s what people from counties surrounding This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here. Sea love to eat, and they’re among the healthiest people in the world. Just look at Ikaria, one of the Blue Zones, where there are the greatest concentration of Centurians (people who live up to a 100 years).
Personally, that’s a convincing argument for me to follow this diet. While I do cook dishes from throughout Europe, the majority of our diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet principles. So, without further ado, here they are:
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, whole grains and nuts. For example…
- Leafy greens (like spinach, kale, swiss chard, & mustard greens)
- Non-starchy vegetables (like tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers, artichokes, & fennel)
- Whole grains (like barley, brown rice, bulgar, wheat berries, etc)
- Legumes (like lentils, beans, & chickpeas)
- Nuts (like almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, etc.);
- Avoid saturated fats, and replace them with Extra Virgin Olive oil (plenty of olive oil!!)
- Limit your intake of red meat, and eat fish and lean poultry twice a week;
- Use a generous amount of spices to flavor your foods (like Paprika, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Cumin, etc.);
- Drink red wine – in moderation;
- Get plenty of natural physical activities (like walking, gardening, exercising, etc)
Check out the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid below, it covers all the basics.
Infographic, courtesy of Oldways
Mediterranean Diet Spices
Mediterranean cuisines use a tone of fresh herbs (like Parsley, Dill, Fennel, Oregano, & Rosemary), but also an assortment of dried spices to flavor their foods. Here’s a list of Mediterranean spices that are staples in my pantry (I like to use organic spices whenever possible):
- Smoked Paprika
- Spanish Smoked Paprika
My favorite Mediterranean Diet condiments
My pantry is also stocked up with these Mediterranean Diet condiments:
The Best Mediterranean Recipes form Innocent Delight
Now let’s get into the best part…all the savory, healthy and super delicious recipes that I’ve been creating and recreating, time and again. While you will find a lot of Mediterranean Recipes on this blog, for this Mediterranean Diet Month compilation I’ve handpicked my family’s favorites. I’m confident that you’ll find something that you like here too.
Mediterranean Breakfast Recipes
- Shakshouka – this is a classic Mediterranean breakfast – you can find it throughout the Middle East.
- Baked Eggs with Tomatoes and Feta – this is a go to during the time of year when my garden is producing an abundance of juicy tomatoes.
- Baked Eggs with Tomatoes and Pesto – this one is my newest Keto obsession breakfast.
Mediterranean Appetizers Recipes
- Chipotle Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts – I make it for virtually every party and it is always a huge hit.
- Traditional Greek Tzatiki – simply put, I can’t imagine a BBQ without it.
- Mahon Menorca Pinwheels with Fig Jam and Serrano Ham – these pinwheels are a definite crowd pleaser. They look fantastic and taste fantasticer!
- Fried Halloumi Cheese with Corn and Tomatoes – I buy mine halloumi in Trader Joes whenever they have it in season (summer months).
- Pan con Tomate with Crispy Prosciutto – I don’t know why it is but personally this sandwich just screams summer to me.
- Italian Antipasto Skewers – these are so delicious and yet so simple to make.
Mediterranean Soups Recipes
- Greek Lentils Soup – this soup has some special ingredients and incorporates a few insider instructions from my close Greek friend.
- Greek Chickpea Soup – the combination of chickpeas with rosemary and pomegranates is divine.
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup – Coconut milk and smoked paprika makes this soup one to remember.
- Tomatoes Red Lentils Soup – this is one of the most popular soups on this blog – and for a reason.
- Golden Bell Pepper Soup – you’ll find this one is so unique and yet so delicious. I dare you to try.
- Summer Gazpacho – Gazpacho……Summer…..the two are synonymous, right?
Mediterranean Salads Recipes
- Horiatiki (Greek Salad) – just put a huge block of feta on top and after it’s devoured be sure to have some bread standing by, to dunk in the dressing.
- Mediterranean Hummus Bowl – such a simple and satisfying meal.
- Summer Panzanella – this one cames at virtually every BBQ party I throw. Everybody loves it.
- Greek Panaznella – this is a nice twist on Greek Salad. I love food fusions, and this Italian/Greek salad is one of my favorites.
- Watermelon and Feta Salad – the addition of mint makes this salad the most refreshing of them all.
- Farfalle Pasta Salad Mediterranean Style – this salad is great for potlucks and summer dinner parties.
Mediterranean Side Dishes Recipes
- Kolokithopita – Greek Zucchini Pie – with an abundance of ripe zucchini during summer months, this one is a keeper.
- Greek Spinach Rice – Spankorizo – my kids simply love this rice and they typically hate veggies (go figure).
- Mujadara – Rice and Lentils with Fried Onions – this one is like a stand alone vegetarian meal.
- Cauliflower Fried Rice Mediterranean Style – my newest obsession. So light and flavorful, especially if you are on low carb or Keto diet.
- Wild Mushroom Risotto – I love mushrooms, and risotto, so this one will always be a winner for me.
- Potato Leek and Feta Pie – here’s another one of my fusion foods, where French meets Greek.
Mediterranean Pasta Recipes
- Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti – obviously a classic Italian recipe, for good reason, and it’s super easy to make.
- Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola – this is the best pasta in vodka sauce you’d ever imagine. Coincidentally, it’s one of the most popular recipes on this blog.
- Spinach Parmesan Orzo – this is a great side dish, on the fly. Super simple and very good. Perfect for all those summer BBQs.
- Linguini with Romesco Sauce – this is one of my absolute favorites sauces of all times.
- Slow Cooker Eggplant Lasagna – who said slow cookers were just for the colder months? This is the perfect recipe to prove them wrong.
- Turkey Meatballs Alfredo Pasta with Asparagus – if you’ve got a picker little eater, then I suspect you’ll find this is a kid’s favorite.
Mediterranean Dinner Recipes
- Pan Fried Haddock Mediterranean Style – this recipe utilizes a secret to the fish coating, and the flavors are beyond delicious.
- Fennel Chicken Mediterranean Style – here’s a super easy midweek dinner that you can whip up in no time.
- Mediterranean Style Chicken Kebabs – this is such a classic summer BBQ recipe. Trust me, everyone will love it.
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma – this recipe requires a bit preparation ahead of time. Ideally, you’ll want to marinate the meat overnight. But it’s so worth it!
- Spanish Style Tuna Stew – just look at the colors in this dish. Need I say more?
- Spanish Shrimp – Gambas al Ajillo – if you’re a shrimp lover, this dish will become your “go to.”
- One Pot Chicken Saffron Rice – saffron adds such a sophistication to otherwise humble chicken and rice dish. Impress your friends with this recipe.
- Mediterranean Chicken Stew – this is one of my favorite recipes when the weather’s not so nice outside. It’s so comforting, and the flavors are spot on.
- Honey Harrisa Chicken Skewers – again, just another guaranteed crowd pleaser for your summer gatherings. Serve it with garlic dill sauce (it’s so good).
I hope you found something that you liked in this compilation for best Mediterranean recipes from Innocent Delight. If you have a favorite one, let me know in comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Favorite Mediterranean Cook Books
There are a ton of amazing Mediterranean cook books out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
Mediterranean Cookbook by Marie-Pierre Moine
Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolengi
Balaboosta by Einat Admony
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