Mediterranean Diet Menu Recipes

If you're trying to change your eating habits from a standard American diet to a diet that is more heart-healthy, you will want to master several simple Mediterranean diet menu recipes that are quick and easy to make. If recipes aren't easy, you'll be less likely to use them, making it more likely that you will relapse into cooking foods you are accustomed to making. By learning a few simple recipes that fit into a Mediterranean diet menu, you'll make the switch with ease.

Most Mediterranean menu items focus on the following ingredients: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grain breads and healthy oils, such as olive oil. These Mediterranean recipes are easily modifiable to accommodate a range of dishes.

Basic Mediterranean vegetable marinade or salad dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice from one fresh lemon

This basic salad dressing can be used for just about any mix of fresh vegetables or salad greens. Feel free to add minced fresh garlic or rub the inside of the salad bowl with a crushed clove of garlic if you feel it will enhance the taste of the salad. Make use of green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers; and accent your salads with croutons, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds or dried fruit. 

Basic roasted vegetables recipe

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetables of choice, cut into large bite-sized pieces

Combine olive oil and spices and whisk.  Chop up a variety of vegetables that take approximately the same amount of time to cook - for example, a mixture of onions, asparagus, summer squash and zucchini, or a combination of sweet potatoes, carrots, and baking potatoes. Toss the vegetables in the olive oil mixture, then bake in oven at 350 degrees until well cooked. Time will vary dependent on vegetables chosen.

Basic marinade for baking or broiling chicken

  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 crushed juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Combine ingredients listed above in a marinade dish. Marinade chicken, covered, in refrigerator overnight.

Cook chicken in broiler or oven until done, but pour marinade into a small saucepan on the stove and heat to medium high while chicken is cooking.  Add ½ cup diced tomatoes and ½ cup pitted Nicoise olives to saucepan and cook on medium high, mixing often, until chicken in oven is done.  Serve chicken with sauce.

This recipe can also be used for duck or turkey.

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The Mediterranean diet includes elements from several different cultures that help protect your heart and offer such a wide variety of flavors you might not believe you're following a diet plan.

These healthy Mediterranean diet recipes are great for lunches; they are easy to prepare and can stand to sit in an office refrigerator for the morning before being consumed.

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