If you want to lose weight or improve your heart health, you could base your nutrition plan on a Mediterranean-like diet. It entails eating fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, high-quality fats and whole grains, among others. Olive oil is also a main component of the Mediterranean diet. If you’re looking to lose weight and improve your overall health, here are three Mediterranean diet recipes you should try.
ENJOY THESE HEALTHY MEDITERRANEAN DIET RECIPES ANY TIME OF THE DAY
1. MEDITERRANEAN TUNA SALAD
Mediterranean tuna salad is a classic flavourful dish. It’s easy to prepare, and the ingredients are quite simple. It also puts albacore tuna at the forefront. This type of fish is rich in protein, selenium and vitamin B-12.
- 2 cans albacore tuna in oil
- 1 baby cos lettuce, leaves torn
- 200g red grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into cubes
- 1 green capsicum, cut into cubes
- 2/3 cup feta cheese
- 2/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- black pepper, as needed
- Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, capsicum, olives, feta and oregano in a large bowl.
- Add tuna and drizzle with vinegar. Season with pepper, if desired. Toss the salad to make sure that all the ingredients are mixed.
2. MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE GRILLED SALMON
Similar to tuna, salmon is another staple of the Mediterranean diet. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which improves heart health and prevent inflammation in the body.
- 4 salmon fillets
- 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 green olives, chopped
- 4 lemon slices
- cracked black pepper, as needed
- Preheat grill or broiler. Spritz cooking rack or broiler pan with cooking spray.
- Combine basil, parsley, lemon juice and minced garlic in a small bowl. Mix and sprinkle with black pepper.
- Place mixture on top of salmon fillets.
- When cooking the salmon, make sure they are six inches away from the heat source. Place fillets on the grill and cook on high heat for about three-four minutes. Grill until the salmon fillets are opaque or easily flaked with a fork.
- Transfer salmon onto warmed plates. Add green olives and lemon slices as garnish.
3. BEEF AND LAMB KOFTA LETTUCE WRAPS
Mediterranean people rarely consume red meat but when they do, they make sure that it’s lean meat and the dish is mixed with healthy ingredients. One such meal is beef and lamb kofta lettuce wraps. This is one of the Mediterranean diet recipes you must try.
- 12 Boston lettuce leaves
- 1 large egg
- 225g ground sirloin
- 170g lean ground lamb
- 250g precooked brown rice
- 5 tbsp red onion, grated
- 3 tbsp cucumber, diced
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup reduced-fat Greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- Place bread crumbs, beef, lamb, egg, 2 tbsp onion, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper in a large bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are combined.
- Shape mixture into 12 patties, each one measuring one inch in thickness.
- Heat and spread olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook each side for 2 1/2 minutes, or until they’re well done.
- Combine yoghurt, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, cucumber, 3 tbsp onion in a medium-sized bowl. Stir well so that all ingredients are mixed properly.
- Cook rice and add 2 tsp of oil and paprika. Toss to combine the ingredients.
- Place lettuce leaves on a large serving plate. Put patties, rice and yoghurt mixture on top. Serve.
The Mediterranean diet is full of anti-inflammatory foods that help prevent heart diseases, obesity and other metabolic disorders, cancer and neurological diseases. This way of eating emphasises consumption of plants and fish. It also doesn’t use artificial ingredients and preservatives. As you try these Mediterranean diet recipes, you’ll be able to reap many health benefits while feeling satiated.