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10 Tasty Recipes for Your Mediterranean Diet Plan

Want to try the Mediterranean diet plan, but not sure where to begin? These recipes include produce, whole grains, and proteins straight from the region.

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Festive Appetizer Board

While it’s mainly known for heart benefits, you can lose weight on a Mediterranean diet plan. Olives of all varieties add a nutritious dose of monounsaturated fats to this beautiful starter. Ingredients are flexible enough to customize to your favorites, or explore new flavors with friends and family. Though botanically a fruit, olives are a versatile food and a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Hydroxytyrosol, a phytonutrient found in olives, is linked to cancer prevention.

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Fig Salad with Bleu Cheese Olives

You won’t believe how simple this elegant salad is to prepare. A homemade vinaigrette avoids the high sugar/salt content from store-bought salad dressing. Figs, native to the Mediterranean region, are fiber-rich and great sources of vitamins A, B6, and K.

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Mediterranean Couscous

Following a Mediterranean diet plan can have benefits you might not expect—like this one. Quick-cooking tiny pasta, or couscous, is a great way to include whole grains from the Mediterranean region in the diet. Using whole-wheat couscous boosts the fiber content of this recipe, which makes a tasty lunch or side dish. Roasted red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.

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Mediterranean Scramble

Converting your diet to a more Mediterranean style is easy—check out these nine tricks. And you can dive in first thing of the day: Several Mediterranean foods combine in this quick and nutritious breakfast meal. Red bell peppers, onions and artichoke hearts are all staples in the regional diet. Ricotta cheese provides a creamy texture to the eggs, while adding a punch of calcium for healthy bones.

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Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? This easy recipe can be customized for anyone, kid or adult. Be sure to include the artichoke hearts, as these vegetables boast one of the highest antioxidant profiles of all plants. Artichokes are rich in so many micronutrients—vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, and copper. And, they’re full of fiber, too. Using an olive tapenade spread on the flatbread boosts the monounsaturated fat content of this dinner.

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Pistachio and Castelvetrano Olive Pesto

Nuts are a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet, and pistachios are one of the top five healthiest nuts, period. So vary your pesto a bit by adding pistachios to the blend. Pistachios’ green pigment is from a mixture of chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin—all associated with antioxidant properties. Pureeing the pistachios with olive oil results in a mixture of healthy fats to use as a spread or topping for your fish or chicken.

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Mediterranean Grilled Cheese

Use whole-grain breads with nuts and seeds to create these sandwiches, a twist from the traditional grilled cheese. Tucking in vitamin C-rich pepperoncini peppers adds the perfect spark to your lunch. Finish off the sammie with spinach for iron and fiber, and an olive spread for a boost of healthy fats.

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Spring Farro and Castelvetrano Salad

If you haven’t tried farro yet, you’re missing out. It’s one of the seven ancient grains threatening to push quinoa out of the spotlight. This grain is the perfect substitute for rice or pasta in your favorite recipes. Or, try this delicious salad including a variety of Mediterranean veggies such as asparagus, green peas, and edamame. Green olives add to the burst of green color this salad provides. Olive oil boosts the healthy fat content, too.

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Build-Your-Own Antipasto Platter

Cured Mediterranean meats (prosciutto, salami, and bresaola) and fresh regional cheeses (goat cheese, brie, or bleu) round out a savory and satisfying party platter. Include Mediterranean fruits, such as figs, melons, citrus, and grapes, for a colorful burst of fiber and vitamins.

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Kale Citrus Salad

You can believe the hype: Kale has some impressive health benefits. This Mediterranean salad is an amazingly nutritious start to any meal. Massage the leaves a bit to smooth out the texture of the superfood. Grapefruit and orange segments, staples in the Mediterranean diet, add fiber and vitamin C. Fennel proves a licorice-like flavor and a high potassium value, shown to improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Don’t miss these 12 other kale salad recipes you won’t be able to turn down.

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Jennifer Bowers, PhD, RD
Jennifer is a doctoral-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with nearly 25 years of experience. For the majority of her career she has focused on health care, disease prevention, and nutrition education for a range of ages—from middle school to graduate school students. In private practice, Dr. Bowers is involved in freelance writing and extracurricular nutrition clubs for children. When not working, she enjoys swimming, running, hiking, biking, camping, cooking, and reading.