The Mediterranean diet is known for the creation of delicious and highly nutritious dishes since a lot of fresh and quality products are used, among which the extra virgin olive oil stands out as a source of healthy fat.

However, occasionally when we hear to talk about this ‘diet’ we might think its recipes can be quite demanding in terms of time and culinary skills. For foodies, a.k.a. cuisine lovers, this is not a problem. But the least skilled people who don’t enjoy that much their time in the kitchen and yet want to eat healthier, need to know most Mediterranean diet recipes are not that demanding. In fact, they can be prepared in a short time.

For this reason, we wanted to offer you a Mediterranean diet plan based on fresh and healthy foods, and with recipes that don’t take more than 20 to 25 minutes to prepare. Get ready to discover some Mediterranean diet ideas to get you covered for a day. Remember each ingredient list is just for one serving, so feel free to multiply it as many times as you need.

A great Mediterranean diet meal plan for a day

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with walnuts, berries (and oatmeal).

Snack: Hummus with carrot, pepper and cucumber.

Lunch: Grilled chicken breast and cream of leeks with garlic bread.

Afternoon snack: Fruit and tea or Smoothie.

Dinner: Salad with typical Mediterranean products.

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with walnuts, berries (and oatmeal).

Mediterranean diet breakfast
Mediterranean diet breakfast

What do you eat for breakfast on a Mediterranean diet? Do you have to prepare a salty meal to break your fast within this diet? Is oatmeal allowed on a Mediterranean diet? If you are wondering any of these questions we have you covered.

Ingredients:

  • 100 g Greek yogurt
  • 30 g walnuts
  • 90 g berries of your choice
  • 1 or 2 dates (optional)
  • 40 g homemade oat granola (optional)

Instructions:

If you’re not a morning person and prefer to have a light breakfast, just add your Greek yogurt, a handful of walnuts and two or three handfuls of your favourite berries to a bowl and you’ll be done.

Do you want this to be a little sweeter? In this case, you can do add one or two dates (depending on their size) to your bowl. For that, you just have to remove the pit and chop them and that’s it.

If you find yourself craving for a more substantial meal to break your fast you can replace the dates with a very simple homemade granola, which you can prepare in large quantities once or twice a month, thus saving a lot of time in the morning.

Oatmeal granola:

To prepare it, you have to soak your dates for at least an hour, then drain the water and mash them to create a paste. The measurements are intuitive depending on how sweet you want your granola to be.

Add this date paste to your oatmeal of choice (you can also find gluten-free versions), along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and mix everything well.

Spread out this mixture in an oven rack on top of some baking parchment, and bake for about 18 minutes at 180ºC, stirring a couple of times until you see the oats have browned.

Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely. Then you can take this simple granola to an airtight container and use it for your breakfasts or snacks. This granola could be also cooked with nuts. As you can tell, with just a few ingredients you have plenty of options.

Snack: Hummus with carrot, pepper and cucumber.

If you break your fast quite early and get hungry before lunch, you should know a Mediterranean diet snack doesn’t include industrial foods. Substitute those for a quick and healthy snack such as hummus with crudités. This is a great option because, in addition to vegetables you could also have your protein intake into this meal.

Ingredients:

  • 150 g cooked chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove of garlic (or more to taste)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (optional)
  • Vegetables (or fruit) to taste:
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ small pepper
  • ½ medium cucumber

Instructions:

You just have to drain and clean the cooked chickpeas (obviously they can be canned) and add them to your blender.

Also add a little water, a tablespoon of lemon juice (freshly squeezed), and another tablespoon of tahini (sesame paste that you will be able to easily find in any market).

Also add extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic (or as many as you prefer), salt and pepper to taste.

Then you just have to blend it all and you will have your hummus ready. Do you want it to be even healthier? Also, add a pinch or two of turmeric powder to the mix.

Serve your hummus with carrot, pepper and/or cucumber cut into strips and you will have a perfect snack.

Do you prefer fruit instead? Have you ever tried apple with your hummus? Sweet and salty, a very interesting combination if you want to eat more fruits.

Lunch: Grilled chicken breast and cream of leeks with garlic bread.

Chicken breast as a source of protein in the Mediterranean diet
Chicken breast as a source of protein in the Mediterranean diet

Does it seem complicated? Not at all, this recipe is very simple and can be made in 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 or 3 potatoes (depending on size)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 rosemary sprig (optional)
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat bread
  • 5 g of pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions:

Start by seasoning your chicken breast, then add a tablespoon of lemon juice and the rosemary springs and let it rest while you clean and chop the carrots leeks and potatoes.

Next, you should sauté these three ingredients in a pot with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste for a few minutes, until they start to get tender.

Then add boiling water to cover this ingredient and put in a bay leaf. Let it boil until you can pierce the potato with a fork.

10 minutes before this preparation is complete, you can prepare the grilled chicken breast. It’s as easy as heating a pan with extra virgin olive oil and adding a sprig of rosemary for added flavour.

When the pan is hot you can add your chicken breast which will be done in about 6 minutes, cook it on each side. You will see that the rosemary permeates your kitchen with a delicious aroma.

Meanwhile, you can also toast a slice of whole wheat bread and scrub it with a little bit of garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

You will see that at this time your cream is almost ready. Remove the bay leaf, blend everything and you will only have to prepare one serving.

You already know your dish is going to taste delicious but if you also want it to look beautiful add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil a few pumpkin seeds to your cream.

Remember to let the rest of the leek cream cool out completely and divide it into about 3 more serving for another time. You can keep them in the freezer.

Afternoon snack: Fruit and tea or Smoothie.

Pieces of fruit or smoothie for a Mediterranean snack
Pieces of fruit or smoothie for a Mediterranean snack

Fruits are essential in the Mediterranean diet, however, it may be difficult for us to eat more pieces. So what better way to eat fruit than for an afternoon snack? You can also serve it with your tea of choice or a digestive infusion such as chamomile, thyme or even ginger and lemon, which works both as a hot or cold beverage. But if you want something more consistent, you can also prepare a Mediterranean smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 70 g strawberries
  • 1 date (optional)

Instructions:

It’s as easy as adding all these ingredients to a blender and blend. If you want your smoothie to be more liquidy, you can add a little water or coconut water. If you’re going to prepare it in summer, you could add frozen fruits instead. This way you the consistency will be much like ice cream and there is nothing more refreshing and delicious than that.

Dinner: Salad with typical Mediterranean products.

Salad is, no doubt, the most characteristic dish within any Mediterranean menu. There are plenty to choose from and there is no recipe that can be made faster. What do you need for this one?

Ingredients:

  • Arugula and lamb’s lettuce (or other green leaves)
  • 1 tomato (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
  • 40 g feta cheese
  • 7 olives
  • ½ apple (optional)
  • 2 figs (optional)
  • 15 g almonds (optional)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbs of lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

The base of your salad will be arugula and lamb’s lettuce, and if you want to add an extra Vitamin C booster you can always mince a piece of raw broccoli that will also give it crunchy touch.

Then add olives, feta cheese and sliced tomato. And if you want a sweet touch in your salad, choose to incorporate some fruit such as apple or figs.

Have you exercised and need a higher protein intake? Consider adding a boiled egg or a tin of canned sardines, choose the ones preserved in olive oil, even if you are going to remove it.

If you wish, you can additionally add dried fruit of your choice. In this case, almonds are an ideal and very healthy option, but you can add sunflower seeds if you prefer.

And now you just have to prepare the vinaigrette consisting of extra virgin olive oil, lemon (or apple cider vinegar), salt and pepper. It could not be easier. Add it to your plate and you will have it ready to serve.

Check out more Mediterranean diet recipes in our gourmet section. Keep eating healthy with these gastronomic elaborations, based on Mediterranean cuisine whose main ingredient is extra virgin olive oil. Bon Appetit!

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