Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Mediterranean Diet Recipes

The Mediterranean diet has its origins in the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While many of the cultures that produce recipes from this region have difficult or time intensive food preparation, there are several simple Mediterranean diet recipes as well. These simple recipes take just minutes to prepare and still give all the flavor and health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean Chicken Stew

  • 8 bone-in (with skin) pieces of chicken, or a whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 fresh oregano leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 10 prunes – whole
  • 1 ounce pine nuts – whole
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Black olives to garnish (optional)
  1. Salt the chicken and set aside
  2. In a medium stew or casserole pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook until it is nearly translucent. Add the garlic and cinnamon and cook into the garlic is just golden.
  3. Add the chicken, oregano and bay leaves. Cook until the chicken is golden brown, approximately 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Add the white wine and allow it to reduce until it is almost gone.
  5. Add the chicken broth, prunes and pine nuts and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  6. Serve over moderate portions of rice.

Spanish Eggplant Pizza

This traditional Spanish dish makes a healthy, simple and delicious alternative to the flatbread pizzas most Americans know.

  • One medium sized eggplant
  • One 16-ounce package of fresh, water-packed buffalo mozzarella
  • Large bowl of warm water
  • Two tablespoons sea salt
  • One large tomato
  • Half a cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Several large, fresh basil leaves
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into slices approximately 1/2-inch thick.
  2. Remove the outer rind of the eggplant slices, so each slice lays flat with the inner pulp revealed.
  3. Dissolve the sea salt in warm water and soak the eggplant slices for 20 minutes to remove the bitter oils of the fruit. Rinse well and pat dry.
  4. Slice the tomato to 1/4-inch thickness.
  5. Slice the mozzarella into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  6. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the bottom of a baking sheet and arrange the soaked eggplant slices on top.
  7. Brush additional olive oil directly onto the tops of each eggplant slice.
  8. Layer several basil leaves over each piece of eggplant.
  9. Place two to three slices of mozzarella and tomato onto each slice of eggplant.
  10. Salt and pepper the pizzas to taste.
  11. Roast in an oven heated to 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
  12. Serve with a fresh salad on the side.

Bow Tie Pasta With Tuna and Olive Tapenade

  • 1 16-ounce package bow tie pasta
  • ½ cup pitted green olives
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pound tuna steak
  1. Put the olives, garlic, parsley, olive oil and lemon justice in a food processor and blend until pureed.
  2. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  3. Add water until you have the consistency of a sauce, about ¼ cup.
  4. Cut the tuna steak into strips two inches wide.
  5. Sauté in a frying pan over medium heat with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  6. Cook until done.
  7. Cook the bow ties for about 14 minutes, or until done.
  8. Drain and add tuna.
  9. Drizzle the tapenade sauce on top.

Strained Yoghurt

Strained Mediterranean style yoghurt is higher in protein than conventional yoghurts, and it’s thick, creamy and delicious. It mixes well with fresh fruit, as well as with cucumber and dill to form a simple Mediterranean snack eaten throughout the Middle East. Making your own yoghurt is simple and allows you to endlessly customize its flavoring.

  • One quart of fresh milk – use full fat, two percent or skim as you desire
  • One pouch of freeze dried yoghurt cultures
  • Large piece of cheesecloth
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees for ten minutes; then turn it off.
  2. Heat the milk over medium heat on the stove top. Bring it to a boil and watch closely as it begins to rise up in the pan.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a ceramic bowl on the counter. Allow it to cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or until you can insert your pinky without being burned.
  4. Stir in the cultures and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  5. Set the bowl in the warmed oven for 6 to 8 hours to allow the cultures to grow.
  6. Remove the bowl from the oven and transfer it to the refrigerator for another 4 to 6 hours.
  7. Pour the yoghurt into a large piece of cheesecloth and allow the excess liquid to drain into the sink. Twist the top of the cheesecloth closed, and hang the pouch from the faucet to allow it to continue draining for at least 10 minutes. The longer the yoghurt drains, the thicker it will be.