- I’ve been following the Mediterranean diet for years, and I’ve learned a lot of simple recipes.
- Lamb souvlaki, baked salmon, and creamy chicken pasta are all in my dinner rotation.
- For breakfast, I love shakshuka, and orange, avocado, and shrimp salad is a great lighter meal.
I learned to cook for the Mediterranean diet at university a few years ago. Since then, I’ve tried various recipes and even developed some of my own.
I take a minimalist approach to the diet and often only use a few ingredients in my meals. I bulk out the more expensive ingredients, like fresh fish and poultry, with whole grains, mixed beans, and vegetables.
My favorite recipes take about 10 to 30 minutes to prepare and don’t require any specialist equipment.
I’ve discovered a love for orange, avocado, and shrimp salad
I wasn’t initially convinced that orange, mustard, and shrimp went together. It felt unnatural to make a salad without traditional ingredients like cucumber and tomato.
But the sweetness of the orange sharpens the buttery avocado and perfectly complements the shrimp.
Start by tearing half of an orange into segments. Squeeze the juice from the other half and put it to the side.
Dice an avocado, slice half a red onion, and rip up some romaine lettuce. Add all of the components to a bowl with a few pieces of shrimp on top — I like to buy the precooked kind for convenience.
To make the dressing, combine the orange juice with a splash of olive oil, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, and a little salt and pepper.
Zucchini fritters with tzatziki make a wonderful lunch
Vegetable fritters are one of my favorite snack foods to batch-cook and freeze for busy weekday lunches.
Grate one zucchini and half an onion into a sieve. Add a little salt and squeeze out the excess water with a spoon.
Then grate a handful of Parmesan into a bowl with a cup of all-purpose flour, a splash of milk, and one egg. Combine the grated vegetables and batter.
Add a generous amount of olive oil to a pan and fry small dollops of batter until golden. Press the fritters flat to make sure they’re cooked all the way through.
For the tzatziki dip, mix Greek yogurt, two crushed garlic cloves, a sprig of fresh mint, and a dash of olive oil.
Smoked mackerel pâté is an indulgent treat
Instead of sweets and chocolate, I like to indulge in cheeses, smoked meats, and pâtés.
To make that fit into my
light cream cheese, and a squeeze of lemon juice., I combine precooked and shredded smoked mackerel,
Season the pâté with salt and pepper, and serve it spread on sourdough toast.
Shakshuka is the ultimate weekend brunch dish
If I fancy a Mediterranean breakfast on the weekend, I go for shakshuka.
Sauté diced red pepper, green pepper, and onion with two crushed garlic cloves. Add a sprinkle of cumin, paprika, coriander, and red-chili flakes before pouring in some chopped tomatoes.
Place three eggs in the mixture, cover the pan, and let them simmer on low heat.
Remove from the heat once your eggs are cooked to your liking and finish with fresh chopped parsley and mint.
On special occasions, I’ll whip up a lamb souvlaki
As a young journalist, lamb is a little out of my price range, so I reserve it for special occasions.
I opt for a good-quality lamb shoulder and season it with garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil for a few hours.
Add chunks of lamb to a wooden skewer and throw them on the grill. I often bulk out my kebabs with bell peppers and onions.
Finish the meal with tzatziki and Greek potatoes.
Salmon with veggies is an easy weeknight meal
If I’ve spent my evening at a spin class or late-night meeting, salmon is my go-to dish.
Season some fillets with garlic and herbs and wrap them in aluminum foil. Cook them in the oven for about 15 minutes and pair them with roasted asparagus and broccoli.
I’ve concocted a Mediterranean version of a make-your-own pizza
If you have an at-home dinner date coming up, make some puff-pastry pizza together.
Roll out a premade puff-pastry sheet, add pesto and tomato paste for the base, and cook for five minutes.
Once it’s out, top with crumbled feta, spinach, and onions for a veggie-style pizza. You could also use some shredded salmon for a little extra protein.
Put it back in the oven until the cheese starts to brown and melt.
To balance out my lighter meals, I like to make a 1-pot creamy-chicken pasta
We all need cheesy carb-filled dinners from time to time — the Mediterranean diet is all about balance and moderation.
Chop up a few chicken breasts, fry them in a pan until golden, and remove.
Sauté a few cloves of garlic and combine with chicken stock, heavy cream, and fettuccine pasta in the pan. The measurements will depend on how much you like garlic and cream.
Once the sauce has thickened, sprinkle in some Parmesan, olives, and lemon slices and pop the cooked chicken back in.
Chorizo and butter-bean stew is a cozy meal
On colder days, I like to cozy up with a stew.
Slice up some chorizo and fry in a pan for a few minutes. Crank your extractor fan onto its highest setting to avoid the smoke alarm going off — I speak from experience.
Toss in cans of butter beans and chopped tomatoes and let everything sizzle.
Add a big spoonful of pesto for a garlicky twist and serve.
I like to make frittata when it’s time to clean out the fridge
When I don’t know what to make, eggs are always a great option.
Mix a few eggs, a handful of sun-dried tomatoes, and some crumbled feta cheese together.
Finely dice half an onion and fry with crushed garlic for a few minutes. Sauté some spinach in the onion mixture and pour the egg concoction on top.
Bake in the oven until the egg is fully cooked and garnish with fresh parsley and your seasonings of choice.
Whenever I need a little extra protein, I turn to tofu
If I find myself in a bit of a food rut, I mix things up with meat alternatives.
I’ve only recently discovered tofu, and I’ve been enjoying adding it to salads and grain bowls for a protein boost.
I marinate the tofu cubes in lemon, garlic, and rosemary overnight and then fry them in olive oil for a crispy texture.