This 9 Mediterranean Diet For Weight Loss will change your entire lifestyle. So, you’re thinking about trying out the Mediterranean diet? First of all, a great choice. With no rigid rules around cutting out macronutrients but an emphasis on eating more heart-healthy foods, this particular diet is one of the most sustainable ones around. But our favorite part about it is that the kind of ingredients it prioritizes allows for some seriously good eating.
With rich tahini sauce, fruity olive oil, nutty whole grains, plenty of fish and eggs, and tons of fresh herbs and spices all getting two thumbs up, just imagine the meals you can make.
9 Mediterranean Diet For Weight Loss
But if you’re still not sure where to begin or are simply overwhelmed by the options, here are 9 of our picks for the best—and simplest—Mediterranean diet recipes. Short of actually flying out to that sunny coastline, creating these dishes at home is the best way to kick off your new and improved lifestyle.
1. Mediterranean Vegetable Frittata
With bright red and green vegetables scattered throughout its eggy batter, this frittata is just as pretty as it is healthy. Fresh oregano leaves and crumbled feta add a touch of savory with a creamy consistency, making it a perfect warm meal to start off the day.
- • 8 eggs
- • ½ cup milk
- • 3 tbsp. olive oil
- • 2 small zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into 1cm bite-size pieces (unpeeled)
- • 1 small red capsicum (sweet pepper), cut into bite-size pieces
- • 150g cherry tomatoes (plus extra on-the-vine for presentation, optional)
- • 1 long red chili, deseeded & finely sliced (optional)
- • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp. dried
- • 80-100g feta cheese (or goats cheese), crumbled
- • salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F)
- In a bowl, crack the eggs and add the milk, season with salt & pepper and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
- Add half the oil (about 1.5 tbsp.) to an oven-proof pan (preferably a cast-iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the zucchini and sauté for about 4-6 minutes until nicely browned. (The zucchini will still be firm and just partly cooked, as it will continue to cook in the oven). Remove the zucchini to a plate, set aside.
- Add the rest of the oil to the pan, and add the capsicum and the tomatoes. Sauté for 4 minutes until the tomatoes are beginning to burst and peppers are getting some color on them, then add the chili (if using). Cook for a minute more, then return the zucchini to the pan and season the mixture well. Sprinkle on the oregano, then pour in the egg mixture. Crumble the feta cheese on top evenly and place the vine cherry tomatoes in the center (if using).
- Cook for just 2-3 minutes till the bottom begins to set, then transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes until just set. Turn on the oven’s broiler to brown the top for about 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
•Feel free to add more or fewer vegetables or aromatics like onion and garlic, or change up the herbs/cheese as you like.
2. Greek Tofu Scramble
Honor the Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on plant-based eating with this produce-packed, vegan protein-rich breakfast. It’s bursting with veggies, but the tahini and nutritional yeast are the real heroes for adding a ton of rich flavor to the crumbled tofu.
Start your day off right with this hearty and wholesome vegan Greek Tofu Scramble made with seasoned tofu, olives, spinach, and fresh tomatoes
- 8 ounces firm tofu
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp tahini paste
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 small red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 handful fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl crumble tofu to the texture of scrambled eggs. Add nutritional yeast, tahini, lemon juice, and salt and set aside.
- In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes until the bell pepper is tender.
- Stir crumbled tofu and Kalamata olives. Heat all the way through, stirring occasionally.
- Add spinach and basil and stir until spinach has wilted slightly, reducing to about half its size. Remove from heat and stir in cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide onto 2 plates and serve immediately.
3. Mediterranean-Flavored Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are all the rage, but even veteran nutrition nuts might be pleasantly surprised by this unique, Mediterranean-inspired concoction. With ricotta cheese, blood oranges, pistachios, and lavender honey (if you can find it), it’s a fruity bowl that’s just creamy enough to make you appreciate oats again.
- 100 g / 3 1\2 0z rolled oats
- 200 ml / 6 3/4fl oz almond milk
- 2 full tbsp ricotta cheese
- 1 (blood) orange, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 tbsp almond butter
- pistachios, chopped
- Lavender honey
- fill a jar or a bowl with oats, almond milk, and honey. Stir well Seal with a lid and store overnight in the fridge.
- The next morning, pour the overnight oats into a saucepan at medium heat. Stir once a while for a few minutes, until warm or hot, as desired. Add more almond milk if the oats get dry. (if you prefer to eat them cold or at room temperature, skip this step).
- In the meantime, peel and slice the orange. Set aside.
- Mix the ricotta cheese with a little honey, until creamy.
- Chop the pistachios.
- Once the oats are warm, derve in a bowl.
- Top with ricotta cheese, almond butter, orange, and pistachios.
- Sprinkle additional honey on top.
Note: You can replace the lavender honey with any other honey you may have available. Same thing with the almond milk. Feel free to replace it with any other milk (alternative).
B- Salads and Sides
1- Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad
The Mediterranean diet doesn’t have anything against carbs, per se (you can eat pasta), but for the times you do want to cut back, opt for this “grain” salad. Cauliflower has been pulverized and microwaved until tender, then tossed with a heap of other veggies and a ridiculously easy dressing. You’ll feel like you’re eating rice, but really it’s veggies.
- 1 small/medium head cauliflower — cut off the florets
- 1 cup red onion — chopped
- 1 cup cucumber — chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes — cut in half
- ¼ cup black olives
- ¼ cup fresh parsley — chopped
FOR THE DRESSING
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 garlic clove — minced
Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor for about 25-30 seconds until it’s a rice-like consistency.
Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 3-4 minutes. The time will depend on the power of the microwave.
Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, transfer to a salad bowl.
Add all the rest of the salad ingredients in the salad bowl.
In a mason jar, pour the olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add salt, pepper, garlic and whisk everything together. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. Taste to check the seasoning.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
Top with parsley. Enjoy!
With bits of toasted pita, chopped vegetables, fresh herbs, and lemon- and garlic-infused olive oil dressing, this traditional Lebanese bread salad is the ideal light lunch. Need some extra protein? Add chickpeas, feta, or grilled chicken to make it more filling.
For the pita bread:
- 2 (8-inch) pita bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup ground sumac plus more for garnish, optional
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound tomatoes cored and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 Seedless cucumber peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
- 1 cup arugula coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the pita bread:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and top with a wire rack.
Using kitchen scissors, cut around the perimeter of each pita and separate into 2 thin rounds. Cut each round in half. Place pitas, smooth side down, on prepared rack.
Brush the surface of pitas with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until pitas are crisp and lightly golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and break into 1/2-inch pieces.
To make the salad:
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, sumac, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and let blend at room temperature for 10 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil.
Place broken pitas into a large bowl. Add tomatoes, cucumber, arugula, cilantro, mint, and scallions.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional sumac if desired
C- Lunch and Dinner
1- Mediterranean Chickpea Tuna Pitas
Chickpeas step in for chicken, and once again, tahini replaces mayo in the creamy sauce for this totally vegan take on the deli salad. And since we’re going the Mediterranean, it’s tucked into pita pockets instead of sliced bread, alongside basil, cherry tomatoes, and olives.
For the chickpea “tuna mayo
- 400 g (14oz) tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/4 teaspoon (Dijon) mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 spring onion or few chives, finely sliced
- Optional: 1 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped
To put the pittas together:
- 2 pittas, halved and toasted (gluten-free if necessary)
- A handful of cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 red pepper, finely sliced
- Few handfuls of salad leave lettuce, rocket, etc
- A handful of fresh basil
- Few black Kalamata olives pitted and halved
For the chickpea “tuna mayo”:
Use a fork to gently smash the chickpeas in a bowl, then add all other ingredients and mix well
Stuff chickpea tuna into pittas along with cherry tomatoes, pepper, salad leaves, basil and olives
Either enjoy immediately or eat as a packed lunch as it keeps for a few hours
If it’s heart-healthy and Mediterranean-diet approved, so this sheet-pan salmon definitely makes the cut. The fish itself is a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, but if that’s not enough, the olive oil coating and pitted olive garnish make sure your system runs like a well-oiled machine.
- a large whole salmon filet, mine is about 2 1/2 pounds
- 2 small lemons, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pitted assorted olives
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- a few marinated sweet or hot peppers, I like to get them from the olive bar at my supermarket so I don’t have to buy a whole jar.
- 2 tsp capers
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced, rings separated
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 2 Tbsp salted butter, cut in small chunks (optional)
- fresh herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or sage
- preheat oven to 425F
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out your fish. Tuck the thin tail end under to make a thicker layer so the fish will cook evenly.
- Arrange the lemon slices on and around the fish, along with the olives, tomatoes, peppers, capers, and onions. Drizzle olive oil over all, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dot with chunks of butter, if using.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the fish is done through and flakes easily with a fork. The exact cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your fish, and if your fish is especially thick, or heavier, it will take longer.
- Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
With the Mediterranean area including Italy, how could the cuisine not be super drool-worthy? And while the cheesy pizzas and rich pasta are more famous, this risotto reflects the region’s pride in fresh produce. It’s loaded with all sorts of vegetables in a tomato-based broth that doesn’t involve any dairy whatsoever.
For the roasted vegetables
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 300 g cherry tomatoes
- 2 red peppers
- 1 large courgette, zucchini
- A generous pinch of salt and pepper
For the risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 225 g risotto rice
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 250 ml passata
- 250 ml of vegetable stock
- Approx 6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
- A small bunch of fresh basil, torn
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional vegan parmesan to serve
To roast the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and add the olive oil to a roasting tin.
- Chop the vegetables into small chunks and spread out in the tin, adding the salt and pepper before giving everything a shake to coat.
- Roast for 30 minutes.
To make the risotto
- Meanwhile, add olive oil to a shallow casserole dish or large frying pan, on low-medium heat.
- Sauté the onion for a few minutes before adding the minced garlic and cooking for another minute.
- Stir in the rice with the vinegar and stir for approx 30 seconds, to coat it in the oil.
- Pour in the passata and vegetable stock, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating between the two. Allow each amount to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next.
- After 20 minutes, add in the sundried tomatoes and the roasted vegetables. Give everything a stir, adding more liquid if needed, and cook for a further 5 minutes until everything is cooked through and the rice is done.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the basil, salt and pepper, and vegan cheese (if using). Feel free to stir in any extra oil or dairy-free butter at this point for an extra creamy risotto.
- Serve right away and enjoy
4- Mediterranean Turkey Burger
The Mediterranean diet isn’t huge on red meat, so these turkey patties are a great way to satisfy a burger craving instead. Seasoned with oregano and parsley, they’re especially tasty with a hefty drizzle of the Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce—so much better than plain old ketchup and mustard.
Click the link below to view the full recipe
- View full recipe here and how to prepare it:
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