Make Your Own Meditter: A Guide

how to make mediter

The Mediterranean diet is a delicious and healthy way of eating, with an emphasis on healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins such as fish and poultry. With influences from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Mediterranean dishes include Greek gyros, Italian pastas, Levantine salads and Middle Eastern desserts.

To make Mediterranean food, you'll need a well-stocked spice rack with essentials like cumin, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sumac and za'atar. Quality olive oil is also a must.

Some classic Mediterranean dishes include hummus, falafel, Greek salad, shawarma, and tabbouleh. For a main course, you could try lamb kebabs, chicken souvlaki, or a Greek-style roasted branzino.

Characteristics Values
Region Southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East
Common Ingredients Fresh tomatoes, olives, fish, lemon, feta, mint, za'atar
Dishes Gyros, shawarma, falafel, tomato cucumber salad, Greek salad, hummus, pita bread, moussaka, lamb kebabs, paella, fattoush, spaghetti
Drinks Negroni, Arabic tea with mint, Freddo Espresso (Greek Iced Coffee), Peach Bellini, Non-Alcoholic Sangria with Hibiscus and Thyme
Desserts Baklava, cheesecake, orange cardamom olive oil cake, Persian love cake, loukoumades (Greek doughnuts with honey)


Breakfast ideas: Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts, oatmeal with nuts and fruit, omelettes with veggies, eggs and toast, etc

Breakfast is a great way to start your day and a nutritious breakfast can provide long-lasting energy and keep you full for hours. Here are some Mediterranean breakfast ideas centred around Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts, oatmeal with nuts and fruit, omelettes with veggies, and eggs and toast:

Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts

Greek yogurt is a great option for a quick breakfast. It is higher in protein than regular yogurt and lower in calories than many other protein sources. It is also a good source of calcium and contains probiotics that support digestion.

For a delicious and nutritious breakfast, try mixing Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, such as berries, bananas, or peaches, and top it off with some nuts or granola for added crunch. You can also add honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar for a touch of sweetness.

  • Start with a generous serving of Greek yogurt (plain or flavoured) in a bowl.
  • Add a mix of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) for fibre and antioxidants.
  • Sprinkle on some chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) for healthy fats, protein, and crunch.
  • Drizzle on some honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar (optional) for added sweetness.
  • Mix everything together and enjoy!

Oatmeal with Nuts and Fruit

Oatmeal is made from rolled or steel-cut oats and is a good source of beta-glucan fibre, which can help lower cholesterol and increase feelings of fullness. It also contains protein and various vitamins and minerals.

  • Cook oatmeal with milk and top with nuts (such as walnuts or almonds) and fresh fruit (like blueberries or bananas).
  • Make oatmeal with dried fruit, nuts, and seeds for a homemade muesli.
  • Steel-cut oatmeal with apple, cinnamon, and protein powder.

Omelettes with Veggies

Omelettes are a great way to include a variety of vegetables in your breakfast. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and jalapenos.

Pair your omelette with some whole-grain toast for a filling and nutritious breakfast.

Eggs and Toast

Eggs are a simple, nutritious breakfast choice, providing protein and several important nutrients. They may promote fullness and help lower calorie intake later in the day.

  • Avocado toast with chilli flakes on whole-grain bread.
  • Scrambled eggs with vegetables (such as onions, garlic, peppers, spinach) and herbs, served with whole-grain toast.
  • Fried egg, cheese, and avocado sandwich on a whole-wheat English muffin.
  • Boiled egg with whole-grain toast and almond butter.
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Lunch ideas: Veggie and hummus sandwiches, tuna salads, grain bowls, etc

Lunch is an important meal to refuel and recharge your body and brain for the rest of the day. Here are some Mediterranean-inspired lunch ideas to elevate your midday break:

Veggie and Hummus Sandwiches

A veggie and hummus sandwich is a great option for a heart-healthy and fibre-rich lunch. You can use whole-grain bread, country bread, or bread with a firm crust. Spread one slice with hummus and the other with mashed avocado to prevent the bread from getting soggy and to keep the veggies in place. Fill the sandwich with salad greens, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and red bell peppers. You can also add spinach, sprouts, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, broccoli slaw, thinly sliced radishes, or fresh herbs like cilantro or basil. To make it ahead, assemble the sandwich and refrigerate it for up to four hours or pack it in an airtight container with a cooler pack.

Tuna Salads

Tuna salad is a versatile and satisfying lunch option. You can serve it on toast, crackers, a bed of greens, or as a tuna melt. Start with a base of tuna (preferably packed in water), mayonnaise, celery, onion, sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, and garlic. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add mix-ins like chopped apples, thawed peas, or chopped hard-boiled eggs. For a lighter option, wrap the tuna salad in lettuce leaves or serve it on a bed of lettuce. If you're looking for a more substantial meal, make a tuna pasta salad by adding cooked macaroni, rotini, or your favourite small pasta.

Grain Bowls

Grain bowls are a filling and flavourful lunch option. You can use different grains like brown rice, quinoa, or farro as a base. Then, add a legume like chickpeas, black beans, or edamame. Include a roasted vegetable such as sweet potatoes or carrots, and a raw vegetable like radishes, shredded cabbage, or carrot peels. For a tangy twist, add a pickled vegetable like sauerkraut, pickled ginger, or pickled onions. Top it off with a creamy tahini sauce and some sesame seeds. You can also add proteins like tofu or chicken to make it more filling.

Other Mediterranean Lunch Ideas

  • Mediterranean falafel bowls: Fill a bowl with hummus, tabbouleh or salad, falafel patties, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, red onions, feta cheese, and olives. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sumac for seasoning.
  • Greek salad (Horiatiki): Combine cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, and big hunks of feta cheese.
  • Mediterranean cucumber and tomato salad: Dress up cucumbers and tomatoes with parsley, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and sumac.
  • Pide (Turkish flatbread): Load a boat-shaped dough with spinach, mushrooms, onion, feta cheese, and red bell pepper.
  • Shawarma bowls: Fill a bowl with pita bread, tahini or tzatziki sauce, cucumber and tomato salad, and spicy cauliflower or chicken shawarma.


Dinner ideas: Chicken and couscous, salmon and veggies, stuffed sweet potatoes, shrimp bowls, etc

Chicken and Couscous

This is a simple, yet impressive, dish that combines baked chicken thighs with warm Moroccan spices and fluffy couscous. The key to this recipe is the Moroccan-inspired rub for the chicken, which includes garlic, tomato paste, and spices such as Ras El Hanout, cinnamon and ginger. The couscous is toasted in extra virgin olive oil and cooked with boiling water or broth, resulting in a quick and flavourful dish. This meal can be served with a big salad on the side.

Salmon and Veggies

This is a quick and healthy option that can be prepared in just 15 minutes. The salmon fillets are seasoned with oregano, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and can be pan-fried or baked in the oven. The Mediterranean topper, made with cherry tomatoes, olives, cucumber, parsley, basil, and feta cheese, adds a juicy and summery touch to the dish. This recipe is perfect for a dinner party as it can be prepared ahead of time and assembled just before serving.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This vegan and gluten-free dish is a unique and creative way to enjoy Mediterranean flavours. It consists of baked sweet potatoes stuffed with roasted chickpeas, a garlic-herb sauce, and a parsley-tomato salad. The sweetness of the potatoes blends perfectly with the chickpeas and sauce, while the lemon-parsley salad adds a zesty finish. This recipe is simple to prepare and can be customised with additional ingredients such as feta cheese or tofu.

Shrimp Bowls

These bowls are a versatile and filling option, packed with seasoned shrimp, veggies, and a rice base. The shrimp can be amplified with various seasonings and the bowl can be customised with different bases such as brown rice, Spanish rice, farro, quinoa, or mixed greens. This dish is perfect for meal prep as the ingredients can be made ahead of time and assembled throughout the week. It is a healthy and satisfying option, filled with whole grains, protein, and fresh vegetables.


Snack ideas: Hummus with carrots or cucumbers, berries, nuts, avocado on crackers, etc

Hummus with Carrots or Cucumbers

Roasted carrot hummus is a delicious blend of classic hummus ingredients, tender roasted carrots, and spices. It's ultra-creamy, sweet yet savoury, and a versatile recipe that works as a nutrient-packed appetizer. You can also use other root vegetables like beetroot to make hummus. Serve the hummus with a side of fresh-cut veggies such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or bell peppers for a healthy snack.


Berries are a great option for a sweet and healthy snack. You can buy them fresh or opt for dried berries, such as cranberries, cherries, and blueberries. There are also various berry-based snacks available, including fruit rolls, fruit snacks, and fruit-flavoured gummy candies.


Nuts are a perfect snack for when you're on the go or to have on hand for a quick bite. You can choose from a variety of options, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios. For a fun twist, try hot & spicy cajun-flavoured or wasabi peanuts, or pop corn nuts.

Avocado on Crackers

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and can be a delicious and creamy snack when spread on crackers. You can keep it simple with just avocado and crackers, or get creative with different toppings and spices. Try mashing avocado with garlic and herb paste, or chilli and basil paste, and spreading it on multigrain crackers. For a more substantial snack, top your avocado crackers with sliced tomatoes or cucumbers.


Pantry essentials: Legumes, pasta and grains, nuts and seeds, dried herbs and spices, etc

Legumes, pasta and grains, nuts and seeds, dried herbs and spices are all essential components of a Mediterranean-style diet. This diet is inspired by the flavours and ingredients of the more than 20 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, including Greece, Israel, and Italy.


Legumes are members of the bean family and are an important food source for humans. Examples of legumes to include in your pantry are lentils (black, red, and yellow), fava beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas.

Pasta and Grains

Grains such as couscous, short-grain or Egyptian rice, and bulgur are pantry essentials. As for pasta, orzo, spaghetti, and elbow macaroni are versatile options for a range of Mediterranean dishes.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds provide flavour, texture, and nutritional benefits to meals. Pine nuts, slivered almonds, shelled pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts are all great options to have on hand. Storing nuts in the freezer helps keep them fresh for longer.

Dried Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are integral to Mediterranean cooking, adding flavour and aroma to dishes. Saffron, cumin, allspice, and oregano are commonly used spices. For dried herbs, consider mint, flat-leaf parsley, basil, and cilantro. These dried herbs can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to roasted meats.

Stocking up on these pantry essentials will provide a solid foundation for creating delicious and authentic Mediterranean meals.

Frequently asked questions

Some common ingredients in Mediterranean food include fresh tomatoes, olives, fish, lemon, feta, mint, za'atar, and olive oil.

There are many Mediterranean dishes, including stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, shish kebabs, fattoush salad, lamb sliders, hummus, and baklava.

Some Mediterranean diet recipes include Greek salmon salad, artichoke garden flatbread pizza, chicken burgers with Mediterranean-spiced chicken patties, and grilled vegetable kebabs.

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