The Mediterranean Diet has a menu that is centered on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Instead of avoiding certain foods, the diet allows you to make healthier choices that are full of flavor. The Mediterranean Diet is well-known for its heart-healthy ingredients. Exercise is also encouraged, although it can take the form of any daily activity that gets your body moving. It is a fresh diet that adds new flavors and textures for you to enjoy, such as the following lunches that are also quick and easy to make.
1. Lentil Soup
5 cups water
1 cups red lentils
2 Tablespoons salt
Dash of Saffron or Safflower spice
½ cup white onion, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil (about 2 Tbs.)
1 teaspoon cumin
Boil water, salt, olive oil, Saffron, onions, and lentils on high heat, and then reduce to medium heat. Once the lentils begin to soften (about 15 minutes), add cumin. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with a small salad and fruit.
2. Orange Salad
Oranges, thinly sliced
Onion, thinly sliced
Sliced black olives
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Dash of salt
Dash of ground pepper
Cover the bottom of the plate with lettuce. Place the oranges on top, and then add onions and olives. Combine the remaining ingredients to use as a dressing.
3. Fresh Tomato Penne
8 juicy and ripe tomatoes, halved, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces penne pasta
Mix everything except for the pasta in a large bowl and set to the side. Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until it is tender but firm. Drain. Add the pasta to the other ingredients and toss until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Greens with Lemon Dressing
1 1/2 pound fresh greens, washed and drained (choose from your favorite greens, such as mustard greens, spinach, or poppy leaves)
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Remove the stems from the greens. Leaving the water that remains on them, place the greens in a Dutch oven. cover and cook them for about 8 minutes until they are tender. Drain. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a bowl and toss it with the greens. Add pepper if desired.
5. Greek Salad
1 cup spinach (or other greens of your choice), chopped
2 black olives, finely chopped
1 seeded and diced tomato
1 Tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix the greens, olives and tomatoes. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top. In a separate small bowl, combine the oil, oregano and lemon juice. Drizzle over the salad.
Any of these recipes can be eaten alone or combined with another light menu item. You can add vegetables, yogurt, or a pita to stretch the meal even farther. If you want to add more protein to your diet, try eating a piece of fish or chicken with your salad or soup. Nuts are also great protein sources that can easily fit into almost any Mediterranean recipe.