Main dishes are the stars of the table. When your family asks that age-old question, “what are we having for dinner tonight” turn to this page for inspiration! Browse some of our favorite Mediterranean Diet inspired main dishes below. Every recipe was curated to provide optimal nutrition while being easy to create!
Making Your Meals Healthy at Home
We have a ton of main dish recipes that follow the principles of a Mediterranean Diet. Some main dishes are quick and easy, some take a longer time but are hands-off, and some are gourmet masterpieces, but no doubt that you want each one to be a tasty, nutritious meal that the whole family will love.Scroll up for those! If you are looking to modify a recipe that your family currently eats and loves, here are some simple tips to make it Mediterranean:
- Sneak in veggies whenever possible. Instead of plain Mac and Cheese, make it gourmet by adding in some peas, diced broccoli, or even carrots. Mix some riced cauliflower into your ground meat for burgers or taco meat.
- Add variety into your food choices, or as we like to say, “eat the rainbow”! Mix potatoes, carrots, peas, peppers, and onions together with your next beef stew.Top your green leaf salad with red onions, carrots, tomatoes, and olives. By eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies, you mix up the vitamins and minerals to nourish your body.
- Squeeze in some seafood. Research continues to suggest that seafood helps keep your brain healthy as you age. Make shrimp tacos instead of beef or a tuna salad sandwich instead of turkey.
- Roast or bake instead of fry. Instead of fried chicken nuggets (store-bought or drive through), you can make your own baked nuggets using whole wheat bread crumbs and olive oil in the comfort of your own home. Instantly healthier!
- And, as much as possible, enjoy meals together as a family! Looking to get your kids more involved? Have them help you plan out your main dishes for the week! (https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/about-us/benefits-of-family-dinners/)
Our Favorite Preparations for Main Dishes
We love to experiment, but there are a few styles of cooking that we keep coming back to. Are these the same that you love? Let us know!
Grilling is an absolute favorite of ours. There’s something about standing out in the sunshine, soaking up some vitamin D, that makes cooking food on a grill feel like a wonderful experience, rather than a necessary chore. (Or maybe it is the fact that my husband does more of the grilling, and I just get to stand in the sunshine?!) I also love the way food cooks on a grill! Give me chicken with grill marks over oven-roasted any day of the week. We love grilling veggies (especially on skewers) and fruits (like pineapple) on the grill too.
One of the benefits of transitioning to a Mediterranean Diet from a more meat-heavy way of eating, is introducing pasta back into your life! There’s no shortage of healthy pasta in the grocery today; pasta made completely from lentils or beans is an excellent choice, as is 100% whole wheat or brown rice pasta. There are so many more ways to prepare pasta aside from red sauce too! Pesto pasta, pasta with tuna and peas, shrimp linguine, vegetable lasagna, the list is virtually endless. Pasta dishes are easy, inexpensive, fulfilling, and a crowd-pleaser (most kids love it!).
Being able to put some food in the pot in the morning and come home to something flavorful and finished (!!) is our jam. We do everything from breakfast (overnight oats) to dinner (lentil stew) and most meals in between. Some of our favorite weeknight dinners are made in the crock-pot. We love our slow cooker so much, we dedicated an entire section of this website to it! (Check it out here).
New to the Mediterranean Diet?
If you have just joined us, allow us to welcome you to the Mediterranean Way of Eating! This is a flexible style of eating that has been called by health experts the “Healthiest Overall Diet” for three years in a row. It has decades of research backing up some pretty impressive health claims, from a decline in disease risk to improved mood and longevity. Check out our Mediterranean Lifestyles page. For more information or read through our blog. We hope our main dishes bring some Mediterranean Inspiration into your family’s lifestyle!
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