Proving that plant based doesn’t have to be boring or flavorless! We’re sharing our favorite recipes that are plant based and Mediterranean diet inspired at the same time. No shortage of flavor here.
What does Plant Based Mean?
Before we dive into sharing some of our favorite meatless Mediterranean recipes, it’s important to understand what exactly we mean when we say “plant based”.
A Plant Based Diet is one where the focus of meals is fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, herbs, and spices. Sounds a lot like the Mediterranean diet right?
Just to note, plant based doesn’t mean that you never eat dairy, eggs, poultry or meat again. It just means these are less frequent in your meals and not the star of the dish.
The terminology and different types of “plant” forward diets can get confusing. For more detailed information, check out this post on What Does Eating a Plant Based Diet Mean?
Why Include more Meatless Meals in your Diet?
No matter what type of nutrition research is done, there’s always one thing in common. That common factor is that adding more plants to your diet can offer a whole host of health benefits.
Plants are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and specific compounds that not only help our bodies function at peak performance but that can lead to decreased risk for certain cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, dementia, and obesity. They are naturally low in calories, free from saturated fats, high in fiber and high in free radical fighting antioxidants.
Studies show that even just adding more plants to your diet, without having to entirely eliminate meat, have a big impact on improving health and lowering the risk for certain chronic diseases.
Read our Tips for Adding More Fruits and Veggies into your meal.
Tips for Adding More Plants
We are no strangers to plant based meals, ever since starting having Meatless Monday in our own home years ago. It’s fun finding new recipes to try and finding out what works and what doesn’t for us.
Some tips we have when trying to incorporate more plant based meals into your diet include –
- Start small, don’t try to change all your meals or way of eating all at one time
- Focus on adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes to meals rather than looking at it as what you need to “take away”
- Stock your pantry with things like almonds, walnuts, pistachios. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, canned beans, and canned vegetables to have on hand for plant forward meals
- Try something new. Lentils are something we weren’t familiar with cooking or eating when we first began our Mediterranean diet journey and now We Love Lentils
Our Favorite Plant Based Mediterranean Diet Recipes
We enjoy finding new ways to increase our intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. We also love trying new recipes or putting plant based twists on old favorites.
Some of our favorite plant forward recipes we included in our cookbook – The Mediterranean Diet Made Easy.
These starters and small plates are all meat free but full of wonderful, fresh flavors like lots of herbs, veggies, beans and fruit.
Plant Based Soups and Salads
Salads and soups are great ways to increase not only vegetables but beans, lentils, nuts and seeds as well.
Mediterranean Diet Main Dishes
In the beginning of our meatless journey, we found it hard to find entree recipes that weren’t just pasta. We really focused on adding in veggies, seeds, nuts and even fruit!
Some of our favorites, even to this day, include –
Plant Based Recipe Collections
A one stop shop for some great vegetarian recipe collections –
Plant Based Resources
There are so many great resources out there, not just for the Mediterranean Diet but for plant based recipes and information.
Some of our favorite sites and recipes from other places include –
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