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This Popular Diet Is Good For Your Heart, And It Tastes Amazing

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List and Meal Prep

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own.

I’ve seen a lot of fad diets come and go over the years, and for the most part I haven’t gotten involved in very many of them. And that isn’t because I haven’t ever wanted to lose weight—on the contrary, in fact! But many of the trendy diets that have surfaced over the few decades have been so obviously unhealthy that I have steered clear of them entirely. But in the past few years or so, there has been a definite upswing in diets that focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes, rather than doing dangerous crash diets. One such diet is the Mediterranean Diet, and I keep hearing about it everywhere!

The Mediterranean Diet

Today I’ll be sharing a primer about the Mediterranean Diet, including what it is, what the purported benefits are, and how you can get started on it too. I’ll also share one of the most delicious recipes I’ve made in recent memory (courtesy of my friends at Blue Apron) that just so happens to be 100% Mediterranean Diet-approved! Seriously, who knew cauliflower and farro could taste so dang good?! So let’s get started!

The Mediterranean Diet

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is based on the historical eating patterns of people living in the Mediterranean region in southern Europe. Some of the basic building blocks of the diet of Mediterranean people are local fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood, and lots of locally-made olive oil. (Note the conspicuous lack of red meat and dairy products in this list, which are eaten sparingly in the Mediterranean region.)

The Mediterranean Diet

Dining like the Mediterraneans do is not only a delicious way to eat, but there are plenty of benefits to eating this way! The Mayo Clinic sites studies that show the Mediterranean Diet can lower your risk of heart disease and protect against degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The Mediterranean Diet may also be a good option for those looking to lose weight. You’ll get plenty of high-quality protein, while cutting out processed foods and added sugar. That means the food you eat will help you stay full throughout the day, reducing blood sugar spikes and those dreaded afternoon “snack attacks.” Some even claim that the Mediterranean Diet may help you live longer!

The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Here’s a quick glimpse at what your shopping list might look like if you were eating according to the Mediterranean Diet. Feel free to use this list however you like!

The Mediterranean Diet

Produce

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard)
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Fennel
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Melon

The Mediterranean Diet

Herbs & Spices

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Cumin

The Mediterranean Diet

Lean Proteins

  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Tuna
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Chicken breasts

The Mediterranean Diet

Refrigerated

  • Feta
  • Goat cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs

The Mediterranean Diet

Pantry Staples

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nuts (almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews)
  • Seeds (sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)
  • Legumes and beans (chickpeas, lentils, cannellini beans)
  • Whole grains (barley, farro, quinoa)
  • Whole wheat bread or pita

As you can see, there’s nothing too crazy or out there on this Mediterranean diet shopping list. I’m sure you’ve heard of most of these ingredients before, even if you haven’t prepared them at home! But if you want to get a better feel for what the Mediterranean diet looks and tastes like, there’s no easier way to do it than through Blue Apron.

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet & Blue Apron

Blue Apron has started offering at least 2 specially marked Mediterranean Diet recipes each week. If you’re looking to see if the Mediterranean Diet can work for you, Blue Apron makes it so easy! Just sign up, choose a meal plan, the select the marked Mediterranean Diet recipes from among the 8 recipe options. You’ll receive all the delicious ingredients you need in the exact right amounts, meaning no guesswork and no waste. It couldn’t be easier or more convenient!

The Mediterranean Diet

I recently tried out a couple of the Mediterranean Diet recipes from Blue Apron, and honestly, I was SHOCKED at how delicious they were! My very favorite recipe I tried was Za’atar-Roasted Cauliflower with Date-Farro Salad. I will freely admit that I had some reservations about this recipe before I made it. I had no idea what za’atar was, and I’d never eaten farro before in my life. But I was willing to venture into the unknown in the name of food, and I’m SO glad I did! The dish is bursting with flavor, and the bright and tangy sauce on top might just be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Here’s how you can make it at home (and I really think you should!)

The Mediterranean Diet

Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower with Date-Farro Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 oz sweet peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 dried Medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup labneh cheese*
  • 1 pickled shallot*
  • 3 Tbsp roasted almonds
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp za’atar seasoning

*Author’s Note: Labneh is a Middle-Eastern dairy product that’s thicker in texture than Greek yogurt. You can find it many grocery stores, but in case you can’t find it, you can always make your own labneh at home by straining yogurt to achieve the thick and creamy texture. As far as the pickled shallot goes, some stores sell them in jars in the pickle aisle, but you can also make your own pickled shallots at home.

The Mediterranean Diet

Directions:

Start by slicing the cauliflower into 1″ thick “steaks,” making sure to keep them as intact as possible. Drizzle your cauliflower steaks with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and about half of the tablespoon of za’atar seasoning.

The Mediterranean Diet

Roast the cauliflower at 450°F for 25-27 minutes, or until lightly browed and tender when pierced with a fork. Top with the juice from half of your lime.

The Mediterranean Diet

While the cauliflower is cooking, put the farro into a small pot of boiling water. Boil the farro for 18-20 minutes. Drain, drizzle with olive oil, and return to the pot.

The Mediterranean Diet

Now you’ll prep the rest of your ingredients. Remove the stems and seeds from the sweet peppers, then slice them crosswise into rings. Roughly chop the garlic. Pit and roughly chop the dates. Roughly chop the pickled shallot and drain off any liquid. Roughly chop the roasted almonds. Finally, roughly chop the parsley too.

The Mediterranean Diet

Next you’ll cook the peppers! Toss them in a medium-sized non-stick pan with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the garlic and dates to the mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, season the labneh cheese with the remainder of the tablespoon of za’atar seasoning, the other half of the lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir, then season it with salt and pepper to taste.

The Mediterranean Diet

Finally, add the cooked pepper mixture, the chopped shallot, and the feta cheese to the cooked farro. Stir it up, then serve on plates along with the cooked cauliflower steaks. Garnish each dish with chopped almonds, parsley, and a scoop of the seasoned labneh. YUM!

Mediterranean Diet Shopping List and Recipe for Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower

Making this delicious cauliflower dish totally opened my eyes to just how delicious the Mediterranean Diet can be. I now have a better understanding of the fact that just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it can’t also be super flavorful!

The Mediterranean Diet

If you’re thinking about giving the Mediterranean Diet a try (or just want to see what all the fuss is about), I highly recommend exploring the delicious Mediterranean meals kits from Blue Apron. (And why not? There’s no contracts or commitments to worry about, and you can skip or cancel shipments at any time!)

The Mediterranean Diet

Make Affordable, Easy Mediterranean Diet Recipes At Home

Blue Apron has generously offered a special discount just for you guys! The first 50 OGT readers to sign up for Blue Apron will get $50 off their first two weeks! Just click here to get started.

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  • My husband was raised on the mediterainian diet and it also includes beef and lamb in different dishes, and lebnah is greek yogurt and Arabic as well. Olive oil is used frequently and not butter, but use butter for the different pastries and baking. I would suggest for everyone to get a good cookbook for Armenian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic and Persian which have many good and nutritious meals that all will enjoy.

  • Jillie, Look forward to trying this recipe. And, I signed up for Blue Apron on your recommendation, however, there are NO recipe choices that are marked Mediterranean. Is this something they are planning to add? It is NOT currently available. Also the discount given from your link is $40.00, not $50.00.

  • Roasted cauliflower is incredible!! Not only as a main or side dish, leftovers can be used for sandwiches. Not that we ever have leftovers of this wonderful vegetable … :)
    Broccoli can be roasted, too, as can regular cabbage and brussels sprouts! Sprout haters will be amazed how great this vegetable can be!

  • You should check out whole food plant based. It’s recommended by Merck and many doctors and hospitals see a dramatic decrease in all the bad numbers.

  • Yummy..I’ve always loved this type of food. This is a diet that Doctors recommend. I could definitely do this except=for the meats that are listed.

  • This diet is very expensive and seems to be labor – intensive and time consuming. If any of the readers are on Coumadin, dark greens are dangerous, due to the anticoagulant properties of leafy green vegetables.

    .Note : The lectins found in tomatoes, night shade plants, tomatoes and cashews are very problematic.

    Dr. Stephen Gundry is a leading expert in the research concerning what happens in the human brain on a diet of lectin – rich foods. Needless to say I kissed them good bye, am losing weight on a diet I invented, and have lost more than 20 pounds, so far.
    I have also freed myself from a lifelong sugar addiction.

    I make my own Greek Yogurt, and I now spend less than 5 minutes preparing a meal.

  • Fabulous article and wonderful recipes. Having been raised in a Greek home as First Generation I beg to differ a bit on the low dairy and red meat. Cheese, and not always goat cheese, is a daily staple and red meat plays a big part of a Mediterranean diet. Souvlaki etc. Lamb, beef, pork marinated well is delicious

    I think what changes from a western diet is balance and less processed foods and cheap sugars. We have delicious sweets but made with quality and they are not a daily addition to meals. Fruits, salads play a huge part in our meals as do nuts and quality olive oils We cook with butter not margarines. Meals are more balanced and we eat plenty of greens and fresh vegetables. Alcohol is rarely consumed without food, as well. It’s nkt about sacrificing as much as it is about healthy nutritious fresh whole foods and balance

    • So true! We had Greek and Sicilian neighbors growing up and OMG…the wonderful food that was served at their tables! I was always thrilled to be asked to dinner! They introduced me to lamb and super lean beef dishes that I now make at home.

      • So true. Great food. Extremely healthy. Quite Keto. My father rarely ate sweets and never drank milk and little bread but ate cheese and good quality meats. They also move rather than tv watching. Makes a difference. Olive oils no canola etc. Real food. I think our bodies cannot process these chemical foods and I’m sure the stuff we feed our animals and spray on our plants is causing much of our illness and problems with weight. Wholesome Whole Foods!!!

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