Green Mediterranean Diet recipes emphasize whole foods, plant-based ingredients, and healthy fats.
Check out these 7 delicious recipes packed with nutrients that support healthy aging!
What is the Green Mediterranean Diet?
The Green Mediterranean Diet is a variation of the traditional Mediterranean diet. It prioritizes plant-based foods and sustainability.
Like the traditional Mediterranean diet, it encourages whole, minimally processed foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
How is it different from the Mediterranean Diet?
The Green Mediterranean Diet places a greater emphasis on plant-based proteins like legumes, while discouraging red and processed meats. Fish, poultry, and dairy are encouraged in moderation.
The diet also promotes sustainable food choices. Including choosing locally sourced and seasonal foods, reducing food waste, and limiting the consumption of foods with a high carbon footprint, such as beef.
Benefits of the Green Mediterranean Diet
- Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke
- Lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers
- Healthy aging
- Increased lifespan
- Weight loss (when combined with calorie restriction)
- Reduced environmental impact
Characteristics of Green Mediterranean Diet Recipes
The fantastic recipes below all have components of the Green Mediterranean Diet.
When searching for a Green Mediterranean Diet recipe, look for the following characteristics:
- An abundance of vegetables: Green Mediterranean recipes are loaded with vegetables.
- Whole grains: Instead of refined grains, Green Mediterranean recipes feature whole grains such as bulgur, farro, and quinoa.
- Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, and beans are a staple in Green Mediterranean dishes.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil is a key component of Green Mediterranean cuisine. Other sources of healthy fats may include nuts, seeds, and avocado.
- Herbs and spices: Green Mediterranean recipes rely on herbs and spices to add flavor instead of salt.
- Limited use of animal products: While not strictly vegetarian, Green Mediterranean recipes typically use animal products sparingly, with an emphasis on fish and seafood.
1. Spiced Chickpea Grain Bowls & Creamy Tahini Dressing
Registered Dietitian Tori Vasko MS, RD of Easy Chickpeasy created this Spiced Chickpea Grain Bowl.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a nutrient-packed legume.
High in protein and fiber, chickpeas may lower cholesterol, promote weight loss, and support bone health!
2. Salmon Nicoise Salad
Chef Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, FAND created this Salmon Nicoise Salad.
It’s packed with Omega 3 fatty acids – antioxidants that fight “Inflammageing”!
“Inflammageing” describes the chronic, low-grade inflammation that occurs in the body as we age.
3. Ultimate Vegan Bomb Meatloaf
Registered Dietitian Kiran Campbell created this Ultimate Vegan Bomb Meatloaf, a twist on a traditional comfort food.
Kiran’s vegan meatloaf is loaded with vegetables, and is lower in sodium than its’ counterpart.
4. High Protein Pasta with Broccoli & Red Peppers
High Protein Pasta with Broccoli & Red Pepper is brought to us from Registered Dietitian Melissa Altman-Traub at Plant-Based Nutrition.
Melissa introduces us to black soybean spaghetti, a pasta that is packed with protein. This pasta contains 25 grams of protein per serving, more than a 3 ounce portion of chicken!
5. Wild Rice Grain Bowl with Kale & Roasted Winter Vegetables
Marie Dittmer from Healthy Ideas Place concocted this wild rice grain bowl. This dish is loaded with healthy aging nutrients, such as kale.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
6. Mixed Bean & Lentil Salad
Registered Dietitian Jamie Adams, MS, RDN, nutrition expert at The Mediterranean Movement created this Mixed Bean & Lentil Salad.
Beans and lentils are high in fiber, which supports digestive health, lowers cholesterol, and promotes fullness after meals.
7. Mediterranean Ancient Grain Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Registered Dietitian Ashley Petrie, RDN, LDN of Everyday Homemade brings us this Mediterranean Ancient Grain Salad.
Ashley describes this nutrient-dense dish as a “perfect make-ahead lunch that can be used as both a vegetarian main dish and a side dish“!
Interested in more healthy aging recipes?
Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s Recipes for Healthy Aging section of the blog!
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also Certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management.