6 easy, tasty Mediterranean diet recipes, from 2 dietitians who grew up following the meal plan

6 easy, tasty Mediterranean diet recipes, from 2 dietitians who grew up following the meal plan

plate of pasta (left) Fig toast

The Mediterranean diet is widely considered the healthiest way to eat.Getty Images

  • The Mediterranean diet is known to provide benefits to your heart health, brain, and weight.

  • It consists of whole foods including lean protein, whole grains, legumes, and fruits and vegetables.

  • Two dietitians who grew up on the diet share some of their favorite healthy recipes.

The Mediterranean diet is widely considered one of the healthiest ways to eat.

This year, Business Insider spoke to two dietitians who grew up eating the Mediterranean diet, and we’ve rounded up some of their favorite recipes below.

Sardine, caper, and lemon pasta

Pasta with capers.Pasta with capers.

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This relatively cheap pasta dish is easy to cook and packed with protein and fiber, Natalie Carroll, a registered dietitian based in New York who works with Top Nutrition Coaching, told Business Insider.

Simply sauté garlic, lemon zest, sardines, and capers in a pan with lots of olive oil, and add cooked wholewheat spaghetti.

“I know a lot of people might not like sardines, but this is the dish that can convert people. I truly believe that,” Carroll, who has Sicilian heritage and grew up on the Mediterranean diet, said.

Fancy toast

Figs on toast.Figs on toast.

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Carroll’s favorite breakfast is a recipe she calls “fancy toast.” It’s super simple to make and contains protein, carbohydrates, fats, and micronutrients.

Top a slice of sourdough toast with two to three tablespoons of full-fat ricotta cheese, and slices of either peach, figs, or apple, and drizzle over some honey, cinnamon, and cracked black pepper.

“I really like my breakfast to be full of healthy fats and protein so that later on in the day I’m not trying to play catch up on my calories or feeling really hungry when dinner hits,” she said.

White bean dip

White bean dip with crudités.White bean dip with crudités.

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This white bean dip recipe is a great source of fiber and protein, and comes together in minutes, Carroll said.

Beans are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and contain soluble fiber, which helps keep cholesterol low, and is good for digestive issues, she said.

To make it, place a can of white beans, two cloves of garlic, one-quarter of a cup of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until you have a relatively smooth texture.

You can also add in any other flavorings that you like, such as parsley, pine nuts, or dried herbs, she said.

Minestrone soup

minestrone soupminestrone soup

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Minestrone soup, which generally contains vegetables, and pasta, is a staple of the Mediterranean diet but it has no set recipe. Italian dietitian Marika Mancino, who is based in the UK, seasons her soup with coriander, cumin, and turmeric.

“You can really use your imagination with soups. You can add some pulses, some vegetables and then you can have some potatoes or even noodles with it,” she told BI.

Mozerella and olive pasta salad

Pasta salad.Pasta salad.

Marika Mancino

This pasta salad is an Italian favorite and comes together fast, Mancino said.

“The typical pasta salad we make in Italy is with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and olives,” she said. Olives are a great source of healthy fats and a staple of the Mediterranean diet.

She recommended using red lentil or chickpea pasta as they contain more protein than standard white pasta.

Whole-grain toast with peanut butter and banana

Peanut butter and banana on toast.Peanut butter and banana on toast.

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This recipe is great for breakfast time or if you’re craving a balanced and filling but slightly sweet snack.

Toast a slice of wholegrain-seeded bread and spread over a thick layer of peanut butter. Then, place slices of banana on top.

Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats, Mancino said, and bananas are highly nutritious, containing fiber, carbohydrates, and several minerals and vitamins.

Read the original article on Business Insider