We have discussed the importance of the Mediterranean Diet breakfast and we have given you some ideas of what people in the Mediterranea region eat for breakfast. As everybody acknowledges, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have to eat breakfast like a king, they say. But you cannot have a healthy and energetic day with just one meal. You need to provide your body the necessary fuel on a frequent basis. So need a healthy Mediterranean diet lunch! And you need to eat lunch like a Prince. The Mediterranean diet lunch will be your second meal of the day and has to add value to the already taken Mediterranean breakfast.
There are literally thousands of recipes and ideas for a healthy Mediterranean lunch. What is good for the Mediterranean people is good for you as well. The important thing is to have a balanced diet and in order to achieve this you need to plan for it. It is true of what they say that if you do not have a plan any road will take you there! As we have mentioned many times it is important to have a monthly or a weekly diet plan so that you and your family would know what to shop for cooking and what you will have for lunch, since we all agree that the Mediterranean diet is good for the whole family.
So what are some of the Mediterranean diet foods and recipes for a good, nutritional and healthy lunch? We will try to describe a variety of foods and recipes from different countries of the Mediterranean region so that you will get a broader understanding of the meaning of lunch in these countries and at same time choose what is best for you and your family, based on your taste and preferences.
Mediterranean Tuna salad is an excellent and easy idea for lunch. If you love tuna, you need to avoid the popular and yet unhealthy tuna salad with mayonnaise. There are many recipes around, which use tuna with many other Mediterranean foods found in the Mediterranean diet pyramid like, cappers, tomatoes, olive oil and olives.
Greek Salad is another option for lunch since the Greek salad is available at many restaurants not only as a side dish or starter but as a main dish as well. What are the ingredients of a Greek salad? Nothing else but fresh vegetables like: cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, olives and feta cheese. Olive oil is another necessary ingredient and there is no need to remind you of the benefits of olive oil and the fact that it fights cancer! From a nutritional aspect you need to know that cucumbers are a food with low calories and high in vitamin K. They also have an adequate quantity of Vitamin C and for these reasons they are sometimes referred to as the superfood of the Mediterranean diet.
Mediterranean recipes with couscous are also another popular lunch idea. A popular couscous recipe is couscous with chickpeas and almonds. Couscous is a traditional Moroccan dish and it often thought to be a grain product while it is actually a pasta product! One cup of couscous has about 176 calories, zero saturated fats and a good percentage of carbohydrates needed for your daily consumption. You can also make nice salads using Couscous as the basic ingredient.
Pasta is another great option for a quick and healthy Mediterranean lunch. Traditionally an Italian dish, pasta can be found everywhere in the world and you need not to be reminded that the Italian cuisine was ranked as the number one of the top ten cuisines of the world! Pasta can be served with any kind of tomato sauce which can be combined with fish and/or vegetables and various Mediterranean herbs. The variations and combinations for a pasta dish are numerous and almost inexhaustible and for this reason we will leave your imagination to improvise! If you are making lunch, all you need is a little planning so as to have the right ingredients at home.
A fish and seafood lunch is another excellent idea for a healthy lunch. You can have a grilled trout or squid with boiled vegetables and thus get all the right nutrients you will need to continue your day. Fish and seafood are found in the frequent category of the Mediterranean diet and they can be eaten 1-2 times a week. You may find fresh fish at your nearest supermarket or fish market and you can cook it in various ways using several Mediterranean diet herbs and spices to add the right flavour and remove the fishy smell some of the fish have. One of my favourites is Octopus casserole!
Legume lunches are also popular in the Mediterranean region. Legumes are in the ‘’high use’’ step of the Mediterranean pyramid and it is suggested that you have them daily or almost daily. You can add them in salads or cook them and serve them as main dish accompanied with other vegetables such as spinach and chopped scallions. A very popular middle-eastern dip is Humus made from chickpeas. If you refer to any Mediterranean diet cookbook you will find hundreds of ideas about legume based lunches.
How about Spain? Does Spain have anything to offer for a Mediterranean diet lunch? This is off course a rhetorical question since it is known that the Spanish people give a lot of emphasis on food and for this reason they are called the foodies of Europe! So what is a typical Spanish dish for lunch? Gazpacho soup and Paella are just two of the most popular dishes for a good and healthy Mediterranean diet lunch and they are very nutritional as well.
If you fancy a burger for lunch, you may have one as long as you do not violate the frequency rules of the pyramid. You may have a chicken or a turkey burger instead of a beef burger and you should most certainly avoid fried potatoes by having oven-cooked fries. You may also combine your burger with a nice fresh vegetable salad.
As you may have already figured out, the options and combinations for a healthy Mediterranean lunch as numerous and they are only limited by your taste and appetite. You can search for any Mediterranean diet recipe, if you are in the mood for cooking, or you may search for a Mediterranean diet restaurant near you, so that you will enjoy a healthy and nutritional Mediterranean Diet lunch. Remember that you need to have a lunch like a Prince! Enjoy.