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5 healthy Mediterranean diet recipes

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Jump to: Chicken bake | Warm lamb salad | Cod tray bake | Fish stew | Stuffed peppers

We’ve previously written about the benefits of following a Mediterranean diet. It can positively impact your risk of chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

While you don’t need to follow a strict Mediterranean diet to be healthy, including some Mediterranean recipes in your meal plans every now and again is a great way to add variety to your diet.

Whether you’re from the Mediterranean, the UK, or the Middle East – we believe a varied diet primarily based on whole foods is the best way to achieve optimum health and ensure you give your body everything it needs to thrive.

If you’d like to join people like Rachel who’ve joined Second Nature and changed their minds about healthy living to make weight loss feel easier while enjoying our delicious and simple recipes, click here to take our health quiz.

Our team of registered dietitians has developed these 5 delicious and healthy Mediterranean recipes for you to enjoy any day of the week. They’re packed with protein, fibre, and healthy fats and provide a source of complex carbohydrates.

They’re guaranteed to leave you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal, stabilising your blood sugar and energy levels which will help your weight loss journey in the long run.

1) Chicken bake

Prep and cooking time: 1hr 30mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

1kg chicken thighs or drumsticks

1 tbsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp ground cumin

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 large tomatoes, sliced in half

3 peppers, roughly chopped

1 aubergine, cut into large cubes

1 red onion, diced

100g pitted green olives

1 lemon, sliced

2 tbsp butter

1 large handful fresh basil

30g feta, crumbled (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and cover with dried oregano, thyme, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, and mix well. Leave to marinate for 15mins while you prepare the vegetables.

Add the chopped vegetables and olives to a large, ovenproof baking tray and drizzle with ½ tbsp olive oil.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, and lemon slices on top of the chicken. Scatter the butter around the tray, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Bake the chicken and veg for 1-1hr 15mins, or until slightly crisp on top.

Stir through fresh basil at the end, while the chicken is cooling, and serve with feta crumbled on top (if using).

2) Warm lamb salad


Prep and cooking time: 20mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

200g plain natural or Greek yoghurt

1⁄2 lemon, zested and juiced

1 garlic clove, finely diced or minced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

400g lamb fillet or leg steaks

4 handfuls (100g) baby spinach and/or salad leaves

1⁄2 red onion, finely sliced

250g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

Method

Combine the yoghurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, over medium/high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, and cook to your liking (or 3mins each side). Cover with foil and set aside.

Mix the spinach, red onion, tomatoes, and red pepper in a large bowl. Dress with half the yoghurt dressing.

Slice the lamb diagonally into pieces and add to the salad, along with any juice from the pan.

Serve with extra dressing on the side.

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3) Cod tray bake

Prep and cooking time: 55mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

400g baby new potatoes, halved lengthways

1 brown onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 red peppers, roughly chopped

150g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

100ml vegetable stock

50g olives

4 fillets cod

1 small handful fresh basil, finely sliced

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C/gas mark 4.

Add the oil, potatoes, onion, peppers and tomatoes to a casserole dish.

Mix and place in the oven for 40mins.

Remove the dish from the oven and pour in the tomatoes, vegetable stock, and tomato puree.

Add the olives and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Nestle the cod fillets into the sauce mix and continue to cook in the oven for 15mins, or until the cod is cooked through.

Scatter over the basil and serve with your favourite side of steamed vegetables or salad.

4) Fish stew


Prep and cooking time: 45mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 celery stalk, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1⁄2 tsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)

2 tsp ground paprika

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

500ml fish or vegetable stock

700g seafood (e.g. bite-sized pieces of white fish, prawns, mussels, squid and/or scallops)

2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Fry the onion, celery, garlic, and lemon zest for 5mins. Do not allow the vegetables to colour.

Stir in the chilli flakes and paprika, and fry for 2mins. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10mins. Add the stock and bring it back to a boil.

Reduce the heat again, cover, and simmer for another 10mins. Add the prepared seafood, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently.

Cover and simmer for 5mins, or until the seafood is just cooked.

Add the lemon juice and parsley and serve in bowls while still hot.

5) Stuffed peppers

Prep and cooking time: 45mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 large red peppers

400ml vegetable stock

100g uncooked quinoa

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely diced or minced

1 small red onion, diced

50g walnuts, roughly chopped

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp ground paprika

1 large handful spinach, roughly chopped

60g cheddar or vegan cheese, grated (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

Slice the top off the peppers, about 2cm down, to create a lid. De-seed the peppers and place them on a medium-sized baking tray. Bake, with the lids beside them, for 20-25mins, or until soft.

Add the stock, quinoa, and thyme into a saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20mins, until the quinoa is cooked (tender and easily fluffed with a fork). Drain off any excess liquid, remove the herbs (if using fresh), and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. Fry the garlic and onion, until soft. Add the walnuts and toss for 2-3mins, until lightly browned. Add the chickpeas, paprika, and salt and pepper. Cook for a further 3mins, stirring frequently.

Take peppers out of the oven, drain any excess water, and cool.

Add the quinoa and spinach to the chickpea mix and combine well. Fill the peppers with the mixture.

Add the cheese on top (if using) and put back in the oven for 3mins, or serve as is.

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