Looking to eat the Mediterranean diet this summer? These are some of my favorite summer recipes. I’ve tried to include a variety of healthy breakfasts, sauces and dips, salads, grilling recipes, and dinners that will give you lots of choices this summer. The idea is to mix and match these recipes throughout an entire day, to eat the real Mediterranean diet.
When I am in Southern Europe, yogurt and honey never fail for breakfast. When in the states, I eat lots of avocado toast, and putting them together into one recipe is so delicious and filling. Voila, Sweet Greek Avocado Toast! Also, if you like smoothies for breakfast try our anti-inflammatory Mango Strawberry Smoothie with Greek Yogurt.
In the summer, it’s nice to eat a big salad for lunch. There are three very different salads to choose from here, depending on what mood you’re in. Just a heads up, you’re going to need some good extra virgin olive oil. The easiest salad to make is the authentic Greek salad. If you have fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers for this salad, you can’t go wrong. Even the Greeks living in Greece will tell you they never tire of a Greek salad in the summer. This salad is at the heart of the Mediterranean diet. The grilled shrimp salad is also a colorful salad that is really impressive presentation wise. If you have people over for a lunch this summer, this is the salad to make your guests.
In Italy, Summer isn’t complete without lots of pesto! Pesto is by far my favorite sauce in the summer, and I put it on everything. It’s extremely easy to make, and you don’t need as much basil as you think, because my recipe uses arugula too.
For dinner, grilled swordfish is so simple and will transport you to a seaside restaurant on the Mediterranean Sea. The grilled marinated summer vegetables are a healthy grilled side dish to pair with any of these recipes. You can even make it a meal by making a grilled veggie sandwich, or putting them on a salad. The real Mediterranean diet is the easiest to eat in the summer when there is lots of fresh produce, more time for grilling, and nice weather to be able to eat outside. Share this plan with your friends and family, so they can learn to eat the Mediterranean diet too.
Sweet Avocado Toast or Greek Yogurt with Honey
Greek yogurt and honey is a breakfast that has been eaten by Greeks for a very long time. Thick tangy yogurt is amazing with honey. I have been eating yogurt and honey as a Mediterranean diet breakfast for many years. Lately, I have also been eating avocado toast for breakfast. Then I came up with an idea: why not combine yogurt and honey with avocado? Sweet Greek Avocado Toast! It turns out that the combo on toast is super delicious. As with any avocado toast recipe you want to have a ripe avocado and it is best to prepare the avocado right before you eat it. Avocado is best fresh.
This, to me, is a perfect breakfast. Avocados are full of healthy fat, fiber, and antioxidants. Yogurt has probiotics and local, raw honey also has antioxidants and can be a natural antibacterial food. All of these foods are also good for digestion, another reason to eat them in the morning to start the day off right. Sometimes, I will eat this with orange slices on the side. It goes quite nicely with herbal tea or coffee.
Make sure to use Greek yogurt for this recipe, not plain yogurt. Good quality honey is also recommended (local, raw honey is the best if you can get it). This is supposed to be a healthy recipe so I wouldn’t ruin it with overprocessed honey. Because this is such a simple recipe, like so many Mediterranean diet recipes, you’ll want the best quality of ingredients for the best tasting, and healthiest outcome.
How to choose an avocado – If you are planning on making the perfect avocado toast recipe, you should plan a few days ahead, because you never know how ripe the avocados in the store might be. When choosing an avocado, lightly press the avocado with your thumb and forefinger. If it is soft to the touch then it is ripe and ready to go. If it is still very firm you will need to let it ripen for a few days before using it. If your avocado is getting too ripe you can refrigerate it to slow down the ripening process or simply use it as quickly as possible. Once the avocado begins to brown inside it becomes bitter and should be thrown away.
- 1 ripe avocado
- Dash of salt
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 4 small or 2 large slices of bread
- Toast the bread. While it’s toasting, scoop out avocado into a bowl. Add dash of salt.
- Mash with a fork until creamy.
- Top each piece of toast with avocado mixture, then spread on the Greek yogurt. Drizzle honey on and enjoy!
Mango Strawberry Smoothie with Greek Yogurt
I love the fact that this sweet, thick, fruity mango strawberry smoothie is also an anti-inflammatory packed with anti-oxidants and all the nutrients you need for a filling, nutritious breakfast. It is a super easy Mediterranean Diet breakfast recipe that I can make in minutes and carry with me when I’m in a hurry.
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk (or soy or cow)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
Instructions: Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
Authentic Greek Salad (Horiátiki Salata)
- 3 medium tomatoes, quartered
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 red onion, cut into thin strips
- 1/4 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 10 kalamata olives
- 6 oz feta cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Splash of red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all veggies and olives to a bowl.
- Top with feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), and oregano. Salt and pepper, to taste.
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Fresh Dill Dressing
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Fresh Dill Dressing is a big hit at our picnics and barbecues. It is super easy to make. Shrimp takes less time to marinate and less time to cook than most any other meat, chicken or fish. Many people don’t marinate shrimp at all, choosing to just brush on flavorings during the grilling process, but marinating does give the shrimp extra zestiness.
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled and de-veined
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, de-stemmed and chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tomatoes, sliced into salad wedges
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced into long strips
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced into long strips
- 1/4 small red onion, sliced in half and then thin rounds
- Add the marinade to the shrimp in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Stir or shake well and let the shrimp marinate for at least half an hour (up to 2 hours) in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the salad dressing by adding the dressing ingredients to a jar and shaking.
- Prepare the salad in a colorful salad bowl.
- Grill the shrimp on a medium hot grill. Cook on both sides to desired taste (I usually grill a few minutes on each side). Try not to flip the shrimp too many times.
- Top the salad with grilled shrimp and pour on dressing. Serve immediately