In this post you'll find 2 monthly meal plans with Mediterranean recipes and free printables. The second meal plan is simpler and for people who don't want to cook every day.
Lots of you have asked me from time to time if I have any meal plans with Mediterranean recipes.
This 4-week Mediterranean meal plan includes dinner ideas and a dessert recipe every Sunday.
The meal plan comes with a free printable in A4 size for anyone who wants to download it and print it. The printable is in color and in black and white so you can choose whichever suits your taste best!
There's also a second meal plan for people who don't have the time or don't want to cook every day. If you follow the second meal plan, you can eat the same food for two days or alternate the recipe every other day.
For example, you can have Tuscan style beans on Monday and Wednesday and pasta with meat sauce on Tuesday and Thursday OR you can have the beans on Monday and Tuesday and the pasta with meat sauce on Wednesday and Thursday.
If you're wondering, my typical monthly menu looks like the second one!
For the printables, just right-click them and download the image.
After the second meal plan I give you some ideas for breakfast and lunch and suggest a few substitutions for some of the foods on the menus.
Also, if you found this article because you want to follow the Mediterranean Diet, I talk a bit about that at the end.
The printable of the first meal plan in color:
The printable of the first meal plan in black & white:
Below you'll find the links for all the recipes for the first meal plan
- Monday: Brown lentil soup
- Tuesday: Balsamic glazed chicken
- Wednesday: Green beans with potatoes
- Thursday: same as Tuesday
- Friday: Spanish white bean stew with chorizo sausage
- Saturday: Pasta with tomato sauce. This recipe has a lot of ingredients but you can omit some if you don't have them (such as the peppers or some of the spices)
- Sunday: Baked chicken with potatoes and Greek rice pudding
- Monday: Greek baked chickpeas
- Tuesday: Pasta with ground beef sauce (Bolognese)
- Wednesday: Skillet gnocchi with spinach and beans
- Thursday: same as Tuesday
- Friday: Bulgur and lentil salad
- Saturday: Broiled rainbow trout
- Sunday: Mediterranean vegetable orzo pasta (orzotto) and chewy chocolate chunk cookies with tahini and olive oil
- Monday: Tuscan style beans
- Tuesday: Turkey chili Mediterranean style
- Wednesday: White bean risotto
- Thursday: same as Tuesday
- Friday: Greek peas nad potato stew
- Saturday: Baked chicken and rice
- Sunday: Take out (yay!) and chocolate truffles with dates
The following second meal plan is for people who don't want to cook every day.
This is the printable in color:
The printable for the second meal plan in black & white:
Some Breakfast ideas:
- whole wheat bread with a glass of milk or with some homemade labneh, oregano and tomatoes
- whole wheat bread with sweet tahini spread (recipe in the article how to make tahini)
- Granola with yogurt and honey
- Whole cereals with milk or yogurt
- Avocado toast with eggs
- Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)
- Overnight oats
A green salad with some kind of protein and a slice of whole wheat bread or homemade pita bread.
- For the base of the salad you can use a combination of: lettuce, butter lettuce, Chinese cabbage, grated carrot, arugula, spinach, parsley, dill weed, oregano, chives, green onions, sliced cucumber.
- Dressing: Fresh lemon juice and olive oil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, tahini dressing, yogurt dressing
- Protein: hard cheese, feta cheese, yogurt, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, chicken breast, canned tuna.
- When you have to cook dried beans or dried chickpeas you'll have to soak them in water from the previous day.
- Don't forget to eat fresh fruit for dessert!
- Instead of Greek baked chickpeas you can make this chickpea and rice salad.
- For the tomato sauce for pasta you can also try this simple pizza sauce.
- Instead of rainbow trout you can use Dorade or sea bass.
- Instead of pea and potato stew you can make this green bean stew with potatoes
- Instead of bulgur and lentil salad you can make this Mediterranean buckwheat salad.
All the foods can be reheated in the microwaves. If you don't have a microwave oven, reheat the stews in the pot and the baked meals in the oven covered with foil.
And a few additional things about the Mediterranean Diet.
First of all, please note that the following opinion is just my personal opinion coming from the fact that I've been born and raised in Crete, Greece, and all my experience in cooking and preparing food has been passed to me from generation to generation. This is not by any means a medical or dietary advice, so if you follow the Mediterranean Diet for medical reasons you should consult with your doctor first.
There is a lot of debate going on whether or not you can eat certain foods (like white bread and potatoes) when you follow the Mediterranean Diet or the Mediterranean Way of Eating (WOE).
My belief is that most of the confusion comes from the fact that the Mediterranean WOE isn't a diet that was developed by a certain dietitian or health institute, but in fact, it consists of all the foods and dietary habits of the people who lived in the Mediterranean area near 1960.
However, because the Mediterranean includes a lot of different places, these dietary habits varied depending on the area – though Cretan cuisine is the one which is most closely related with this diet.
Cretan cuisine, during the 1960, consisted mainly of whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables, greens, fresh fruit, fish and seafood, dairy, white meat in moderation and red meat less often (you can read more in the article The Mediterranean Diet). Also, an almost every day practice was to have a salad with every meal (lunch and dinner) and fresh fruit for dessert. Processed foods were very rare.
HOWEVER, this doesn't mean that foods like white flour, sugar and butter were totally absent from this diet. They just were included very rarely (maybe once a week or once every two weeks).
For example, Cretan people have a lot of recipes for spoon sweets (which are fruits preserved in a very thick sugar syrup) that accompany Greek coffee. They also have a lot of recipes with baked goods like these olive oil kalorizika cookies (they're a lot like the Italian biscotti but better) and this Fanouropita (Greek vegan oil cake).
So, in my opinion, when you follow the Mediterranean WOE you can consume white flour or sugar but rarely and in moderation. Is it healthier not to consume it at all? Yes it is, and you should definitely do that if you can. But it won't hurt much if you eat a slice of white bread or a cookie once in a while!
That's it! Please let me know in the comments if you have anything you want to share.