How many diets are cool with you eating pasta, adding olive oil to everything, and drinking an occasional glass of wine? Not many. That’s why we think the Mediterranean diet is one of the best ones out there… the food options are just too good. Since living in the Mediterranean is less realistic than going on the diet, you can keep your kitchen stocked with these 10 Mediterranean diet foods at all times. Your Mediterranean diet meals will practically make themselves.
Minimally processed and fruity in flavor, this is the olive oil you want to be whisking into your salad dressings and drizzling over grilled seafood and veggies.($30 for 2; amazon.com)
Use this high-fiber Turkish grain in place of white rice for stir-fries, as the base for tabbouleh salad, and to bulk up soups.($14 for 2; amazon.com)
They’re a triple threat of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Keep a few of your favorite beans and/or lentils on hand so you’re never too far away from a quality and versatile source of nutrients.($29 for 12; amazon.com)
Not only is sesame seed butter rich in vitamin E and omega fatty acids, but it also lasts for weeks (unopened) without refrigeration. Use this tahini to whip up creamy salad dressings or dips and to thicken up sauces and even smoothies.($17 for 2; amazon.com)
Tomatoes are almost as common as olive oil on the Mediterranean diet. You’ll want these lycopene- and antioxidant-rich fruits on hand at all times. Keep this BPA-free canned variety in stock for pastas, soups, and even seafood dishes. ($2; jet.com)
Fresh may be best, but don’t underestimate the nutritional value and convenience of canned fish. This brand is known for providing sustainable seafood, so if sardines aren’t your thing, check out other options like tuna and salmon.($28 for 12; amazon.com)
When all else fails, there’s always pasta. Keep this whole-grain variety around for a high-fiber option. Even on the busiest of days, you can toss it with canned tomatoes, olive oil, and dried spices for a pretty impressive pantry meal.($35 for 12; amazon.com)
Spices, which are used to flavor food without resorting to preservative-laden bottled sauces or too much salt, are key to the Mediterranean diet. Za’atar is great because it’s a blend of multiple spices and used in many traditional Mediterranean dishes. But don’t be afraid to really fill up your spice rack with cumin, coriander, sumac, and oregano… we could go on.($12; amazon.com)
Less refined than sugar and less processed than regular honey, raw honey is an antioxidant-packed essential in the Mediterranean diet. Use it to drizzle on fruits, yogurt, and cheeses in both savory and sweet dishes.($10; amazon.com)
While it’s often used as the tangy complement to fruity olive oil, balsamic vinegar is a valuable ingredient in its own right, adding a ton of flavor to salad dressings, marinades, and even desserts.($14; amazon.com)
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