Eating the foods of the Mediterranean is more than just a trend—it’s a way to take care of your gut health, support your immune system, and feel energized throughout the day. Also an olive-centric diet, eating Mediterranean style focuses on plenty of fermented foods, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, and clean meats.
We'll give you 7 Mediterranean themed, olive-centric recipes to try.
But first let's read about the amazing benefits of the Mediterranean diet and explore why eating like a Greek might be really good for you!
The Mediterranean Diet: An anti-inflammatory pattern of eating that's great for your gut health
Eating for overall health and for low inflammation isn't achieved through a list of tactics and 'eat this and not that' approach. Rather, it's a lifestyle.
The pattern of eating that has a long history of scientific study and is shown to be anti-inflammatory? Yes, it's the Mediterranean diet.
Definition and history of the Mediterranean diet
We've all heard about the Mediterranean diet, or as we like to say here at OMP, the Mediterranean style of eating (because the word 'diet' isn't quite right, even though we'll use it throughout this article.)
Known for positive attributes such as being plant-forward, rich in good, healthy fats and being highly palatable (a.k.a. DELICIOUS), the Mediterranean diet is also the #1 most studied of all eating styles, with multiple decades of long term, clinical research backing its soundness as a strategy for lifelong health.
What are the characteristics of the Mediterranean style of eating?
At its core is mostly unprocessed foods like whole grains (bulgar, farro, millet, barley or couscous), lentils and beans (chickpeas and other legumes) and nuts.
It embraces fruits and vegetables, high fiber foods, as the mainstay of the meal.
The Mediterranean diet looks at meat as more of a garnish than the main course. It places less emphasis on red meats than does the standard American diet. At OMP we condone 100% pastured, grass fed meat and eating nose to tail (to include nutrient-dense organ meats). Farmer's markets are a great source here.
A low emphasis on sugar, and where there is sugar it's typically from fruits and natural raw honey.
Seafood in moderate amounts like healthy Omega 3 rich fatty fish like sustainable salmon and sardines, and zinc-rich oysters.
Egg-strong: eggs are aptly referred to as 'nature's multivitamin' and are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Healthy fats! Such as extra virgin olive oil, fat-rich foods like avocado and olives. At Olive My Pickle, we love grass fed butter and MCT coconut oil as great fats to eat plenty of.
Fermented foods have a place on any Mediterranean table. And not just fermented foods like pickles, and sauerkraut either. There is a strong tradition of fermented dairy within the med diet, such as raw milk and raw cheese and goat milk kefir.
Your gut microbiome LOVES the Mediterranean diet, because it's a fiber-rich diet with a high variety of probiotic strains found in different fermented foods.
What are some of the top health attributes of the Mediterranean style of eating?
It's highly antioxidant
It's an incredibly fiber-rich diet
It's research-backed to be great for brain health. Several studies have linked the diet to lower levels of depression and lower levels of mild cognitive impairment (MCI.)
People that follow the Mediterranean diet also tend to live longer and age better. A recent meta-analysis of four studies determined that those that ate this way were less frail.
Long term studies show that those that eat Mediterranean style have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
It is known to be the #1 most anti-inflammatory diet.
Why is the Mediterranean diet so good for inflammation?
There are several dietary protocols that are considered "AI" (anti inflammatory), but the Mediterranean style of eating is the one that is the most research-backed. The landmark Nurses' Health Study is just one of several studies that found people who follow a Mediterranean style of eating have lower levels of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in their blood compounds compared with those who don't.
You don't have to follow the Mediterranean diet perfectly to see improvements in inflammation. It's about being mostly consistent, the majority of the time. Because the Mediterranean diet is so colorful, so rich in flavor and so delicious, it's easy and appealing to do.
A Mediterranean Lifestyle
The Mediterranean approach to living is about so much more than just food. It's is an integrated style of life—yes, a lifestyle. While its foundation are delicious healthy food, that's just one part.
Other aspects of the Mediterranean diet are the emphasis on social connection, time spent with other humans you love, being involved with family and community, walking and daily physical activity, time spent outdoors, laughter and healthy, positive recreation. Good stuff that makes a long life a happy life!
Here's 7 Mediterranean Inspired Olives Recipes for you to try:
Chicken Puttanesca - a decadent tomato sauce and olive dinner
Pitted Butter Olives
waiving Italian hands Bellisimo, bella! This sordid Naples sauce dish roughly translates to “lady of the night” but we digress… A wonderful saucy gravy of tomatoes and olives to pair with chicken, fish, pasta, and even over top of rice, the options are endless once you introduce your kitchen to this versatile recipe that offers such a unique briny flavor.Ingredients: Serves 4
- 3 pounds bone in chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 8 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
- 1 tsp red chili flake
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 ea anchovy filets in oil
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup Olive My Pickle Pitted Butter Olives, roughly chopped (Castelvetrano olives)
- ¾ cup white wine
- 3 Tbsp capers (drained)
- 1 cup chicken stock. We like to use bone broth
- 3 lemon wedges
- Preheat the oven to 350. Pat chicken dry and season with salt.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until the skin is golden brown all over, 7–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Leave the pool of fat left in the pan.
Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and anchovies. Cook until garlic is softened and anchovies have disintegrated, 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and white wine, cook until wine reduces and thickens. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes stirring often then add in pitted olives and capers.
Place chicken in sauce, skin side up and pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Put the skillet into the oven and bake, uncovered, until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through, 18-20 minutes (if you're unsure about the doneness of the chicken, you're looking for an internal temperature of 160F)
Garnish with lemon wedge for a splash of lemon juice.
Muffuletta Lamb Burger
Looking for a new twist on the classic American burger? Look no further with this healthy, probiotic boosting recipe bringing the classic greek flavor profile to your beautiful summer day grilling favorite. We love using lean grass fed ground lamb or bison for this burger since the healthy fats in the olives help balance out how lean that mean truly is.Ingredients: Serves 4
- 16 oz ground lamb (or any ground lean meat)
- 1 yellow onion - finely chopped
- ½ Tbsp dried oregano
- ½ Tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup Olive My Pickle Muffuletta Mix
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 of your favorite hamburger buns
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, onions, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt and pepper and mix until evenly distributed.
Split the meat mixture in half and form 2 8oz burger patties.
In a hot pan, sear burgers on both sides and cook until your desired doneness.
Spread mustard on bottoms sides of buns
Place cooked burgers on buns and top with Muffuletta Mix and feta cheese.
Greek Village Salad
Freshness is upon us and this wonderful salad is sure to remind you of the beautiful sunny days! Bright, citrusy, and well balanced, not only will you be giving your gut what it deserves, but the healthy veggies will leave you feeling satiated and ready to tackle whatever the day brings. Topped with salty Olive My Pickle's Kalamata olives, this is a very well known olive salad.Ingredients: Serves 4
- 2 cucumbers - peeled and chopped
- 1 red onion - thinly sliced
- 4 Roma tomatoes - roughly chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup feta cheese
- 1 cup Olive My Pickle Kalamata Olives
- 2 Tbsp LiveBrine: Kosher Dill
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Put all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Olive My Pickle's Signature Classic Probiotic Hummus topped with Red Pepper Stuffed Olives
Red Pepper Stuffed Olives
Do you have a go-to hummus recipe? Here at Olive My Pickle, we made hummus for YEARS and sold it to at our farmer's markets every Saturday. As our business grew more online, we needed to retire our hummus product, to focus on the core of our biz, fermented veggies. But we're sharing our hummus recipe here because frankly it needs to live on in the world, so here ya go.
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 1 1/2 cup Chickpeas - sprouted and boiled is of course best, but if you need to use canned, go for it!
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil - plus more to drizzle when serving
- 1/4 cup Tahini
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1-2 cloves Olive My Pickle Fermented Garlic- this is our secret ingredient and what makes this hummus probiotic. You can absolutely use raw garlic if you don't have this on hand, but it won't be quite the same.
- Boiling juices from the chickpeas (or the can): use this instead of water to reach desired consistency/thickness. Quantity depends on your desired results.
- Pinch of cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
Serve hummus in a bowl with a generous garnish of chopped olives on top, plus drizzle olive oil. Top with chopped Red Pepper Stuffed Olives.
Add chopped Red Pepper Stuffed, or any of your favorite OMP olives, to spruce up your hummus (homemade or store bought) so you can have a healthy gut friendly combo anytime.
- Scoop hummus into your favorite serving dish and place chopped olives in the center.
Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley
Serve with fresh veggies, crackers, pita wedges or toasted sliced baguette bread known as crostini.
Marinated Olives and Feta Bake
Greek Olive Mix
This amazing baked feta dish is easy to put together and will be a great addition to your appetizer lineup. The saltiness from our Greek mixed olives blend of green olives and kalamata olives along with the creamy feta and savory herbs will leave you wishing you had made a double recipe.
A similar baked feta recipe was trending on social media using cherry tomatoes instead of sun dried tomatoes, which gives your more options and give you a saucier result.Ingredients: Serves 4
- 8 oz feta cheese block
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes (cut in strips)
- 1 ¼ cup Olive My Pickle Greek Mix Olives
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves - thinly sliced We like to use our Fermented Garlic.
- 1 tsp rosemary - chopped / ground
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley - chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place feta in the middle of a small baking dish.
Arrange olives and sun dried tomatoes around the feta.
Combine olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and a little bit of salt and pepper in a small bowl and drizzle over feta, tomatoes, and olives.
Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes to toast the top a light golden brown.
Sprinkle parsley over the top and serve hot.
Curry and Olive Oil Roasted Cauliflower
You won't find a better veggie side than this curry cauliflower side dish! For some added spice feel free to add some Szechuan pepper or red chili flakes to bring this probiotic flavor bomb to the next level.
Ingredients: Serves 4
1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ cup crumbled feta
- 1 tsp chopped fresh herbs as garnish - cilantro or parsley works well
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Break cauliflower into bite sized florets and place in a large mixing bowl.
Toss cauliflower with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Place on a sheet tray lined and bake for 17-20 minutes.
Transfer cauliflower to serving dish and mix in the Olive Muffuletta Mix and feta cheese. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Crusty Bread Brushchetta with Briny Olives & Tomatoes
Garlic Stuffed Olives
These perfect appetizer bites meld fresh tomato and herbs with the salty, probiotic goodness of our Garlic Stuffed Olives. Perfect for the big game or weekend family dinners and easy to put together, this bruschetta will fly off the serving platters.
Ingredients: Serves 6
5 Roma tomatoes -diced small and seeds removed
¼ cup fresh basil - finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup Olive My Pickle Garlic Stuffed Olives - roughly chopped
2 tsp black pepper
1 baguette bread
1 Tbsp butter
Mix tomato, basil, LiveBrine, olive oil, and garlic olives together and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Heat a pan, add in butter
Sear bread slices on both sides
Place tomato and olive mixture on top of cooled toasted bread.
Serve and enjoy this savory treat.
Ready to take your meals to the next level with olives?
Take the first step towards a healthier Mediterranean lifestyle today by adding olives and fermented foods to your daily diet. With over 35+ fermented olives, pickles, kraut, kimchi, veggies and LiveBrine from Olive My Pickle, you're sure to find something you love!
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