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3 Reasons Why a Mediterranean Food is Great for a Plant-Based Diet

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just looking to cut back on your meat consumption, Mediterranean food is a great option.

Unlike the highly processed meat-substitutes that have made their way onto shelves in recent years, vegetarian and vegan Mediterranean food is completely natural, minimally processed and healthier for you.

Traditional Dishes

Whole foods, plant-based eating feels like a brand-new concept. In San Diego, and across the US, new restaurants are opening up to cater for a surge in vegan and flexitarian diners. But healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes have always been on our menu as an authentic part of a Mediterranean diet.

Let’s pause for a mini history lesson. In the past meat was expensive and difficult to keep in the heat of the Mediterranean sun, while legumes and vegetables were plentiful. Before meat became so easily accessible, beans and lentils were an important source of protein, and vegetables were spiced and prepared to make them more delectable and filling.

Over generations, recipes have been created and perfected to become what they are today. These same authentic recipes have made their way to our San Diego restaurant.

Natural and Healthy

While the world marvels at lab-grown meat and Hollywood celebrities spend millions backing vegan burgers, there’s a question that has bemused Mediterranean chefs: why go to all those lengths to replicate meat when there are already plenty of natural, healthy, whole-foods alternatives? Someone had better introduce Leo to Mediterranean food!

Just to show you how pure and angelic plant-based Mediterranean dishes are, here is a list of some of our popular appetizers from our catering menu and their main ingredients:

Falafels: garbanzo beans, fava beans, herbs and spices.
Baba Ghanouj: eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon
Hummus: garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic and lemon
Vegi Dolma: Grape leaves tomatoes, rice, herbs and spices

You see? No scary processed ingredients to be seen, nothing is unfamiliar, no trans fats, just healthy, fresh whole-foods.

Vegetable Oils

The majority of Mediterranean foods are prepared in olive oil and therefore the vegetable dishes are easily made vegan too. North American and Northern European diets tend to favor dairy or lard. Go to France and order the garlic mushrooms, and they’ll come back swimming in butter, go to Greece and the same dish will be suitable for vegans.

In our previous blog, we explored the health benefits of olive oil, so if you’re switching to a plant-based diet for health reasons, Mediterranean food is a great choice.

At Aladdin Cafe, we’re passionate about using fresh herbs and vegetables in all our recipes. Let our staff know about your dietary requirements and we’ll happily talk you through your options.

We have plenty of plant-based dishes on offer, and a few dishes can be adjusted to be suitable for you. We’re excited about serving up real, authentic dishes and nutritionally rich food that you and your fellow diners will all enjoy.