For those of us who are following a plant-based diet, Mediterranean food is excellent to look to for ideas of what to eat. This cuisine incorporates nuts, legumes, fruits, veggies, greens and, of course, olive oil. You may have heard about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which is popular among the health-conscious since it includes healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of produce. For your next dinner, try a Mediterranean theme and check out these essentials and recipes.

FalafelChickpea and Almond Meal Falafel With Mint [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Falafel is a popular street food that is made by deep frying chickpea batter. As a healthier alternative, you can also bake falafel. You can eat falafel with some hummus and tahini as an appetizer, or you can make it the main event by serving falafel wraps. Try this Ayurvedic Falafel, these Chickpea and Almond Meal Falafel, these Falafel Tacos and this Vegan Falafel Waffle. You could serve it over salad like this Baked Falafel and Cucumber Noodle Salad With Mint-Tahini Dressing and this Baked Falafel Salad and Two Creamy Dressings.

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Olive Oil

shutterstock_253044214DUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock

When you sit down at any Mediterranean restaurant, they are bound to have some olive oil sitting on the table. It is a staple of this cuisine, and is used to cook veggies, top salads, make hummus and several other uses. Make sure you have a high-quality olive oil by choosing a type that was cold pressed first.

Tahini and Tzatziki SaucesPortobello Gyros With Hemp Tzatziki 1

Both of these sauces are white and add a nice flavor and creaminess to Mediterranean food. From a nutrition standpoint, tahini is great because it provides calcium. Try these Tempeh Gyros With Tofu Tzatziki, these Portobello Gyros With Hemp Tzatziki, and this Tahini.

Kebabgarlicky-barbecue-mushroom-kebabs-b-1200x750

Kebabs are fun to make and fun to eat since they’re on a stick. Try these Tofu Vegetable Kebabs With Peanut Sauce, these Spicy Balsamic Tofu Veggie Kebabs, these Garlicky Mushroom Kebabs, and these Pineapple Vegan Kebabs.

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HummusPitas with Lentil Hummus

Hummus is a puréed chickpea spread that is just divine; no Mediterranean and dinner would be complete without some. To make a basic hummus recipe, you will need chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Also, try this Raw Sprouted Hummus, this Lentil Hummus, this Oil-free Kale-Edamame Hummus and this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.Essentials for a Mediterranean Themed Dinner

Meatless Main Coursespanakopita

You could easily make a dinner out of everything that has been mentioned in this article, as it is easy to fill up on the various Mediterranean salads, spreads, dips, and appetizers. If you want to serve a different main course than kebabs and little plates, try this Mediterranean Spartan Strength Millet, Vegan Spanakopita, and these Fat-Free Vegan Greek Rice Stuffed Peppers.

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