Ollie AI Logo

5 Mediterranean Diet Dinner Recipes for Busy Moms

Christy Shannon

Do you find yourself in the all-too-familiar dinner time dilemma — what to make that’s healthy, delicious, and quick? For busy moms, crafting a weekly dinner menu that satisfies everyone’s desires (demands?) while aligning with a healthy lifestyle can feel like a Herculean task. 

Fortunately, the Mediterranean diet lends itself to easy meals that can be adapted for everyone’s tastes, even picky kids.

Ollie, the AI assistant for weeknight meals, was tasked with finding five weeknight dinner recipes that would work for busy moms feeding kids and adhering to the Mediterranean diet.

Here are Ollie’s recommendations along with some tips to keep everyone happy. Bon appétit! 

Mediterranean Baked Cod with Tomatoes and Olives

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 large cod filets (or other white fish)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons (1 sliced, 1 juiced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a baking dish, combine cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, half of the olive oil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place cod filets over the tomato mixture. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and the juice of one lemon.
  4. Arrange lemon slices around the filets.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish is flaky and vegetables are roasted.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Tips for feeding the kids: 

Let them help: Have the kids help with tasks like mixing the tomatoes and olives or arranging the lemon slices on top of the fish. Involvement in meal preparation can increase their interest in eating the dish.

Make it fun: Present the dish in a playful manner, perhaps calling it “Treasure Fish,” with the olives and tomatoes serving as “treasures” to discover.

Greek Chicken with Lemon Rice

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large lemon, sliced for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (like parsley or dill) for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat.
  3. Preheat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken skin side down and cook until browned, flip and brown the other side.
  4. Remove chicken and set aside. In the same skillet, add rice and toast it slightly.
  5. Pour in chicken broth and arrange the chicken thighs on top. Cover with a lid or foil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.
  7. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs before serving

Tips for feeding the kids: 

Customize it: Set out extra toppings like chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and a simple yogurt sauce so kids can customize their plates.

Tell a story: Talk about the origins of the dish and maybe tie it into Greek mythology or history for an educational angle.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 6 large bell peppers, tops cut, deseeded
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cooked rice or quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, feta cheese, red onion, pine nuts, garlic, mint, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the bell peppers with the filling. Place in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the tops are lightly browned.
  5. Serve warm, garnished with additional herbs if desired.

Tips for feeding the kids: 

Choose their color: Let each child pick the color of their bell pepper.

Stuff it together: Kids can help spoon the filling into the peppers, which can be a fun activity and might make them more willing to try the finished product.

Lentil Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Pesto

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 pound lentil pasta (or whole wheat pasta)
  • 4 cups mixed vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup basil pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss chopped vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  4. Toss hot pasta with roasted vegetables and pesto. Add a splash of pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary.
  5. Serve warm with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, if desired.

Tips for feeding the kids: 

Try different pasta shapes: Use fun pasta shapes to make the dish more appealing.

Add a familiar element: If the children are new to lentil pasta, you could mix it with regular pasta initially to ease the transition.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Grilled Chicken

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Grill the chicken breasts until cooked through and juices run clear. Let them rest before slicing.
  2. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, then fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, olives, and feta cheese.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.
  5. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  6. Serve the salad topped with slices of grilled chicken.

Tips for feeding the kids: 

Make it interactive: Serve the quinoa salad “deconstructed” with each ingredient in its own bowl so kids can build their own salad, taking as much or as little of each component as they like.

Bonus: A done-for-you grocery list 

Ollie knows that your work is not done until you don’t have to think about it anymore, so that’s why we’re giving you a grocery list with each item you need to prepare all five of these dishes. Copy and paste this directly into your text message, Notes app, or anywhere you track groceries, cross off anything you might already have, and shop.

Produce:

  • Cherry tomatoes (2 pints for the cod dish, additional for the quinoa salad)
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • Fresh parsley
  • 4-6 large bell peppers, depending on size
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 English cucumber
  • Assorted vegetables for roasting (zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers—choose based on preference and recipe requirement)
  • 1 lemon, sliced and additional for juicing (total of approximately 6)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic (enough for all recipes, approximately 10-12 cloves)

Fresh herbs: 

  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (like parsley or dill, if desired for the Greek chicken)

Meat and seafood:

  • 4 large cod filets or other white fish
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Grains and pasta:

  • Long-grain white rice (about 2 cups)
  • Brown rice or quinoa (about 2 cups)
  • Lentil pasta (1 pound)

Canned and jarred goods:

  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes for the quinoa salad
  • Capers (1/4 cup)

Dairy:

  • Feta cheese (1 cup for stuffed peppers, additional for quinoa salad)
  • (Optional) Grated Parmesan cheese for pasta dish

Pantry staples:

  • Olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried spices like cumin and cayenne pepper (for the chickpea curry)
  • Chicken broth (4 cups) or stock for the Greek chicken

Baking goods:

  • Pine nuts (1/4 cup for stuffed peppers)

Ollie does the work for you

Ollie’s mission is to help you feed your family healthy meals without having to think about it. Here’s a little of what you can expect from Ollie: 

  • Recipe Customization: Swap ingredients, tailor portion sizes, and adjust seasonings. Ollie can instantly update recipes to your specific taste or needs.
  • Instant Meal Plans: Before you can even think of it, Ollie will generate a meal plan based on your family’s preferences complete with a ready-to-go grocery list so you can cross this job off your list. 
  • Real-life flexibility: Ollie knows that you may not want to cook five new meals a week. More often than not, you want to cook something familiar and easy to please. Ollie adjusts its meal plans to your schedule and incorporates your tried-and-true meals into the weekly schedule so you have a plan that you can really use.

We’re just getting started. Ollie will be released soon. If you’d like early access, join the waitlist.

LATEST FROM OLLIE

You might also like...

Ⓒ 2024 Confabulation Corporation