The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners

This is the only guide you’ll need to get started on the authentic Mediterranean diet! The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners is packed with everything you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet: guidance, menu plans, lifestyle advice, cooking tips, a comprehensive food list and 100 delicious recipes! And the best part: this is the authentic Mediterranean diet. The book is based not only on science but my first hand experience with the diet I was raised on.

Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners

Featuring a perfect balance of vegetables, grains, fruit, generous portions of olive oil, and occasional servings of meat and fish, the authentic Mediterranean diet is not only healthy, it’s delicious! But how do you get started on this incredible time-tested, scientifically proven diet? The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners (DK/Penguin Random House) is the only resource you’ll need, with 100 recipes and practical advice from Mediterranean Diet expert and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Elena Paravantes.

Here’s what you’ll find in this comprehensive guide and cookbook!

My new cookbook -The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners- is not your typical, generic Mediterranean diet book. It is written based on a lifetime of experience and packed with tried and trusted information that you will actually use, including insider information, hearty delicious recipes, cooking tips, shopping tips a menu plan.

  • 100 simple, tried-and-tested, healthy and delicious recipes, made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, and each with detailed nutrition information
  • An easy-to-follow 14-day meal plan to get you started, with comprehensive shopping and food lists, and tips for creating your own menus
  • Detailed guidance on how to shop for the right ingredients, how to cook the Mediterranean way, and how to stick with the diet for life
  • Practical insight and tips for adopting a Mediterranean lifestyle that will improve not just your health, but your overall wellbeing
  • Variety of recipes for all needs:
    • Over 65 gluten free recipes
    • Over 85 vegetarian recipes
    • Over 85 egg free recipes

Praise for the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners

The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners provides valuable information on the traditional Mediterranean diet and its representative foods, identifying mainly Greek foods, mostly of which are virtually unknown, together with some recipes from southern Italy.  Indeed, a much-needed book in this time of confusion. Elena Paravantes provides us with an informed approach to the traditional Mediterranean Diet offering a clear method to introduce this dietary pattern with its health benefits, delicious taste, and contribution as a sustainable food system.” – Antonia Trichopoulou, M.D., President Hellenic Health Foundation; Professor Emeritus, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School.

“The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners is informative, accurate and exciting–sharing the beautiful Mediterranean diet with its benefits and recipes.  Elena has been the authoritative resource on line, and now her work is in print.  Every family will benefit from daily use in homes around the world.  Use it and live well!” – Sylvia Escott-Stump, MA, RDN, LDN, FAND,  A former President, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty Associate University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Hands down the most comprehensive guide and cookbook for living an authentic Mediterranean life. Lifestyle medicine is the practice of treating chronic disease through your diet, exercise and stress reduction practices. Let this book be your “prescription” for a Mediterranean Lifestyle. Enjoy these quick and simple dishes that are sure to be family favorites. Discover how to combine nutrient dense herbs, olive oil and vegetables to optimize your health and longevity.” -Bethany Doerfler, MS, RDN, Clinical Research Dietitian, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Adjunct Faculty, Marciella School of Nursing, Loyola University.

“I love getting a lesson in the Mediterranean Diet and recipes straight from a fellow registered dietitian nutritionist who lives it every day! And I’m excited to share this cookbook with my clients as a resource for starting an authentic Mediterranean Diet. Elena delivers solid nutrition information with delicious and approachable recipes. The Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach and Rice), Chunky Red Pepper and Feta Dip, and the Mediterranean Garlic and Herb – Roasted Cod are my favorites so far and I can’t wait to work my way through the rest of the cookbook!” -Marisa Moore, MBA. RDN. LD.Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Integrative and Culinary Dietitian

“I’m so excited to see this practical approach to the Mediterranean Diet!  The nutritional advice, meal plans and simple recipes make following this healthy diet easy for everyone.” -Candance Gabel, MS, RDN, LD., Community Nutrition Education Program, Extension Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University

Recipes from the Book

Order Today!

Here’s where you can get the cookbook:

Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Hudson Booksellers


Europe: /



  • Reply Scott Hollingsworth April 24, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Found your site from checking out spanokopita recipes- yours is great. Made it for a relative who I know loves – and is missing- Greece. Took her straight there she said! Love the detail, explanations and health links you give. Will check out your recipe books now!

  • Reply SARAH BENJAMIN April 9, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    I’m looking for weight loss as well. Can I adapt the plan to weight loss

  • Reply Debbie Webb April 9, 2021 at 3:29 am

    Hi the teas mentioned for the Mediterranean diet there’s like 4 do you drink all four each day ?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 9, 2021 at 4:54 pm

      I’ll vary the teas, so one day I may drink chamomile and mountain tea. You don’t have to drink all of them each day.

  • Reply Candace April 4, 2021 at 5:11 am

    Thank you! I will make this as it sounds lovely. I happen to have the spices on hand – can’t remember why.

  • Reply Candace April 3, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    The recipe for Tsoureki calls for butter and sugar. I thought those two ingredients were not used for this way of eating. Can I replace those with honey and olive oil?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 3, 2021 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Candace, butter and sugar as I mention in the post, are ingredients used in celebratory desserts. They were used for sweets during holidays (Easter, Christmas, weddings, baptisms) as the rest of the year they were rarely consumed.

  • Reply Jan Pirie March 27, 2021 at 8:56 am

    This is for Averil Hunter who left a message on 31st January.
    Averil, I am also from South Africa and have ordered the book today through Loot Books.
    Give it a try.

  • Reply Sunny Humphries March 26, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Just got your cookbook and I just tried my first recipe out of it (Mediterranean Black-Eyed Pea Stew). I have several other Mediterranean-type cookbooks but I believe yours is going to have to be my #1 Go-To from now on. (Even my picky husband loved the stew!) Also great that many of the recipes are for 2 or 3 servings, since it is just the two of us.

    The black-eyed pea stew is definitely a do-again
    I’m so glad I decided to get your book. I have a tendency to collect cookbooks, and many recipes wind up being made only once, because they are either too labor-heavy or don’t live up to the expectation. Looks like yours is NOT going to be in that category!

  • Reply Dorothy Kruger March 19, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    Hi Elena,
    I live in Melbourne, Australia, is 77 years old and decided in February 2021 that I would like to follow the Mediterranean Diet. I have just purchase your Cookbook and it is really fantastic, especially having both metric and imperial measures, and I am learning fast how to cook the many wonderful recipes. Thank you very much.

  • Reply Bonnie Breslauer March 15, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    If you are trying not to get diabetes, can you eat fruit? I am interested in buying your cookbook

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 16, 2021 at 8:10 am

      Hi Bonnie! Fruit can be consumed, as it is a good source of fiber that can keep your blood sugar in check. It is also a great source of vitamins and antioxidants.

  • Reply Bruce Wilson February 10, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Dear Elena, I read your website regularly and use your recipes often, so I will definitely be buying your new book. Do you have any specific advice in it about weight loss? Specifically, do you have any advice for someone doing strength training who wants to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously? I understand that one needs more protein in such a diet. Thanks for all your great Work! Bruce Wilson, Montreal, Canada.

  • Reply Christine Burgess February 5, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    It would be very helpful if your recipe ingredients were listed in the order that they were used. Thank you.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN February 5, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Christine, For each recipe the ingredients are listed in the order that they are used.


  • Reply Paul Zski February 1, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    I need to communicate with you regarding the use of your book by my clients. Could you please contact me as I have no means to contacting you through any other channel. Thanks

  • Reply Averil Hunter January 31, 2021 at 11:25 am

    I’d like to buy this book but I’m in South Africa and I dont seem to be able to order it

  • Reply Wendy January 25, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    I am really keen to order your book. I have been a vegetarian all my life and consider my diet as close, but not quite there, to a Mediterranean diet as possible The one thing that puts me off buying recipe books is that so many have meat or fish dishes. How does your book compare. Are there a lot of dishes without meat/fish or do you possibly offer substitutes? Looking forward to hearing back before I purchase. Thank you!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 26, 2021 at 6:39 am

      Hi Wendy, Approximately 85% of the recipes do not contain meat or fish. So you have large selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

  • Reply connie petska January 25, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Love your new book. Made a few recipes and they so delicious. I’d like to make the crust less zucchini and feta pie on page 89. The directions aren’t clear regarding where the yogurt ,flour mixture goes. Does the zucchini sit on top or get stirred in? Help ! Maybe I’m missing something?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 25, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      Thank Connie for pointing that out. Both mixtures get mixed together before going in the pan. We will clarify in the next printing.

  • Reply Leslie January 25, 2021 at 3:19 am

    I am new to this process. I have gastroparesis and CIDP so many items conflict. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 25, 2021 at 5:54 am

      Hi Vicki, The Mediterranean diet has many foods that comply with a gastroapresis diet, namely well-cooked vegetables,there are numerous vegetable
      casseroles that are ideal for this condition, but reduce the olive oil.For CIDP, the Mediterranean diet is as it is an anti inflammatory diet.

  • Reply Shay Brackney January 19, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Loving your new cookbook. I love that it is a guide and a cookbook (with easy to follow, tasty recipes, I might add). Thank you for making this transition an easier one. I am loving everything about this lifestyle, right down to the small glass of wine with dinner…

  • Reply Carol C January 13, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Elena,
    Just got your wonderful book. Thank you for such a thorough explanation of the Mediterranean diet! I can’t wait to try your recipes. I love that eating the Mediterranean way is not a diet but a lifestyle.

  • Reply Helen Francis January 12, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Hi Elena, I am enjoying the change of diet with quite a drop in carbohydrates. I am eating more fruit than ever before. I ate out the other night and had seafood which had been crumbed and cooked in oil and my body rebelled!! I have tried a mediterranean diet before but not as detailed as your 21 day Challenge. Thank you, it is a real education.

  • Reply betty autry January 10, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    what is the 21 day challenge?

  • Reply Jan Mosley January 9, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I am thoroughly enjoying your new book and gradual lifestyle adjustment through your 21 day challenge. A silly question perhaps but from someone trying to transition off a diet high in processed carbs and sugars, I want to sure about this. You mention in your book the 5pm coffee and biscuit break. In Canada a biscuit is similar to the olive oil biscuit recipe you have. However, this appears to be something new to you from your comments there. In England it is a cookie. Can you please clarify what this might be In Greece?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 9, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Jan, The olive oil biscuit recipe refers to the North American type, in the book I refer to it as a (very) small cookie.

  • Reply Ann baker January 7, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Where is the price for the book, can’t find it. Recipes look delicious.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 7, 2021 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Ann! Just click on any of the links listed and you will see the current price.

  • Reply Karen January 5, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Are the recipes in the 21 day Challenge in the cookbook?

    Love your suggestions!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 6, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      The Challenge consists of mini challenges every day. Some recipes can be found in the book.

  • Reply Helena Roberts January 3, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Elena, Thank for the reply. I decided I didn’t want to wait into February for my book so I cancelled my order and downloaded a Kindle version instead! Just read the introduction – the rest of the book is my afternoon spoken for!!!!!

  • Reply Sharon January 2, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Is this more geared to beginners of the way of eating? I have been basically following this healthy lifestyle for a while now and am a good cook. Would it still be beneficial?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 2, 2021 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Sharon, Yes! This book provides information on the authentic Mediterranean diet, that I have been raised on and experienced firsthand. The recipes include a combination of traditional recipes passed down from my family as well as newly developed recipes from me. It has a great selection of handpicked recipes.

  • Reply Donna Mannor January 1, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    I ordered and just received this book,did not know you authored it ,,,,,,, cool !

  • Reply Julia December 31, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    Does “for Beginners” mean those that are new to the Mediterranean Diet, or those that are new to cooking?
    I’m not very good at cooking, so I’m always looking for ways to make healthy easier.


    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 1, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Julia!
      The recipes are not difficult to prepare, I also include a chapter on cooking techniques as well as shortcuts. I agree eating healthy should be easy to do!

  • Reply Helena Roberts December 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Dear Elena, I was so excited when I saw you were ready to publish your book, I immediately pre-ordered it through on the 2nd December 2010. Today I received an update on my order which said I could expect it between January 16th and February 3rd! Why have I to wait such a long time when the book was released this week?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 30, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      Hi Helena, So sorry about that. According to my publisher, the book is selling out in the US and they are waiting for additional copies for the international sites. You can try ordering directly from US Amazon, it may be quicker.

  • Reply Debbie December 29, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    I just got my cookbook now, love it! Can’t wait to try all the new recipes !

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 29, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Wonderful! Hope you enjoy it!! And if you would like, a review on Amazon would be greatly appreciated!

  • Reply Zaferia December 22, 2020 at 5:02 am

    I’ve followed you for awhile, and your recipes are spot on…just like the food I grew up with…ordering for myself, and gifting to my adult children who always ask for a recipe! Exciting! Congratulations!

  • Reply Derrick December 22, 2020 at 1:07 am

    I was so happy that you came out with a cookbook — which I pre-ordered as soon as I received notice. It was a small way to show my appreciation for your delicious and healthy recipes, which I have used constantly since discovering your site some months ago.

  • Reply Cynthia Knipe December 21, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    I’m so happy to see this cookbook! I have recommended your website to many clients, and I frequently added it to “recommended resources” back when we were able to do workshops. I live in a community where many are committed to buying from our local independent bookstore, so I will be sure to recommend it for their shelf stock!

  • Reply Angela December 20, 2020 at 10:17 am

    I‘ve just pre-ordered two – one as a gift and one for me, can‘t wait, looking forward to it very much : )

  • Reply Jillian December 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Only just realized you have a cookbook coming out a few days ago and I’m so excited! I’ve tried many of your recipes over the years and have loved them all. Preordered through my local independent bookstore and I can’t wait to get my copy!

  • Reply Ulla-Carin Johnson December 10, 2020 at 2:45 am

    I have tried & loved several Olivetomato recipes throughout the years, and am SUPER EXCITED about this cookbook. It’s the only thing I am wishing for Christmas, and my husband very kindly just ordered it on Amazon. Thank you for all the family joy & healthy meals you have brought, and will continue to bring to our family table. We appreciate you!!!

  • Reply India December 8, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    So excited by this! I lived in Athens for two years and love being reminded of my time there by your recipes! Will also be recommending this to EVERYONE, since I always recommend your website to people!
    Was wondering if it will be available through any other vendors apart from Amazon? Best wishes and congratulations! India x

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 9, 2020 at 6:38 am

      Thank you India! In the US it will also be available at Books A Million,, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, Walmart, Amazon

  • Reply Allison Davis December 6, 2020 at 11:06 am

    So excited!! I just pre-ordered your book and cannot wait to get my hands on it!

  • Reply Todd December 4, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    I will be ordering soon. Looking forward to reading and learning more. Will this be available electronically other than Kindle?

  • Reply Gigi December 3, 2020 at 4:16 am

    I just pre-ordered mine also! I’m excited

  • Reply Susan December 3, 2020 at 1:23 am

    I am very interested in your book, but I need to how a diet that is mostly vegetarian and depends a lot on things like grains and legumes works for someone who is pre-diabetic. I have lowered my carb intake – especially refined carbs to cope with that, but I’m not sure how the Mediterranean diet would work with my condition. Any advice? Thank you.

  • Reply Theodosia “Sia” Ragias December 2, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I want to congratulate you on writing your cookbook. I grew up watching my mom cook and I have been told by friends and family members that I am an excellent cook. But I have to admit that your recipes are excellent! Par excellent and I have printed some. I have three children in their late twenties and now that I can’t cook for three families they call me up. I began to write my recipes, but I will order two books for them! Thank you for doing it. For those of you who might hesitate, I can attest that Elena’s recipes are the the best!

  • Reply Juliet Batategas December 2, 2020 at 8:41 am

    I’m excited about your cookbook. I’ve really moved away from the written page, but for this I will make an exception. I’m always having to Google Greek recipes and really have been meaning to gather them in a recipe book of my own, but now I don’t have to because you did the work. 🙂

  • Reply Deb December 1, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Just preordered your book, can’t wait to get it, you are the only one I listen to for a authentic Mediterranean diet, excited to be getting the cookbook !

  • Reply Nancy November 20, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    Does this cookbook feature your absolutely delicious Greek recipes? I would buy it just for 100 of your recipes! I’m not interested in “going on a diet” but am very much interested in cooking anything you post, so, I think I”d better order it right now. Am dashing off to Can’t wait.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 21, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Nancy, Yes there are authentic Greek recipes (passed down from my family) also some Italian and Spanish and several new ones that I created. All have been tested several times by different reviewers.

  • Reply judy batdorff November 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    We are looking forward to using your new cookbook!
    We’ve loved so many recipes you’ve already posted and are anxious for more.
    We’re especially excited about the 14 day meal plan and shopping tips to really get us committed to this healthy way of eating and living!

  • Reply Joyce November 12, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Hi, is it different from your recipes online? I love ur recipes but just want to make sure its not double!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 12, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Joyce, The book contains a variety of recipes from the Mediterranean, some you may have seen a version on the site, as well as many new Mediterranean recipes.

  • Reply Melanie Williams November 3, 2020 at 5:55 am

    Clean eating is important to me and I particularly love Greek food (I’ve been blessed to visit friends in Athens twice in recent years) so I was thrilled to find your blog and learn more about the true Mediterranean diet. I’ve printed out many of your recipes, to keep in a binder for quick reference but I’m really excited for an official cookbook!!

  • Reply Cheryl November 2, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    Congratulations on your cookbook, Elena! I’ve already pre-ordered it and can’t wait for it to arrive!

  • Reply Sheri Atkinson November 2, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I already ordered mine! Can’t wait!

  • Reply Sylvia Gillett November 2, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    How exciting! I just preordered your book. I have been following you for a few years. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Jenny October 16, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Hello is this book available to Australia?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 2, 2020 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Jenny, It will be through Amazon.

    • Reply Joanna November 3, 2020 at 1:11 am

      How exciting. I think this is what I will but with the Amazon gift card I received for my birthday! I have really enjoyed your blog and use many of your recipes often, so it will be nice to have a cookbook with your knowledge right at my fingertips! I like teal books too. Congratulations.

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