Mediterranean Diet 5-Day Meal Plan Featuring Walnuts

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May is Mediterranean Diet Month! What exactly IS the Mediterranean diet? :) It’s based on foods commonly eaten in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea – like Italy, Greece, and Spain. The main foods of attraction in this way of eating are vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts (such as walnuts), fruit, and extra virgin olive oil. AND, many research studies have indicated that the Mediterranean diet may be related to weight loss and the prevention of heart attacks, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. 

Here are some good resources for more information if you’re interested:

Even though many of us don’t live in the Mediterranean area - we can still enjoy the benefits :) I partnered up this week with California Walnuts (at https://walnuts.org/) - and tailoring my weekly meal plan to the Mediterranean way of eating. Walnuts have historically been a key part of the Mediterranean diet – US walnuts are primarily grown in California because the climate is similar to that of Mediterranean countries (should we all move??).

You’ve probably heard walnuts associated with "brain food” – or being good for the brain. Walnuts are the only tree nut that is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid (2.5g of ALA per 1 oz – or ¼ cup - of walnuts). Omega-3s are found in our brain cells, and help our brain cells communicate with each other. We need em in the diet – and walnuts are a fab way to get them. Finals coming up anyone?

Also, an important note: sticking to a Mediterranean diet does NOT mean you have to spend a lot on groceries! This whole weekly meal plan is only $48.18. Let’s get cookin!


Groceries

  • Walnuts, 1 3.75-cup bag

  • Eggs, 2 dozen

  • Canned roasted tomatoes, 2 15-oz cans

  • Tomatoes, 10 medium

  • Cucumbers, 5 medium cucumbers

  • Feta cheese crumbles, 2 6-oz tubs

  • Dark chocolate, 5 280-calorie bars

  • Spinach greens, 5 4-cup bags

  • Canned salmon, 1 15-oz can

  • Avocados, 3

 

Breakfast Shakshuka

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup canned, roasted tomatoes

  • 1 small tomato, chopped

  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/8 cup feta cheese

  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, basil, oregano to taste

Instructions: Spray pan with olive oil spray. Add tomatoes. Crack eggs into pan. Cook on medium heat covered, for ~8 minutes. Top with feta and walnuts.

Cost: $1.47

Calories: 350; Carbohydrates: 14gm; Protein: 19gm; Fat: 22gm

 

Mediterranean Lunch Box

  • 2 hard boiled eggs

  • ¼ cup walnuts

  • 1 cucumbers, chopped

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • ½ bar dark chocolate

  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, basil, oregano to taste

Instructions for Israeli salad: mix tomato & cucumber; top with seasoning to taste

Cost: $2.27

Calories: 525; Carbohydrates: 72gm; Protein: 24gm; Fat: 27gm

 

Dinner Greens & Salmon Patty

Greens

  • 4 cups spinach greens

  • 1/8 cup feta cheese crumbles

  • 1/8 cup walnuts

  • ½ avocado (for on the side)

Directions: spray pan with olive oil spray; sauté greens on medium heat for ~4 minutes until desired consistency. Top with walnuts and feta.

Salmon patties – makes 5 servings

  • 1 can salmon

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts

Directions: drain salmon in can. Mix salmon and egg in large bowl. Create 5 patties. Press patties on both sides into crushed walnuts until coated. Spray pan with olive oil spray. Cook patties on medium heat in a covered pan, ~7 minutes on each side.

Cost: $3.69

Calories: 450; Carbohydrates: 13gm; Protein: 27gm; Fat: 33gm

 

NEED A SNACK? These meals are healthy, filling, and delicious, but if you find yourself needing a pick-me-up or two throughout the day try some of my personal favorites! Click here to see them. 

NEED TO ADD SOME FLAVOR? If you're looking to add flavor and variety to your meals throughout the week, check out some of my favorite options! Click here

 

This post is sponsored by California Walnuts. As always, all opinions are my own. 

 

 

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