Experts agree that a Mediterranean-style diet provides many health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic disease and greater longevity. A traditional Mediterranean diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, olive oil and—you guessed it—seafood. Fish and shellfish are rich in protein and heart-healthy omega-3s, which are linked to brain and heart health.
The Mediterranean-style diet is recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This protein-rich eating pattern focuses on limiting the intake of processed foods, while ensuring adequate servings of seafood like cod, tilapia and crab to promote optimal health and long life. Here are some tips to help you incorporate the Mediterranean diet with seafood:
- Limit extra salt when preparing your favorite seafood dish. The Mediterranean diet relies heavily on the use of herbs and other seasonings to enhance the mouthwatering, natural flavors of seafood.
- Serve your seafood with vegetables. Delicious seafood pairs perfectly with seasonal vegetables for a simple and easy-to-prepare meal.
- Swap out butter for olive oil atop your seafood. The Mediterranean-style diet focuses on healthy alternatives to heavier sauces.
- Pair your seafood with whole grain pasta or brown rice. Whole grains add dietary fiber, B vitamins and other important nutrients to an already-nutritious seafood dinner.
The delicious seafood recipes in this month’s meal plan illustrate just how easy it is to put these simple tips and tricks to practice. We have so many ways you can go Mediterranean—short of moving to Italy, Greece or the south of France, to make this diet a part of your lifestyle (but wouldn’t that be fun?).
Breakfast: Cast Iron Smoked Salmon Hash
How about a new twist on a breakfast hash with salmon? Its smoky, deep flavor is a perfect way to start the morning.
Breakfast: Lobster Frittata
Ah – lobster! Who doesn’t love its tender, delectable chunks? Baked with eggs, Swiss cheese, zucchini, and sweet leeks, lobster dresses up a frittata for a wonderful, indulgent breakfast.
Brunch: Oyster Shooter
Start your brunch with this shellfish surprise – a spicy cocktail that comes with drinking directions.
Lunch: Baked Mediterranean Salad Bowl
Absolutely everything for the perfect Mediterranean lunch is here: salmon, olives, grains, and more – drizzled lightly with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese over a medley of oven-roasted vegetables.
Lunch: Grilled Shrimp and Watermelon Chopped Salad
Light and refreshing, this whole-meal salad pairs the grilled goodness of shrimp with the sweetness of watermelon. Enjoy it all summer long!
Dinner: Grilled Scallops Skewers with Ruby Red Grapefruit and Chile Glaze
Grilled scallops are quick and delicious to make. But just wait until you pair them with grilled grapefruit slices – all drizzled with a tangy glaze!
Dinner: Mediterranean Baked Fish with Artichokes and Olives
You’ll feel like you’re dining by the Mediterranean Sea with this easy-to-prepare dinner … light, delicate white fish smothered with tomato sauce and topped with flavor mates like artichoke hearts and feta cheese.
Dinner: Mediterranean Crab and Couscous Stuffed with Mushrooms
For a stunningly simple dinner, combine flavorful Mediterranean ingredients – lump crabmeat, veggies, and cheeses – place them atop Portobello mushrooms, and grill to perfection.