Mediterranean Diet Meal Makeover – Raspberry Walnut Salad
Often the hardest part of The Mediterranean diet is understanding where to start. There are no black and white rules. No place to tell you “eat this, don’t eat that”. Just a set of Guidelines.
Our advice begins with simply trying to give a meal a Mediterranean Diet Makeover. By that, we mean taking a dish you’d ordinarily eat and switching or adding ingredients to make it fit a bit more within this lifestyle.
Read more about tips for how to accomplish this below, or jump right to the Raspberry Walnut Salad recipe if you prefer.
Jump to Recipe
Ways to Make a Meal More Mediterranean
Since the focus of the Mediterranean diet is to include more plant based foods, that’s the best place to start. Take a look at your meal and see if there are any ways to add more –
- Whole Grains
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Beans and Legumes
- Nuts and Seeds
Let’s break it down even further and see suggestions for each category –
Whole grains provide fiber, which can help with gut health, bowel movements, reducing cholesterol, and reduced risk of certain diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Some examples of whole grains that can be added into meals –
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown Rice
Fruit and Vegetables
Aside from also providing fiber, fruits and vegetables come with lots of vitamins and nutrients that can lead to better immunity and antioxidants that can protect against harmful free radicals. Eating a wide variety of colors is a good way to help ensure you are getting all the individual nutrients each different fruit and veggie provide.
Some ways to add more fruits and veggies into meals –
- Including fruit like berries, apples, orange slices or pears to salads
- Adding fruit to breakfast in the form of smoothies or mixed with yogurt
- Creating a veggie packed stir fry with bell peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, etc
- Adding veggies to sandwiches like cucumber slices, tomato, sprouts, roasted peppers, spinach
- Making veggies the star of the plate and treating meat/poultry like a side dish
- Adding fruit into your dessert like fruit sorbet, sliced fruit on top of ice cream
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are a great source of fiber as well as protein. They also make a meal filling, which can help with fullness and satiety.
You can check out more about Why We Love Lentils to read more.
A few suggestions on how to add more beans and legumes to meals include –
- Making a big batch of bean based soup
- Adding black beans to tacos
- Including lentils into salads
- Trying a new lentil recipe as a side dish for dinner
- Making a bean salad full of different beans, veggies and herbs
Nuts and Seeds
Both nuts and seeds are a popular addition to many Mediterranean dishes. Aside from offering a nice crunch, they also contain heart healthy fats, fiber and protein.
They make a great ingredient in dishes like –
- Sprinkled on top of yogurt and fruit for a delicious parfait
- Sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pecans all taste great when added to salad
- Including minced walnuts and mushrooms as a meat free alternative to tacos or casseroles
- Dredging fish or chicken in chopped walnuts, almonds or pistachios before cooking
- Creating a satisfying snack of a handful of nuts with fruit and cheese
Vibrant Raspberry Walnut Salad Recipe
We took an ordinary salad and decided to give it a Mediterranean Diet Makeover. Using the advice from above, we took an ordinary recipe and added the following –
- Fresh Raspberries – which not only provide color and natural sweetness, but fiber and vitamins as well
- Chopped Walnuts – giving a hearty crunch, these walnuts also give a dose of heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and protein
- Sunflower Seeds – sprinkled over the top, these little seeds provide a bit of saltiness as well as fiber and texture
- Cucumber – a great texture to add to salads, if you leave the skin on it also gives a tiny bit of fiber but cucumber is also a great way to add more hydration to your day because they are made up almost entirely of water
- Chopped kale – using this hearty, leafy green is a good way to add a host of vitamin and minerals as well as fiber
- Olive oil based dressing – extra virgin olive oil is the healthy fat of choice on the Mediterranean diet so using it to create a simple vinaigrette is a good way to makeover a meal
Vibrant Raspberry Walnut Salad
Giving salad a Mediterranena DIet Meal Makeover with this Vibrant Raspberry Walnut Salad and tips for creating mediterranean diet dishes.
We like to finely chop the kale in a food processor for this salad, however this step is optional. If you prefer, you can simply just use torn/chopped or baby kale leaves as is. Place chopped kale in a large bowl
Add chopped cucumber, raspberries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and feta to salad. Mix to combine
Drizzle an olive oil based dressing of your choice. We love this Simple Lemon Vinaigrette recipe – https://thedomesticdietitian.com/the-best-vinaigrette-recipe/
This Raspberry Walnut Salad is also a great example of how to pack a dish with fiber.
This recipe has a total of 16 grams of fiber –
- 3 cups kale = 3 grams fiber
- 1/2 cup walnuts = 2 grams fiber
- 1 cup raspberries = 8 grams fiber
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds = 3 grams fiber
(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)