Power Hour Meal Prep

Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of Easy Mediterranean Diet Meals in Just 2 Hours

updated Sep 25, 2019
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell
Credit: The Kitchn

If you, like me, have been curious about the Mediterranean diet for a while, this Power Hour is a great place to start. Diving in headfirst to a whole week of Mediterranean diet meals will allow you to see what the hype is all about — and will help you incorporate new ingredients and recipes into your routine.

The Mediterranean diet is less of a diet in the traditional sense and more like a series of general healthy eating guidelines. It encourages us to put healthy fats, whole grains, hearty vegetables, legumes, and fish at the center of our plates. It allows for a moderate amount of dairy, eggs, and lean protein like chicken — and while red meat, processed foods, and sweets aren’t entirely restricted, they’re meant to be eaten only on occasion.

This week’s Power Hour meal prep plan will set you up for a full week of colorful, vibrant Mediterranean diet meals that will help power you through busy days. Here’s how to prep everything in just two hours.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: Breakfast should be filling enough so I’m not ravenous by 11 a.m. and be easy enough to eat while I get my two kids ready for and dropped off at school. Bowl foods work well for this.
  • Lunch: I mostly work from home and my husband is a freelancer with a varying schedule, so we prefer lunches we can eat without reheating. Bonus points if they are veggie-packed.
  • Dinners: We eat dinner as a family of four most nights and our school-aged kids are required to eat what we eat, although we happily adapt their plates to be more appealing as needed (i.e., they might have parts of a salad on a plate instead of piled in a bowl).
  • Nutritional goals: Our family is omnivorous, although my husband isn’t a fan of olives or tomatoes, which made him nervous to try a Mediterranean diet.
Credit: The Kitchn

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: Two people for breakfast and lunch, plus two school-aged kids for dinner.
  • Prep Time: About 2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Yes, but less than 20 minutes for most nights.

Meal Plan




Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Meghan Splawn

Shopping List

Possibly my favorite thing about shopping for a Mediterranean diet is that I can buy the bulk of my groceries at our farmers market or in the produce section. Then I can splurge on beautiful salmon fillets for Wednesday’s dinner.

  • Produce: 1 pint strawberries, 1 pint blueberries, 1 pint raspberries, 5 ounces baby spinach, 5 ounces baby arugula, 2 medium heads butter lettuce, 1 large bunch flat-leaf kale, 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, 2 medium tomatoes, 2 English cucumbers, 2 small bell peppers, 2 ears corn, 2 lemons, 1 small and 1 medium yellow onion, 1 small red onion, 1 head garlic, 1 bunch basil, 1 bunch radishes, 1 container pico de gallo
  • Dairy: 2/3 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt, 10 large eggs, 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, 4 ounces feta cheese, 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • Proteins: 1 pound ground beef, 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (skin removed), 1 1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Pantry: 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, taco seasoning, 1 1/2 cups quinoa, 1 (14-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, 2 cups farro, 3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey, 3 1/2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup wheat bran, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup raw pecans, 1/4 cup raw pepitas, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/4 cup dried apricots, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1 cup chickpea flour
  • Condiments Hummus for hummus bowls, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 cup store-bought or homemade basil pesto, 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • Alcohol: 1/2 cup dry white wine
Credit: The Kitchn

Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done

  1. Bake muesli. Muesli bakes at a relatively low temperature, which is why I prefer to start it first rather than wait for the oven to cool after baking the frittata.
  2. Cook the Spinach and Artichoke Frittata. Because the frittata starts on the stovetop, you can get it started and the muesli will be about done when the frittata is ready for baking.
  3. Sweeten yogurt and chop berries for Balsamic Berries with Honey Yogurt. Tossing the berries with the sugar and vinegar draws out their juices, making them more of a topping for yogurt (and less like cut fruit gone soggy).
  4. Cook quinoa for Summer Vegetable Grain Salad and salmon salad. Thanks to advice from a coworker, I recently started cooking quinoa more like pasta and the results are delicious.
  5. Chop vegetables for Summer Vegetable Grain Salad. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the veggies and have the pesto ready for finishing up the grain salad.
  6. Cook farro for the Shrimp Farrotto. We’re not cooking this whole dish now, but pre-cooking the farro will help this dinner come together in just 15 minutes on Tuesday night.
  7. Chop kale for Monday’s Kale Sauté. Just getting us one step ahead for Monday.
  8. Cook beef for Taco Hummus Bowls. At this point the oven is off, and we can focus on finishing up the farro and browning beef for the hummus bowl.
  9. Make dressings for Summer Vegetable Grain Salad and Greek Salmon Salad. Honestly, you could make one dressing for both of these, but I made both and used the dressing in the Greek salad to marinate the salmon.
  10. Assemble the grain salad, and store prep. Finish up the grain salad by tasting and seasoning and store all your prepped food.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

We both enjoyed this week of Mediterranean diet meals and, unexpectedly, our kids dug into the breakfast and lunch prep too — so I’d plan on doubling the yogurt and berries in the future to really feed the four of us for breakfast. Here’s what our week of meals looked like.


  • Balsamic Berries with Honey Yogurt: In hindsight, this breakfast would have been beautifully portioned into pint-sized jars for eating on the fly, but I was glad for the juicy maceration from the vinegar, which helped the fruit taste great late into the week.
  • Muesli with whole milk and berries: This is a staple in our house that I make regularly. One batch is enough for breakfast (and snacks) for the four of us all week.


  • Spinach and Artichoke Frittata: My husband ate most of this, wrapping slices in foil and eating them cool or room temperature on job sites this week. One day I grabbed this as a breakfast option when I was craving savory eats and it reheated well.
  • Summer Vegetable Grain Salad: I could eat this salad every week, just switching out the pesto and veggies for new sauces and vegetables. The quinoa doesn’t get mushy and still had bite on Friday.


  • Monday: Parmesan Chicken and Kale Sauté: We served this with garlic bread from the freezer for our kids. In the future, I’d slice the chicken during meal prep, too.
  • Tuesday: Taco Hummus Bowls: This was a perfect no-cook dinner for a night when we had after-school activities. I love that even though it’s suitable for the Mediterranean diet, it felt more like our classic taco Tuesday.
  • Wednesday: Easy, Healthy Greek Salmon Salad: The salmon was not a hit with my kids, but they happily ate the veggies and chickpeas portion of the salad with pita and leftover hummus from the night before.
  • Thursday Garlic Basil Shrimp Farrotto: Farrotto is so luxurious for a weeknight and I keep wondering why I don’t make it more often. Because we precooked the farro this recipe needs less cooking time and less liquid.
  • Friday: Socca Pizza with Ricotta & Spring Veggies: We made two socca on Friday night: one plain with za’tar for the kids and one with all the radishes and creamy cheese for us.

This Power Hour reminded me that getting out of our regular routine can be delicious and satisfying, and that a little meal prep helps us eat better at every meal. And if you loved this one, check out another Mediterranean Diet Power Hour.

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Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.