How I Prep a Week of Mediterranean Diet Meals for One
The Mediterranean diet is considered by many to be one of the best ways to eat. Interestingly, it’s not really a diet at all, in the traditional sense, but rather an everything-in-moderation approach that focuses on enjoying lots of produce, whole grains, beans and legumes, and heart-healthy fats like fish and olive oil. Knowing that, it makes sense why it’s such a winning choice!
If you’re looking to give this wholesome approach a try, and you happen to be cooking just for yourself, we want to help! This Power Hour celebrates both the Mediterranean diet and the solo cook. It will set you up for a week of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that are far from boring and totally feel-good. Plus, the meal prep session only takes about an hour-and-a-half. Here’s how to do it.
Find more meal plans for one: Cooking for One? Here Are 5 Weeks of Easy Meal Plans
Meal Prep Goals
- Breakfast: One simple option that can be enjoyed a couple of different ways (five days).
- Lunch: One wholesome choice that can be mixed and matched depending on your mood (five days).
- Dinner: Prepped components that can be transformed into easy (but never boring!) meals without fuss and with minimal leftovers (five days).
- Nutritional Goals: This meal plan is well-rounded and wholesome, focusing on foods that are key players in the Mediterranean diet, such as vegetables, heart-healthy fish, and whole grains.
Meal Prep Plan Snapshot
- Feeds: One person
- Prep Time: Under 2 hours
- Meals Covered: About 75% (no weekend meals)
- Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (10 to 30 minutes of simple cooking and reheating)
- Mix-and-Match Muesli with clementines
This week’s shopping list features staples of the Mediterranean diet, including fresh produce, whole grains, and fish. It assumes cooking basics like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.
- Produce: 1 box or bag of clementines, 1 large English cucumber, 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, 1 head garlic, 5 ounces baby spinach, 1 medium yellow onion, 1 small bunch rosemary, 1/2 pound small red potatoes, 1/2 pound green beans, 1 small red onion, 1 head Bibb lettuce
- Seafood: 2 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
- Refrigerated: 1 tub of whole-milk or 2% plain Greek yogurt, 4 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese, 1/2 dozen large eggs, 1 small wedge Parmesan cheese
- Pantry: 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 cup wheat bran, ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup raw pecan halves, 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/4 cup dried apricots, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1 1/2 cups quinoa, 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, 1 can chickpeas, smoked paprika, 2 (14.5-ounce) can regular or fire-roasted diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth, Dijon mustard, 1 box dried small pasta like ditalini or small shells
Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done
- Make the muesli: Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare the muesli according to recipe instructions.
- Cook the quinoa: While the muesli bakes, cook the quinoa on the stovetop for the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.
- Assemble the quinoa salad: Make the dressing and chop the vegetables for the salad, then toss with the quinoa and remaining ingredients.
- Cook the potatoes and green beans: Rinse out the pot used to cook the quinoa and use it to cook the potatoes and greens beans for the Warm Potato and Salmon Salad. Shock both vegetables in an ice bath to prevent them from overcooking.
- Prep the aromatics for the soup: Chop the yellow onion, mince 4 garlic cloves, and store both in an airtight container in the fridge. Transfer the quinoa salad and other prepped vegetables to the refrigerator as well.
A Week of Mediterranean Diet Meals for One
Sprinkle the muesli over yogurt or use it in place of plain rolled oats to make a warming bowl of oatmeal. Enjoy either preparation with a clementine.
Monday, Weeknight Salmon with Smoky Spinach and Chickpeas: Prepare half the recipe. Transfer the remaining half can of diced tomatoes you don’t use to an airtight container to use later in the week. Enjoy one of the salmon fillets with half of the chickpea mixture. Store the remaining salmon and chickpea mixture separately in the fridge.
Tuesday, Mediterranean White Bean Soup: Prepare half the recipe. Enjoy half tonight and save the rest for Friday night.
Wednesday, Warm Potato and Salmon Salad: Remove the skin from the leftover cooked filet and break the filet into flakes with a fork. Prepare half of the salad recipe, using the flakes in place of canned salmon. Rewarm the potatoes and green beans briefly in the microwave, and use red wine vinegar in place of Champagne vinegar.
Thursday, Smoky Pasta e Ceci: Pour the leftover chickpea mixture from Monday into a skillet with the reserved half can of diced tomatoes. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in 1/2 cup of a small dried pasta like ditalini or small shells, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper, and serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
Friday, Leftover White Bean Soup: Reheat the rest of the White Bean Soup for an easy dinner to cap off the week.
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.