Next Week’s Meal Plan: A Week of Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Dinners

updated Jul 12, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right. Top to Bottom: Kimberley Hasselbrink, Joe Lingeman, Guy Ambrosino, Kimberley Hasselbrink, Karen Biton-Cohen

The Mediterranean diet is less of a diet in the traditional sense and more of a series of dietary guidelines and principles meant to help you make healthy choices you can stick with for the long haul. While it encourages eating seafood a couple of times a week, the real driving force behind this increasingly popular way of eating is consuming whole, unprocessed plant-based foods, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, unsaturated fats (like those found in olive oil and avocado), vegetables, and fruit. That’s why this week’s meal plan is focused on vegetable-heavy, meat-free dinners that follow the Mediterranean diet.

See another Mediterranean diet meal plan: A Week of Mediterranean Diet Dinners

To give tonight’s dinner a little more heft, I recommend pairing it with protein-rich quinoa or farro. Extra-hungry eaters can top it with a fried egg or two.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

To get a jump-start on dinner, I make a point to cook the sweet potatoes during weekend meal prep when I have time, then reheat them in the oven while I prepare the filling on Tuesday.

Credit: Guy Ambrosino

I consider this veggie-heavy soup an opportunity to use up any lingering vegetables in the crisper. It cooks all day on low heat, and makes the most excellent leftovers for lunch. And while bread isn’t restricted from the Mediterranean diet, it’s suggested that you limit it. So with that in mind, I skip the crouton topping.

While this grain salad makes a hearty meal on its own, it’s never a bad idea to give it a little something extra by topping it with sliced avocado or mixing in protein-rich white beans or chickpeas.

We’re rounding out the week with a simple, wholesome one-bowl meal, for when you’re craving something totally delicious yet don’t quite have it in you to put in a ton of effort. And to speed up making the rice, go ahead and cook it in your Instant Pot rather than on the stovetop.

Welcome to Next Week’s Meal Plan! Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But I’m a firm believer that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. I want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking for one or a family of eight. Every week, I’ll be sharing a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests, or from a guest contributor.

New to meal planning? Start here.