Mediterranean Diet Dinners in 9×13 (And a Shopping List!)

Mediterranean Diet Dinners in 9×13 (And a Shopping List!)

Our column, ThePrep, has everything you need to make meal planning and meal prep as easy as possible. Dietary needs vary from person to person, and we invite you to use these dinner plans as inspiration and modify them as you see fit. Sign up to get a meal plan delivered to your inbox every Saturday!

Although I really love cooking and wish I could spend hours in the kitchen every day, it’s rare that I have the time to do so. So, whenever I can, I make double batches of recipes that freeze well so I have meals on hand or recipes that make more than two servings (we’re a family of two) so we have leftovers. This week, I’m leaning toward the latter option and making meals in a 9 x 13-inch pan, so we’ll have leftovers for lunch every day. Let’s cook!

Plan your meal

For the seventh year in a row, health experts have called the Mediterranean diet the best overall diet. This eating pattern focuses on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins without cutting out any foods, making it sustainable in the long term. And this week’s recipes all fit the bill. Although I’m excited to delve into all of these recipes, I’m really looking forward to the Tamari, Ginger, and Eggplant Meatballs on Wednesday. The sweet and spicy glaze on these meatballs and eggplant is absolutely delicious, and sprinkling peanuts on top adds crunch. To complete the meal, I will serve the meatballs over brown rice. The next day, I’ll turn the leftover meatballs into a sandwich for lunch.

Sunday: Chicken and tomato enchiladas
Monday
: Zucchini, corn and egg casserole with herb and arugula salad with balsamic vinaigretteTuesday: Grilled chicken pieces with peppers and onions with quinoa
Wednesday:
Tamari – Meatball, ginger and eggplant casserole over brown rice
Thursday
: Baked Provençal fish with roasted potatoes and mushrooms With crispy whole wheat bread
Friday:
Chicken, pepper and pasta casserole

Something to sip on

Photographer: Jane Causey, Food Designer: Julian Hensarling, Props Designer: Julia Bayliss


I love making smoothies for an afternoon snack. They are quick to make and easy to carry anywhere. This week I’m adding ingredients for an anti-inflammatory creamy cherry, beet, and kale smoothie to my shopping list. Cherries, kale, and beets have anti-inflammatory properties that help tame inflammation, which may reduce the risk of chronic disease. If you’re wondering if the beet flavor is superior to other flavors, you can barely taste it!

Get the recipe: Anti-inflammatory cherry, beet and kale juice

What’s inspiring me this week?

Getty Images


You probably know that exercising regularly is good for your overall health. But did you know that it can specifically benefit your brain health? According to a recently published study, exercising may make your brain bigger! The study was published in the winter 2024 edition of the journal Journal of Alzheimer’s DiseaseShe found that people who exercise frequently have larger brains — especially the parts of the brain that are important for speech, memory, learning, emotion, and communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Furthermore, the study’s lead author said, “This research highlights the potential neuroprotective effects of exercise,” meaning it could help reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. So, I invite you to break out those sneakers and engage in your favorite ways to move your body, whether that’s dancing, playing with your kids, or jumping rope.

Find out more: Do you want to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease? A new study says exercise may help

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