Try the Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health

Mediterranean ingredients

Bring a taste of the Mediterranean into your kitchen. Your heart will thank you.

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating pattern that focuses on getting more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats and limiting sodium and saturated fats.

Get a taste of the Mediterranean with these recipes from

Mediterranean Diet Tips:

  • Season foods with fresh or dried herbs and spices, lemon juice or vinegar in place of salt.
  • Choose more low fat dairy products – 1% or skim milk, 0% fat yogurts and reduced fat cheese.
  • Limit your red meat intake to twice a month and include fish or seafood one to two times per week.
  • Eat at least three cups of vegetables and one to two cups of fruit daily.
  • Choose more whole grains – brown rice, whole grain pasta, 100% whole wheat breads, oatmeal, quinoa, barley, millet, etc.
  • Incorporate healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats), such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, ground flax or chia seeds into your meals. Use olive oil in place of butter when cooking.
  • Drink red wine in moderation (one glass per day for women and two for men).
  • Get moving! Incorporate regular physical activity into your schedule – anything is better than nothing!

Pomegranate and Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Toasted tri-color quinoa topped with sliced banana, pomegranate seeds, low fat yogurt and honey

Pomegranate and Banana Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 14 to 18 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


Tri Color Quinoa:

  • 1⅓ cups tri color quinoa
  • 2 cups water

Pomegranate & Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bowl:

  • 1 medium (4 ounces) banana, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons honey


To Cook Quinoa:

  1. Rinse quinoa until water runs clear.
  2. Heat stock pot over medium high heat. Add quinoa. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted and dry.
  3. Add water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and water is absorbed. Serve warm.

To Assemble Breakfast Bowl:

  1. Place 1 cup warm quinoa in center of bowl.
  2. Evenly top with:
  • 1 ounce (approximately 5 slices) sliced banana
  • 1 Tablespoon pomegranate seeds.

Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon low fat plain yogurt and 1 teaspoon honey. Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 340, Carbs: 66g, Protein: 11g Fat: 5g, Sat. fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 55mg, Fiber: 8g

Mediterranean Spinach and Barley Salad

Spinach and Barley Salad

Yield: 6 salads


  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 11 oz. red peppers, fresh, diced ½-inch thick
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup pasteurized fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2½ tablespoons dill weed, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon basil leaves, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. pearl barley, raw
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 oz. jumbo Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
  • 3 oz. red onions, fresh, halved lengthwise, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 12 oz. cannellini beans, canned, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz. baby spinach, fresh
  • 3 oz. golden raisins
  • 6 oz. orange sections, fresh
  • 3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Coat peppers with vegetable oil spray. Place on baking sheet.
  2. Roast in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and charred. Cool quickly, dice ½-inch thick and hold cold for use.
  3. Whisk vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, dill, basil and sugar together until well-combined. Hold refrigerated for use.
  4. Spray baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Spread barley on pan, and place in a preheated 375°F oven for 5 minutes, or until barley starts to toast.
  5. Place water and toasted barley in a saucepot. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat, and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until bloomed and tender.
  7. Remove from heat, and cover barley. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb remaining liquid. Cool quickly and hold cold for use within 48 hours.
  8. As needed, combine ½ cup cooled barley, 2 tablespoons peppers, 8 halves olives, ½ oz. onions, ¼ cup beans, 3 cups spinach, 1 tablespoon raisins, 2 tablespoons orange segments and 2 tablespoons salad dressing. Toss until evenly coated. Plate immediately.
  9. Top with 1 tablespoon feta. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 370, Carbs: 67g, Protein: 13g Fat: 7g, Sat. fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 330mg, Fiber: 12g

Grilled Fish Taco with Mango Slaw

Grilled fish taco with mango, cabbage, red onion & cilantro lime mayonnaise in a flour tortilla

Prep Time: 5 to 8 minutes

Cook time: 5 to 7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:

  • ¾ teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ cup low fat mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

Grilled Tilapia:

  • 10 ounces tilapia, thawed
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 8, 6-inch whole grain flour tortilla
  • ½ cup shredded green cabbage
  • 2½ Tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup diced mango
  • 2½ Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


To Make Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:

  1. In a bowl, combine lime juice, low fat mayonnaise and chopped cilantro. Mix well. Hold refrigerated until ready to use.

To Grill Tilapia:

  1. Spray tilapia with oil spray. Evenly sprinkle with pepper.
  2. Grill fish until marked on both sides, firm, flaky and cooked through. Cut into 8 equal size pieces. (If grill is not available, cook fish in a pan or oven until firm, flaky and cooked through.)

To Make Grilled Fish Tacos:

  1. Toss cabbage with lime juice until evenly coated. Set aside.
  2. Heat tortilla until warm and soft.
  3. Lay tortilla on a clean and flat surface. Place 1 Tablespoon lime cabbage over center of each tortilla.
  4. Place 1 piece of tilapia over cabbage.
  5. Top fish with:
    1 Tablespoon sliced onion
    1 Tablespoon diced mango
    1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro.
  6. Evenly drizzle tacos with cilantro lime mayonnaise.
  7. Fold over to close. Serve 2 tacos. Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 310, Carbs: 41g, Protein: 17g Fat: 9g, Sat. fat: 3g, Sodium: 600mg, Fiber: 3g