The New Year is near, and with it comes New Year's resolutions. If you’re like most people, you’ll be setting goals to better your health. If in search of a new diet, the MIND diet should be considered due to its focus on a healthy heart. Not only will these MIND diet recipes get you excited about all the delicious food you can have, but they will also show you how easy it can be to “diet.”
The MIND diet, which stands for "Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay," is a dietary plan designed to promote brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. It combines elements from the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, both of which have been associated with various health benefits. The MIND diet focuses on specific foods believed to be beneficial for brain health, such as leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grains, fish, poultry, and olive oil. It also encourages the limited intake of less brain-friendly foods, including red meat, butter and margarine, cheese, pastries, and fried or fast food. With those guidelines in mind, let’s get to these recipes!
This chicken and rice recipe is a great example of how to use lean protein and healthy grain to make a MIND-compliant meal that’s filling and simple. You can use leftover rice and rotisserie chicken too - which makes it even simpler. It’s packed with Mediterranean flavor and heart-healthy nutrients.
Fresh seafood and whole ingredients are a flavorful pair in this dish. You won’t feel like you’re on a diet while eating these decadent pan-seared scallops. If you’re hosting a dinner party, this recipe is the way to go if you want to stay healthy. It’s rich, pleasing, and quick to make.
Salmon and sweet potatoes are both superfoods- they’re packed with a variety of nutrients. This sheet pan recipe keeps the prep and cook work simple by baking everything on one pan. You can make several meals all at once and have healthy lunches prepped for the week.
Another heart-healthy, lean protein that pairs well with sweet potato is ground turkey. This Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Taco Skillet is a quick, flavorful, one-skillet dinner that is done and on the table in just 35 minutes (start to finish!). It makes 6 hearty servings and is naturally gluten-free.
Beans are another heart-healthy ingredient used often on the MIND diet. When paired with sweet potatoes in this dish, it makes a delicious vegan or vegetarian filling for quick enchiladas. The beans replace what would be ground beef since red meat is limited on the MIND diet. You can get some healthy protein from the black beans without all the unhealthy fat that comes from red meat.
This healthy vegetarian salad recipe features chickpeas and quinoa for a boost of protein and nutrients. Cilantro adds color and flavor when blended to make a creamy dressing. Serve this cold salad for lunch or dinner. However, dairy is limited on the MIND diet, so instead of mayo and buttermilk in the dressing, I suggest a quick swap to use olive oil vinaigrette instead.
Salmon and lemon-herb orzo is full of healthy fats that will help your brain and your overall health. Because it’s made with healthy fats and fresh herbs, this dinner dish is full of flavor. It’ll be a weekly favorite not only because of the flavor but because the cooking process is quick and easy as well.
This easy lentil potato soup will keep you warm during the cold months. It keeps well, so it’s the best recipe for making a big batch and eating it throughout the week. You can also freeze it in portions and it’ll keep up to three months - so stock up for the winter.
Whether you're eating this simple canned tuna recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you'll love it no matter what you do. Make a delicious packable healthy lunch with this cheap high-protein meal prep idea full of Mediterranean flavors. It’s naturally gluten- free and can be used to throw in all the veggies you need to use up.
You won’t miss out on red meat tacos with these delicious tostadas as an option. They’re super easy to whip up, only require three ingredients, and fall in line with the heart healthy MIND diet. If you work from home, this can be your go-to lunch so that you’re having something fresh and homemade without much work.
You can make this dinner in a snap with a white fish of your choice poached in an easy homemade puttanesca sauce. Naples is home to a wonderful brazenly full-bodied pasta sauce known as Puttanesca. Most of the ingredients are canned or jarred, so it's easy to keep on hand. And it adds so much flavor to what would otherwise be boring, plain white fish.
Avocado Tuna melt is also a great lunch to make at home if you need something quick, easy, and MIND diet-compliant. Dairy is limited on the MIND diet, so you may need to leave off the Muenster cheese. But with the creamy avocado, this tuna open-faced sandwich is just as good without the cheese.
Keep this one pan gnocchi recipe on file because it’s very versatile. The recipe for the lemon dressing is MIND diet compliant, and it’s great to use on other recipes as well. You can easily switch up the veggie you roast with the gnocchi to keep things varied. And you can even add lean meat like white fish or salmon if you prefer.
This healthy chili is made with olive oil and lean ground turkey, so it’s not packed full of unhealthy fats like most chili recipes. With all of the delicious spices added, you’ll love the traditional flavor this chipotle chili gives. And the cauliflower adds amazing texture to the meal.
Baked egg cups are the perfect make-ahead breakfast, packed with vitamins, veggies, and lots of protein. They taste amazing with the tangy, salty feta cheese. Use your dairy allotment for the week on this recipe! The feta adds amazing texture and a balance in the flavors. Or you can fill these egg cups with your preferred MIND-compliant ingredients!
This light yet filling meal has two types of complete proteins, plenty of healthy fats and crisp vegetables. Super fast and full of pantry ingredients, this meal for two is ready in less than 25 minutes. If it’s just you, the extra meal can be saved for lunch the next day. Cook once, eat twice!
A delicious and easy way to eat salmon is with crunchy brown rice bowls and herbed tahini dressing. A creamy herbed tahini dressing compliments the sweet honey-glazed salmon and golden brown rice. This is a delicious recipe that is perfect for any night of the week!
Cod is one of the best fish for making fish tacos and easy fish recipes. This MIND diet fish taco bowl is made with riced cauliflower, shredded purple cabbage, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin, avocado, pico de Gallo, and cilantro lime dressing. Again, to avoid using a mayo-based dressing, simply use a lime cilantro vinaigrette instead.
The salmon in this recipe is simply seasoned with lime and honey. A homemade spice rub gives it the cajun flare, which is easy to adjust for your heat preference. This salmon is served over a bed of tomato and cauliflower rice which adds flavor and nutrients to the whole dish.
Fish is one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet, and this easy lemon-baked cod will quickly become a favorite go-to dinner. A cod fillet is a beautiful fish that can easily be given some big flavors. This lemon-baked cod recipe takes just over 20 minutes to make, so it’s perfect for meal prep or busy weeknights.
With roasted root veggies, this lentil bowl is earthy and nourishing. You can easily make a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner and have leftovers the next day. Keep it vegan or add lean meat, fish, or a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness. However you make it, it’s hearty healthy, and MIND compliant!
This kale quinoa chicken salad shows just how flavorful fresh, and whole ingredients can be. This is a fantastic meal prep lunch option as it just develops more and more flavor as it sits throughout the week. It also can be made easily with rotisserie chicken to keep the prep time down.
Shrimp avocado pasta is reminiscent of alfredo. The cheese-like sauce is made from cashews. The result of blending the nut is a creamy and rich “alfredo” sauce that balances the savory shrimp and al dente pasta. This decadent meal is MIND diet compliant due to the use of cashews instead of a dairy-laden sauce.
These MIND diet recipes will liven up your weekly menu and show you just how tasty a heart healthy diet can be! To browse through more easy but nutritious meals, check out these simply healthy recipes.
And I'll leave you with a wonderful MIND diet friendly meal, salmon ceviche!
23 Marvelous MIND Diet Recipes
- 500 g salmon fillets or steaks
- 1 red onion 80 g
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- ⅓ cup of lime juice 80 ml
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 7 chili peppers some mild
- Salt to taste
- Cut the salmon into small, bite-sized pieces. To get a more uniform ceviche, try to cut the salmon pieces to the same size. This will ensure that they cook evenly in the lemon juice.
- Finely chop the red onion, cilantro, and garlic. Finely chopped ingredients will marinate more evenly and have a more pleasant texture.
- Add the chopped chili peppers to the salmon and stir well. The chili will add a touch of spiciness to the ceviche. If you don't like spicy food, you can omit the chilies or add only one.
- Pour in the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to taste. The lemon juice will cook the salmon and give it a sour and refreshing flavor. The olive oil will add a touch of richness and the salt will highlight the flavors of the salmon and the other ingredients.
- Mix well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. The marinating time may vary depending on the thickness of the salmon. Thicker salmon will need to marinate for longer, while thinner salmon can marinate for less time. Serve the ceviche cold.