Low-Cost Strategies to Implement a Mediterranean Diet from Online RDN


Spring has finally sprung, and after a seemingly endless winter, it’s time to give your diet a much-needed refresh. Many of us associate healthy eating with expensive price tags and lackluster flavors, but adopting a Mediterranean mindset can help you embrace delicious and nutritious options that won’t break the bank.

While jetting off to the Mediterranean seaside may not be an option for everyone, there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to incorporate these flavors into your daily meals and snacks. The Mediterranean diet is lauded as one of the best plant-forward plans by dietitian nutritionists and doctors alike. Say goodbye to unsavory and unhealthy food options and welcome these Mediterranean-inspired alternatives:

  • Baked corn tortilla chips: Swap out packaged potato chips for homemade baked corn tortilla chips. Simply brush with olive oil and lime juice, sprinkle with your favorite flavors, and bake for 7-10 minutes.
  • Homemade sweet potato chips: Thinly sliced and baked to crispy perfection, sweet potato chips are a great alternative to traditional potato chips. You can also experiment with making kale chips, apple chips, mixed nuts, and more!
  • Spice it up: Get heart smart. Ditch the salt shaker and use herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil instead. Plant a small herb garden in your kitchen or on your balcony for fresh, flavorful herbs.
  • Go for complex carbs: Choose whole-grain options like brown rice, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, quinoa, chia, and more for essential complex carbs that fuel your brain and body.
  • Try eggs: Incorporate eggs into your meals, such as omelets, frittatas, boiled eggs with whole-grain toast, and more for a great source of protein, choline, minerals, cholesterol, lecithin, and vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Swap out ice cream for yogurt: Use yogurt as a delicious alternative to ice cream, drizzled over fresh fruit or blended into a smoothie. You can also replace sour cream with sugar-free yogurt in creamy salsas or to scoop over eggs.
  • Incorporate legumes and beans: Add legumes and beans to your sauces, pastas, and soups for high fiber and low fat, while also adding texture and variety to your meals.

By incorporating these Mediterranean-inspired options into your diet, you can transform your pantry into a nutritional and flavorful experience. Get creative and enjoy!

Here’s an easy-to-prepare Mediterranean recipe — Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse quinoa and place in a saucepan with water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add chickpeas, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, and Kalamata olives to the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  6. Top with crumbled feta cheese and serve. Enjoy!