by Kelly Morrow, MS, RDN, FAND
Sticking to a Medi for All diet can be easier if you stock your pantry with foods that will nourish your body, support your gut health and help you boost your MEDAS score. With a little planning ahead, you can have a well stocked Medi for All pantry to make cooking easy and delicious.
Whole Grains and Starches: Include oats, quinoa, bulgur, couscous, whole wheat and legume based pastas, corn tortillas, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and brown rice for sustained energy and essential nutrients. Many whole grains can be cooked in a large batch and frozen in individual portions for easy future use.
Recipe Idea: Quinoa Buddha Bowl
Legumes: Get creative with chickpeas, lentils, edamame and kidney beans—excellent sources of plant-based protein and fiber. To save time, keep canned beans on hand.
Recipe Idea: Black Bean Salad
Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, dressing salads, and drizzling over cooked vegetables to promote digestive health.
Recipe Idea: Lemon Dill Olive Oil Dressing
Herbs and Spices: Enhance flavors with oregano, basil, turmeric, cinnamon, and paprika, reducing the need for excess salt. Usually, you can sub dried herbs for fresh in a recipe by using half the amount called for fresh (e.g., if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill, use 1/2 teaspoon dried dill. Taste and add more as desired.).
Recipe Idea: Chili Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Fresh Produce: Fill your pantry with colorful fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, and citrus fruits. Buy what is in season to save money.
Recipe Idea: Lemon Garlic Spinach
Nuts and Seeds: Stock up on almonds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds for nutrient-dense snacking or as salad and yogurt toppings.
Recipe Idea: Spiced Almonds
Seafood: Opt for sustainable options like salmon, sardines, and shrimp to benefit from omega-3 fatty acids. Frozen seafood is often less expensive than fresh.
Recipe Idea: Cod with Tomato Basil Salsa
Dairy and Alternatives: Explore Greek yogurt, feta cheese, and dairy alternatives like oat milk or soy yogurt.
Recipe Ideas: 12 Ways to Eat Greek Yogurt
By incorporating these nourishing, nutrient dense and anti-inflammatory ingredients into meals, you can enjoy a delicious culinary journey while improving your overall health. Let your pantry be a gateway to a vibrant and nourishing Medi for All lifestyle.