Home | 03.08.2022

One Week of MIND Diet Recipes from Breakfast to Dinner

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By Franki Hanke

Grab your list and get to grocery shopping faster than ever since we did the meal planning for you! 

Cooking at home is at lot of work. It doesn’t even start at the cooking either! First, you have to find recipes! When you’re following a specific meal plan, finding the right combination of recipes becomes even harder. 

Instead of scouring the internet fruitlessly, this time we’ve got an eating plan for you: one week of MIND Diet recipes from breakfast to dinner following the brain-boosting recommendations for daily and weekly servings of each food. 

What is the MIND Diet? 

MIND is a combo of two dietary plans: the Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet focused on foods linked to slow cognitive decline. Mediterranean and DASH diets each focus on cardiovascular health (which impacts our brain health). By combining their recommendations, the MIND diet can limit the decline due to Alzheimer’s disease or lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease later on. 

We’ve compared all three diets before if you’d like a better look at the science. 

What’s in the MIND Diet? 

The MIND diet focuses overall on eating more plants (especially leafy greens) and less animal and high-saturated fat foods. The goal is to consume the following: 

→ Green, leafy vegetables (six or more times a week) 

→ Other vegetables (once or more daily) 

→ Berries (specifically blueberries and strawberries, twice a week) 

→ Nuts (five times a week) 

→ Olive oil, specifically Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (for all cooking) 

→ Whole grains (three times a day) 

→ Fish (one or more times a week) 

→ Beans (four times a week) 

→ Poultry (twice a week) 

→ Red wine (once a day maximum) 

Alongside all the foods to include, there are a few things to avoid: butter, red meat, cheese, and high-fat foods like fried cooking methods and pastries. 

The foods included in the MIND diet are not only beneficial for improved brain function but are a good framework for healthy eating overall or a healthy diet for weight loss. If you’re aiming to lose weight, be mindful of portions with these recipes. 

One Week on the MIND Diet

For this week-long meal plan, we’ll focus generally on the frequency and a general idea of servings. When you go to cook for yourself, adjust the scale of recipes and specific servings to fit your needs and household. 

Depending on the amount you eat of each recipe, you may be eating more than one serving that’s okay! This meal plan is based on inclusions, not limitations. As long as you’re listening to your body and eating to natural fullness, if you eat an extra serving of whole grains because you had a big slice of lasagna, you’re still good!  If you want to cook less, feel free to swap out some recipes for leftovers from prior days. 

For all these recipes, swap any breads to be whole grain and all cooking oils to be extra-virgin olive oil to fit the guidelines best. Feel free to enjoy dinner with a glass of red wine. Up to one glass of wine per day can be beneficial, according to the MIND Diet’s guidelines. 

Monday

Whole Grain Breakfast Porridge
from Food Network Magazine

Combining wild rice, steel-cut oats, barley, and wheat this cozy breakfast is packed with whole grains. Cranberries add some bright sweetness too. Prep this recipe the night before (perfect for kicking off Monday with breakfast ready for you). 

Get the Recipe. 

Chicken Curry Salad with Ginger, Almonds & Grapes
From The Mind Diet

This flavorful, slightly spicy take on a chicken salad is served as a salad according to the recipe, but we recommend making enough for two meals and repeating it again on Wednesday in a Chicken Salad Sandwich. 

Get the Recipe. 

Blueberry Almond Snack Bars
From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Feel free to prepare these ahead of the week (like over the weekend) for a week-long snack. This almond bar uses almond butter and whole almonds alongside sweet blueberries for anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Eat these when you get hungry between meals throughout the week for all the nuts you need on the MIND diet. 

Don’t worry about creating a set schedule for snacks. Just have a snack when you’re genuinely hungry. If you’re a big snacker and want more than these bars, make a batch of Air Fryer Kale Chips for an extra dose of leafy greens (and a crunchy snack). 

Get the Recipe. 

Spinach Lasagna
From Very Well Fit

With a load of spinach, this spin on lasagna takes a recipe that’s usually chocked with meat and replaces it with green leafy vegetables. Make sure to use whole wheat noodles for your whole grains of the day. 

If you want a fuller flavor, add pesto between the layers. 

Get the Recipe. 

Tuesday

Savory Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
From Food Network Kitchen

Keep breakfast interesting with a savory, quinoa-based breakfast bowl. This hearty dish combines legumes, salsa, avocado, and pepitas. Plan around the quinoa’s cook time because it spends 15 to 20 minutes on the stovetop. It’s perfect to sneak in a workout in your morning. If you want to prep ahead of dinner, cook extra for your nighttime meal now. 

Get the Recipe. 

One of our favorite MIND diet recipes is Pumpkin-Cauliflower Soup from Very Well Fit.
Creamy Pumpkin-Cauliflower Soup
From Very Well Fit

Balance out a hearty breakfast with a lighter lunch in this cozy, creamy soup. This has all the flavors we love from fall (cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin), but it’s delicious anytime a year. Plus, other than the chopping prep, it’s relatively hands-off and easy to cook while you wrap up the first half of the day’s work. 

Get the Recipe. 

Pan-Seared Salmon & Mediterranean Quinoa
From Very Well Fit

This recipe combines some flavors from the Mediterranean like black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta with fatty salmon for the nutritional boost. If you don’t want more quinoa, swap it for another whole grain like brown rice.  

Get the Recipe. 

Wednesday

Scrambled Eggs & Mustard Greens on Toast
From Kitchn

When you’re trying to eat more leafy green vegetables, you can get a bit tired of all the spinach and kale (even if you love ‘em). Adding in a less common option with Mustard Greens here keeps your palette varied and interesting. If you can’t find mustard greens, arugula is similar in flavor. 

Make sure to swap the baguette for whole-grain bread or naan. 

Get the Recipe. 

Repeat! 

Repeat Monday’s lunch of Chicken Curry salad, but now serve it between two pieces of whole-grain bread in a sandwich (or leave the top bread off and enjoy a tartine version). With a tartine, consider adding calories back with some extra nuts like cashews or pistachios. 

Lentil Chili
From Food Network Kitchen

Wind down with this cozy, deeply satisfying take of chili that’s entirely vegetarian with navy beans and brown lentils as the centerpiece. This recipe is rather hands-off, but with a long cook-time of 45 minutes on the stove-top so start it about an hour before you’d like to eat. 

If you’re trying to cut back on cook-time throughout the week, this is a good meal to double up on and eat as leftovers. Replace Friday’s Beans & Rice meal with these leftovers to keep your servings of beans in the right place. 

Get the Recipe. 

Thursday

Strawberry & Almond Overnight Oats
From Real Simple

As savory as yesterday’s breakfast was, sweeten it up the next day with honey and strawberries atop smooth, creamy overnight oatmeal. This can be prepared up to two days ahead, so feel free to prepare it ahead for a busy morning. 

Get the Recipe. 

Fresh Berry Quinoa Salad
From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Enjoy more berries for lunchtime with this bountiful quinoa salad that combines blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries with basil and baby spinach. All those berries bring so many flavonoids to your diet. Using a fresh herb like basil within the mix adds flavor without relying on extra fats. 

If you want some extra density, add some pecans as they go wonderfully with the sweetness of the fruit. 

Get the Recipe. 

Indian Red Lentil Dahl
From Bianca Zapatka

Using red lentils, this is a richly flavorful full vegetarian recipe that doesn’t need any meat for flavor (making it a perfect MIND diet meal). This meal combines together quickly in under half an hour, so it’s perfect for a busier evening. 

Get the Recipe. 

Friday

Oatmeal with Pineapple and Mint
From Real Simple

Swap up flavors with a less common oatmeal combination with chopped pineapple and fresh mint. 

Not into a pineapple? Oatmeal is incredibly versatile and can be adjusted to fit a lot of cravings and still fit in the MIND diet plan. Tweak toppings to your taste. 

Get the Recipe. 

Shredded Collard Green Salad
From Saveur

We switch up the leafy green again with collard greens. Adding hot, roasted sweet potatoes brings some warmth to an otherwise cold salad for a more satisfying, hot meal because some days you don’t want a cold salad. 

Get the Recipe. 

Roasted Salmon with Smoky Chickpeas & Greens
From EatingWell

A homemade dressing of buttermilk, mayonnaise, and fresh dill adds big flavor to this roasted salmon dish alongside crunchy, roasted chickpeas. This recipe has several healthy foods in tandem to support your brain cells. 

Get the Recipe. 

Saturday

Green Shakshuka
From Kitchn

Perfect for brunch, this easily shareable Shakshua has swiss chard and spinach together with leeks for a green twist on the traditional tomato dish. It’s full of veggies and loaded with flavor. Use some whole grain bread or naan to dunk and dip into the eggs. 

Get the Recipe. 

Mediterranean Tuna-Spinach Salad
From EatingWell

Lunch feels light thanks to a spinach base, but there’s tahini and tuna for some richness. If you need some extra density, add chopped zucchini or bell pepper for extra vegetables. 

Get the Recipe. 

Stuffed Honeynut Squash
From Food Network Kitchen 

Honeynut squash are sweet and satisfying (but they count as your daily vegetable)! This recipe loads them up with kale, cremini mushrooms, and aromatics for a really flavorful (and impressive looking) dinner perfect for eating alone or having company. 

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Sunday

Persian Herb Frittata
From Kitchn

Luxuriate on Sunday morning with this herbaceous frittata that’s loaded with flavor thanks to a trio of green herbs. Top it with some tangy Greek yogurt for an extra zing. 

Get the Recipe. 

Arugula & Cashew Pesto Salad
From Saveur

This light lunch uses another new green: arugula to keep you for getting sick of anything in particular though if you have leftover greens from the week’s over recipes, add them to the mix to balance out the tang of arugula. Cashews and chunky pesto add flavor to this simple, but delicious salad. For added sweetness, tweak the recipe with some thinly sliced apple. 

Get the Recipe. 

Grilled Salmon Soft Tacos
From EatingWell

End the week with a bank thanks to grilled fish tacos. Often, fish tacos are made with a buttery white fish like halibut or tilapia, but salmon is a better fit for our brain-healthy food. Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids that are wonderful for your health. The fresh flavors of lime juice, citrus, and cilantro combine for a refresh and fun meal perfect for rounding out the week. 

Get the Recipe. 

Looking at our list of recipes, adjust the plan based on your schedule. We’ve shared a huge variety so there’s no chance of getting bored, but if you’re short on time repeat meals with leftovers to halve your time spent cooking. 

If you’d like personalized support with the MIND Diet or any other health concerns like blood pressure, weight gain, or cholesterol-related to your diet, consider working with a registered dietician who can provide the best diets for you and your health. 

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