Easy Ways to Incorporate Seafood into Your Mediterranean Diet

By Meri Raffetto, Wendy Jo Peterson

Although the Mediterranean Diet encourages you to slow down and enjoy cooking and eating, doing so all the time can be a challenge. Here are some quick seafood recipes that you can prepare and take with you as you run from errand to errand.

The most important piece is to get you eating fish a couple of times a week if you aren’t already doing so. Having some easy and tasty recipes on hand can help you enjoy fish more often. You’ll find that cooking fish is actually much easier than cooking a steak.

Grilled Sardines with Tabbouleh

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 tablespoons uncooked bulgur

1 cucumber, chopped small

2 tomatoes, chopped small

2 cups chopped fresh parsley

Juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus 1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

One 3.75-ounce can sardines in water, drained and patted dry

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the bulgur, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, all but 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush the sardines with the remaining olive oil and grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side to obtain grill marks. Chop the grilled sardines and season with the remaining lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Divide the tabbouleh (bulgur mixture) between two serving plates and arrange the grilled sardines over the top.

PER SERVING: Calories 282 (From Fat 177); Fat 20g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 32mg; Sodium 262mg; Carbohydrate 13g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 16g.

Serve with crusty bread.

Grilling sardines is a great way to elevate the flavor of a canned fish. If your canned sardines are small use a grill pan or cast iron skillet on the stove top to get the desired seared effect.

Grilled Scallops

Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus marinating time

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 pounds sea scallops

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter, melted

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Nonstick cooking spray

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Rinse the scallops under water and pat dry. Toss scallops with the garlic, olive oil, butter, and parsley. Allow the scallops to marinate for 10 minutes. Spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray and heat the grill over medium-high heat.
  2. Skewer the scallops and grill them for 1 to 3 minutes on each side or until slightly firm to the touch and opaque. Drizzle with the lemon juice and top with the lemon zest and sea salt just before serving.

PER SERVING: Calories 285 (From Fat 102); Fat 11g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 82mg; Sodium 531mg; Carbohydrate 5g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 38g.

Soak wooden skewers in water before grilling so they don’t burn on the grill.