May is Mediterranean Diet Month

Contributed by Robin Plotkin, RD, LD


In our house, I’m the grill master. While I’m proud of that title, it does come with its fair share of responsibilities – namely, producing great tasting grilled items time after time.  This year, we’re hosting the big Grilling Kick Off Weekend-otherwise known as Memorial Day Weekend.  The guest list has been made and the grill has been scrubbed and checked for safety. The menu is in its final stages.  This year’s theme?  The Mediterranean Grill. 

May just happens to be Mediterranean Diet Month and it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the basics of heart-healthy eating – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, and lean meats. While there will be some of the traditional, very American-type foods at our BBQ, we’ll be featuring mostly foods from the Mediterranean diet. 

We’ll be grilling up turkey, veggie and salmon burgers with toasted 100% whole-grain buns. Heck, maybe we’ll make some of them slider style!  There will also be skewered veggies like eggplant, bell peppers and onions that have been seasoned with a touch of salt, pepper and olive oil. Potato salad is on the menu, but it will be olive oil-based with plenty of herbs to provide flavor. I’ll also make my Mediterranean quinoa salad with chickpeas, walnuts and 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes.  For dessert, it’s grilled stone fruit (like peaches and plums) and grilled pineapple. We’ll also serve a fan favorite – fresh strawberries with crème fraiche and brown sugar.  This one is always a winner! 

What to drink?  The Mediterranean Diet promotes enjoying a glass of red wine.  Since we’re going to have kiddos at our BBQ, I thought Concord Grape Virgin Sangria would hit the spot. The Concord grapes that are found in Welch’s 100% Grape Juice have many of those same healthy plant nutrients (polyphenols) that are found in red wine, making it a perfect choice for the kids and the kids-at-heart.

Concord Grape Sangria Virgin Sangria

You Will Need:

4 cups Welch's 100% Grape Juice

1/2 cup orange juice

1 lemon, sliced

1 orange, sliced

1 apple, sliced


Add all ingredients to a large pitcher. Stir to combine and place in refrigerator to infuse flavors and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve over ice. 

Photo credit: Jaime Ruisi

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