Are you in the dial for Mexican? Well, dish takeouts — you can bring foreign flavors into your kitchen by mastering these basics of ethnic cuisine.
If you’re tired of eating the same dishes week in and week out, consider exploring the many tastes of ethnic food. Not only will your taste buds thank you for trying something a little different – and delicious – but your health can benefit as well.
To start the journey of cooking ethnic food, here are some of the most popular foreign cuisines to consider:
Everyone is missing out on Nigerian foods, popularly known as small chops in Nigeria. They serve as appetizers, preparing the palates for the main dish. Nigerian finger foods/small chops can also be eaten as a stand-alone snack. They range from meaty dishes like gizdodo to pastry foods like sausage rolls and sweet snacks like donuts or chin chin. We have compiled 10 of the most delicious Nigerian finger foods people around the world are missing out on.
Many Americans look to the French way of living and eating when they want to lose weight, since only 8 percent of the French population is obese, compared with 33 percent of the American population. French cuisine is typically high in fat and calories, but the French are brought up to enjoy and savor foods without overeating. People in France also tend to consume their largest meal earlier in the day, eat light dinners, and snack infrequently. Try this recipe for French Country Beef Stew — it’s brimming with vegetables.
Indian food is flavorful and uses a wide range of spices to add zest and complex flavors to dishes. Indian food tends to be rich in vegetables, grains, yogurt, and protein- and fiber-rich legumes. Beware of recipes that use a lot of butter or coconut oil, ingredients high in saturated fat.
Japanese people have low rates of cancer and heart disease, and are considered to be some of the world’s healthiest people, despite high rates of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. The Japanese diet, with its plentiful supply of green tea, fish, soy, and vegetables, is particularly healthful. Bring Japanese cuisine into your kitchen with this recipe for Japanese-Style Fried Tofu and Vegetables.
Greece is another Mediterranean country with a cuisine focused on healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Just be sure to limit the high-calorie dishes and sugar- and fat-filled Greek desserts. Bring the flavors of Greece to your kitchen with this healthy recipe for Greek Chicken With Lemon and Mint.
Cooking your own Thai food can be a great way to introduce your family to this flavorful cuisine. Be careful when selecting Thai recipes, since some dishes call for deep-frying and are topped with heavy sauces. However, many Thai dishes are low in fat and rich in vegetables and grains, like Spicy Thai Shrimp Salad.
Vietnamese cuisine is a delicious and interesting blend of Asian and French flavors. Some Vietnamese dishes, such as fried spring rolls, roast duck, and curry chicken, can be high in fat and sodium. But many dishes are very healthy, incorporating foods like steamed fish, grilled meats, and fresh vegetables.
Mediterranean cultures are known for their healthy eating habits. Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines are rich in vegetables, fruits, herbs, unsaturated fats such as olive oil, and lean meats, which are eaten sparingly. When cooking Italian, the key is to look for recipes with red sauces and lightly sautéed or grilled meats, and to avoid high-fat, cream and butter based dishes. Try this recipe for Chicken Cacciatore with Whole Wheat Penne.
Using flavors from Mexico in healthy recipes you cook at home can bring spice and excitement to your diet. While some Mexican dishes are high in calories, fat, and cholesterol, others rely on fiber-rich grains and fiber- and protein-rich legumes. Explore Mexican cuisine by trying healthy recipes like Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas and use vegetable salsas rather than full-fat sour cream and cheese to top your dishes.
By dabbling in healthy ethnic food recipes from other countries, you can enjoy varied cuisines, satisfy your taste buds, and improve your own diet.