7 Healthy Dishes From Around The World

January 15, 2016

If you made a New Year’s resolution a couple weeks ago, there’s a pretty good chance it involved getting/staying healthy or losing weight. And as we all should know, you can’t just exercise and eat whatever you want.

If you’ve got your running shoes on with a slice of pizza in your hand, we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

The great news, though, is there are plenty of delicious dishes you can eat that won’t leave you feeling bloated and guilty. And if your resolution for this year was to be more cultured, consider this a twofer.

Here are some of our favorite dishes from beyond our borders that we think you’ll love, as well as how you can make them even healthier.

 

Beef Couscous — Morocco

Bordering the North Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean Sea, Moroccan cuisine is the result of centuries of interaction and trade with other cultures. These include Berber, Moorish, Arab and Mediterranean influences.

Morocco’s most recognizable dish in American cuisine is couscous, and it is often coupled with beef, Morocco’s most popular red meat. There’s a great recipe for it on myrecipes.com.

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Juju’s Kitchen

Give It A Healthy Boost

Use grass-fed beef. It’s naturally leaner than grain-fed beef  and is it’s a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders.

 

Carrot Corn Soup with White Fungus and Pork Bone — China

When it isn’t making confusing and frankly disturbing cartoons, China also produces some delicious food that’s pretty healthy. One of our favorites is carrot corn soup with white fungus and pork bone.

You’ve got to love a dish whose title leaves nothing to the imagination. But it is also good any time of year. Here’s an instructional video of how it’s made.

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Day Day Cook

Give It A Healthy Boost

Add some more vegetables. Why not, right?

We recommend peas. Not only will their sweetness add to the broth, but we trust anything Forrest Gump says.

 

Paella — Spain

Widely regarded as Spain’s national dish, paella is a rice-based dish that likely originated around 1800 in Valencia. Named after the wide, shallow steel pan in which it was cooked, it was traditionally prepared by the men of the village on Sundays while the women were at church.

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KeefCooks

Give It A Healthy Boost

Today, there are many, many, many variations. Whatever recipe you choose, the foundation of the meal is always rice, so we recommend you simply use brown instead of white.

There are more benefits to using brown rice over white than there are different types of paella, and that’s a lot. Among them, the refining process of white rice strips it of almost all of its nutrients. Replacing your white rice with brown may also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

Onion Soup — France

How often do you get to enjoy a meal created by a king?

As the story goes, King Louis the XV was rummaging through a hunting lodge after a long day, trying to find some sustenance, when all he could find was some onions, butter and champagne.

Now, you should take this story–if you’ll pardon the pun– with a grain of salt. Onion soup has probably been around since 6000 BC, long before Louis XV was even king-in-training, but the contemporary version of the soup came about in 1800s France.

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Jamie Oliver

Give It A Healthy Boost

You’ve probably enjoyed this dish before, and may be wondering how something so good can be healthy. Well, it can! Take a look at this recipe. All the creator did was use low-fat turkey (or chicken), light cheese and some whole-grain bread.

Go forth and eat like a (healthy) king!

Fun fact: French onion soup is the reason restaurants are called restaurants.

 

Lamb Kleftiko — Greece

Our second Mediterranean dish on this list comes from the home of the Olympics and big fat weddings. Its origins, stories say, date back to the Cypriot fighters of the 19th century. This nationalist guerrilla organization fought to end the British rule in Cyprus.

They lived in the mountains, and therefore had to cook their meat in a manner that would be undetected by the enemy. As a result, they made sure the dish was fully closed in special pottery and put underground.

Today, though it is rarely to avoid detection by the British Empire, Kleftiko is still a piece of meat that is wrapped and baked. It is common to add vegetables, peppers, garlic, oregano and other spices.

You can find a great recipe for lamb kleftiko here.

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Arnaldo Vinagre

Give It A Healthy Boost

We recommend using lamb as the meat for its abundance of high quality protein, iron, and B vitamins. To take it to the next level, as with beef, make sure it’s grass-fed.

 

Enchiladas — Mexico

Who among us hasn’t sat down at a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed a delicious enchilada? It’s a staple for any establishment under even the loosest definition of ‘Mexican food’.

A corn tortilla is rolled around a filling, with chili sauce added to the top. Typical ingredients inside the tortilla are meat, beans, vegetables and oh come on people you’ve all had an enchilada before.

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Cookedbyjulie

Give It A Healthy Boost

Most people wouldn’t think of them as particularly healthy, but like a celebrity on the red carpet, it’s all in how you dress it. CookingLight.com has 16 different healthy enchilada recipes to get you started.

 

Sushi — Japan

Ah, another old favorite. Whether you’ve mastered chopsticks or have to sheepishly ask for a fork every time, nothing hits the spot like your favorite roll.

Again, there are innumerable varieties of raw fish, rice and veggies. And, if you’re trying to eat healthy, there are a lot of ways to do it wrong.

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Begin Japanology

Give It A Healthy Boost

First of all, know what kind of sushi establishment in which you’re dining. The gas-n-go station is probably not a good bet.

Second, sushi rice is made with sugar and rice vinegar, and it’s where most of the calories on a roll are found. So if it’s an option, opt for the brown rice again.

Also, your healthiest option is the sashimi (raw fish) instead of the friend tempura. Fried shrimp is not healthy no matter what kind of a wrap it’s in. Forego the sugar-rich teriyaki sauce as well.

Oh, and wasabi–the root with a kick that accompanies your dish and should be ingested through the mouth and absolutely nowhere else–actually has a number of health benefits.

Show/Hide Comments (4 comments)
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4 Comments
  1. Gareth Jones

    The dishes sound great Todd but unfortunately the pictures aren’t loading on my browser. I’ve tried with both Safari and Chrome without success.

    I’m not sure whether anyone else has reported the problem or if it’s just me?

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      Thanks, Gareth, for pointing that out. I fixed that.

      – Todd

      Reply
  2. Jacklen Maston

    This is really nice post, every body needs healthy food. This article gives me the proper list of healthy food what i wanted before. Thanks for sharing. By the by taking healthy food side by side we should do exercise which can be home or gym center.

    Reply
    • Todd Kuslikis

      That’s right. No healthy diet is complete without a healthy exercise regimen to go with.

      – Todd

      Reply
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