A World of Flavors: National Nutrition Month
Join us and integrate a variety of nourishing foods, seasonings, and colors onto your plate while preparing your favorite cultural dishes and observing traditions.
Our cultural traditions often focus on the foods we eat, the foods we share with each other. When we share a plate with a friend or neighbor, we share a bit of our home and traditions. We can celebrate global diversity through the different colors, flavors and textures in the varying meals we prepare.
North American cuisine incorporates a variety of cultures and flavors from numerous countries. Countries include Canada, the United States, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and much more.
- Honduras: Honduran enchiladas are made in the style of a tostada. The base of meat and vegetables can be enjoyed as a filling for tacos, burritos, or to top this tostada enchilada! Recipe: Honduran Enchiladas
- Mexico: Stay warm during this winter season with a hearty bowl of Pozole. This traditional Mexican stew can be made with pork or chicken, dried chiles, and hominy, a corn product. Recipe: Pozole
South American cuisine includes staple foods such as corn, potatoes, peppers, tropical fruit, queso fresco, and yucca. Modern day South America incorporates Nuevo Latino cuisine, a combination of classic Latin flavors and seasonings.
- South America: Picadillo is a popular dish in South American countries and the Caribbean. This dish is a delicious stew made with ground beef, tomatoes, and it traditionally contains raisins. Recipe: Beef Picadillo
- Peru: Tacu Tacu translates to “mix things together”, which describes how this rice and bean dish is made. The rice and beans are typically leftover and mixed with garlic, onions, and chiles. The dish is commonly served with a fried egg or plantains. Recipe: Tacu Tacu: Practical And Delicious Peruvian Rice And Beans
Traditional African cuisine includes a variety of foods and flavors. West Africa typically incorporates fermented beans, dried fish and shrimp. Staple ingredients include cassava, sweet potatoes, and black-eyed peas. North Africa includes dishes with couscous, and spices such as cumin and cinnamon. East Africa incorporates teff.
- North Africa: This North African dish is filled with flavor that is traditionally made in the cooking vessel, tagine. Although a Dutch oven will work just the same. This dish incorporates a variety of flavors and spices such as ground ginger, turmeric, and saffron. Recipe: Chicken Tagine With Pistachios, Dried Figs, and Chickpeas
- Tunisia: This traditional Tunisian dish is perfect for staying warm on a cold winter day. This hearty stew is packed with sources of protein like chickpeas, lamb or chicken. Flavor is added with ingredients like harissa, onions, tomato paste, and spices. Recipe: Mermez: Chickpea stew with onions and beef or lamb
- South Africa: Sosaties are a traditional dish of South Africa that is commonly eaten at a BBQ. The kebabs consist of lamb and an apricot and curry marinade. Recipe: Sosaties (South African Lamb and Apricot Kebabs)
- West Africa: This West African dish is worth the wait! Typically, the stew cooks for 4-5 hours and includes beef, smoked sausage, pork, hominy, beans, vegetables, and seasonings. Recipe: Cachupa: Traditional Dish of Cape Verde
This region of the world has many similarities. Japan, China, and Korea all incorporate rice as a staple ingredient in their cultural dishes. However, the differences seen in these countries include spices, way meat is prepared, and varying cooking methods.
- China: Kung Pao Chicken can be found in traditional Chinese cuisine and on take-out menus. Try out this tangy, salty, and sweet dish that incorporates chicken, peanuts, and chiles. Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken
- Japan: This Japanese rice porridge dish is a thicker consistency as it is made with 1 part rice and 5 parts water. The dish is commonly served with green onions and sesame seeds and may include chicken, salmon, eggs, and vegetables combined with the rice. Recipe: Okayu (Japanese Rice Porridge)
- Korea: This versatile dish is made with beef, a variety of colorful vegetables, rice and seaweed that is topped off with a yummy sauce. Switch up the vegetables and sauce used for a new flavor direction! Recipe: Bibimbap: Korean Mixed Rice with Meat and Assorted Vegetables
There are numerous middle eastern countries that contribute to the variety of vast flavors and spices in cultural dishes. Dishes are typically full of aroma, contain many species, nuts, and olive oil. Foods typically incorporated in cultural dishes include mutton, lamb, and goat along with dates, fava beans, and chickpeas.
- Persia: This dish is packed with vibrant flavors and colors. The frittata incorporates fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and dill along with eggs and green onions. Top with additional fresh herbs and serve! Recipe: Persian Herb Frittata
- Turkey: Enjoy this popular Turkish dessert sweetened with dried fruit, sugar, and fruit. Experience lots of texture in this creamy and crunchy pudding-like dessert. Recipe: Ashure: Pudding with cereal and dried fruit
- Syria: Enjoy this simple and comforting dish that incorporates pasta, lentils, caramelized onions, and crunchy pita chips. Recipe: Pasta with Lentils & Caramelized Onion
- Egypt: Try out this hearty and creamy traditional breakfast dish based in Egypt and the Middle East. This dish incorporates tomatoes, onions, and parsley and is flavored with garlic, lemon, and cumin. No need for a spoon, dip this creamy bean dish with fresh and soft flatbread. Recipe: Ful Medames: Egyptian Fava Beans
In southeast Asia where Thailand is located, common ingredients are rice and vegetables. Thailand is influenced by the flavors and ingredients in China. India includes dishes that contain spicy foods, vegetables, sauces that are yogurt based, and curry.
- India: Enjoy this hearty and nutritious dish that includes lentils, spices, onions, and garlic that is best served with basmati rice, roasted vegetables, or naan. Recipe: Masoor Dal Tadka: Red Lentil Dal
- Indonesia: This Indonesian dish incorporates a high protein source, tempeh, made from fermented soybeans. The tempeh in this dish is sauteed and seasoned with garlic, soy sauce, and spices. Serve this dish with rice and steamed broccoli and you have a complete meal! Recipe: Tempeh Orek (Sweet And Spicy Tempeh)
- Thailand: Try out this authentic Pad Thai recipe that is rich in flavor. This recipe incorporates homemade Pad Thai sauce, rice noodles, eggs, vegetables, and more! Top with crushed peanuts and enjoy! Recipe: Pad Thai
European dishes tend to be hearty, comforting and filling dishes. The influence of many cultures blending together creates diversity and versatility in European dishes.
- Spain: This traditional Spanish dish is like Ratatouille or steamed vegetables. This dish is packed with veggies and can be paired with a fried egg, meat, or fish. Recipe: Traditional Spanish Pisto Dish
- United Kingdom: This traditional British recipe provides a feeling of comfort. Meat, mashed potatoes, and a mixture of fresh veggies contribute to this hearty dish. Recipe: Shepherd's Pie
- France: Enjoy this dish inspired from southern France that incorporates fresh and nutritious ingredients to make you feel like you have been transported to the Mediterranean. Recipe: Provençal Baked Fish with Roasted Potatoes & Mushrooms
- Italian: This classic Italian dish is packed with vegetables and flavor that can be served as a side dish or appetizer. Best paired with meat, fish, or crusty bread! Recipe: Caponata
- German: These German potato pancakes are the perfect snack or breakfast item! One can go the sweet or savory route. Serve with applesauce or sour cream alongside bacon, pancetta, or fresh berries. Recipe: German Potato Pancakes: Kartoffelpuffer
- Scandinavian: This dish incorporates beef and breadcrumbs to create mouthwatering meatballs that are paired with egg noodles. This simple, yet flavorful dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Recipe: Swedish Meatballs
- Greek: This Greek staple is savory pie filled with spinach and feta cheese in between layers of crispy phyllo dough. Recipe: Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie)
Cuisine from the West Indies or the Caribbean includes savory dishes, spices, bread, fish, and coconut milk. Popular seasonings include sazon, curry, and jerk. One will find Spanish, Dutch, French, and English influences in Caribbean cuisine.
- Caribbean: This Creole-inspired dish incorporates tomatoes, green pepper, celery, onions, garlic, spices, and chicken. Flavors are enhanced by adding chili sauce and cayenne pepper. This high-protein dish can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner! Recipe: Chicken Creole