Healthy Recipes From Around The World

Healthy Recipes From Around The World

Make 2016 the year you treat your taste buds and diet to a round-the-world trip, thanks to these healthy recipe ideas.

I have a bit of a tradition each Christmas, which is to buy a present for myself.  Last year I chose a Chinese cookbook called Every Grain of Rice, by Fuchsia Dunlop.

Why this title? I’d read that it was full of recipes with lots of vegetables and just a little bit of meat, mainly to give the food flavour.  I thought it would be good for my attempts to eat more greens and live a healthier lifestyle.

And that got me thinking: what other recipes around the world could we Brits use to eat well, try new dishes and stick to a healthier diet?

Yemeni breakfast beans

Everyone loves a good fry-up now and then; loads of baked beans and fried egg and bacon.  But why not mix things up with some healthy beans with ful medames?  This is a breakfast dish eaten around the Middle East. I’ve made it myself and it’s perfect for a gloomy Sunday in a warm kitchen.

Mexican prawn tacos

Fancy a change to your prawn and calorie-laden mayo sandwich?  How about a zesty and refreshing taco?   No beans, no cheese, just delicious flavours.   There appears to be an avocado craze going on at the moment – they are healthy but also calorific – so perhaps just have a scrape of guacamole for the taste.

Greek pasta salad

Now, pasta can be calorific.  But don’t worry about it in this dish – think of it as an extra taste and texture to accentuate the crunchy vegetables. The yogurt is a nice way to add smoothness and creaminess without having to dollop mayo or salad cream on there.

Albanian aubergine

I once had an Albanian TV star at my house; he’s rather like the country’s Jonathan Ross (but without the antics). How’s that for a claim to fame?  Unfortunately, he didn’t make me any of this delicious-looking stuffed pepper and rice dish.  I think this dish would also work with quinoa and vegetarian mince, for an even healthier meal.

Okinawan pudding

Okinawa, an island off the south of Japan, is famous for its long-lived people. That’s as good a reason as any to try one of their sweet potato puddings.  While a purple potato is preferred, I think you could still enjoy this with a regular one, eh?  Of course, all puddings are a bit calorific, but I imagine it’s better than one that’s smothered in cream and full of sugar.


Did you know that at formal dinners you traditionally have a savoury course after the sweet? So I think we’ll round off our international menu with a tangy dish to cleanse the palate. I wanted to share one of Dunlop’s recipes with you. I couldn’t find a video, but here’s how she does it:

  • Get a green pepper and chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Get some firm tofu and chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Fry the pepper without oil until it’s almost cooked.  Take out of the pan.
  • Add the tofu into the pan with some oil.  Fry until golden.
  • Put the pepper back in with the tofu.  Add some light soya and little bit of salt.   Swirl around until it’s all hot, then serve and eat.

Food can be boring and predictable – or you can make it so much more tasty and healthy. All you need is a little sprinkle of imagination to try new dishes this year.

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