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6 Healthy Dishes from Around the World

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Global cuisine has never been more accessible with people all around the world able to explore and discover foods from other nations.

While every country has a range of traditional dishes, there are some which they have become especially renowned for that deliver both delicious flavours and an injection of healthy nutrients.

Here’s a closer look at six dishes from different countries which are guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds as well as giving your body a real boost.  

#1: Shakshouka – North Africa

Arguably one of the most traditional dishes in North Africa and originating from several countries, Shakshouka is a health-giving stew that combines eggs with a spicy sauce and vegetables. Frequently served as a hearty breakfast, it is also eaten at other meals, sometimes with the addition of potatoes or chickpeas to add more carbohydrates.

The eggs are poached in the sauce and served up baked alongside the vegetables to deliver protein and a veritable feast of vitamins and minerals. With eggs starring as the superfood alongside tomatoes, there’s protein, antioxidants, healthy fats plus Vitamins C, A, B6, B12 and D. Finally, not forgetting the minerals, this dish tops up copper, zinc, iron, potassium, choline, and selenium, making it a feel-good food that also tastes delicious.

#2: Katsu Curry – Japan

Japanese cuisine is renowned for being one of the healthiest in the world, full of fresh ingredients and carefully balanced.

Katsu curry is one of their signature dishes which feels more decadent but still retains lots of health benefits. The recipe has an interesting history as it was introduced by the British but over the years has become to represent Japanese cooking. It’s very different to the heavier Indian style curries and offers all the flavour but in a much healthier presentation.

The dish includes chicken, a source of protein that’s naturally low fat. Any type of rice can be used but brown rice provides slow-release energy and helps to keep tummies feeling full.

The aromatic sauce is served alongside an array of vegetables including edamame beans, dressed mixed leaves and shredded carrot for a glorious explosion of colour – and taste – on a plate.

#3: Winter Borscht with Brisket – Russia/Ukraine

Best described as a hearty broth, borscht originates from Russia and Ukraine with a long tradition of serving the dish in both the countries. Although it’s a natural fit for the winter months with its hearty and filling ingredients, it can be served chilled in the summer, making it truly a dish for all seasons.

Borscht is a soup that’s crammed full of vegetables, but there’s no specific rules about what to include. Borscht tends to always have the same core ingredients, namely garlic, white cabbage, potatoes, red beets, onions, and carrot. Beets are the star of the dish and help to give borscht its distinctive red colour, plus a generous dose of folate, manganese, B6, iron and antioxidants. 

To add more protein and make it even more filling, it’s possible to add brisket. Unlike other cuts of beef, brisket is lean and brings all the benefits of red meat to add to the superpowers of the vegetable combo. 

#4: Fish Tacos – Mexico

It’s off to Central American for a spot of Mexican food now, but there’s none of the beef burritos that the country is famous for.

Mexico has many sensational dishes but they’re not always the healthiest – an accusation which can’t be levied at fish tacos. Freshly caught seafood has an abundance of health benefits and with lots of fresh fish available, it’s a part of the Mexican diet which isn’t spoken about so frequently. 

Fish tacos feature freshly caught fish from the ocean served up with corn tortillas and salad. Much lower in fat than their beef equivalent, fish tacos deliver all the flavour and none of the calories of their counterparts. Add in a fresh salad and there’s a big plate full of health-giving goodness.  

#5: Apricot and Almond Souffles – France

If your taste buds are craving a little sweetness, this dish from France proves that it doesn’t need to be savoury to be healthy.

Souffles are renowned for being a rich and heavy dish, and a challenge to cook, but this version is completely different. Apricot and almond soufflés are made from fruit puree and egg whites and offer a light and airy bite to eat which also delivers a powerful nutritional punch.

Almonds are higher in fibre and calcium than any other nut while apricots provide a rich source of beta-carotene and potassium, two nutrients which are vital for cell and organ health and essential bodily functions.

There are other fruit-based soufflés in France which offer the same light and airy experience without any of the rich chocolate decadence of their naughtier cousin. So, if apricots aren’t for you, there are lots of other light and fruity soufflés which also bring great health benefits too.

#6: Bibimbap – Korea

This Korean dish is one of the most popular Asian dishes that offers incredible flavour and macronutrients while still being respectful to Korean culture.

A single bowl of food which incorporates all elements, bibimbap features rice, protein, pickled vegetables, and a special sauce. The vegetables can vary but typically include spinach, radishes, carrots, and kimchi plus a sprinkling of mushrooms. The great thing about bibimbap is that you can switch out anything you don’t like.

The vegetables are picked in salt and sesame oil and sautéed until they are tender while still retaining some bite. Along with the rice, there’s protein in the form of bulgogi but it’s the gochujang child paste which is the real hero of this warm and flavoursome dish.

Which One Would You Choose? 

If the above menu of global recipes has got your mouth watering, why not try recreating your favourite one at home? With simple ingredients, it’s surprisingly easy to dish up a different plate of food from another country and you might just discover a new recipe to impress your friends.

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How To Make A Healthy Gas Station Meal

   

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You’re on the road when you get hit by the old hunger pangs. Normally what you do is head straight to a fast food joint and get a triple chili burger with a shake and cheese fries. But now you’re trying to eat healthy which means making smarter choices. The question is how do you make healthy choices when you’re in the unhealthy world of rest stops and gas stations? Do you order a chicken fried steak and take the breading off? Do you eat the lettuce and onion then throw the rest of your Big Mac away?

No, there are plenty of great ways to eat healthy when you’re on the go and we’re going to share them all with you so you can stay healthy and stay moving.

REMEMBER THE IMPORTANT THREE

When you’re searching through the foods at your gas station look for these three things to make sure you stay feeling full and satisfied after you eat: Protein, fiber and healthy fat. Aim for around 350 calories with 12-20 grams of protein and 5-10 grams of fiber per meal. It’s easiest to start by looking for a protein like nuts or jerky or peanut butter. Then look to add some fiber with fresh fruits or vegetables. Then it’s time to add some healthy fat with guacamole or nuts. Finally, try drinking water instead of that 64 oz. Big Gulp you usually put down.

DECONSTRUCTED YOGURT PARFAIT

This is a great, quick, healthy meal you can throw together at almost any gas station. Find a low sugar Greek yogurt and break pieces of a nut-based bar into the yogurt. Then add some fruit and voila you have your own personal parfait. You will thoroughly enjoy your meal while also keeping the calorie count nice and low. Filling and delicious is the best way to eat when trying to stay healthy.

PEANUT BUTTER AND APPLE ON CRACKERS

Get an apple and cut it up. Then buy some peanut butter or some other type of nut butter and add it on top of a delicious whole grain cracker for a light meal that is tasty and will leave you satisfied. If you have a hankering for sweets then this meal is for you. It is usually hard to satisfy your desires for sugar in a healthy way, but if you can do it with a meal like this then you have hit the healthy jackpot.

TUNA SALAD

Gas Stations usually sell tuna and you’ll be thanking them for doing so. You can get condiments from the hot dog station to properly fix your tuna right then smear it on top of some whole wheat crackers and you got yourself a delicious meal. All you have to do is add some fresh fruit and you’ll be sitting pretty for a good long while on the road.

BEEF JERKY

When in doubt, grab the jerky. Sure it may be processed, but it’s probably your best bet for processed food a gas station has to offer. Pair it with some fruit and some nuts and you will have a great meal that will put you into a savory based heaven. Just be sure to look for a low sodium option because jerky can be high when it comes to the salt.

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Former Olympic Cities That Are Definitely Worth A Visit

  

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We’re still a ways away from the next Olympic Games, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about Olympics past! In fact, this is as good a time as any to revisit some of the amazing cities that have hosted the historic games over the years.

It turns out many of them are still absolutely gorgeous and very much worth a visit. We went through all of them and here are our top 5 you definitely have to see.

LILLEHAMMER, NORWAY

Lillehammer hosted the Winter Games in 1994 and it provided some unforgettable moments. Like American Bonnie Blair winning her third straight gold in the 500-meter speed skating race, and Norway’s own Johann Olav Koss setting world records in three different speed skating events. Many of the courses and tracks used during those games are still open to the public. You can explore all 211 miles of the cross-country trails, ride the luge and bobsled tracks, or check out the ski jump arena.

LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK

I didn’t know this; Lake Place actually hosted the Olympic Games twice! First in 1932, and then again in 1980. The 1980 games were the setting for one of the most famous moments in American Olympic history: The Miracle On Ice. When the men’s hockey team miraculously defeated the seemingly unbeatable Soviet team. Many of the Olympic facilities are still open for use by the public, but the big draw for Lake Placid is the beautiful scenery. Surrounded by rolling mountains and the beautiful blue water of the lake itself, it’s easy to see why Lake Placid is a two-time host of the Olympic Games. 

ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND

St. Moritz also hosted the Olympic Games twice. First in 1928, and then again in 1948. The 1928 games are famous for introducing the skeleton event, one of the most exciting and dangerous sports in the winter games. One attraction you have to catch when you visit is the Olympic Ice Pavillion that was built in 1905 and used in both Olympic Games that were held here. It’s also right by the beautiful Kulm golf course if you’d like to get in a quick 18 while you’re there.

HELSINKI, FINLAND

Helsinki was the proud home of the 1952 summer games. This was the first Olympic Games that saw athletes from Israel an the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union wasted no time getting down to business, as their women’s gymnastics team dominated their field. 

Helsinki is especially famous for its beautiful architecture. Most notably Helsinki Central Station, and Hotel Kamp, which features an incredible hall of mirrors. And don’t forget to stop by the Design District to take in some art, pick up a few mementos, and grab a bite of the local fare. 

MONTREAL, QUEBEC

The 1976 Olympic games took place in the one and only Montreal. A very important Olympics, as women’s handball, rowing, and basketball were included for the very first time. But beyond that, most people remember Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci the most. She famously earned the first-ever perfect 10 at the age of 14. 

The legend of these games lives on in the old Olympic Park through ‘Since 1976,’ a beautiful exhibit celebrating all that took place that year. Definitely worth a look if you ever make it to this beautiful city. 


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Food

10 Ways to Get More Creative With Home Cooking

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10 Ways to Get More Creative With Home Cooking

If you cook at home regularly, you might eventually find yourself running out of ideas – or making the same things over and over again. Even if you love these dishes, they may eventually become stale and boring, both in terms of taste and preparation.
Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you be more creative in the kitchen – and find more inspiration for dynamic food preparation.

Experimenting in the Kitchen (and Beyond)

These are some of the best ways to get more creative with your home cooking:

  • Ditch the recipes. Recipes are great. They make it easy to replicate dishes at home, they provide straightforward instructions that are difficult to mess up, and they provide you a system of organization that can remind you of things you’ve made in the past. But if you’ve spent enough time cooking and baking, you probably know most of your favorite recipes by heart – and you understand the fundamentals of cooking well enough to experiment on your own. Stop depending entirely on recipes and start coming up with your own creations. Deviate from the instructions and trust your own culinary instincts.
  • Invest in a wood stove. A wood burning stove is an excellent source of heat – and you can even cook with it! If you’re used to preparing most of your meals over the stove, in the oven, or in the microwave, this can be a dynamic new way to cook almost anything. Even if you’re using the same ingredients, you’re going to be using a different preparation method and you’ll end up with a finished product that tastes at least slightly differently.
  • Buy ingredients from multicultural markets. Multicultural markets are one of the best ways to find new, exotic ingredients that you can’t normally find in your local grocery store. Some of these ingredients may not be palatable, and some of them will be so strange that you don’t know how to use them properly, but sometimes, this extra novelty is exactly what you need to spice up your old favorite dishes or break out of your rut.
  • Experiment with seasonal produce. When produce is in season, it tends to be much more plentiful and much less expensive. Use this as an inspirational opportunity to experiment. Create some new dishes out of whatever produce happens to be in season – and find the perfect ingredients to compliment them.
  • Create a competitive challenge for your family. Iron Chef and similar competitive cooking shows have been popular for decades now, since people love food, cooking, and the thrill of competition in the same setting. Why not create a competitive challenge for you and your family? For example, you can have you and your spouse create two similar, yet distinct dishes and call upon the kids to judge which one was better.
  • Invest in a new spice. Visit a local market and buy a spice or herb you’ve never tried before. Taste it carefully and try pairing it with various other ingredients to see how it fits. Then, start incorporating it into dishes where you’ve never had it before.
  • Make your own signature spice blends. It’s not hard to find recipes for homemade spice blends, but have you ever considered making a blend that’s entirely your own? Take a handful of your favorite spices, preferably ones that complement each other, and mix them all up. Once you stumble upon a formula that works for your taste buds, you can mix a larger batch and add it to a wide variety of foods.
  • Coordinate with colors. You’re probably used to cooking with your senses of smell and taste at the forefront. But what about vision? Consider cooking entire dishes based around a color, or a set of complementary colors; it’s a great way to force some creativity.
  • Find outside inspiration. Are you struggling to come up with creative new ideas on your own? Consider branching out by visiting new restaurants, watching new cooking shows, and talking to skilled chefs in your own life.
  • Splurge on a new piece of cooking equipment. Finally, consider splurging on a new piece of cooking equipment. A new appliance or tool, like an air fryer or multicooker, could be exactly what you need to make the kitchen feel refreshingly new.

Committing to Creativity

The best way to keep things fresh in your kitchen consistently is to commit to your creativity. Make a plan for more culinary experimentation and stick to it. For example, you can set Fridays as a total experimentation day, where you try a new recipe, tinker with a new ingredient, or do something crazy in the kitchen. As long as you keep trying new things and adjusting old formulas, you and your family will never be bored with your food.

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