Food bonds communities, adding flavour to both a region’s history and the plates of citizens. Recipe specialties often have a deeply ingrained tradition attached to them, and, they can be quite healthy, too. Local food, prepared fresh with healthier cooking techniques, has been the backbone of the many breakfasts, lunches and dinners that make world cuisine what it is today. From cozy grain breakfasts to fresh and flavourful fish tacos, here are just a handful of the healthiest recipes from around the world — and a little history to boot.
Smørrebrød are Danish open-faced sandwiches, often topped with fermented condiments rich in probiotics, omega-3-rich cured fish and a smack of fresh vegetables. Served on rye or often, gluten-free bread, this lunchtime bite stacks up to the hype.
Mexico: Fish Tacos
The beaches of Mexico are teaming with freshly caught seafood, much of it making its way into homemade corn tortillas, served up roadside to locals and tourists alike. When grilled or pan-seared, fish tacos offer a lean alternative to classic carnitas.
Meaning, “mixed rice,” bibimbap, from Korea, is one of the first of the ever-popular bowls that have swept the world over. Composed of rice, vegetables, protein and sauce, this complete meal full of flavour and nutrition finds itself at home in any locale.
Morocco: Shortcut Moroccan Vegetable Tagine With Couscous
If you don’t have a traditional Moroccan tagine (a cone-shaped ceramic cooking pot), you can still whip together a lip-smacking couscous dish with rich flavour. This recipe requires a skillet, and 30 minutes of time in the kitchen.
France: Lentil Salad
Lentil salad is a classic in homes, fancy restaurants and cafes all over France. Often made with du puy lentils, a variety known for their sturdiness and earthy flavour, this healthy legume salad makes a chic and wholesome picnic basket addition, no matter where you’re located. Classic add-ins include walnuts and goat cheese, but any number of components will do.
Japanese cuisine is known for its clean simplicity, clear flavours and, of course, sushi. Traditional sushi may differ from Japan and North America, but, when kept to a minimum, is one of the healthiest and most delectable food choices available — even in pizza form.
Iran: Crispy Rice Pancake With Egg Yolk Centre
Try your hand at this twist on a Persian food classic. A molten egg yolk centre spills out beautifully when the cake is cut, bathing each portion in a rich sauce. Don’t be thrown off by the lengthy cook time: it’s well worth the wait.