The United States is a melting pot of ethnic foods and flavors, and evidence of our multicultural roots can be found in the foods we eat. According to VOA News research, the top 10 most popular cuisines are Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Greek, French, Thai, Spanish, Indian, and Mediterranean.
Do you have a favorite? How creative are you in trying new foods and recipes from various cultures? Have your food choices become mundane and routine?
Expanding your palate to include new flavors can add variety to your food choices, be fun, exciting, packed with nutrients, and bursting with flavor. Variety is the spice of Life!
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has provided us some meal and snacks ideas that include flavors from around the world.
- A smoothie with low-fat yogurt or buttermilk, and tropical fruits like papaya or mango.
- A Spanish omelet with potatoes and other veggies, topped with a sprinkle of cheese, paprika, or cayenne.
- Salads that include different types of produce along with whole grains, dairy, and protein, such as a tuna salad made with Greek yogurt, onion, celery, and whole wheat pasta.
- Spring rolls, a Vietnamese dish that's served cold with a dipping sauce and includes fresh vegetables, and a protein such as tofu, stuffed inside thin sheets of rice paper.
- A spicy lentil and vegetable stew, known as Sambar, originating from India.
- Vegetables like cabbage, eggplant, or zucchini can be stuffed with seasoned mixtures that may include meats, grains, and sauces. One example is mahshi, a Middle Eastern dish, made of zucchini stuffed with cooked rice, lamb, and spices served in a tomato-based sauce.
- A South African fruit called chutney, made with apricots, peaches, and raisins. Eaten with bread or cheese.
- Raw veggies with hummus or tzatziki, which is a creamy yogurt-based dressing made with cucumbers, garlic, and dill.
On a large scale, food is an important part of culture and an expression of cultural identity. Let’s celebrate National Nutrition Month ™ by celebrating a world of flavors!
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– Sherree Telford, RD LDN CDE CHWC
Director of Specialized Solutions | Email Sherree