Spice up your diet with these all-star international dishes
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Per 1/4 cup: 150 calories, 4.5 grams fat, 41 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein
This dried fruit spread is one of the symbolic foods eaten during Passover Seder and used as a spread on matzah. Even if you don't celebrate Passover, you can still enjoy this sweet paste as a healthy topping on oatmeal or Greek yogurt. Though many different variations of charoset exist, this blogger’s low-cal version brims with heart-healthy nuts and potassium-rich figs.
2 c. raisins
1/2 c. pecans
1/2 c. almonds
4 oz. dates (about 7), pitted
4 dried figs
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1-2 tbsp. sweet wine or fruit juice
Grind dry nuts in food processor, remove, and set aside. Put the nuts, raisins, dates, figs, and cinnamon into the food processor a little at a time and add the applesauce and wine/juice as you grind to help keep it moving. Pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse paste. Remove the charoset from the processor and place it in a sealed container. Spread onto matzah and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers for later use.
Makes about 3.5 cups.
Recipe provided by Eating Bird Food
Vegan Asian Noodles
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110 calories, 2.9 grams sugar, 5 grams fat, 12.9 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein
Although pancit, a Filipino rice noodle dish, is typically made with shrimp and pork, this vegan version substitutes those ingredients for tons of crunchy, good-for-you veggies. The result is a meal that’s healthy and hearty!
1 bag cellophane rice noodles (3.75 oz.)
1 pckg. firm tofu (frozen overnight, thawed, and drained)
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced thin and lengthwise
1 small bell pepper
2 c. mung bean sprouts
2/3 c. cabbage, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 tsp. Dulse seaweed granules
1.5 tsp. Edward & Sons Organic Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
2 c. water
4 tsp. teriyaki sauce
3-4 tbsp. liquid aminos or tamari
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 cube vegan bouillon
1 tbsp. grape seed oil or olive oil
Slice veggies. Saute onions and garlic in a little bit of oil (grape seed or olive oil). When the onions are transparent, add carrots, cabbage, water, Worcestershire, liquid aminos, sesame oil, chili powder, teriyaki, and bouillon cube. Cook for a few minutes, then add tofu at medium-high heat. Add noodles, Dulse granules, sprouts, and bell pepper. Stir and cook until the moisture has evaporated.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by Veg Obsession
Egyptian Fava Bean Breakfast
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621 calories, 23 grams sugar, 28 grams fat, 76 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein
Fava beans are a staple in the typical Egyptian diet, and this breakfast of champions exploits their rich flavor and starchy texture. The beans are not only scrumptious as part of a satisfying breakfast, they’re also packed with nutritional value in the form of protein, fiber, and iron!
1 1/4 c. dried fava beans, rinsed and soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours with 1 tbsp. baking soda (or just use canned, rinsed beans)
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, or to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 small jalapeno pepper, sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Drain the beans and rinse well; place in a pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until extremely soft. At this point, you should peel the waxy skin off each bean if you like (not essential, but much better as the skins are quite chewy). Simply squeeze one tip of each bean until the bean pops out of the skin. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion; cook for about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Add about half the beans to the skillet and mash with a wooden spoon or spatula to create a bean-onion mush. Add the remaining (whole) beans, tomato, and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss the jalapeno slices over all just before serving. To serve, sprinkle the beans with fresh lemon juice and drizzle with extra olive oil, if desired. Best served with flatbread.
Makes 2 large servings.
Recipe provided by Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Mixed Berry Flaugnarde
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175 calories, 3.4 grams sugar, 14.1 grams fat, 6.8 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein
We’ve yet to try a French dessert we didn’t like, and thankfully, we’ve found one that won’t wreak havoc on your diet. This light flaugnarde is low in calories, carbs, and sugar, but the irresistible combination of juicy mixed berries with coconut milk and nutmeg serves up one drool-worthy dessert.
4 large eggs
1/2 c. coconut milk
1/4 c. melted coconut oil
1/4 c. almond flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. coconut sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 c. mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 9-in. pie or tart dish (butter, coconut oil, or non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening). Wash the berries and pat dry. Spread evenly in the bottom of the pie dish; set aside. Combine the eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, almond flour, vanilla, nutmeg, coconut sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; blend or process until smooth (batter will be thin). Pour evenly over the berries. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy, and set in the center. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by Jan’s Sushi Bar
Moroccan Fish with Mango & Couscous
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332 calories, 7.8 grams sugar, 6 grams fat, 43 grams carbohydrates, 27.1 grams protein
While many white fish recipes tend to taste unoriginal or bland, this rendition calls for spices like cumin and ground coriander, which inject the dish with exotic Moroccan-inspired flavor. Ripe chunks of mango and whole-wheat couscous round it out and, as a bonus, lend tons of wholesome fiber.
1 c. dried whole-wheat pearl couscous
1 lb. fresh wild-caught white fish
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 ripe, soft mango, peeled and diced
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped + extra for garnish
2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
Cook couscous according to package directions. The “pearl” version usually takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. In a small bowl combine the cumin, chili powder, coriander, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Evenly rub the spice mixture on all sides of the fish and set aside (in the fridge if you’d like). Peel, core, and dice the mango. Chop the cilantro into small pieces. Put the mango, cilantro, and lime juice together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the seasoned fish to the pan and cook on both sides until it’s white all the way through. For thinner pieces this might only take a few minutes. Once the couscous is done transfer it to the bowl with the mango, cilantro, and lime. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and mix together thoroughly. Divide the couscous mixture evenly among plates. Top with pieces of fish and extra pieces of cilantro. Serve warm with a salad or vegetable on the side and enjoy.
Makes 3-4 servings.
Recipe provided by 100 Days of Real Food
Peruvian Vegetable Soup
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253 calories, 6.8 grams sugar, 4.1 grams fat, 50.1 grams carbohydrates, 6.1 grams protein
Filled with healthful herbs and veggies, this recipe was inspired by a blogger’s trip to Peru. Sure, it’s light in calories and fat, but don’t think that the tasty broth won’t fill you up! Thanks to a rich vegetable stock (one that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for calories), this offers a rich, simmering meal in itself.
4 c. Really Good Vegetable Stock
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white wine
1/2 small acorn squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. squares
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into sticks about 1 in. long and 1/4 in. wide
1 plum tomato, peeled and chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. white rice
3 tbsp. frozen peas
2 tbsp. frozen corn
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the wine, salt, potatoes, carrots, tomato, and rice. Simmer, partly covered, for 25 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and the rice is soft. Add the peas, corn, most of the herbs, and the lemon, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the herbs. Taste for salt, adding more as needed, and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe provided by Cara Eisenpress of Big Girls, Small Kitchen
Slow Cooker Thai-Style Beef Stew
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For 1/2 c. stew: 285 calories, 7 grams sugar, 9.5 grams fat, 11.8 grams carbohydrates, 38 grams protein
For a no-fuss way of enjoying tender beef stew with an infusion of Thai flavors, try this slow cooker recipe. Just make sure to use a lean cut of beef such as flank steak, eye of round roast, or moose/bison roast. Alternatively, you can replace the beef with chicken breast or lean pork for an equally tasty dish.
3.1 lb. sirloin beef tip roast
1 c. lower-sugar teriyaki sauce
1 c. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
2 tbsp. green onions, chopped
2 tsp. dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 c. bean sprouts
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Trim fat from beef (if needed). Place the meat, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and crushed pepper into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove beef from slow cooker and shred. It should shred very easily. Add peanut butter to leftover liquid in slow cooker; stir well with whisk. Add beef back into the slow cooker and stir. Top each serving with green onions, chopped peanuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro.
Makes 9 servings.
Recipe provided by Busy But Healthy
Spinach & Sausage Ravioli
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53 calories, 2.8 grams fat, 2.8 grams carbohydrates, 4.1 grams protein
This stuffed ravioli dish is a twist on the classic Italian pasta; they’re made with thin wonton skins instead of pasta dough, so they’re lighter but just as yummy. While the recipe certainly isn’t authentic Italian or Asian food, it’s a mouthwatering fusion of two totally different kinds of cuisine.
1 pckg. wonton wrappers
1 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. sautéed spinach, chopped
1 Italian sausage, chopped and browned
1 c. grated Parmesan
1 large egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small dish of water (for wetting the edges of the wonton skins)
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, sauteed spinach, and browned sausage bits. Season with salt and ground pepper. Mix well. On a baking sheet, lay out several whole wonton skins. Spoon about 1 tsp. filling into the center of each skin. Dip a finger into your water dish, then run it along the 4 edges of each wonton skin. Lay a second whole wonton wrapper over the first layer with filling. Press down firmly to seal your ravioli shut, making sure to get rid of all the air bubbles. To get rid of air bubbles, press the skins together starting from the base of the filling, then work your way to the edges. Repeat until all your filling/wrappers are gone. When all your ravioli are assembled, start boiling water in a large pot. Drop ravioli 3-4 at a time into the boiling water. Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes, then fish them out. Serve with a creamy sauce, or plain drizzled with olive oil/salt/pepper.
Makes about 2 dozen ravioli.
Recipe provided by Just Putzing Around the Kitchen
Thai Turkey Burgers
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Without the bun: 252 calories, 3.54 grams sugar, 8.97 grams fat, 7.04 grams carbohydrates, 35.14 grams protein
If you’ve ever dined on Thai food, you’ll know that creamy peanut sauce is practically a required condiment and goes well with so many of the cuisine’s signature dishes. Whip up this savory version and slather it on lean turkey burgers for a filling lunch or dinner.
1 lb. 99% fat-free lean ground turkey breast
1/2 c. carrot, shredded
1/2 c. broccoli, finely chopped
3 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Baby spinach leaves
For the peanut sauce:
3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. water
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Create peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water, garlic, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, honey, and ground ginger in a food processor or blender. Blend until very smooth. Reserve 2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. and set aside. Combine remaining peanut sauce with turkey, carrots, broccoli, cilantro, green onion, salt, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Mix well and form into 4 patties. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Cook patties for 3-4 minutes on one side, then spray the top with more non-stick spray. Flip and cook for 3-4 more minutes or until burgers are no longer pink in the middle. Place a burger patty on each bun and top with 2 tsp. of the reserved peanut sauce. Add baby spinach for crunch and serve.
Makes four burgers.
Recipe provided by Iowa Girl Eats