Earlier this week, we shared the importance of sustainable travel in light of the 94% jump in international travel predicted for 2022. Whether you’re traveling this year, or simply have a bad case of wanderlust, the following meals from various international locales is sure to please your palate. Even better, they’re all high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins proven to boost your immune system and ward off illness. So put down that travel guide, and dig into these healthy international meals!
1. Ahi Poke From Hawaii
You might not think of Hawaii as a true international location, but it was its own sovereign nation until the U.S. illegally overthrew it in 1893. To this date, many legal authorities and international governing bodies argue that Hawaii is entitled to its sovereignty. Until then, enjoy the taste of the islands with an authentic ahi poke bowl. It’s a quintessential dish in Native Hawaiian cuisine, and it’s typically made with fresh-caught ahi tuna seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and limu (a type of Polynesian seaweed).
Ahi is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and more than 30 years of scientific research have shown just how beneficial these healthy fats are for your immune system.
1/4 c. shoyu (soy sauce)
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp mirin
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well. Serve cold atop a bed of sushi rice, or pair it with crunchy veggies like sliced cabbage for a flavorful texture contrast.
2. Spanish-Inspired Chili
Now a staple in Tex-Mex and Southern U.S. cuisine, the classic hearty bowl of chili has many roots in international cuisine. According to one legend, it was invented by Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun who lived in the 17th century. Some historians dispute that, and report that one of the first recorded recipes for this dish was found in the journals of immigrants who came from the Canary Islands off the coast of the African continent. Whatever its origins, chili is a great source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
This recipe serves 10 to 12 people and can easily be doubled (or even tripled, depending on the capacity of your slow cooker!).
1 Tbsp olive oil (or your favorite plant oil)
2 lbs lean ground beef (or a plant-based ground beef alternative)
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
3 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup veggie, chicken or beef broth
2 tbsp chili powder (less or more depending on your spice tolerance)
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
2 15-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can of light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Saute the onion in a frying pan with oil for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another few seconds until fragrant. Add to your slow cooker.
In the same skillet, saute the beef or plant-based ground “beef” until browned and cooked through. Add to your slow cooker.
Pour the remaining ingredients (except for the canned beans) into the slow cooker, stir to mix thoroughly, then cook with the lid on for five to six hours on your slow cooker’s lower heat setting.
When it is done, remove the cooker and add the canned beans. Once warmed through, enjoy this dish’s international flavors!
3. Horiatiki (Greek Salad)
The dish we call Greek salad is known as Horiatiki in Greece. It’s typically made with vegetables like onions and tomatoes, tossed with feta cheese and olive oil, although you’ll find differences as you travel around the country. For instance, in the Dodecanese Islands, their Greek salad will often include ingredients like capers and fresh berries. The following recipe is a more Western take on this international dish, bursting with antioxidants and phytochemicals that will support true vitality (and fire up your tastebuds!).
1 cucumber, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound feta cheese, cubed into 1/2-inch squares
1 cup pitted kalama olives, halved
3 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Add all your salad ingredients to a big salad bowl. In a Mason jar or container with.a lid, add the dressing ingredients, seal it, and shake vigorously. Drizzle onto the veggies and toss well. Let it marinate for 45 minutes, then enjoy.