Resolutions & Recipes: 3 Healthy International Recipes for 2014

Lentil SoupIt’s that time again. 2014 is here and, along with the start of another year, many are making resolutions of eating healthier and getting in shape. These plans sometimes come with obstacles, and one of the largest hurdles in changing your diet is the perception of limited tasty options.

In actuality, there are endless flavorful options for eating healthy, and those options continue to grow as cookbooks and recipes push towards health-conscious lifestyles. As we discussed at the start of 2013, one way to really diversify your healthy food palate is with international foods and flavors. To celebrate 2014, we’re giving you three great healthy and unique ethnic recipes to kick start a year of resolutions.

Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

This soup is a perfect healthy option to start a delicious Indian meal with great texture and taste.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion , thinly sliced
  • 5 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch (1-pound) Swiss chard , tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups (about 14 ounces) dried red lentils
  • 1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons thick Greek yogurt , thinned with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 red or green jalapeño chili , stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime , cut into 6 wedges

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium, add onion and cook while stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Stir in some curry and red pepper, then add four cups of broth and chard, increasing heat and bringing to a boil until the chard is wilted.

Stir in some chickpeas and lentil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 16 to 18 minutes and stir twice until the lentils are tender. Remove soup from the heat, and puree half into a blender or food processer. Stir in the remaining broth and salt, warming over low heat for two minutes.

Divide the soup among bowls and drizzle a tablespoon of thinned yogurt over each serving. Garnish them with a lime wedge and a few slices of jalapeño and enjoy.

Chicken Paprikash

This saucy Hungarian dish is heavy on flavor, especially when served with egg noodles and tossed with a bit of butter, caraway seeds, salt and pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup prechopped onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Directions:

Begin by heating canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and then add chicken and cook for five minutes or until browned, while stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.

After removing the chicken, add onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan and sauté for four minutes or until tender. Put the chicken back into the pan, and stir in the cream and remaining ingredients. Cover the pan and simmer the chicken for five minutes or until done, as the sauce gets a little thick. Once done, distribute onto plates and enjoy this delicious chicken dish.

Beef Marakesh

This slow cooked Mediterranean beef dish has Moroccan spices and fruit which make for an inviting meal, often garnished with toasted almonds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb diced lean casserole beef
  • 2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins (sultanas), unpacked
  • 1/2 cup apricot nectar
  • 1/2 cup beef stock

Directions:

Put a small amount of oil in a deep-sided pan on high and fry onion until it browns. Remove the onion and then put aside.

Heat more oil on high and brown the beef in small batches, removing each before adding the next. Then, return the beef and onion to the pan, while adding the remaining ingredients and stirring to combine.

Turn the heat down to low, cover the dish and let simmer until fork tender (close to two hours). Stir occasionally and season to taste. Boil with the lid off for 10 to 15 minutes if casserole needs thickening and dig into this tasty beef dish.

If you have a resolution of eating healthy or getting in shape in 2014, look to mix in some international flavor to your meal plans. This will not only make the transition enjoyable, but also allow you to explore a variety of new dishes which you may have yet to experience before.

Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup from Oprah

Chicken Paprikash from MyRecipes

Beef Marrakesh from CalorieKing

Photo by Lablascovegmenu

 

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