Veteran Connection: Travel around the world without leaving your kitchen | News

In America, salt and sugar seem to be the only flavor. However, with the use of spices you can transport a boring kitchen into an atmosphere that allows you to savor new cuisines. 

Close your eyes and imagine a buffet of food from around the world, full of flavor and color beyond your wildest dreams. The dishes heighten your senses with their colorful appeal and tantalizing aromas.

What would catch your attention first? Maybe the thick, juicy cheeseburger piled high with lettuce, tomatoes and onions surrounded by a whole wheat bun or the heavenly smell of chicken marinated in an earthy tomato and cream sauce, vibrant red color over rice. Perhaps the Thai cuisine of sticky rice and Hmong sausage grasps your attention with bright purple rice and green mustard vegetables.

You might find inviting the plate of juicy Carne Asada enchiladas, spicy flavor served with a side of frijoles. Next to it, a big bowl of fresh guacamole made of avocado blended with lime, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Don’t forget the tostadas with refried beans, shredded beef chicken topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, avocados, salsa, and queso cotija, a wonderful combination of traditional Mexican flavors.

Maybe you settle on the German Beef Rouladen, a classic, flavorful comfort dish. Beef rolls filled with bacon, onions, pickles, and mustard. Braised and topped with gravy from the cooking sauce.

Consider a thick, creamy macaroni and cheese spiced up with pepper jack cheese giving it zest. A big bowl of chili, meat and beans, combined with rich tomato sauce. A delicate cinnamon roll with raisins, pecans, and luscious cream cheese frosting or a dark chocolate fountain pouring rich indulgent chocolate to dip your favorite fruit in.

What if I told you that you can create the same kind of excitement with your food at home?

Add life to your menu by using some new ingredients. You can use sesame seeds and oil for a Chinese flair. Peppers and onion mixed with cumin transports you to Mexico. Add a little saffron and you’re off to Spain. A taste of Italy takes oregano and marjoram.

Don’t stop there! Move over to France with bay leaves and pink peppercorns, while dillweed and nutmeg can add a Greek elegance. Go to India with mace and turmeric or add Caribbean flavor with cinnamon and cloves. Before you end your journey, head over to northern Africa with ginger root and cilantro.

Traditional eating patterns can be more than just a good versus bad. They are an important source of nutrition. Those who eat traditionally tend to eat better, consume less calories and, take in more nutrients.

Celebrate a world of flavors by trying new cuisines. It’s easy to do with a quick search on the internet to find recipes and escape to another place without leaving your kitchen.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. For more information, contact your local dietitian.

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