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Our Blog: September 6, 2018

Recipes Around the World

By Nicole Spain, Registered Dietitian

Take your family on a mini vacation without leaving your hometown!  You can explore and learn about the world through literature and foods right from the comfort of your own kitchen.  We incorporate flavors from around the world in many of our Grow Fit recipes. (In New Mexico, our schools were all awarded the Multicultural Foods Award from the CYFD!) Kids enrolled throughout the country are introduced to foods such as beef goulash from Hungary, hummus from Egypt, Spanish chickpea stew from Spain, teriyaki chicken from Japan and Florentine ravioli from Italy.

If you live in a major metropolitan area, you may have access to markets and restaurants with food from many different cultures.  Whether you take your family out to dinner or try some of the recipes included below, pull out your maps (and our suggestions for accompanying children’s books) and get ready to explore new cuisines from around the globe!

Travel to France with Madeline and try our French Cassoulet Recipe for Dinner:

Serves 4-6


1 lb chicken legs

1 lb turkey sausage, cooked and chopped

15 oz can kidney beans

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

2-3 carrots, diced

2 tbsp flour

1 1/2 C vegetable or chicken  stock

2 cans stewed tomatoes (with liquid)

1 tbsp dried thyme, dried

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Turn oven on to 450 degrees (425 for convection oven).
  2. Heat oil in large oven-safe stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, sausage, chicken, thyme and salt, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, and vegetable stock; stir well. Bring to a boil then turn off. Put the pot in the oven and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes.


Travel to India  through Monsoon and try our Chickpea Biryani Recipe for Dinner:

Serves 4-6


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 C chopped onions

1 tbsp minced garlic, minced

1/2 tbsp ground ginger, ground

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 C yogurt, plain

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp turmeric

15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

10 oz tomatoes, diced and drained

4 C vegetable stock

3/4 lb brown rice

Salt and pepper (to taste)


Cooking instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions until translucent.  Add the ginger, chili powder, cumin and tomatoes, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn heat down to low and add yogurt, turmeric and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  It may be necessary to add a little hot water if the mixture becomes too dry and starts to stick to the pan.
  3. Add chickpeas and stir to coat. Cook until there is very little thick gravy left.
  4. In a medium sized pot, heat the vegetable stock and then add rice and stir well. Add the chickpea mixture and gently stir.  Bring to a boil.  Cover tightly, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  Do not lift the lid or stir while cooking.


Travel to Australia with Magic Beach and try this Outback Tomato Chutney on meats, bread or with grilled cheese!


3 lb tomatoes (blanched, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped)

2 chili peppers (roasted, peeled, and sliced)

3 onions, sliced

2 tbsp mustard seeds

1 1/2 C white vinegar

1 C sugar

1 tsp salt

Cooking instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil, stirring.
  2. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 ½ hrs until the mixture thickens.
  3. Spoon into jars. The chutney will store refrigerated for up to one month.


Travel to Somalia with Wiil Waal and try Somali Chickpeas over brown rice.

Serves 4-6


3 tbsp avocado oil

2 15 oz cans chickpeas

15 oz can tomatoes, diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ginger

1-2 tbsp cornstarch (optional)


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
  2. Heat avocado oil in pan and cook the onion over medium heat until soft.  Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes (including liquid), chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the chickpeas.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.


Travel to Cuba with The Life of Celia and try Cuban Beef Picadillo.

Serves 4-6


1 to 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

15 oz can diced tomatoes

6 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 C raisins

2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cilantro


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef and drain. Set aside.
  2. Heat avocado oil and sauté onions and green peppers over medium heat.
  3. Add beef and remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.


Travel to Peru with Maria Had a Little Llama and try the ancient grain from Peru in this Peruvian Quinoa Salad recipe.

Serves 4-6


1 C quinoa

2 C water

1 cucumber

2 tomatoes

1 bell pepper

3/4 C queso fresco

1/3 C cilantro, chopped

Juice from 2 limes

1/4 C avocado oil

Salt (to taste)

2 avocados, diced (optional garnish)

Kalamata olives (optional garnish)

Cooking instructions:

  1. Toast the quinoa in a small, dry pot for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add water and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa becomes translucent and uncoils. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers.
  3. Toss everything in a bowl. Season liberally with salt.
  4. Garnish with the avocado and olives.