Ethnic Foods for a Healthy Plate

Eating right is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. A healthy plate can include foods from all corners of the globe. In fact, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls a healthy eating pattern “an array of options that can accommodate cultural, ethnic, traditional and personal preferences and food cost and availability.”

Regardless of your heritage, follow these guidelines: make half your plate fruits and vegetables; about one-quarter protein, such as lean meat, poultry, seafood or beans; and about one-quarter grains, preferably whole grains. With each meal, add fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese.

With increasing varieties of food available today, nutritious, healthy meals can fit within any cultural preferences.

Examples of healthful menus items from ethnic traditions include:

Chinese: Stir-fried chicken and vegetables such as bok choy, snap peas, carrots and bean sprouts; brown rice; and a dish of lychee fruit.

Italian: Minestrone (a hearty, tomato-based soup with, vegetables and pasta) with kidney beans added for folate, fiber and protein; gnocchi (flour or potato dumplings) with chopped vegetables like spinach mixed into the dough and served with lycopene-rich tomato sauce.

Greek: Tzatziki sauce (a creamy dressing of low-fat yogurt, garlic and cucumber) served on pita sandwiches or as a dip with vegetables; and dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with ground meat, vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplant and squash, rice, dried fruit and pine nuts).

Mexican: Jicama (a crisp and slightly sweet root vegetable) peeled, sliced and served on a salad with lime vinaigrette or chopped for a crunchy addition to salsas; and gazpacho (a cold tomato-based raw vegetable soup) made with spinach or cucumbers.

Or, try these additional menu ideas for ethnic foods that add flavor, variety and nutrition:

  • Fruit chutney (Asian Indian)
  • Grilled pineapple as part of a chicken shish kabob (Middle Eastern)
  • Mango or other tropical fruit smoothie (Latin American)
  • Baked pumpkin sprinkled with cinnamon (African)
  • Polish beets (European)
  • Stir-fried greens (Asian)
  • Cactus salad (Latin American)
  • Succotash (Native American or Southern U.S.)
  • Couscous (African)
  • Quinoa (Latin American)
  • Naan bread (Asian Indian)
  • Egg noodles (German)

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Edible Spray Paint

A German food company, The Deli Garage is offering the paint in cans called Food Finish.

You can give your food a splash of colour of gold, silver, red or blue. The spray paint has no taste by itself and can be applied to any item of food.

Source: The Deli Garage

Kid’s Consumption of Sugared Beverages Linked to Higher Caloric Intake of Food

A new study from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are primarily responsible for higher caloric intakes of children that consume SSBs as compared to children that do not (on a given day). In addition, SSB consumption is also associated with higher intake of unhealthy foods. The results are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Over the past 20 years, consumption of SSBs — sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks — has risen, causing concern because higher consumption of SSBs is associated with high caloric intakes. Until recently it was unclear what portion of the diet was responsible for the higher caloric intakes of SSB consumers.

“The primary aims of our study,” said lead investigator Kevin Mathias of the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “were to determine the extent to which SSBs contribute to higher caloric intake of SSB consumers and to identify food and beverage groups from the overall diet that are associated with increased SSB consumption.”

Culling data from the 2003-2010 What We Eat in America, National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, investigators analyzed a sample of 10,955 children ages 2 to 18, and reported results for three separate age groups: 2-5, 6-11, and 12-18 year olds. Results showed that while intake of food increased, intake of non-sweetened beverages decreased with higher consumption of SSBs. By examining both food and non-sweetened beverages the authors were able to conclude that SSBs are primarily responsible for higher caloric intakes among 2-5 and 6-11 year olds. A similar fınding was observed among children aged 12–18 years; however, both food and SSBs contributed to higher caloric intakes of adolescents consuming greater than 500 kcal of SSBs.

Mr. Mathias stated that, “Among all age groups analyzed, the energy density (calories per gram) of food consumed increased with higher SSB intake.” These findings suggest that higher consumption of SSBs is associated with consumption of foods with high caloric contents. “This is concerning because many foods that are associated with higher SSB consumption (e.g., pizza, cakes/cookies/pies, fried potatoes, and sweets) are also top sources of solid fats and added sugars; components of the diet that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends Americans should limit.”

Source: Elsevier via AlphaGalileo.

Korean Beef Soup


800 g beef ribs
200 g daikon
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced green onion
1 egg


1 stalk green onion
6 cloves garlic
1/2 onion


  1. Cut the beef ribs into 2 inch-long, soak in cold water for 3 hours to draw out the blood, changing the soaking water every 1 hour.
  2. Remove fats and tendons from the beef ribs.
  3. Trim and wash daikon, peel skin, cut into large chunks.
  4. Pan-fry egg yolk and white separately, and cut into 1-inch diamond shape for garnish.
  5. Boil water in the pot on high heat. Add the beef ribs, and boil for 2 minutes. Discard boiling water.
  6. Add 10 cups cold water and beef ribs in the pot, boil it for 20 minutes on high heat, then lower the heat to medium, simmer it for 2 hours. Add daikon and seasoning ingredients, boil for 1 hour. Skim the fats.
  7. When daikon is soft, take out the radish, cut into thick slices. Remove the seasoning ingredients from the pot.
  8. Cool down the broth, filter through cotton cloths, skim fats off. Season with soy sauce and salt. Add beef ribs and daikon. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  9. Ladle soup and ingredients to serving bowl and top with egg garnish. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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