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Broaden your palette with Hispanic cuisine

From our experts: Jessi Holden is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Mary Free Bed.

Do you ever get in a cooking rut and tire of making the same ol’ meals for dinner? You’re not alone! Instead of diving into the abyss of Pinterest for recipes, narrow your search by focusing on a different culture’s cuisine.

Hispanic Heritage MonthHispanic Heritage Month, which falls between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, is a celebration of Hispanic culture and the history behind it. From tacos to tres leches cake, Hispanic food is integrated into American cuisine. Let’s take a look!

Start your day with a traditional Spanish omelet called Tortilla Espanola. Made with eggs and potatoes (which are abundant at your local farmer’s market right now), this will get your morning off to a good start.

Next, try your hand at making homemade empanadas. Most often these pastries are filled with meat, corn, cheese and veggies. For one of the veggies, I suggest roasting full carrots of all colors for a sweet filling alongside beef, pork or chicken.

If you’re looking for a simple dish to enjoy for dinner, try this Turkey in Mole Sauce from Cooking Matters. Traditionally, a mole sauce is served over a meat. It’s usually flavored with fruit, tomatoes, peppers, spices and often chocolate!

For a side or traditional dessert, you won’t regret making tajadas, which are fried ripe plantains. They can be served with ice cream as a dessert or with rice and a meat as part of the main meal. Or try mashing them and adding them to a waffle mix or into tamale paste. While they look like bananas, they’re not! Plantains typically are cooked before eaten and are starchier and not sweet like bananas.

Don’t forget to pay a visit to your local farmer’s market, where you’ll find a lot of seasonal produce available, from potatoes to peppers and squash to carrots – ingredients that can be used to guide your search for a traditional Hispanic recipe!

Hopefully these tasty ideas not only broaden your palette but also provide an opportunity to learn about Hispanic culture. Cooking is a great way to gather your family together, to discuss and savor the tastes, textures and aromas of delicious food.

Filed under: Wellness, Wellness Tips


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