National Nutrition Month 2022

March is a great month! Not only does it hold Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, but it is also National Nutrition Month! For 2022, the focus of National Nutrition Month is to incorporate more cultural and diverse food into our dishes. While chicken, green beans, and sweet potatoes are classic favorites, I know I could use more variety in my cooking. This month, I’m challenging you to give these International classics a try! Don’t worry, they are simple, healthy, and super delicious.

Spanish Omelet

Adapted from Healthy Little Foodie

Ingredients:

  • 1.1lb Potato
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 eggs

To Make:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them in half. Place the potatoes cut side down and thinly slice.
  2. Peel onion, cut in half and thinly slice.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp Olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add potato slices and onion slices. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until potato slices have cooked through, stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. Crack eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Add them into cooked potatoes and onions
  5. Add remaining olive oil into the same pan and pour egg mixture in. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until bottom of the omelette is gold. The top of the tortilla will be a bit wet, which is okay.
  6. Carefully place a large plate over the top of the pan, and flip pan and plate together. If omelette is cooked properly, tortilla should end up on the plate in one piece with a little bit of runny egg leaking out.
  7. Return the pan to the heat and slide the tortilla back into your pan to cook the second side. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until bottom is lightly golden.

Serves 6 | Per serving: 180kcal/11F/12C/8P

Gazpacho

Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • Chopped sweet yellow pepper, optional

Combine the tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl. In another large bowl, combine the tomato juice, oregano, basil, salt, garlic, pepper, and hot pepper sauce; pour over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with chives and yellow pepper if desired.

Serves 6 | Per Serving (1 1/2 Cup): 80 calories/1F/18C/3P

Chicken Spring Rolls with Peanut Dip

Ingredients:

  • For the Spring Rolls:  
    • 2 pounds boneless chicken
    • 3 Tablespoons grape seed oil or vegetable oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or fish sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
    • fresh basil, mint or other herbs
    • fresh lettuce, chopped or torn in small pieces
    • carrots, celery, cucumbers, daikon radish or bell peppers, cut into thin strips
    • rice paper, about 8 inches in diameter
  • For the Peanut Dip:
    • 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
    • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, or to taste
    • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, or to taste
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, or to taste (optional)
    • chili hot sauce or Sriracha sauce (optional)
    • about 1/2 cup water, or to a preferred dip consistency


To make the dip, combine all dip ingredients in a bowl except the water (hoisin, peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, optional lime juice, & optional chili hot sauce). Add water to the sauce until the consistency is what you like in a dip. You can add all the ingredients to a blender for a smoother dip if you’re making a huge batch. But make sure to keep adding enough water to make it dip-able.

Combine chicken, vegetable oil, sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce in a large bowl to make the chicken. Cover well and allow to marinate for about 20 minutes. Heat frying pan on medium-high heat and cook chicken until fully cooked through and nice crispy outside edge—slice in chicken in thin slices, about 1/4-1/2-inch-wide for rolling.

To make the rolls:

  1. Gather chicken, vegetables, herbs, rice paper, board or surface to roll on, and a large bowl of warm water (about bath temperature).
  2. Gently dip each rice paper wrapper in warm water for a few seconds until damp. Don’t over soak the rice paper. Place rice paper on plate, or working surface. As rice paper begins to absorb the water and become more soft and pliable (about 5 seconds, depending on wrappers and water temp.), begin to add the fillings.
  3. On the 1/3 section of the rice paper wrapper closest to you, start layering your fillings of lettuce, herbs, chicken and vegetables. (Make sure to layer the lettuce first so it will help keep the firmer vegetables from poking through the rice paper.)
  4. Start rolling the wrapper over the fillings away from you, tucking and rolling the wrapper with your fingers, making sure all the fillings remain right and round within the rice paper wrapper.
  5. Serve immediately with hoisin peanut dip, or cover with plastic wrap to eat a few hours later.

Serves 8 | Per Serving: 275 calories/14F/9C/27P

Get outside your comfort zone in the kitchen this month. You never know; one of these dishes might become a new staple in your home.

Celebrating flavors from cultures worldwide is a tasty way to nourish ourselves and appreciate our diversity. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds, and tastes! A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, like myself, can help you create healthy habits that celebrate your culture and introduce you to new foods and flavors.

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