Eat Healthy, Learn from Other Cultures & Have Fun!

One of the most memorable things about visiting another country is the food. Is it because it’s all that great, or just something new and different? I think maybe it’s a little of both.

Well the great thing is that one doesn’t have to travel to the far ends of the earth to enjoy other cultural foods. Once you know the basics of “healthy eating” you can experiment with other regions foods in your own kitchen. The best part is just experimenting and having fun while doing so.

Our family had a good time this weekend doing such.

We are currently finishing up our latest project, the Cooking God’s Way Lacto-fermentation Book with History, Information, and lots of Recipes (due out by the end of March). I was working on a good recipe for traditional Kimchi, a very popular ‘spicy’ type of sauerkraut that is eaten every day in Korea, so I needed to source some ingredients.

We live in a large city so, thankfully, not too far from us there is an H Mart which is like a large Korean supermarket (they sell online too). We took a short day trip with the whole family an had a fun time.

Upon entering the store it was evident that we “weren’t in Kansas anymore” (so to speak). The aisles were narrow compared to the modern supermarkets that Americans are used to. The store was very busy with shoppers, including many Asian peoples (along with a few Americans here and there). Every aisle and product label was in Korean, with just a little bit of english.

I am glad I did my homework before heading out, so I knew what I was looking for and what I should expect.

Among all of the hustle and bustle in the store, there were workers everywhere constantly re-stocking shelves and so on. So if any questions arose, there was always someone around.

The family spent over an hour looking around the store at different things. The kids especially had fun looking at all the different produce and commented that, inside the store, they felt like “they were in another country”. It wasn’t until we exited the store and were in the parking lot where we saw the American Flag across the street that brought us back to reality.

It was definitely a fun trip!

The next day we had a Korean dinner, which consisted of Korean-Style Chicken with a side of rice and Kimchi. Everyone was a little anxious to try something so new and totally different. But it was really good and everyone really enjoyed it.

So my advice to you is to pick a country where the food interests you and search out recipes online. There a lot of really good bloggers out there from other countries that can help you. Once you find a recipe you want to try, now you need to source the ingredients (and change out any ingredients that aren’t truly “healthy”).

Find an ethnic store near you (or shop online) and just have fun!

Pictures courtesy HMart.com

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


Comments

  1. I haven’t been on your site for a while. Once again my kids were sick… or maybe it’s still… At this point I can’t tell (will winter ever end). I got a yogurt starter and have been making yogurt, which we are all enjoying so hopefully that will help.

    We shop at a local H-Mart also. My husband is Korean, but was adopted as a young child. We try to cook and eat Korean, but since neither of us know what we are doing it is interesting. I LOVE LOVE LOVE H-Mart. Even if you don’t cook Korean it’s a GREAT place to get organic produce. Last week I got organic apples for $0.69 a pound! And the people are SO friendly (although you do run into language barriers sometimes). Go on the weekends because they have samples everywhere (like costco) I can’t wait to see some Korean inspired recipes. Some of my favorite are Bul-Go-Gi, Bi-Bim-Bap, Jap-Chae, and I love all the fun side dishes (sprout salad, broccoli, pickled radish, spinach, KimChi, potato, roasted seaweed…) My favorite websites for korean recipes are http://www.maangchi.com, and http://www.koreankitchen.com. I am fairly good at main dishes so now I want to learn more about the side dishes, which I have realized really make the meal special. A traditional Korean meal will have a soup, rice, meat and then 5-7 different side dishes. The side dishes should have a balance of sour, salty, sweet, spicy, and savory. Since most sides are served cold or room temp you can make one large batch of a side everyday and then keep the rest for left overs so that you can have many sides at one meal without having to make that much everyday.

    • Glad to have you back Waggie! And sorry to hear about your kids getting sick 🙁

      Do enjoy the yogurt. There are so many things you can do with it to incorporate into your diet(s) daily, even multiple times a day. You can do yogurt for breakfast with a little fruit, maybe a smoothie for a snack or part of a light lunch (or breakfast if you are in a hurry). And you can always strain the yogurt through a cheese cloth or paper coffee filter to get whey and then a creamy “yogurt” cheese. You can lightly sweeten it and use as a delicious fruit dip. OR make a “savory” dip with some herbs and a little salt – this can be used as a vegetable dip! How are you making your yogurt? Hopefully “The Easy Way” 🙂

      We love H-Mart too! They usually do have great produce. I go there to buy my ingredients for Kimchi as well as some other needed items, like seaweed etc. My children really like the roasted laver in olive oil with just a touch of salt. It’s crispy almost like a potato chip, but good for them. I really like Maangchi as well. But I had not heard about the Korean Kitchen, thanks….I will definitely check that out! As we are looking for more Korean inspired meals to go with our Kimchi 🙂

  2. This is such a fun idea! Inspiring to try, especially since one of our daughters is half Korean! Looking forward to seeing the recipes and maybe a trip to HMart!! Thanks for the creative cooking ideas!

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