International flavors

International Flavors
Spring makes me want to try new things.  How about ethnic foods for a family meal?

The new National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Obesity Guidelines recommend trying different ethnic cuisines to give yourself a taste treat while counting calories and fat.  Many ethnic cuisines offer lots of low fat, low calorie choices.

So if you want to eat healthy and still have lots of different choices, take a taste adventure with ethnic foods.  Here's a sample of healthy food choices (lower in calories and fat) and terms to look for when making your selection:

Eating Healthy with Ethnic Food


  • Steamed
  • Jum (poached)
  • Kow (roasted)
  • Shu (barbecued)
  • Steamed rice
  • Dishes without MSG added


  • Red sauces
  • Primavera (no cream)
  • Piccata (lemon)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Lightly sautéed
  • Grilled


  • Spicy chicken
  • Rice & black beans
  • Salsa or Picante
  • Soft corn tortillas

Source:  The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institue in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

Recipe Source:  Better Home & Gardens (

Egg Drop Soup

Bring chicken broth to a slow boil.  Add a few drops of soy sauce.  Whisk eggs until completely blended, and then slowly drizzle into boiling broth.  Garnish with sliced green onion if desired.

Veggie Ramen

Prepare ramen noodles according to package directions; stir thinly sliced snow peas and shredded carrot into boiling water when adding noodles.

Mango Sundaes

Place sliced mango in bowl; top with peach or vanilla ice cream and more mango.  Drizzle with melted seedless raspberry preserves.

24-Hour Chicken Fiesta Salad

  • 4 cups torn iceberg, Boston or Bibb lettuce
  • ½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers (2 oz.)
  • ½ of a 15-oz. can black beans, pinto beans or garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained (1 c.)
  • 8 oz. chopped cooked chicken or turkey (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 small tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 c. jicama (about 4 oz.), cut into bite-size strips, or 1 c. shredded carrot
  • ½ c. sliced pitted ripe olives (optional)
  • 1 recipe Chile Dressing
  • ¾  c. crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Place the lettuce in a large (2 qt.) salad bowl.  Layer ingredients in the following order; cheese, beans, chicken, tomatoes, jicama, and if desired, olives..  Spread Chile Dressing evenly over salad, sealing to edge of bowl.  Cover salad tightly with plastic wrap.  Chill for 4-24 hours.  To serve, toss lightly to coat evenly.  If desired, sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips.

Chile Dressing:  In a small bowl stir together ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing, one 4-oz. can chopped canned green chile peppers, 1 ½ tsp. chili powder, and 1 clove garlic, minced.

Italian-Style Fish

  • 1 ½ lb. fresh or frozen white-fleshed fish fillets, ½ to 1-inch thick
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 T. cooking oil
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed tomato bisque soup
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 ½ c. hot cooked linguine or other pasta
  • 1/3 c. finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Thaw fish, if frozen.  Preheat broiler.  Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels.  If necessary, cut fish into six serving-size pieces.  Measure thickness of fish.  Place fish on the greased, unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Turn any thin portions under to make uniform thickness.  Sprinkle with salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper.

Broil about 4 inches from the heat just until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Allow 4-6 minutes per ½-inch thickness of fish.  (If fillets are 1 inch thick or more, turn once halfway through broiling.)

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan cook mushrooms in hot oil until tender.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato bisque soup and 1/8 tsp. pepper.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is heated through.

Spoon pasta onto plates; top with some of the sauce, fish fillets and remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

For more information, contact:

Nancy A. Freeman, County Director
Harrison County Extension Service
(228) 865-4227