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Slow Cooker Balsamic Vinegar Garlic Pork Loin Recipe – How to Make it in 10 Simple Steps

  With a rich tangy sweetness, balsamic vinegar is typically used for flavoring in meat marinades, salad dressings, or sauces. This condiment has been made for over a thousand years. Traditionally, balsamic vinegar was made from freshly squeezed grape juice. Artisan balsamic vinegar is aged for 12 years before it is sold. Over the years, …

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Creamy Dijon Chicken Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

You’ll brown the chicken, sauté herbs, and garlic, and create a creamy, delicious sauce. The fragrance of the cooking chicken and sautéed herbs will fill your kitchen and the whole family will be asking “When can we eat it?” Our recipe for Creamy Dijon Chicken uses chicken thighs. Many people have seldom cooked with these …

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Creamy Baked Ziti Recipe – How to Make it in 11 Simple Steps

If you need a recipe to take to someone who has just had a baby or is recovering from surgery, our recipe for Creamy Baked Ziti is a perfect choice. You can create this recipe and have enough for both your family and the family you are trying to assist. Alternately, if you are having …

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Southern Style Blackeyed Peas Recipe – How to Make it in 5 Simple Steps

Despite the name, blackeyed peas are not actually a member of the pea family. These tasty vegetables are actually members of the bean family, also called legumes. Cultivated in the Far East since prehistoric times, even the Greeks and Romans enjoyed blackeyed peas. Eventually, the beans were carried by various people groups to Africa. When certain …

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Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breasts Recipe – How to Make it in 8 Simple Steps

A low-fat, nutritious source of protein, everyone loves boneless skinless chicken breasts because they are quick and easy to prepare, and they are rather inexpensive meat to serve to the family. However, many people do get tired of cooking and eating boneless skinless chicken breasts. Often the same recipes are served again and again, and …

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Bow Tie Pasta with Italian Sausage Recipe – How to Make it in 8 Simple Steps

Our recipe features perfectly cooked bow tie pasta smothered in a flavorful, creamy sauce. The sauce includes the flavors of garlic and red pepper flakes. While the sauce is not very hot, if spicy foods aren’t your favorite, feel free to cut the amount of the red pepper flakes in half; or if you don’t want to …

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Skillet Chicken and Parmesan Rice with Garlic Recipe – How to Make it in 11 Simple Steps

While many people across the globe depend on rice as a staple, many in the United States can get just a bit bored with this often boring carbohydrate. But rather than rolling your eyes or sighing with boredom at the thought of rice as starch for dinner, why not consider that the basic, humble serving …

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Philly Cheesesteak Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

In the early 1930s, a hot dog vendor in the city of Philadelphia invented the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich when he chopped up beef and put it on a hot dog roll and smothered it in cheese. Eventually, the vendor closed down his hot dog stand and switched over to making just this popular new sandwich …

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One Dish Queso Chicken Recipe – How to Make it in 8 Simple Steps

One Dish Queso Chicken consists of a creamy base studded with tomatoes, peppers, and shredded chicken. This mixture can be used in one of three ways. First, if you need an appetizer for sports viewing party or a holiday luncheon, you can drain out part of the liquid that is in the can of tomatoes …

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Salsa Chicken Bake Recipe – How to Make it in 9 Simple Steps

Those who are trying to eat healthy love boneless skinless chicken breasts. These convenient cuts of meat cook quickly and have very little fat, but are a wonderful source of protein. Until the late 1980s, cooks who wanted to make chicken had to buy chicken with both skin and bones. While most people could find …

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Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

Chicken pot pie is a favorite meal for many people with layers of creamy chicken and vegetables encased in a flaky crust. However, many home cooks find the process of making a chicken pot pie from scratch too overwhelming, time-consuming, or messy. It is true that rolling out pastry dough, cooking a whole chicken in …

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Cream Cheese Chicken and Spinach Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 11 Simple Steps

Boneless skinless chicken breasts are a staple of many family’s menu plans. Cheap and easy to cook with, these cuts of chicken are great to have on hand for busy nights. They bake up quickly and you can go in many different directions with them. If you like Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or pretty much any …

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Teriyaki Chicken Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 10 Simple Steps

Who doesn’t love getting Chinese takeout? The sweet and savory tastes of the sauces, the textures of the rice and meat, the crunchy nutrition of the steamed vegetables makes this easy dinner option a popular choice. However, when one is on a tight budget, things like dining out or grabbing a to-go restaurant meal are …

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Ground Beef Empanadas Recipe – How to Make it in 16 Simple Steps

Hearkening back to the 1500s, empanadas are small hand-pies filled with a savory filling. These baked or fried treats first became popular in the northwest region of Spain. While this recipe does take a little time to make, your family will still enjoy your efforts. With classic Southwestern seasonings, our recipe for Ground Beef Empanadas …

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Make Fresh Pasta & Pesto From Scratch (It’s Much Easier Than You May Think!)

If you’re ever thinking that there’s nothing in the fridge and you’re not sure what to do for dinner, as long as you have flour and eggs, you can have a fantastic pasta dish. What was once the only way to make pasta, and in fact, a daily method of food preparation has become a …

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Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – How to Make it in 19 Simple Steps

If you plan on making everything from scratch like Grandma used to do, this recipe does take a bit of time to prepare. If you can learn the skill of cooking all of the various components of the recipe at the same time, you may be able to keep the preparation time to a reasonable …

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Easy Cheesy Baked Tortellini Recipe – How to Make it in 12 Simple Steps

Some of the worst moments as a family can happen in what some people call the “witching hour.” This is the time period that happens in the forty-five to sixty minutes between when you walk in the door and dinner is served. Generally, everyone is tired and hungry; mom and dad are trying to open …

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Cowboy Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 16 Simple Steps

Have you ever unearthed half of a bag of stale tortilla chips from the back of the pantry? What happens if you find a partial jar of salsa in the fridge and a bit of leftover corn from dinner last night? Don’t toss these seemingly random ingredients in the trash! You can utilize these odds …

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Pot Roast and Gravy Recipe – How to Make it in 19 Simple Steps

To make a “grandma-style” pot roast, where the beef is falling apart and deliciously tender and moist, you will want to choose one of three cuts of beef. Generally, for a good pot roast, you should buy a chuck roast, a round roast, or a shoulder roast. These cuts of beef are tough when cooked …

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Baked Meatballs Parmesan Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

Many people do not care to make meatballs from scratch because they find the processing time consuming and messy. Not only do they have to mix the meat and other ingredients and shape the meatballs with their hands, they think that they have to fry the meatballs, which makes a greasy, smelly mess on the …

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Layered Taco Bake With Cheesy Nachos Recipe – How to Make it in 15 Simple Steps

White flour tortillas are one ingredient that can end up in the odds and ends of your pantry, and you may have no clue what to do with them. Generally, packages come with eight or ten tortillas to the bag, and many times, families may use several for a meal and stuff the leftovers back …

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Classic Chicken Pot Pie Homemade Recipe – How to Make it in 29 Simple Steps

Layers of flaky pastry surrounding large chunks of chicken with nutritious veggies smothered in a savory gravy, it’s no wonder that chicken pot pie is the ultimate in comfort food. This recipe for Chicken Pot Pie is filling and delicious, and it will soon become a favorite for the whole family. Our recipe for Chicken …

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Zesty Italian Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 20 Simple Steps

Most people want to serve their families meals that are created from scratch, as well as nutritious and tasty. But, sometimes real life gets in the way. Picky kids, events that run late, and homework can make even the most dedicated parent contemplate running through a fast-food drive-through for dinner. This recipe is a great …

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My Delicious Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 22 Simple Steps

While the sweet potato most people are familiar with has bright orange flesh, did you know that hundreds of other varieties exist across the world, many with the flesh of other colors? Sweet potatoes can have yellow, white, cream, or even purple flesh. A root vegetable that is a member of the morning glory family, …

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My Zesty Taco Lasagna Recipe – How to Make it in 18 Simple Steps

It is hard to imagine a life in the United States without Mexican food and things like Taco Tuesday, but the popularity of Mexican food is a relatively new concept in the American diet. Of course, what we consider Mexican food (tortillas, beans, tomatoes, and specialty spices) has been available on the North American continent …

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Perfectly Seasoned Roast Chicken Recipe – How to Make it in 28 Simple Steps

In years past, almost every mother or housewife knew how to create a delicious, perfectly baked roast chicken. And yet, in modern times, efforts often end with a dry, drab piece of meat that sticks in everyone’s throat and is, frankly, forgettable. Many people prefer to purchase rotisserie-cooked chicken from their local supermarkets for this …

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Yummy Homemade Baked Meatballs Recipe – How to Make it in 19 Simple Steps

Meatballs are made in a variety of different cultures and locations across the world. However, when most people think about meatballs they picture ground beef or lamb seasoned with Italian flavors like basil and oregano, topped with a tomato-based sauce and mildly flavored cheeses like Parmesan and mozzarella. Our recipe for Baked Meatballs continues in …

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 23 Simple Steps

In many families, the word casserole has a negative connotation. Kids may wonder what is hidden under the layers of crumb topping and cream soup. However, our recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole will put to rest all of the snide comments and eye-rolls. Even the grumpiest teenager will ask for seconds on this delicious …

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Greek Gyro Skillet Dinner Recipe – How to Make it in 16 Simple Steps

Zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are summer vegetables that are incredibly easy to grow, even for novice gardeners. However, these are also veggies that produce more than anyone’s family can ever consume. One nice thing about this recipe is that it uses three popular summer vegetables in ways that many people have never considered. This recipe …

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Chicken Jambalaya Recipe – How to Make it in 17 Simple Steps

A New Orleans favorite that features several different kinds of meat, delicious seasonings, and tangy tomatoes, Jambalaya is a meal that visitors to this city must try. While this dish may seem as if it will take plenty of time and effort, it is surprisingly simple to make. In fact, most of the preparation time will …

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Spinach and Three Cheese Stuffed Shells Recipe – How to Make it in 20 Simple Steps

There is absolutely nothing like a fancy Italian dinner at your favorite restaurant, with the flavors of savory herbs, rich cheeses, and tangy tomatoes. However, for many people on tight budgets or for those who are just saving their pennies for a rainy day, dining out isn’t something that can happen very often. But, did …

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Mexican Cornbread Casserole Recipe – How to Make it in 13 Simple Steps

Kids who won’t eat anything different or new can be incredibly frustrating for parents. Everyone knows that kids need to eat a varied diet and learn to try new things, but children are smart and can be incredibly stubborn about what they do and do not want to eat. Smart parents know that you have …

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Braised Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe – How to Make it in 10 Simple Steps

While many people prefer to stick to tried and true cuts of meat found in the supermarket’s butcher’s case, every now and then the more adventurous among us will see a package of meat on sale at a great price and think, “Why not give it a try?” That is how this recipe for Braised …

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Crock Pot Fajitas Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

The wonderful thing about slow cookers is that you can have a meal ready as soon as you walk in the door on a busy night. If you took a few minutes to prepare the meal in the morning, you won’t have to tolerate the question of “How much longer till dinner’s ready?” multiple times. …

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Chicken Stir Fry Recipe – How to Make it in 15 Simple Steps

One skillet meals can save you time and dirty dishes on busy nights. This recipe for Chicken Stir Fry includes your protein, piles of veggies, and loads of delicious Chinese flavor in every single bite. If you work ahead by pre-cooking the rice and chopping the veggies ahead of time, you can really save some …

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Red Beans and Rice Recipe – How to Make it in 17 Simple Steps

Historically, red beans and rice are served on Mondays in New Orleans and southern Louisiana. It may seem like an odd tradition, but when you consider the history of this Southern town, the tradition seems to make more sense. In centuries past, homemakers did particular types of work on certain days of the week. Everyone …

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Fabulous Homemade Lasagna Recipe – How to Make it in 22 Simple Steps

The great thing about this lasagna recipe is that it can be created up to two days before it’s needed, stored in the refrigerator, and popped into the oven whenever you are ready to eat it. This fact makes it a perfect fit for company dinners or busy weeknights when you may not have the …

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Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Recipe – How to Make it in 38 Simple Steps

This is one of those dishes that might seem to require way too much prep and cook times to justify the 10 minutes it takes to devour it all. But trust me—it’ll rank up there as the best 10 minutes you can remember from your kitchen table. There was a time when I didn’t think …

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My Easy Vegan Fried Rice Recipe – How to Make it in 24 Simple Steps

Fried rice and I go back a long way. As far back as the days of scratch and sniff stickers and Crayola crayons. I don’t think there was ever a week in my childhood that didn’t include at least one meal of fried rice for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. My brothers and I all …

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Vegan Tofu Scramble Recipe – How to Make it in 14 Simple Steps

Nothing divides the world in half like tofu, separating us into the lovers and the haters. I know some folks who won’t go near the stuff, not even with a ten-foot pair of chopsticks. Too bland, they say. Or the texture is mushy and gross. Some of these braver individuals might venture a bite, but …

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Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe – How to Make it in 18 Simple Steps

A staple of teen gatherings, pizza is a favorite meal for the whole family. Many families have a standard “pizza night” where dinner is brought home in a large square box featuring everyone’s favorite toppings. Whether they choose to go to the neighborhood pizza parlor, pop in for takeout, or pay someone to deliver the …

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Tasty Homemade Chicken Parmesan Recipe – How to Make it in 22 Simple Steps

Interestingly, Chicken Parmesan is not necessarily a native Italian dish, although it does have roots in Italy. When numerous Italians immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they brought with them the recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana. Eggplant Parmigiana features slices of eggplant, breaded and fried, and then topped with a …

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Outstanding Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe – How to Make it in 35 Simple Steps

You know that scene in Forrest Gump where Bubba rattles on and on about his love of shrimp and all the different ways to eat them? That’s me when it comes to potatoes. There’s never been a potato dish that I didn’t love. My favorite of all? Mashed potatoes and gravy. Growing up, Thanksgiving was …

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The Best Vegan Calzone Recipe – How to Make it in 38 Simple Steps

The difference between calzone and pizza, of course, is in the crust. While a pizza utilizes the crust like a serving tray with everything piled on top, the crust on a calzone gets paraded like a prince. It’s the star of the show, the CEO of the company, the big kahuna. This does turn up …

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All Dinners | Beef | Chicken | Pork | Pasta | Rice | Potatoes | Casseroles

6 Different Types of Dinner Dishes

A variety of Thai food,

It’s the question asked in every household around the world every single day, “What’s for dinner?” If you’re like most families, the question is often up in the air until someone goes and looks through the fridge or pantry to see what’s available. If you’re more of a planner, perhaps you meal prepped or have a schedule of what’s going on with your groceries.

In an effort to have a more diverse menu, I’ve developed a schedule so that I can try a wild variety of meals and have that question answered at least a week in advance. That, of course, comes after years of being tired of looking aimlessly in the cabinets and having to go to the store a few times a week.

To help pass on the tools to have a more reticent schedule, here are some dinner dishes that will provide you with some inspiration! To be better organized, I’m going to separate them into popular types of cuisine.

American food from the past shouldn’t be overshadowed by modern convenience

Various American food

There are plenty of videos online where people from around the world try American snacks or American versions of cultural dishes. It never goes well. If our food doesn’t taste like real food, it’s a far cry from what the dish is supposed to taste like. It’s kind of embarrassing, as an American.

However, there is one takeaway we can get from those videos and it’s about catering to American tastes. We’re guilty of over-cheesing Mexican food, under spicing Indian food, and breaking our Italian noodles before putting them in the pot. That’s similar to saying we like extra cheese, not too spicy, and easier to grab items.

So, it makes sense that the most American food is hotdogs. There’s more to us, though, than fast and easy food. With that being said, here are some good dishes that America can be associated with.

Clam Chowder

Just hearing the name makes me want to grab a sweater. Clam chowder has become synonymous with New England and chilly days. The mix of clam, potato, cream, herbs, and more has become a staple of the coastal region. Many have taken that idea and spread it across the US with their own versions of the now-famous favorite.

Biscuits and Gravy

Growing up in the south, I can almost taste the thick, buttery biscuits smothered in sausage gravy as I write about it. This became a massive favorite of southerners during the depression. Flour can go a long way and using the grease from the sausage can make your gravy last longer. The gravy is almost sort of brown when mixed with freshly fried sausage. Then, pouring it over those biscuits is basically asking for a nap. Thanks to the carb overload, this is not the dish you’d have before a busy day at work.

Texas Barbecue

I say Texas and not just BBQ because the USA does not have a monopoly on BBQ. To be fair, there are plenty of BBQ varieties within our borders. Two of the most well-known are probably Texas and Kansas City. I’ve had both. I grew up in a place where our BBQ restaurant was probably most similar in flavor to Texas barbecue. So, there’s likely a regional bias. However, the few times I’ve had Kansas City BBQ, there is too much of one flavor that makes it not sit well.

However, if you think Texas doesn’t have the best, you haven’t tried Texas BBQ. The secret might be the smokiness mixed with a sweet twang. It’s the best and everyone should try the beef brisket before they die.

Soul food has a long history that goes hand-in-hand with the cuisine 

Soul food dinner

African Americans have had a long tradition of making scrumptious dishes that are put together with love and planning. Soul food has the gift of bringing everyone together. The story starts when Africans were taken from their homelands and forced into slavery once they arrived in America.

They brought recipes over in their hearts and made an effort to keep those ties alive through cooking with what ingredients they had access to. What developed are dishes rich in greens, proteins, and delectable carbs.

Shrimp & Grits

Grits are an ingredient that stumps many people. When made incorrectly, they can be bland and grainy. When made right, they will be a delight. The soul mix with shrimp and a litany of flavors takes grits to new heights. You can also expect to bite into garlic, Cajun seasoning, green onions, and bacon.

Macaroni & Cheese

If you’ve never experienced out-of-the-box macaroni and cheese, you are surely missing out. There’s much more vibrancy to the homemade kind that you might not ever go back to store-bought. The noodles used here are fat elbow noodles and a variety of cheese that melts like butter over them. You can even use the oven and turn it into a casserole with breadcrumbs on top.

Collard Greens

This is a process. Like grits, if they aren’t cooked right they will come out bitter and grainy. Collards that are cooked for a long time on a low setting makes for the most tender greens. While they’re softening, it’s common to have ham that cooks right along with the collards. The pork provides a heartiness to the sauce, as do the garlic, onion, pepper, and vinegar.

Mexican dishes have long been a part of the American fabric 

Mexican food on a blue wood plank table.

Since Mexico once extended up through what is now the United States, it’s not surprising that their food has resonated with us. Texan soldiers in the 1800s continuously came in contact with the spicy flavors and carried that love with them back home. The cuisine got onto the world stage in Chicago of all places. It was in 1893 during the Colombian Exposition that people from far and wide got to try some new foods that packed a punch.

Enchiladas

For this dish, you typically expect a few together. They are long corn tortillas stuffed with a mix of things like meat, cilantro, and onions. The enchilada is seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and garlic. The spice level can be up to preference but you will want to dip the tortillas in a red space so the flavor can soak through. Top with cheese and sour cream.

Fajitas

For years as a teenager, I looked forward to going to my favorite restaurant and getting fajitas on my birthday. It was a tiny location run by a couple who moved from Mexico to my hometown with the goal of sharing their food with America. I can remember vividly the sizzling of the mini skillet with the beef still cooking on it as it came around the corner to my table. Also in the skillet were onions and peppers, which I would put in the tortilla with the beef strips, refried beans, rice, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce.

Chile Relleno

Have a glass of milk nearby, this one can get spicy. It is, after all, a stuffed pepper. Inside that pepper is often beef or chicken and cheese. Once stuffed, the pepper is rolled in flour and fried until golden brown.

Italian cuisine is probably one of the oldest guilty pleasures

Different Italian cuisine

Carbs have never tasted so good. One thing we’re blessed to have is a melting pot of cultures. Italian food has long delighted the senses of many, whether you’ve had a chance to eat pasta on the rooftop of a villa in Italy or not.

Lasagna

Around since the 1300s, lasagna was once the food of special events and holidays. It was especially beloved due to the cheesy dish being introduced during the darkest days of the bubonic plague. Now, we eat it whenever we can because it’s a hearty meal. Lasagna will cause you to change into comfier clothes.

The favorite Italian dish is also quite easy as it’s all about layering. There’s tomato sauce, ground beef, Italian seasoning, noodles and three types of cheeses in a repeated pattern. Cut into a square when served.

Chicken Scallopini

For less tomato, here’s a protein-heavy dish with a creamier sauce. Here, we have a thin-cut chicken breast that’s lightly breaded and pan-fried. Then, everything is sauteed together in lemon butter sauce with capers, mushrooms, and pancetta. Served over fettucini.

Veal Marsala

This is another savory dinner item that will have you full for the rest of the evening. You start with veal sauteed in marsala wine sauce. Add in the mushrooms and onions, then serve with vermicelli.

Mediterranean food is taking vegetables to a better place

Mediterranean food on a wooden table.

Alright, we’re getting a bit healthier here. Mediterranean is so much so on the lighter side that an entire diet is named after the cuisine. Of course, that’s not every entree, but superfoods and vegetables are a big part of how the flavors are put together to make something special.

Kebab

Who needs the carbs when you have a stick that works better than a bun? Kebabs are loved all over the Mediterranean and Middle East. On a skewer is a combination of meat and vegetables that are roasted until they are soft and singed on the edges. Traditionally, you can expect lamb with peppers and onions.

Riz ala Dajaj

This is the type of platter where you can grab a piece of naan and scoop it up before shoving it in your mouth. Since it’s a rice dish, it digests slower and keeps you unable to walk for a while. It’s worth it, though. To make this, have short and long-grained rice ready. Mix in the grilled chicken and ground beef to start and then add onions, pine nuts, and season with cinnamon.

Moussaka

I’ve mentioned layering as a delicious way to get more of the best stuff and this is the Mediterranean version of that. Instead of layering with noodles, though, moussaka is eggplant, lamb, and tomatoes. It’s all baked together like a casserole. I feel fortunate to have had this many times and it just never gets old.

Chinese dishes have been perfected over dynasties 

Assorted Chinese dishes

As we move into Asia, our pallettes are going to be so grateful for a new range of ingredients that will kick it up a notch. That’s really the beauty of trying new things, getting to go around the world without leaving the dinner table.

The first Chinese restaurants in the states debuted in San Francisco around 1849. Since then, several dishes have been attributed to China but aren’t actually from there, such as General Tso’s chicken or egg rolls.

Dim Sum

One of the tastiest dishes is also a lot of fun. Dim sum is often served in steamy baskets. When you take off the lid, you get to see several dumplings. Only the freshest ingredients are hidden inside these steaming piles of goodness. They take a long time to put together, but you feel better physically after eating one. I’m not getting specific about what’s inside of dim sum because there are over 100 kinds. Try a new one each time you have dim sum so you can find your favorite flavor.

Wonton Soup

Speaking of dumplings, wontons are small dumplings used in soup. There’s less inside and the outside layer itself is more delicate. Usually boiled with broth, inside is shrimp or even pork. There might even be little bits of veggies wrapped up together with the meat as well.

This soup goes well by itself or in addition to a heartier entree.

Chow Mein

This Chinese dish was invented by a woman who was cooking for a group of laborers. The food was spoiling too quickly. So she figured out how to make Chow Mein noodles, which lasted longer. If you’ve ever enjoyed takeout, you know these reheat better than other types of noodles.

Chow Mein isn’t only noodles, however. A complete dish will include meat, onions, and celery. There might be even more ingredients but not by too many. These aromatics complement the noodles, not take them over.