March is National Nutrition Month® and each year, the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics selects a theme to celebrate. This year’s theme is “Go Further With Food”, with the focus primarily on reducing food waste and choosing foods to keep our bodies strong and help us go further during the day.
While I strongly support this interpretation of the National Nutrition Month®, I believe the theme encompasses more. On my website, The Nutrition Adventure, I focus on exploring the world and other cultures through recipes & travel. That’s why I’m encouraging you to go further with canned foods by taking your taste buds on a culinary vacation!
Explore flavorful cuisines from around the world by using canned ingredients that evoke international flavors and foods canned with seasonings and spices. Check out these ideas to inspire your next culinary cooking adventure!
For Italian night, try a pasta dish made with cannellini beans, anchovies (for an authentic Italian taste like this Pasta Puttanesca!), and tomatoes canned with basil and garlic. Tomato paste is one canned food I always have on hand because it’s perfect for making a hearty Italian soup. Canned tomatoes with basil help flavor this Beef Ragu over Spaghetti Squash, a twist on a classic Italian recipe, plus they are rich in the antioxidant lycopene!
Spice up Mexican dishes by using tomatoes canned with diced chiles, fire-roasted corn, or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Whether you’re making tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or quesadillas, increase the fiber content by including canned beans, like black beans or pinto beans. This Black-Eyed Pea Burrito Bowl makes an easy, weeknight meal option.
When I think of Indian food, my mind drifts to creamy, rich tomato sauces and spicy, flavorful vegetarian dishes. One of my all-time favorite Indian dishes is Chana Masala, a chickpea curry dish. Chickpeas are high in fiber and are a commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisine. Get a taste of India with these two recipes: Easy Chickpea & Squash Crockpot Curry & Tandoori Chickpea Pizza with Mango Chutney
Whip up a quick stir-fry using common Asian canned vegetables such as bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or water chestnuts. Or try a rich and creamy, Thai curry soup at home using canned coconut milk and canned curry paste. This simple recipe for Zesty Tuna Lettuce Wraps topped with sriracha features canned tuna, a high-quality protein to keep stocked in the pantry at all times!
By Karman Meyer, RDN LDN
For more from Karman Meyer, visit her website www.thenutritionadventure.com