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10 Foods That Are Better Outside the U.S.

10 Foods That Are Better Outside the U.S.

American food has a dubious reputation across the globe for being woefully over-processed (and therefore a touch on the tasteless side), yet also soaked in butter, oil, and salt... in other words, "fake flavor." Now that's not to say there isn't any great regional food in the U.S., because there certainly is if you're willing to search it out — but by and large, there are many foods enjoyed widely in the U.S. that simply aren't as great as they are in other countries.

10 Foods That Are Better Outside the U.S. (Slideshow)

There are several reasons for this: certain foods, like döner kebabs and noodles, originate in other parts of the world (in Turkey and Asia respectively) and were conceived with certain ingredients and food products in mind, often not indigenously available in the U.S., and so the American versions either use substituted ingredients or ones that are dried and imported — both of which change the flavor of the original dish. Though it is often a point of contention, many argue that the overseas version is simply a lot better than its American counterpart.

Another reason has to do with the actual fresh products in the States: genetically modified corn and soybeans dominate the U.S. market — while the government does vouch for the safety of GM crops, many argue that the process makes the foods more tasteless and less nutritious.

American beef, too, is getting the short end of the stick — general bovine stock in the U.S. is enhanced with growth hormones, which are transferred to the meat and milk that we consume. Stricter agricultural regulations in Europe ensure less or no hormones are given to cattle. Then there's the use of pesticides in crop farming.. Again, it’s different in the U.S. than in other parts of the world and that affects the quality of the products produced.

Then there's the obvious effect that culture has on food — the U.S. is a cultural melting pot of different peoples and palates, and while most people brought their favorite local dishes and flavors with them as a way of keeping their cultural heritage alive, there's no arguing that the flavors changed over time. Compared to the original version, many find the American counterparts to be watered-down.

American food certainly has its high points, but there are just some foods that are a lot better outside the U.S…. read on to find out more about them.

Hot Dogs / Bratwurst

The hot dog / bratwurst was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants (known in Germany as brätwurst) — the original version is a lot chunkier and more finely spiced, and many argue it also uses considerably better quality meat. The result is a more flavorful sausage that's a lot more than just a fast food. Brätwurst is a big feature in German cooking and there are countless varieties, many of which are consumed solo (without the bun).


While there are many great noodle dishes in the U.S. most Asian noodles, particularly Japanese udon (a type of wheat flour noodle), are much better in their birthplace — mostly because the flavors are more subtle and the noodles are incredibly fresh (often made from scratch). The type of flour used is also less refined, all of which add to the overall taste and quality of the food.

See more of the 10 Foods That Are Better Outside the U.S.

My 10 favorite Dinner in Minutes recipes of 2020 include étouffée, Instant Pot stew and chicken, chicken, chicken

I was wowed by that greeting, and in the next beat a bit intimidated. I was joining a stellar team and stepping into big shoes, so I focused on the end-game: Sharing recipes — online and in the newspaper — that would spring to mind when we find ourselves wondering: What am I going to cook tonight?

To do that, for Dinner in Minutes, I drew from old favorites that I’ve made again and again (shrimp étouffée, anyone?) and new ones that I learned about from readers, colleagues and terrific cookbooks.

Each week, a few days after I hit publish, I’d get a little thrill when readers write to tell me a dish is now in the “clean plate club!” or when they report back: “The recipe is clear and easy to follow, I had a bit of trepidation, but it all turned out really well.”

As I look back on this tumultuous year, I found it tough to pick favorites. So, here, in alphabetical order because I just can’t play favorites among my favorites, are my top 10 Dinner in Minutes recipes of the year.

Hope you will try or, better yet, re-try them in the coming year.

Akoho Misy Sakamalao. Sometimes the simplest dishes have a surprisingly big flavor. This five-ingredient, one-skillet chicken dish from “In Bibi’s Kitchen” by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen shows the power of combining coconut oil with lots of garlic and ginger to turn forgiving chicken thighs into a memorable meal in minutes.

Bacon-Stuffed Shrimp Burgers. This one comes from my own stash of favorite recipes. I love bacon-wrapped shrimp, and this dish is the next best thing. You tuck crispy bacon bits inside a ground shrimp burger, then pan-fry the burger and serve it on a crispy bun.

Baked Chicken Nuggets With Warm Potato Salad. When I’m craving a picnic — even an indoor picnic — I turn to this dish. The chicken nuggets are a fine alternative to fried, but what I keep coming back to is the tahini-dressed potato salad. Whisk together the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and pepper and then stir in a bit of chopped parsley and toss that with the warm potatoes until coated. Add a sprinkle of scallions if you like. So simple. So good.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry. The combination of beef and broccoli is a longtime favorite of mine, and this version nails it. The addition of the scallions, ginger and garlic right at the end gives it a bright burst of flavor. I adapted it from Eating Well, which does a great job of taking favorite dishes and making them just a bit healthier without sacrificing flavor. It’s not always easy, but this is a great example of that effort.

Coconut Rice With Salmon and Cilantro Sauce. Our team is a hotbed of recipe sharing, as you can imagine. When I first started, Olga Massov handed me “The Kitchen Shelf” by Rosie Reynolds and Eve O’Sullivan, with a sticky note on this recipe. It is a dish she makes again and again. I found out why when I tasted the salmon served over the creamy rice made with coconut milk and topped with spicy-sweet cilantro sauce whirred in a food processor.

Instant Pot Beef Stew. For this stew, I pretended I was on one of those timed cooking shows and worked hard to bring it to the table in 45 minutes. To do that, I relied on baby carrots and potatoes, frozen pearl onions and pre-cut beef and, of course, my trusty Instant Pot. I made it under the wire, and it truly does taste like it has simmered on the stove for hours.

Mosca’s Chicken a la Grande. Garlic lovers unite around this one-skillet, big-flavored chicken recipe from Mary Jo Mosca of Mosca’s Restaurant on U.S. 90 in a little town outside New Orleans. There, the dish is served family-style. I like to move the chicken to a platter, tent it to keep it warm and then blister some green beans in the garlicky skillet to go with the chicken.

Pork Chops and Cabbage With Mustard Cream Sauce. I’ll admit that I was surprised by the popularity of this recipe with readers. I loved it, but I didn’t expect the kudos received for this dish from Urvashi Pitre’s “Easy Keto in 30 Minutes.” The dish calls to mind German food, with the mustard cutting the richness of the cream with a little tang. Great for a chilly night.

Shrimp Étouffée. This was one of the first dishes I made once I settled in Washington. I like to fill a new home with familiar scents from the kitchen as a way of christening my new surroundings. Everyone interprets étouffée their own way, but this recipe is a quick and easy way to dip your toe into the Cajun canon. In January, I wrote: “As the new Dinner in Minutes columnist, I know I must earn your trust. I hope this étouffée gets us off on the right forkful.” I hope it did.

Souvlaki-Style Chicken With Tangy Yogurt Dip. I love to create platters for dinner. It makes a meal feel more festive – all those flavors and textures. I learned to make this tzatziki, a dill-flavored yogurt dip, from Ginny Zissis, director of the New Orleans annual Greek Festival. It’s great anytime, but I love it served with oregano and lemon-flavored chicken skewers, fresh tomatoes and onions and warm pita. It’s a light meal that’s fun to eat together.

Did you make any of these recipes? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

Other Reasons To Go Wild

  • Stress-free and Happier – We all know most of our health problems would be solved if we just didn’t worry and stress. The ability to be even somewhat self-reliant via wild food foraging can contribute to a general sense of well-being. The freedom from consumerism and the joy of frolicking through nature as you pick berries and weeds is incredibly relaxing. Try just sitting in a meadow of wild flora and take note of how it affects your mood.
  • Oxygenate – The fresh air and exercise that is available through the activity of wild food foraging is also beneficial. Foraging is a great way to employ natural movement such as bending, twisting, climbing, and walking. Nothing oxygenates the blood and brain quite like exercising in nature. The benefits for the body and mind are too vast for a bullet point.
  • A healthier gut and improved immunity – Wild foods contain the soil-based organisms that so many of us lack in our diet because of a fear-based germophobic mentality when it comes to our food. All of our food is so sterile that it lacks not only healthy soil, which contains probiotics and minerals, but it sometimes even lacks seeds! Getting wild food into your diet is a simple way to expose you to the elements where your immunity will be naturally boosted.

In this article, I’ve explained a number of reasons to use wild plants as food and medicine. These miracle foods have superior nutritional qualities and some are even more powerful than drugs and medications. Foraging is a great way to avoid the drawbacks of modern farming like hybridization, GMOs and GEOs, commercial fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, lack of freshness, chemicals, and even potential socially-transmissible diseases.

I encourage the consumption of wild foods for optimal wellness and as the most effective eco-sustainable practice you can do. At the very least, get out in the fresh air, reconnect with Mother Nature and play in some dirt! Nature holds the keys to unlocking our greatest health, and all we have to do is search.

About Nick Kowalski

Nick Kowalski is a Transformational Coach, fitness model and unconditional lover. You can find more of his writing on his blog NicksFit. His mission is to inspire the transformation toward love consciousness. Follow him on Instagram for more living in love inspiration and transformational mindset motivation!

These are the top 10 breakfast foods in America

Credit: Fudio/Getty Images

Updated September 10, 2019

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day, it's also the best meal of the day. (And if you don't agree, I'm sorry but you're wrong.) I'll eat breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, and breakfast for dinner. Basically, there is no limit to the eggs, toast, and waffles that I can—and will—consume.

I'm not alone in my love of a.m. eats, either. A recent survey revealed the 10 most popular breakfast foods in the U.S., from the crispiest bacon to the fluffiest pancakes. Here are the winners, plus our tips on how to make them all yourself.

The Best Fast-Food Fried Chicken, Ranked

To celebrate National Fried Chicken Day, we&rsquore here to help you find the crispiest, juiciest, most delectable piece of poultry in fast food. Americans are passionate about fried chicken and loyal to their favorites, but there&rsquos no denying that some chains do it better than others. Let&rsquos get down to the details, so that you&rsquore ending the day with a mouthful that is finger-licking good.

McDonald&rsquos is the fast food entry-point for fried chicken. While their offerings have significantly improved over the past few years, they still aren't anywhere near the caliber of the fried chicken specialists out there. Two of McDonald&rsquos revamped chicken items, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and the Chicken Selects (tenders), are inconsistent in size and freshness, and really lacking a flavor punch. Let&rsquos just say that McDonald&rsquos is not where you should celebrate National Fried Chicken Day. Now, onto the real competition&hellip

KFC is the universal fried chicken chain, but don't be so quick to stick with what you know. While the Colonel&rsquos chicken is a classic, competition is heating up and it might just be getting too hot in the kitchen. KFC&rsquos bone-in chicken is consistently dry, and the breading is bland compared to the immediately distinguishable flavors of competitors. The sides outshine the main course &mdash their signature mashed potatoes with gravy are famous for good reason, and their potato wedges often have a crispier crust than the wings. Sadly, their chicken is a case of quantity over quality.

Bojangles' is one of the least remarkable contenders in the fast food fried chicken race. The chicken is moist, but it isn&rsquot flavorful. It has a nice crunch, but it&rsquos always too thin. They have a wide variety of sides, but only a few of them are good enough to go back for (like the Bo-tato rounds). And while Bojangles' may be full of contradictions, their biscuits and breakfast menu are a sure thing. The fan-favorite Bo-berry Biscuit, baked with blueberries and slathered in confectioners icing, is the one thing that you&rsquore certain to talk about when you&rsquove long forgotten the mediocre chicken.

Church&rsquos Chicken sticks to what they know &mdash bone-in, hand-battered and deep fried. Their traditional, Texan-style chicken packs a bold flavor and is served in huge portions (everything&rsquos bigger in Texas!). Church&rsquos thick batter retains a lot of the frying oil though, which can turn the breading from crunchy to soggy in just a few short minutes. This chicken needs to be eaten fresh, right out of the frier. Otherwise the skin turns heavy and greasy, an obstacle to the meat underneath.

We are entering finger-lickin&rsquo good territory. Wingstop is one of the few fast food restaurants committed to the art of the wing &mdash and they are onto something. The chain is experiencing rapid growth, with over 1,250 stores open around the world. Their flavor selection matches full-service competitors like Buffalo Wild Wings, but at a lower price point, with speedier service and comparable quality. They have all the classics like Buffalo, Hickory BBQ and Louisiana dry rub, and are experimenting with new, bolder flavors like Ancho Honey Glaze and Harissa Lemon Pepper. If you haven't heard of Wingstop yet, you will soon.

Louisiana-based fried chicken chain. They have a solid trinity of chicken fingers, crinkle fries and Texas toast, but what really sets Cane&rsquos apart is the chicken&rsquos best friend &mdash Cane Sauce. The blend of mayo, ketchup, worcestershire, black pepper and garlic is a perfect melange of tangy and rich, with a touch of sweetness. It is the ultimate flavor companion to the seasonings in their fingers and crinkle fries. Wash it all down with a swig of their homemade lemonade and you&rsquore experiencing Raising Cane's at its finest.

If you are surprised that Shake Shack made this list, you haven&rsquot tried their Chick'n Shack sandwich. It was the first chicken item on their menu, and in true Danny Meyer fashion, he took the time to craft it to perfection. The Chick'n Shack is a thick hunk of all-natural chicken breast served atop a potato bun with lettuce, pickles and a slathering of delicious buttermilk-herb mayo. The piece of chicken is always too big for the bun (a good problem to have) and has one of the crispiest crusts of all the chicken sandwiches in fast food. At $6.69 it is the most expensive too, but the stellar sandwich is easily superior to many you&rsquod find at a full-service restaurant for double the price.

You may not have heard of Zaxby&rsquos if you aren&rsquot from the Southeastern U.S., but if you are, then you probably went there once or twice last month when you had too much Chick-fil-A. Zaxby&rsquos advantage is their full range of menu offerings including bone-in wings, tenders and sandwiches. They even serve some great &ldquoZalads&rdquo which are hearty, crisp and fresh, much unlike the standard fast food salad. The menu item that won Zaxby&rsquos this top 5 spot is their adorable Nibblerz &mdash a chicken tender tucked into a mini potato bun and oozing with their house Zax Sauce (similar to mayochup, but with a ton more flavor). Getting picky, because that is what it comes down to between these top spots, their breading lacks the satisfying crunch that many others do so well. Also, it is a little salty. But those chicken sliders are the most underrated item in fast food &mdash there, I said it.

Jollibee is the Filipino fried chicken chain that&rsquos about to take over the United States. If you&rsquore skeptical, check out this recent New York Times story heralding the chain&rsquos first Manhattan location earlier this year. &ldquoThe pleasures of Chickenjoy, as it&rsquos called, are immediate: The sheath of skin is as craggy as a thunderhead, crannies and crunch multiplying.&rdquo Uhm, I&rsquoll have some of that, please! Chickenjoy is served in bone-in pieces buckets, or you can opt for Chicken Dippers, which are the boneless tenders. Every order of chicken is accompanied by a side of their signature gravy for dipping. They also boast a selection of Filipino side dishes unrivaled by any competitor on this list. Chickenjoy with a side of the famed Jolly Spaghetti? Or, how about Fiesta Noodles (Jollibee&rsquos take on pancit palabok, a classic Filipino shrimp and noodle dish). Still hungry? Grab a Peach Mango Pie or Halo-Halo for dessert. Yes, all of this is available, and actually good, at a fast food chain.

Hattie B&rsquos is by far the smallest chain on this list, but their chicken packs the mightiest punch. Legend has it that Nashville Hot Chicken was first created as punishment for a womanizing husband. The accidental inventor is said to have thrown a heap of cayenne pepper into her husband&rsquos batch of fried chicken after he came home late from a night of&hellip well, use your imagination. Much to her surprise, he loved it! Prince's Hot Chicken Shack is credited as the first to serve it at a restaurant, but Hattie B&rsquos is responsible for letting the secret out. Thanks to them, you can now find the real thing outside of Nashville, in Atlanta, Memphis, Birmingham and Las Vegas. The fiery spirit of the woman who invented hot chicken is in every scorching bite of Hattie B&rsquos rendition, served with dill chips and white bread to cool down your taste buds. Like the nationwide obsession has, let&rsquos hope the Hattie B&rsquos chain spreads like wildfire.

Chick-fil-A is arguably America&rsquos favorite fried chicken. The original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich could be called a masterpiece. Their nuggets are easily the best you can get, made from fresh, hand-breaded morsels every morning. Their signature sauces, Chick-fil-A Sauce and Polynesian Sauce, are practically drinkable. Thin shoestring fries are no competition to Chick-fil-A&rsquos Waffle Fries, cut from cross-sections of whole potatoes. The instantly recognizable taste (and scent) of Chick-fil-A is all in the breading. When deep fried in peanut oil, the sweet and peppery batter takes on distinct flavor qualities that make it nearly impossible to duplicate. Coupled with the fact that it is straight-up addictive, it&rsquos no wonder raving fans around the country are known to frequent Chick-fil-A multiple times a week. It&rsquos just too bad Chick-fil-A doesn't offer a bone-in, traditional preparation. Good thing we have #1 for that&hellip

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is home to America&rsquos best fast food fried chicken. Popeyes has mastered the traditional T.L.C. method of hand-battered, deep-fried chicken at scale, without sacrificing quality. Their Bonafide Chicken and boneless tenders alike are consistently the crunchiest and most flavorful in the fast food circuit. Peeling off the skin and eating it on its own is otherworldly. The dark meat is as juicy as any other homemade, hand-breaded drumstick you'll find. We could go on about their chicken as a class of its own, but it doesn&rsquot stop there. Popeyes serves the classic Southern sides, like red beans and rice, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and (best of all) biscuits at the same high caliber. Thank goodness for meat and sides that compliment each other rather than compete.

Food aside, Popeyes maintains the cultural magic that makes fried chicken so great &mdash eating at a Popeyes is like eating at a mom-and-pop joint. For striking that rare and finicky balance between authenticity and the masses, Popeyes is most deserving of this top spot. It&rsquos exactly where you should celebrate National Fried Chicken Day!

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Is another traditional antiviral, and a number of modern studies have established the antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against a variety of pathogens. Researchers suggest that apple cider vinegar may work by a variety of mechanisms, including the antiviral properties of apples and the presence of probiotics that occur during the fermentation process.

Try this: Steep dried elderberries and sliced ginger in apple cider vinegar, then strain and add honey for an easy oxymel (herbal tonic) whisk together apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and olive oil for a sweet, creamy dressing stir apple cider vinegar and agave into hot water and pour over sliced onions and ginger for quick pickles.

12 “Zero Belly” Recipes

When people ask me what’s so unique about the Zero Belly meal plan, I tell them this: It involves eating food.

By that I mean real food—food with the power to reverse the fat-gene switches that are triggered by our modern processed diets and set us back on the path to perfect health. In fact, studies show that the more processed food you eat, the greater your weight—even if you eat the same number of calories. It all goes back to inflammation, and why I built Zero Belly to calm the fire and turn off the fat-storage genes that processed foods turn on.

To make sure you’re eating a meal or snack that fits into the Zero Belly meal plan—at home or at your favorite restaurant—ask yourself: Where’s my protein? Where’s my fiber? Where’s my healthy fat? If you’ve got all three covered, chances are you’re well on your way to Zero Belly. In the meantime, here are three days’ worth of delicious meals and snacks to get you on your way to your best body ever.

For more fat-stripping recipes, visit

Better Than Green Eggs and Ham
Makes 1 serving

1 large portobello mushroom cap
1⁄2 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg
2 egg whites
1⁄8 avocado, thinly sliced
Herbs and spices of your choice

1) Preheat the broiler. Line large baking sheet with foil.
2) Remove and discard mushroom stem. Brush both sides of mushroom cap with half the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then place gill-side-up on the baking sheet. Broil mushroom until soft, about 5 minutes per side.
3) Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Whisk the egg and whites in a bowl, add to pan, and scramble. When eggs are just set, remove from heat.
4) Top mushroom cap with eggs and sliced avocado. Season with salt, pepper, and spices of your choosing.

Nutrition: 226 calories, 14g fat, 2g fiber, 17g protein

Olé Omelets (pictured above)
Makes 4 servings

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of one lime
Dash of hot sauce
4 eggs
4 egg whites
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tbsp bottled salsa
1⁄2 avocado, sliced

1) Pulse the black beans, lime juice, and hot sauce in a food processor.
2) Coat a small nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium flame.
3) Crack one egg and combine in a bowl with egg white, salt, and pepper. Whisk, then add to the pan. Use a spatula to stir, and lift the cooked egg to let the raw egg slide under.
4) When the eggs have all but set, spoon a quarter of the black bean mixture onto the omelet. Fold over a third of the egg to cover the mixture, then slide the omelet onto a plate, using the spatula to flip it over at the last second to form one fully rolled omelet.
5) Top with salsa and avocado. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

Nutrition: 232 calories, 9g fat, 6g fiber, 17g protein

PB&J Bowl (pictured on page 1)
Makes 1 serving

1 cup water
1⁄2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1⁄2 cup strawberries or raspberries

1) Bring the water to a boil.
2) Stir in the oats and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
3) Just before the oats are finished, stir in the peanut butter and berries.

Nutrition: 269 calories, 11g fat, 7g fiber, 9g protein

Zero Belly Drinks

Strawberry Banana (pictured above)
Makes 1 serving

1 scoop vegetarian protein powder
1⁄3 cup frozen strawberries
1⁄4 frozen banana
1⁄2 tbsp almond butter
1⁄2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, hazelnut, coconut, hemp, etc.)
Water as needed

1) Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Nutrition: 232 calories, 5g fat, 4g fiber, 29g protein

Vanilla Milkshake
Makes 1 serving

1 scoop vegetarian protein powder
1⁄2 frozen banana
1⁄2 tbsp peanut butter
1⁄2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, hazelnut, coconut, hemp, etc.)
Water as needed

1) Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition: 248 calories, 6g fat, 3g fiber, 29g protein

Blueberry Dazzler
Makes 1 Serving

1 scoop vegetarian protein powder
1⁄2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, hazelnut, coconut, hemp, etc.)
1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
1⁄2 tbsp almond butter
Water as needed

1) Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition: 2,232 calories, 6g fat, 3g fiber, 28g protein

Going Lentil Soup
Makes 6 Servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1⁄2 jalapeño, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup dried green lentils
1⁄4 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1 can lite coconut milk
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish

1) Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and carrots and sauté till the onions are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
2) Add the lentils, cumin, bay leaf, coconut milk, and stock (or water). Turn heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced and the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
3) Season with the soy sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste. If you like, use a hand blender to gently purée the soup for a thicker consistency. Garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition: 300 calories, 12g fat, 9.5g fiber, 11g protein

Voodoo Chili
Makes 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1⁄2 lb cremini mushrooms, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes
2 canned chipotle peppers, finely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1⁄4 tsp ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
1 can pinto beans, drained
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 avocado, sliced

1) Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot set over a medium flame. Add the onion, zucchini, mushrooms, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
2) Add the tomatoes, crushing lightly between your fingers to give the chili a coarse texture. Add the chipotle, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and beans, plus salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve in bowls and top with sliced avocado.

Nutrition: 220 calories, 7g fat, 10g fiber, 9g protein

Mediterranean Dinosaur Salad (pictured above)
Makes 1 serving

2 cups kale (preferably lacinato, or “dinosaur,” kale), ribs removed and chopped
1⁄4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
1⁄4 cup artichoke hearts (canned in water, preferably)
1⁄4 cup cooked chickpeas
1⁄8 red onion, diced
2 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp cider vinaigrette
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1) Before making the salad, spend a few minutes massaging and squeezing the kale. It sounds funny, but roughing up the leaves will help break down the tough fibers, making the kale more tender.
2) Combine the kale, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, onion, and walnuts in a mixing bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Nutrition: 273 calories, 12g fat, 8g fiber, 10g protein

■ Cashew Gesundheit
Makes 4 servings

1⁄3 cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut lengthwise in thin strips
2 cups red bell pepper (about 1 large), julienned
1 tsp garlic, minced
1⁄2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 tbsp scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked brown rice

1) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cashews to pan cook until lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Remove from pan.
2) Add coconut oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add chicken sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan and place in a bowl.
3) Add bell pepper to pan sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger cook 30 seconds. Add chicken back to pan cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with cashews and scallions. Serve with 1⁄4 cup brown rice.

Nutrition: 350 calories, 19g fat, 2g fiber, 28g protein

■ The M*A*S*H Grill
Makes 4 Servings

1 lb flank or skirt steak
1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1⁄2 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar can be substituted)
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
Pinch salt
1 head Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
2 cups cooked brown rice
Sriracha or other Asian chili sauce for serving
Hoisin for serving

1) Combine the steak, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, and 1 tbsp of the vinegar in a sealable plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before cooking.
2) An hour before cooking, combine the sliced cucumber with a pinch of salt and remaining vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
3) Preheat a grill, grill pan, or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steak 3–4 minutes per side, until a nice crust develops on the surface and the meat is firm but yielding to the touch.
4) Slice steak thinly, then serve with the lettuce leaves for wrapping, plus the rice, cucumber, Sriracha, and hoisin for topping.

Nutrition: 320 calories, 8g fat, 3g fiber, 29g protein

The Ultimate Burger (pictured above)
Makes 4 servings

1 lb ground 94% (or leaner) beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1⁄2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 gluten-free hamburger buns
2 cups arugula
1⁄2 cup caramelized onions
Ketchup and mustard (optional)

1) Heat a grill or stove-top grill pan until hot. Combine the beef, salt, and pepper in a bowl and gently mix. Form into 4 patties. Caution: Overworking the meat or packing your patties too tight can make tough burgers.
2) Cook the burgers for 2 to 3 minutes and flip. Cook on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely charred on the outside but still medium-rare to medium inside. (The center should be firm but easily yielding.)
3) Meanwhile, sauté the sliced mushrooms in the olive oil until the mushrooms soften and release their liquid.
4) After you remove the burgers, toast the buns briefly. Divide the arugula among the buns and top with the burgers, mushrooms, and onions.

Nutrition: 387 calories, 13g fat, 6g fiber, 31g protein

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