World Food Day is back again! Bigger and better than ever, this year's theme is all about the world coming together as one to share their ideas and promote a healthy diet for all – to make sure nobody ever goes hungry. It really is all about the willingness to make a change, so whether you’re a business, farmer, or anybody in between, there are all sorts of ways to make healthy eating a permanent part of your day-to-day living and improve your life for the better.
Something important to consider is that while millions of people every year go hungry, 672 million people actually suffer from obesity, and a further 1.3 billion are classed as overweight. However, together we can change this by adopting a new attitude, new ideas, and new recipes to make you love replacing the ‘easy’ options with good, nutritious food.
It’s been said that proper nutrition early in life could mean 46% more in lifetime earnings for a lot of people. Isn’t that in itself something to kick-start your lifestyle change?
All over the world, countries share their authentic cooking and culinary delights to tantalise our taste buds. When we think of Chinese or Indian food we often think of think of takeaways, which are frequently cooked in fats and oils, which of course aren’t good for us. Indeed, we all love pizza… But it doesn’t always have to be labelled as ‘junk food’. There are so many cooking adaptions and food preparation techniques to keep you on-track while maintaining your original love for food.
So, hold on tight foodies because we’re going on a culinary adventure across the globe… Healthy diet edition!
Thai cooking has a great reputation for cultivating some of the most delicious, healthy, and flavoursome meals you will ever experience. Spicy soups including Tom Yung Goong are a popular delicacy and typically combine mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, fish sauce, onions, lemongrass, meat, and many other additions to form a delectable concoction of yummy goodness.
Stir-frys are a brilliant and exceptionally easy go-to for lunch or dinner; simply grab a Wok, your few ingredients, and let the magic happen. Opt for sticky rice or tasty noodles and pair with a combination of meat, vegetables, and your fair share of chilli and garlic to add flavour. Unarguably the most popular dessert in Thailand, mango sticky rice is a simple yet sumptuous option to settle your sweet tooth. Simply enjoy sliced mango over steaming sticky rice, drizzled with coconut milk.
Home of many traditional Greek treats, Greece and its neighbouring islands have introduced the world to experimental cooking that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet with ease. Stuffed grape leaves can be enjoyed as an appetiser and are often filled with ground mince or lamb with rice – a perfect start to any meal.
The iconic Greek salad is a favourite for many, the colourful concoction of feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, cucumber, salt, pepper, and olive oil is a light option for a work lunch to see you through until dinner time. Orange cake, made from yogurt, originates from Crete and bursts with orange flavour with a cinnamon touch, or Halva is a yummy Greek sweet of semolina flour, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon you can always enjoy at the end of every meal.
Rich in flavour, many of Spain’s well-known dishes are fuelled with ingredients perfect for a healthy diet. The reddest and ripest tomatoes paired with olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers, and cucumber are blended to make Gazpacho; a hearty meal bursting with flavour. Pisto is not a dish to be hurried, as a slow fry in olive oil combines onions, garlic, courgettes, peppers, and tomatoes for a Spanish version of ratatouille.
Paella is another favourite, often made with chicken or seafood, saffron, runner beans, butter beans, and the all-important element – rice. For dessert, flans are a pleasant blend of milk, sugar, and eggs with the addition of other ingredients to make different variations… egg flan, cheese flan, coconut flan, or chestnut flan. You decide!
Traditional Danish food largely consists of a balanced mix of meat with vegetables; the perfect start towards your new balanced lifestyle. Stick the stove on and prepare the classic Denmark dish Krebinetter; a mouth-watering pork patty paired with green peas and boiled potatoes. The iconic sausage Medisterpolse is served with mashed potatoes, parsley, and pickles to provide a world of flavour.
Mix things up with an open-faced sandwich snack, made with only one slice of bread. The idea is to prepare sandwiches from your leftovers, so you can be as inventive as you like. Quarter of a bag of lettuce, some ham, and leftover onion in the fridge? Whack it all together on a slice of bread and you’ve got yourself a Smorrebrod! A cup of tea is always a good shout, so instead of a calorific Danish pastry opt for a sip of black liquorice tea to settle you after a good meal and take away any sugar cravings.
When we think Rome our minds revert to pizza and pasta, and while being on the calorific side of the food scale, in moderation they can be comfortably enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. With the preparation of raw eggs, Pecorino Romanto, pancetta, parmigiana reggiano cheese, and Italian cured pork cheek you’ll have yourself a sumptuous plate of Rigatoni Carbonara. Sample Saltimbocca, known in the Italian way as “jumps in your mouth”; a combination of veal, prosciutto, and sage rolled up and cooked in white wine and butter.
For something on the sweeter side of life try Maritozzi, buns studded with chocolate chips and filled with fresh whipped cream – best enjoyed with an espresso! Gelato is also a favourite in Italy, just make sure you don’t eat too much of the tasty stuff as it’s undeniably addictive!
With the help of worldwide culinary inspiration, we’ve proven that food can still be enjoyed when you combine flavours and ideas you’d never even thought of to make mealtimes exciting every time! Support World Food Day, fight hunger, and make your change today – we challenge you to prepare one of the delectable dishes mentioned above to get you started on your healthy eating journey…