Get ready for an epic edition of Meal Prep Monday because we're about to take your taste buds on a trip around the world! This week is all about exploring diverse cuisines and trying out 7 exciting recipes inspired by different cultures. From zesty Asian delights to hearty European classics, this meal prep plan will have you saying, "Yum!" and "Wow!" with every bite. So buckle up and let's embark on a culinary journey like no other!
Slovakian Bryndzové Halušky
Take a journey to Slovakia with this hearty and comforting dish of Bryndzové Halušky, featuring soft potato dumplings smothered in a savory sheep cheese sauce.
- 4 cups grated potatoes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Bryndza cheese (can substitute with feta cheese mixed with sour cream)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup bacon, diced and cooked until crispy (optional, for added richness and flavor)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped and sautéed (optional, for garnish)
- Start by grating the potatoes and squeezing out the excess liquid.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated potatoes, all-purpose flour, and salt, mixing until you get a sticky dough-like consistency.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- To make the dumplings, form small pieces of the dough into oblong shapes or use a halušky maker to drop small pieces directly into the boiling water.
- Cook the dumplings until they rise to the surface, indicating they're fully cooked. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and set them aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix the Bryndza cheese with sour cream until you get a smooth and creamy sauce. If using feta cheese instead, crumble it and mix it with sour cream.
- If you prefer, sauté the finely chopped onion until translucent for a garnish.
- In a large pan, combine the cooked dumplings with the Bryndza cheese sauce, tossing until the dumplings are coated.
- If desired, sprinkle the crispy bacon over the top for added richness and savory goodness.
- Garnish the dish with sautéed onions for a burst of flavor.
- Serve the Slovakian Bryndzové Halušky hot and savor the delightful combination of soft potato dumplings and the savory sheep cheese sauce!
Spanish Paella with Saffron-infused Rice and Mixed Seafood
Experience the rich flavors of Spain with this classic and vibrant Paella, featuring saffron-infused rice and a delectable mix of seafood.
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for added heat)
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 pound mixed seafood (shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, etc.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- In a small bowl, crush the saffron threads with your fingers and then steep them in the vegetable broth to infuse the liquid with their vibrant color and flavor.
- Heat the olive oil in a large paella pan or a wide skillet with high sides over medium heat.
- Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing until they become translucent and aromatic.
- Stir in the diced red and yellow bell peppers, cooking them until they soften.
- Next, add the Arborio rice to the pan, coating it with the oil and vegetables. Let it toast for a minute or two.
- Pour in the white wine, stirring the mixture until the liquid is mostly absorbed by the rice.
- Add the smoked paprika, ground turmeric, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper (if using), stirring to evenly distribute the spices.
- Now, pour the saffron-infused vegetable broth into the pan, along with the canned diced tomatoes. Give everything a good stir.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the paella simmer gently until the rice is almost tender and the liquid has been mostly absorbed, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the frozen green peas and mixed seafood, arranging them evenly throughout the pan.
- Cover the pan with a lid and let the seafood cook for a few minutes until it's fully cooked and the shells of the mussels and clams have opened.
- Season the paella with salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Garnish the Spanish Paella with fresh chopped parsley and serve it hot with lemon wedges for a zesty touch.
- Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of this traditional Spanish dish, savoring the saffron-infused rice and the delightful medley of mixed seafood!
Vietnamese Pho with Rich Broth and Tender Beef Slices
Embark on a culinary journey to Vietnam with this aromatic and comforting bowl of Pho, featuring a soul-soothing broth and tender slices of beef.
- 10 cups beef broth
- 1 onion, halved
- 3-inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian option)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 1/2 pound beef sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce (optional, for added heat)
- In a large pot, add the beef broth, onion, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, sugar, and fish sauce (or soy sauce). Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes to infuse the flavors.
- While the broth is simmering, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions until they're tender but still slightly chewy. Drain and set them aside.
- Strain the broth to remove the solids, leaving only the flavorful liquid.
- Season the broth with salt and pepper to your taste preference.
- If using beef sirloin or flank steak, thinly slice the meat against the grain for the most tender results.
- Divide the cooked rice noodles and sliced beef among serving bowls.
- Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and beef slices.
- Garnish each bowl with green onions, chopped cilantro, and chopped Thai basil.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top for a burst of citrusy tang.
- For extra heat, add Sriracha sauce or chili garlic sauce to taste.
- Enjoy the comforting and aromatic Vietnamese Pho, savoring the richness of the broth and the tenderness of the beef slices with every spoonful!
Chinese Bao Buns with Asian Slaw
Indulge in the delightful flavors of Chinese cuisine with these soft and fluffy Bao Buns filled with savory goodness and accompanied by a refreshing Asian Slaw.
- 1 package store-bought or homemade bao buns
- 1 pound pork belly or your choice of protein (tofu or seitan for a vegan option)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (for a vegan option)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Fresh cilantro or Thai basil for garnish
- In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey (or maple syrup), and sesame oil to create the marinade.
- If using pork belly, cut it into thin slices and marinate it in the sauce for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight. If using tofu or seitan, you can marinate them in the same sauce for 15-20 minutes.
- Heat a skillet or grill over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated protein until it's fully cooked and has a slightly caramelized exterior. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, prepare the Asian slaw by combining the shredded Napa cabbage, shredded carrot, and chopped scallions.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, grated ginger, and minced garlic to make the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss everything together until well coated. Set aside.
- Steam the bao buns according to the package instructions until they become soft and fluffy.
- To assemble, open a bao bun and fill it with a slice of the cooked protein and a generous portion of the Asian slaw.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro or Thai basil for an aromatic touch.
- Serve the Chinese Bao Buns with Asian Slaw while they're warm and fresh, delighting in the harmonious blend of textures and flavors!
Nigerian Jollof Rice with Spicy Tomato Stew and Fried Plantains
Experience the rich and vibrant flavors of Nigeria with this mouthwatering Jollof Rice recipe. The combination of spicy tomato stew and sweet fried plantains makes it an unforgettable dish!
- 2 cups long-grain parboiled rice
- 1 cup tomato sauce or blended tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 ripe plantains, sliced
- Oil for frying
- Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
- Stir in the minced garlic and diced red bell pepper, cooking until the bell pepper softens.
- Add the tomato sauce (or blended tomatoes) to the pot, along with the paprika, thyme, curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything together and let the tomato stew simmer for a few minutes to develop the flavors.
- Rinse the parboiled rice thoroughly and add it to the pot, stirring to coat the rice with the spicy tomato stew.
- Pour in the vegetable broth (or water) and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer until fully cooked and fluffy, absorbing all the flavors.
- While the Jollof Rice is cooking, heat oil in a separate skillet for frying the plantains.
- When the oil is hot, carefully add the sliced plantains and fry them until golden and caramelized on both sides. Remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil.
- Once the rice is ready, fluff it with a fork and serve it alongside the fried plantains.
- Garnish the Nigerian Jollof Rice with fresh parsley or cilantro for a burst of color and freshness.
- Enjoy this vibrant and flavorful Nigerian delicacy, savoring the combination of fragrant rice, spicy tomato stew, and delectably sweet fried plantains!
Korean Kimchi Fried Rice with Crispy Tofu and Fried Egg
Enjoy the bold and spicy flavors of Korea with this delectable Kimchi Fried Rice recipe. Crispy tofu and a perfectly fried egg take this dish to a whole new level of deliciousness!
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped
- 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free option)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 4 large eggs
- Sesame seeds and sliced nori for garnish
- Optional: Gochujang sauce for extra spice
- In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the cubed tofu and cook until golden and crispy on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the diced carrots and frozen peas to the skillet and stir-fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and crack the eggs onto the empty side. Fry the eggs to your desired doneness.
- Break the fried eggs into pieces and mix them with the vegetables.
- Add the chopped kimchi, cooked rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the skillet. Stir everything together until well combined.
- Finally, add the crispy tofu and sliced green onions to the skillet, tossing to distribute them evenly throughout the fried rice.
- Remove the Korean Kimchi Fried Rice from the heat and serve hot.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced nori for an extra touch of authenticity.
- For those who love extra heat, drizzle some Gochujang sauce on top of the fried rice.
- Indulge in the incredible flavors of this Korean classic, where the tangy and spicy notes of kimchi perfectly complement the crispy tofu and runny fried egg!