Free Meal Plan: 5 Travel Inspired Ethnic Dishes

I have the travel itch. When spring shows up, everything thaws and blooms and the days get longer, I want to stay outside – and hop on a plane, train or automobile, if at all possible. The travel bug translates well to the kitchen, fortunately – if I can’t make it to Asia or Greece myself, I can always use my imagination. Right? I’ll go for a walk and visit some interesting ethnic groceries – much cheaper than a plane ticket.


free meal plan Pimped-out ramen recipeA bowl of ramen is a good thing – it’s quick, convenient, cheap – and a great use of leftovers. This version is vegan, but you can easily add leftover roast chicken or pork, or a hard-boiled or poached egg. Best of all, everyone can dress up their own with any ingredients they like.

Pimped-out Ramen Noodles

Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen


free meal plan Pork banh mi recipeThese Vietnamese pork meatball sandwiches are a favourite at our house – what makes them (beyond the fish sauce in the meatballs – and I have some from last week’s pad Thai!) is the grated carrot, quickly marinated in rice vinegar and sugar. A few strips of cucumber and sprigs of cilantro, and dinner’s ready.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi (Vietnamese Subs)

Photo credit: Gwendolyn of Patent and the Pantry


free meal plan roasted shrimp Thai succotash recipe jpgSuccotash sounds far fancier than it actually is – as Jaime describes it: You just start with the corn, and then throw in anything that sounds good. Kids tend to love corn, and the roasted shrimp on top are fun to peel and eat with your fingers.

Roasted Shrimp on Thai Succotash

Photo credit: Jaime of Sophistimom


free meal plan beef souvlaki recipeSimply marinated chunks of beef threaded onto bamboo skewers cook quickly on the barbecue – serve with rice and a salad or wrap them in dolled-up pitas and slather with tzatziki. Perfect for welcoming summer.

Beef Souvlaki with Pita and Tzatziki

Photo credit: Aimee of Simple Bites


free meal plan roast chicken garlic lemon herb recipeParis is on my must-visit list – as much for the food as anything else. And what’s more French than a simply roasted chicken? Stuffed with a handful of the fresh herbs that are already starting to grow, a wedge of lemon and halved head of garlic, it couldn’t be easier on a Friday night.

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Fresh Herbs

About the Author:

Julie Van Rosendaal is the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One, the author of five best-selling cookbooks, with a sixth - Alice Eats, the Wonderland Cookbook having just been released in October. She's the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and a freelance writer, contributing to local, national and international publications including Swerve, Avenue, Western Living and Readers Digest. She is also co-host of It’s Just Food on the OWN television network, and writes and is the photographer for her award-winning food blog,, which documents real life in her home kitchen in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, Mike, and 8 year old son, Willem.

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