When you’re stuck in a repetitive routine at home, even the smallest changes can liven things up a lot. One easy way you can bring a little excitement into your day is by trying a new meal!
And what better meal to try during quarantine than an easy international dish? These 6 international meals are not only super easy on your time and budget, but they also exude the unmistakable flavors of their parent countries. They’re the perfect way to bring a taste of travel right to your kitchen.
Fans (or soon-to-be fans!) of French cuisine will love this savory blend of wine, chicken, and vegetables that evokes images of fine dining in Paris. If you’ve ever had classic Coq au Vin, you know that the traditional version takes up to 4 hours. But this version is both delicious and easy without sacrificing a speck of flavor. Plus, you probably have most of the ingredients already in stock!
This recipe also comes with instructions to make mouth-water Brown Butter Sage Mashed Potatoes that may just find a way into your regular dinner rotation. Half Baked Harvest does an excellent job incorporating both sets of instructions in sync with each other, so you won’t feel frantic making both dishes at once. And voila! In 45 minutes, you’ll have a full, delicious, and healthy meal sitting on your table.
IRELAND: Irish Stew
Even though St. Patrick’s day has come and gone, you can enjoy this hearty Irish stew any time of year! The traditional version calls for lamb, but an easy replacement is a juicy cut of chuck roast that will still bring out those rich flavors and pairs well with potatoes and carrots. It’s the perfect at-home-in-your-pajamas kind of meal that will make you feel warm and cozy with every bowl.
This meal comes together effortlessly, with most of the work being done by your crockpot! And, once again, you probably have everything you need on hand to make this delectable stew tonight.
For a meal that’s as fun to eat as it is to say, try German Frikadellen! These fried meat patties are the original hamburger, but you may think of them as more of a cross between meatballs and a hamburger. They’re a classic menu item of German beer gardens and street vendors, and one of the most traditional German meals you can eat!
Frikadellen can be eaten alone, but they’re traditionally sandwiched between sourdough bread that’s coated in chives for maximum flavor. You can also put larger ones on Kaiser rolls for more of a burger experience. This recipe by Craftbeering.com not only has an easy Frikadellen recipe, but it also includes recipes for several authentic side dishes that you can make alongside your beer garden fare for a full-course German meal.
THAILAND: Baked Thai Peanut Chicken
Missing your favorite Thai restaurant? Then bring some authentic Thai flavors home with this mouth-watering Baked Thai Peanut recipe. You’ll love the creamy peanut sauce, the spice of ginger, and dash of lime that brings these chicken thighs to full perfection. Paired with steamed rice and some veggies, you’ll be absolutely transported with the first bite!
And with only ten minutes of hands-on time to prepare this incredible meal, you’ll be wanting to add it to your regular weeknight rotation!
CUBA: Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja
It’s easy to pretend you’re in Havana with a hearty plate of Ropa Vieja in front of you. This classic Cuban dish features tender, shredded meat, peppers, and spices in tomato sauce. After searing the roast, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the delicious aroma of the meat and spices cooking for the next 6 to 8 hours while you dream of sunny beaches and brightly-colored colonial-style buildings.
The Roasted Root has also included additional instructions to turn your Ropa Vieja into an amazing Cuban bowl for an easy all-in-one meal! They’re absolutely bursting with authentic flavor from plantains, avocado, red potatoes, and cabbage. You’ll get a hearty meal (probably with leftovers!) together with only 40 minutes of effort on your part.
INDIA: Butter Chicken
You may not be able to visit India right now, but you can still enjoy the authentic flavors of Butter Chicken in less than 40 minutes! This easy but delightful recipe from Simple Joy combines the perfect blend of spices with a yogurt and half-and-half cream sauce. You’ll get a subtle but not overwhelming kick that’s perfect for families to enjoy.
You can effortlessly prepare some white jasmine rice on the side while this is cooking (hint: add a dash of lime and some cilantro for maximum flavor) and pull out a package of naan bread to soak up every bit of this tasty butter sauce for a complete meal.
Are you hungry yet? Dreaming of a past adventure and a delicious meal enjoyed in an overseas café? Try one of these amazingly easy international recipes tonight to spice things up and bring the flavors of your favorite vacation home. Your stomach (and your wanderlust) will thank you!
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