Top 5 Everyday Exotic Dinners

Categories: On the Menu

6-2-11 vegemite.jpg
Jules:stonesoup
Unless I'm feeling particularly inspired, throwing a party or testing out recipes for a blog post, on a daily basis I often fall into the same old pasta, chicken, whatever rotation. There's only so many nights, however, that a person can stand the same old boring thing before one's taste buds threaten to go on strike. After a particularly boring week in the way of culinary endeavors I found five incredibly easy dinner recipes that include things I eat normally spiced up with tasty, exotic twists.

5. Representing North Africa: Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices

Spaghetti Squash is easily one of my favorite discoveries as it is a nutritious pasta alternative, insanely easy to cook up and just plain cool. The Moroccan-inspired spices give the mild squash really good flavor and because the squash is just as good cooked in the microwave as it is in the oven, it's super quick to make.

4. Representing Australia: Vegemite Chicken

You either like Vegemite or you hate it. Personally, I can't see what's not to like, as it's savory, salty and reminiscent of meat though it is a vegetarian product. Vegemite also happens to be pretty healthy despite the salt content. Some prefer their Vegemite spread on toast or with cheese, but I prefer using this Aussie import to make ridiculously tasty, sweet and savory chicken. You can also use Marmite, but if you do, please let me know if you can tell the different between the two because I can't.

3. Representing India: Tandoori Spiced Flank Steak

When in need of red meat, it's amazing what just a few spices can do to completely change a boring, old steak. The marinade in this recipe helps to pump up and tenderize the lean flank steak giving tons of flavor without any added fat. Pair this with some simple greens and naan for a much more interesting steak night. If you feel like getting a little fancier, this slightly more involved tandoori steak recipe is delightful.

2. Representing South America: Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf

While I have absolutely no idea if Peruvians enjoy turkey and quinoa meatloaf, I certainly enjoy their spices in it. The quinoa gives the turkey wonderful texture and nutty flavor that more than makes up for the lack of beef. My favorite part of this recipe, though, is the spice blend that includes Aji Amarillo and cumin. This is definitely not your mama's meatloaf. If you insist on taking the fun out of it, you can use a jalapeno instead like this recipe.

1. Representing the Caribbean: Jerk Tilapia

A few years ago when my palate was still very uneducated, I went to Jamaica and managed to avoid all jerk-flavored foods aside from one teeny, tiny bite. Obviously I was insane then and with my newfound sanity I can now fully appreciate jerk seasoning. As a pretty widely available and versatile fish, mild tilapia and intense, complex jerk seasoning make for a happy marriage. Admittedly, this one requires quite a bit of ingredients, but you'll want to make a big batch of the seasoning to "jerk" other proteins.



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12 comments
UziGal
UziGal

What about the great culinary invention of New England:  Ham & Cheese -- two slices of white bread, mayonnaise, one slice of pasteurized, processed cheese-like product, and one slice of  canned ham.

Bobby Freshpants
Bobby Freshpants

Not knowing the difference between marmite and vegemite is like not knowing the difference between pepsi and coke. Please don't be blasphemous again.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

I dated an Aussie a couple years ago.  She always used Promite which is MUCH better.  See if you can find it.  She also would spead butter on the toast and spread Promite on top of that.  It really wasn't bad at all.

Just Another Reader
Just Another Reader

When I first saw the title of this post, I thought it was "Top 5 Everyday Exotic Dancers".  Needless to say I was a little disappointed.

trisch
trisch

That Vegemite chicken recipe looks surprisingly tasty. I can see how the vegemite could bring a delightful umami to the dish. I'm going to have to try it! Who knows, it might even inspire me to get past the gag reflex and try the stuff spread on toast!

Stacy Zane
Stacy Zane

Ewwwwwww, Vegemite. I hate it. 

Kristen Majewski
Kristen Majewski

Would love to hear your explanation of the differences Mr. Bobby Fresh!

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

WTF...dude, your comment sounds like it was written in code..."She also would spread butter on the toast and spread Promite on top of that."

Kristen Majewski
Kristen Majewski

Haha - sorry to disappoint, I'll work on that one for you!

Bobby Freshpants
Bobby Freshpants

Sure thing, Call me and we can arrange a vegemite/marmite date. Have a little taste test and go over the finer details. (vegemite is way better btw)

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Really?  Ok, I'll explain it hopefully better this time.  Take a piece of toast.  Spread butter on it.  Then take a knife-full of Promite and spread that over the butter.  So now you have a piece of toast with butter & Promite on it.

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