Around the World in Healthy Dishes: Culturally-Rich & Nutritious Recipes to Make While Traveling

18. Jan. 2022

Around the World in Healthy Dishes: Culturally-Rich & Nutritious Recipes to Make While Traveling

Katia Angiel, prolific food influencer and Remote Year Community Manager, is no stranger to discovering local cuisine from around the world: 

“I love traveling and getting to know new cultures and traditions through food. One of my favorite parts is doing lots of research on the best dishes, restaurants, streets and food markets of a new location I’m going to.”

Katia Angiel

Katia Angiel

Based in Argentina, Katia and her sister decided to start Buenos Aires Eat ( five years ago to document the delicious food they came across in the city. The popular account now has over 33,000 followers and is filled with mouth-watering pictures from restaurants all over Buenos Aires. They’ve collaborated with many popular Argentinian brands and restaurants including: Pani (bakery), Tucson (steakhouse), Santa Julia (vineyards), La causa Nikkei (Japanese).

Aside from being an expert foodie and traveler, Katia is also quite passionate about health and nutrition. Through the years, she’s realized that sometimes it can be difficult to eat healthy when you’re abroad on the road. 

As a solution, Katia did some deep research and selected healthy recipes from around the world for you to discover and sample! Not only are they healthy, they also allow you to connect to local cultures in a meaningful way. These dishes give you an opportunity to sample ingredients from regional markets or talk to locals about their views on a beloved dish. These simple recipes are nourishing and easy to prepare at home as well.  

Read on below for some of her favorite nutritious dishes from Europe, Africa, and Latin America.


South Africa: Chakalaka

What is it:  Chakalaka is an authentic South African vegetable relish that most locals adore. You can have it with anything from pap to samp to braaivleis. The dish is believed to have originated in Johannesberg’s townships and gold mine hostels. While Chakalaka recipes differ across the region, at the heart of them all you’ll find tomato, onion, green pepper, and chili spice.

Kati’s take:  “This healthy meal is basically made of stewed vegetables. It gives you an opportunity to visit the local market and ask for local vegetables and seasonings. This is a nice starter to share with the group and goes with everything: bread, toasts or curries.”

Recipe selected from @tees_cooking_addiction 

Image from @tees_cooking_addiction


Croatia: Dalmation Beef Stew

What is it: This ancient Croatian dish has been around for centuries – it was even around during the fall of the Roman empire! Dalmatian beef stew is often prepared for special occasions, such weddings or baptisms, as well as local Mardi Gras festivities. Traditionally, this stew was made from pieces of beef leg, but throughout the years that has been replaced by the beef round. Every city has its own version of this famous peasant stew, and recipes can vary from household to household.

Kati’s take: “I mainly choose it because it is the most iconic Dalmatian dish and very popular around Croatia. Also,as an entertaining activity, this is a slow-cooking meal, ideal to match with a glass of wine and long group talks while food gets ready”.

Recipe selected from @rimmersrecipes 

Image from The Croatian Kitchen

Portugal: Bacalhau

What is it:   Bacalhau is the Portuguese word for cod, and it’s considered to be a staple ingredient in the country’s cuisine. It is said that there are over 365 ways to cook the iconic fish, one for each day of the year – although it depends who you ask. Some people say that there are 1,001 ways to cook bacalhau. This dish is often cooked for special occasions, and in some parts of Portugal, bacalhau is considered the traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

Kati’s take: “No trip to Portugal would be completed without trying some bacalhau, the country’s national dish! This recipe is not easy or fast, but learning to prepare one of Portugal’s most traditional dishes is worth the effort. It’s especially great for staying healthy on the road because it is high in protein but low in calories and fat.”

Recipe selected from @

Image from Canva

Spain:  Anchovies with Vinegar

What is it: Anchovies abound around the coasts of Spain and have been a common feature in Spanish dishes for hundreds of years. The most traditional way to prepare anchovies is to marinate them with vinegar for about 6 hours, a process which results in this snack’s signature flavor. The Spanish call this dish boquerones en vinagre, and it happens to be one of the most popular tapas in the country. Garnish with fresh garlic and parsley, and voila - you have a simple dish ready to share!

Kati’s take: “This quick recipe will show you how to eat anchovies in a healthy and delicious way. Anchovies are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, making them a perfect choice for a nutritious snack. These small fish are perfect for sharing with friends!” Recipe selected from @cocinandoparati10 

Image from @cocinandoparati10 


Costa Rica: Picadillos

What is it: Picadillos are one of the most easy, popular and traditional Costa Rican dishes! It’s not only found in Costa Rica, but all around Latin America, as well as Spain and the Philippines. The dish’s name picadillo comes from the Spanish word picar, which means to chop or mince. Costa Rica’s most popular picadillos include potato, chayote, and vainica (green beans). While the recipe varies depending on where you are in Costa Rica, all picadillos will usually have vegetables that are chopped into small pieces that are paid with meat.

Kati’s take: “This dish can be made in under 20 minutes and is a great way to use up any vegetables, chicken, or other nutritious ingredients you happen to have in your refrigerator. The simple recipe and variety of ingredients make picadillos an ideal meal to whip up after a busy day exploring or working remotely.”

Recipe selected from @recipesfromcostarica 

Image from @recipesfromcostarica

Guatemala:  Radish Salad / Veggie Chojín

What is it:   Made with radishes, oranges, fresh mint, and lime juice, this crisp Guatemalan salad and popular snack can also be used as a dressing. If you’re feeling extra healthy, swap the crispy fried pork rinds which traditionally top this salad for nuts to add in some protein and healthy fats. This dish is easy to prepare, and packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals to keep you healthy when on the go.  Kati’s take: “This fresh salad combines sweet, sour, and spicy flavors and can be prepared in less than 10 minutes. Not only is this a delicious option for lunch or dinner, but the salad can be combined with many other dishes to add additional flavor and nutrients. The ingredients are cheap and easy to get in Guatemala, making it a great budget-friendly healthy option.”

Recipe selected from @ciberhaydee

Image from @gastroactivity

Mexico: Chicken Pozole 

What is it: This traditional hearty soup is a favorite in Mexico, particularly around the holidays. In Mexican Aztec history, corn was considered to be a sacred plant and corn-based dishes like pozole were only made for special occasions. To this day, many families typically enjoy pozole when celebrating Mexican Independence Day or Christmas. Made with chicken, this dish is a great source of protein, and vegetables like corn, onions, tomatillos, and jalapenos help make this soup as flavorful as it is nutritious. 

Kati’s take: “Pozole is a great low-calorie soup that is great anytime, but especially if you’re feeling a bit sick or under the weather. It’s filled with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and can help keep you hydrated or even soothe a sore throat. Feeling congested? Add in some extra spices to help you clear out your sinuses!”

Recipe selected from @isabeleats 

Image from Canva

Colombia: Frijoles Con Carne

What is it:  Few other dishes capture the Colombian spirit as frijoles con carne. Frijoles, or red beans, is a cornerstone in most Colombian dishes. This classic Colombian dish is made with frijoles and a type of meat, with most versions containing a mixture of tomatos, onion, garlic, pepper, and oil. They can be served as a side dish, or as part of the main course. There are an impressive number of variations on the dish across Colombia, and most families have their own distinctive frijoles recipe.

Kati’s take: Frijoles con carne are a must-try dish when visiting Colombia. Beans, a Colombian staple, are rich in vegetable protein, fiber, iron and are usually low in fat. This easy recipe also incorporates plenty of vegetables, rice, and meat, which provide additional vitamins and nutrients. If you’re looking for a simple, yet filling recipe to prepare while traveling, try this one!” 

Recipe selected from @receta.scolombianas 

Image from Canva

Peru: Ceviche

What is it: This delicious seafood dish is one of Peru’s most popular meals and is typically made from fresh raw fish cured with vinegar, citrus juices, and various spices. While there’s some debate over where ceviche originated, most people agree that it has its roots are in South America. When the Spanish colonists arrived, they brought with them citrus fruits that became the basis of the ceviche we know and love today. It’s now so popular that it was nominated to obtain UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status. There’s even a Ceviche Day in Peru! 

Kati’s take: “This dish is gluten-free, dairy-free, low in carbs, rich in omega-3, and the acidity from lime juice helps aid digestion. Ceviche is fun and simple to prepare, and the different recipe steps make it easy to divide up the cooking tasks with a group.” 

Recipe selected from @k0cinas 

Image from Canva

Conclusion: If you think finding healthy food abroad is daunting, Kati is here to let you know that it’s quite the opposite as long as you do your research before landing in a new country! For more tips on health and wellbeing, be sure to follow our Instagram at @remoteyear.

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