Asian culture and food has to do with balance. Even if you may not be a fan of traditional Asian flavors, balance in a diet is a concept that we can all benefit from.
Some people get tired of eating the same healthy foods all the time so just in case you fall into that group, try something new and change it up with some traditional Asian cooking.
It’s all about Balance
Evidently authentic Asian cuisine consists of a balance of vegetables, protein, and grains. Some oils, sauces, and fruits are included as well. The concept of balance should be reflected in your meal planning - focus on portion control and make healthy choices.
Never without Vegetables
In the Asian culture, vegetables are a common addition to any meal of the day - even breakfast. There’s a variety of tasty veggies that are included in the Asian-inspired recipes, like mushrooms, bok choy, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, snap peas, chili peppers, and many others.
The most favorite grain-based foods in Asian cooking are rice and noodles. Southwestern countries like India also like different flat breads such as naan. Rice noodles, egg noodles, and soba noodles (noodles made from buckwheat flour) are only some of the common types of noodles used to make main dishes and soups. In many Asian countries, rice is served with most meals of the day. Actually, rice is considered by many the "backbone" of most meals.
Meat is considered more of a "side dish" in Asian culture. The main focus of a meal is generally on the grain and the vegetables. Fish is specifically favored in many Asian countries, and it is quite affordable, especially along the coast. Including at least two servings of fish per week in your meal plan is highly suggested.
Besides fish and shellfish, in the Asian cuisine you can also find pork, chicken, duck, and some beef. Keep in mind that when you want to include these meats in your meal plan, it is essential to choose lean cuts, to remove any skin, and to cut away visible fat before cooking.
In the Asian cuisine there’s also a lot of vegetarian protein to be found, like: tofu, edamame, peanuts, and other legumes. These can be added to stews, stir fry, spring rolls, and soups.
Flavors and Seasonings
Genuine Asian cooking includes really capitalizing on the natural flavors of the foods you cook, through the use of herbs and seasoning. One of the most common flavor profiles used is a mix of garlic, ginger and scallions. Cilantro and chili peppers are also common. These are awesome for adding flavor to sauces, soups, and stir fry dishes for very few calories, sodium, and carbs.
Something you won’t really find in Asian cooking is milk or other dairy products. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are hardly used in most Asian cooking, with the exception of Indian cuisine.
Tea – a staple drink
Tea has been a staple drink in Asian countries for thousands of years and continues to be a popular choice. In certain Asian countries, it is still used in tea ceremonies, and it is generally consumed with meals or sweets to help with digestion.