Explore Through Food with These 5 Travel-Inspired Dinner Ideas

Looking for a new way to travel? Try exploring different cuisines in the comfort of your own kitchen! Shop for new-to-you rice varieties, explore Indian Saag Tofu, Puerto Rican Pastelón, Greek Lemon Chicken, and Pot Sticker Stir Fry.

Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos arranged on a white board with limes and jalapenos nearby with text over the image that says, "What's For Dinner?"

I think I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we’re all pining to take a trip somewhere, anywhere by now.

When a trip to the grocery store feels like the wildest trip we’ve been on, I think it’s safe to say that we need something more exciting in our lives. Who says we can’t travel? Well, I mean, besides the government? We can totally take a trip through our meals this week, and that’s what I intend to do.

Our edible vacay begins and ends in Asian countries, so, rice is going to be a prominent feature (or side dish) in many of this week’s meals. Have you seen the varieties of rice that are available in most grocery stores these days? Step out of any rice comfort zone you may have, and pick up one of the exotic varieties of rice that are available. The dark hue of black rice looks so cool when plated. There’s even a jade green rice on the market. If you can’t snag a grain that’s as exotic as these, steam a pot of jasmine or basmati instead. Just do yourself a favor and try something new to you!

The good news is: Not only does steamed rice store well in the fridge, if you decide to cook it in bulk, it freezes nicely too.

In this week's meal plan you'll be able to shop for new-to-you rice varieties, explore Indian Saag Tofu, Puerto Rican Pastelón, Greek Lemon Chicken, and Pot Sticker Stir Fry. Enjoy!

  • Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu (Indian Spinach and Tofu)

    Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu
    Coco Morante

    Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu is a meatless dish from India. The convenience of using frozen spinach and canned tomatoes means you can keep the ingredients on hand for future dinners once you fall in love with it, which you will. Prepare a double batch of basmati rice and fresh naan alongside this saag tofu and you’ll have ample portions of both to serve with meals later on this week.

  • Pastelón (Puerto Rican Plantain "Lasagna")

    Marta Diaz

    This recipe not only makes my tummy sing, but it also makes my heart happy. Fond memories of trips to Puerto Rico flood my mind when I take a bite of this sweet and savory ground beef casserole. For the best contrast of flavors, be sure to use very ripe yellow plantains which builds up the layers of this dish. An added bonus is that the flavorful beef picadillo filling can be doubled and half of it frozen for use in other dishes or on its own, served over steamed white rice.

  • Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce

    Greek Lemon Chicken Skewers
    Elise Bauer

    A flavorful entrée to serve alongside leftover rice or naan from a previous dinner. The chicken’s yogurt marinade imparts enough flavor that it works as a topping for a hearty green salad for those with lighter appetites. Chicken thighs or turkey breast can be used in place of the chicken breast if you prefer those instead.

  • Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos

    Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos Bonefish Recipe
    Marta Rivera

    While these tacos are more of a spin on ethnic food, they play on the flavors of Southeast Asia in a convenient handheld meal. Picture yourself hunched over a street cart enjoying these tacos after a full day of sightseeing, and Thursday night’s dinner becomes a bit more exciting.

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  • Michelle Tam's Pot Sticker Stir-Fry

    Pot Sticker Stir Fry
    Coco Morante

    This paleo-friendly dinner is ripe for customizing! Stray true to its paleolithic intent and serve it as is, or wrap it in lettuce leaves. If you’re not confined to a paleo diet, tonight’s meal would be a great time to explore that black or jade rice.

  • Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

    purple sweet potato pie

    If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting ube (purple yam or sweet potato), do yourself a favor and dive headfirst into this baking project. Not only does the color offer a fun twist on your typical sweet potato pie, but its caramelly flavor also switches things up in a tastier way.