Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World

I love exploring flavors from around the world as part of my daily meals. Not only do the wide range of ingredients and variety of flavors keep things interesting, they also satisfy the palette.

In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, I would like to share some of my favorite recipe creations inspired by cuisines from around the world.

Jewelled Moroccan Stew

I love the way Moroccan cuisine balances savory ingredients with sweet dried fruits like raisins to create the perfect bite. If you’re not a fan of raisins, you can substitute coarsely chopped dried apricots.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 13-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup golden raisins (be sure they are organic and do not contain sulfites)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the spices and cook for one minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes (with lid on). Serve on its own or with rice, couscous or quinoa for a gluten-free option.


Black Bean Chili

This yummy Mexican-inspired black bean chili is perfect for a cold autumn or winter evening, but it’s so good you’ll probably want to enjoy it in every season.

  • 1-1/2 cups dried black beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 jar (24 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp  sea salt
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped

In a medium to large slow cooker, combine beans and 6 cups of the water. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, or until beans are tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse. Return beans to slow cooker.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots, red peppers, celery and the jalapeño pepper; sauté for 10 minutes or until onions are lightly browned. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add tomato sauce, quinoa, cumin, salt, chili powder, cilantro and the remaining water to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until quinoa is tender. Serve. Garnish with cilantro and avocado.

Note: If you don’t have time to slow cook the beans, substitute 4 cups canned beans, drained and rinsed.


Thai Noodle Salad

It may look like a lot of ingredients, but this delicious Thai-inspired dish can be assembled in 10 to 15 minutes. As an added bonus: You can make the dressing ahead and store it in the fridge for a week for a quick-and-easy lunch or dinner.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 8-oz. package of spelt, kamut, brown rice soba, udon or spaghetti noodles
  • ½ package baby Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • ½ cup snow peas, cut in half lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 green onion, cut into diagonal pieces
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup raw, unsalted peanuts
  • Lime wedges to garnish

Dressing Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ½ green onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Dash cayenne

Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, drain and set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, make the dressing. Place all dressing ingredients into a wide-mouth jar and blend with a hand-blender. Alternatively, place all ingredients into a small blender or food processor. Set aside.

Place a base of lettuce on each plate. Add a handful of noodles to each. Then top with plenty of mung bean sprouts, carrots, red peppers and snow peas. Sprinkle freshly chopped green onion, cilantro and peanuts on top. Garnish with lime wedges.


Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Salad

Popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, tabbouleh is traditionally made with acidic wheat couscous. This version is very alkalizing, thanks to the quinoa, lemon juice and parsley. The recipe is quick and easy to prepare, but the flavors deepen after it sits in the fridge for an hour or two.

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley (or 2 small bunches), finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (see page 65 for cooking instructions)
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp  sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, garlic, green onion and quinoa.

In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and cayenne. Pour over salad and toss to coat.


Italian White Bean Stew

Lima beans or other white beans could be the most under-used legumes available. Fortunately, this Italian-inspired dish serves them up with plentiful amounts of flavor, even for those who aren’t lima bean fans.

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ bunch spinach, chopped coarsely
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can lima beans or other white beans, drained and rinsed

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil over low heat until translucent. Add the spinach, tomato and lima beans. Stir. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or until tomatoes and spinach are cooked and the stew has thickened. Add chopped basil and sea salt and stir. Serve.


Lentil Dahl

This Indian curry tastes so fabulous I could eat it every day. You’ll enjoy it so much you’ll likely forget all of the health benefits lentils offer: balanced blood sugar, intestinal cleansing, lower cholesterol, to name a few. This yummy dish is also quick and easy to make.

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 to 4 dried red chillies, depending on heat preference
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon  sea salt
  • 3 cups cooked lentils (or two small cans, rinsed)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish (if desired)

In a medium to large pot, boil the cubed yams in water until soft. Pour off excess water, leaving enough to mash the yams with a hand blender until smooth. In a frying pan, cook the onion, mustard seeds, chilies, ginger and garlic in the olive oil over low heat until the onion is transparent. Add the onion mixture to the mashed yams. Then, add the lentils, turmeric, sea salt and ½ cup water. Stir together. Let simmer over low heat until warmed and flavors mingle. Serve in bowls with fresh cilantro as a garnish.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.


Emma L
Ellie L25 days ago


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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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