How To Easily Add A Foreign Flair To Home Cooking

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International cuisine can seem intimidating to anyone who’s not a top chef. But in reality, it’s not difficult to add a pinch of foreign flavor to your kitchen, says Blakely Trettenero, a chef, world traveler and host of Cooking for Bimbos and Hungry for Travels. Trettenero, who makes difficult dish-es easy on her cooking website with the tongue-in-check name, has visit-ed more than 30 countries and made many food discoveries along the way.

“While in Italy, I realized pasta in the United States is second rate,” says Trettenero, who has been featured on several TV shows. “That dried stuff we buy in a box doesn’t cut it. If you've ever had homemade pasta, you know what I mean.”

Once, after a night of dancing in Greece, Trettenero and others worked up an appetite and at 6 a.m. landed at a restaurant that never closes on Mykonos Harbor.

“We ordered this amazing chicken soup with fresh lemon juice squeezed on it,” she says. “It was unreal.”

Here is a recipe from Trettenero to help bring a taste of international cuisine to your home:

Thai Style Quinoa Salad Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1/4 red cabbage head, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 3 scallions sliced
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup thawed edamame

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • Juice from three limes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Toppings (Optional)

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Chopped unsalted peanuts
  • Grilled Chicken

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Put cooked quinoa in large mixing bowl. Add sliced cabbage, diced cucumber, shredded carrot, sliced scallion, edamame, and diced red bell pepper.
  2. In small bowl, mix the lime juice minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, honey, and vegetable oil.
  3. Add the vinaigrette to the quinoa and mix everything until combined and coated in the vinaigrette.
  4. Serve in a bowl and add optional toppings.