No, I haven’t become a food blogger over the last week.
Food is a big part of travel for me. I love going to new places and discovering their local cuisine. It’s not a real trip if you don’t come back 10 pounds heavier, right?
…maybe that’s just my philosophy.
Since we’re all stuck inside during the Coronavirus pandemic and I’ve been getting very antsy to travel, I figured I’d bring the travel to us.
Sure, we can’t actually go somewhere new, but maybe taking our tastebuds there will be enough?
Why am I Writing About 50 Global Recipes?
It’s a bit weird for someone who travels as much as I do to thrive on routine, but I really do. I love having everything scheduled and laid out when I’m at home. That goes double for meals!
I’m hypoglycaemic, which basically means I get hangry super fast and could faint if I don’t eat (yes, there’s way more too it but this isn’t a medical blog). To deal with that, I have to eat very frequently. And since I love to cook, that means having a ton of food in the house at all times.
To prepare for that, I make weekly meal plans. It’s something that I started doing in undergrad when I moved into my own flat. My mom created 4 weeks of meal plans complete with a grocery list to help me start figuring out what to eat and when. It was partially to help me learn to cook and partially to ensure I wasn’t living on tortilla chips the way I had been in first year (thanks, mom!).
Now, I do it every week.
My Global Menu
My quarantine meal plans began with my favourites, but I quickly found myself searching out more varied meals from around the world. My grocery lists for my dad (he delivers my food since he has a car) were filling with spices and new veg.
At least half my meals were coming from other countries.
And I was loving it!
Sure, I was still stuck in Toronto where there is somehow still snow late in April and my desk was still piled high with notes for my final assignments. But at least at dinner I got some new variety.
Give it a Go!
Changing up your menu isn’t enough to completely trick yourself into thinking you’re on a beach in Dubrovnik or climbing a volcano in New Zealand (I’m not willing to invest in sunlamps and fake sand just yet). But it’s a good trick to satiate your wanderlust. And you get to eat something yummy.
So really it’s a win-win!
These are my favourite global recipes to inspire you during quarantine.
50 Global Recipes for Quarantine
North American Recipes
This is my favourite Canadian recipe. You may have seen it in my Comprehensive Guide to Canadian cuisine.
I don’t use a recipe when I make it, but this one is close to my version. I don’t add lemon or pepper but may try it next time!
It’s been weird being back in Canada without at least having the option to have poutine. My family don’t eat it (most have never tried it), and I don’t have access to a proper fryer so I’ve had to suffer without.
But as time goes on I’m getting closer and closer to attempting it!
This recipe has been a go-to of mine since undergrad. I love that you can play with the toppings and make it your own. Plus, it’s a really great recipe while you’re travelling. You can play with the spices so it can work in any country.
I don’t top it with guac (because I’d eat it all before the beans were warm). I use salsa and sour cream.
This is my favourite to take for lunch. It warms up so well and is just delicious!
Again, I don’t use a recipe but this one from Sally’s Baking Addiction is close to what I do. I only use mozzarella (sparingly as I’m newly lactose intolerant).
The main difference is that I make my pizza dough from this recipe. And, if I have it on hand, I dust the dough in semolina.
I made this constantly in New Zealand when the mangoes were ripe. I even made it as a work lunch to share with some friends!
The recipe is super simple, travels well, and is great second or third day. I’ve even played around with adding it to salads.
While it’s not true jerk chicken – the kind you’d get from a good Jamaican jerk hut – it satisfies my never-ending craving to eat at a jerk hut again.
I change up my recipe every time I make it – since I often lose them in my bookmarks. Essentially, as long as it has real corn kernels in it I’m sold.
Corn bread is best beside a good BBQ chicken or saucy pulled pork. Or as a study snack that will inevitably get all your notes sticky (thank god for electronic submissions!).
When I was 16, I volunteered at an animal rescue in Costa Rica. We used to go to a school cafeteria for lunches. I swear to god they made the best rice and beans I’ve ever eaten. No matter what I do, I can’t quite get their level of excellence. But this recipe has come decently close.
I’m a tzatziki addict. I would drink the stuff if I could. Since that’s not socially acceptable, I use it to top this amazing recipe for chicken souvlaki.
(I buy the pita and tzatziki though. Although I’m tempted to try making them with all the free time we now have!)
Pro tip: marinade the chicken for 24 hours. It’s so much better the longer you leave it!
This dish brings back memories of Budapest. It’s such an incredible city – which means I eat more chicken paprikash than I probably should.
The best side is spaetzle, like little dumplings, but if those are too hard to find use egg noodles. They soak up the sauce just as well!
Ina is my hero! I struggled for so long with dry chicken, but this recipe changed the game. I first made it for a friends-dinner in the UK and I’ve since made it way too often.
If you make it, save the carcass and make homemade stock. You can find a ton of recipes on google.
In Serbia, this is often called “pita”, but it depends on how you wrap it and the exact quantities.
This recipe blends the Croatian and Serbian styles of making this amazing cheese pastry. I don’t care if I’m lactose intolerant – I’ll take the stomach pains for this treat!
Everyone knows spanakopita, right? This Greek pastry reminds me of walking on beaches and soaking up the sun as I explored Athens (which is weird, because I barely remember my only trip to Greece).
These can be a full dinner if you serve them with a side salad, or a great snack. I’ve even had them for breakfast!
This is what I lived on in Berlin in 2018. Well, flammkuchen and German brown bread.
I was actually taught to make this in Austria, but the delicacy is better-known in German. It’s like a white pizza topped with bacon and onions. Really, how could that be bad?
Chicken pot pies are my favourite food on this planet. I would happily only eat them for the rest of my life.
I use a recipe from a cookbook, but this one is similar. French recipes use leeks and mushrooms, which I find gives the nicest flavour. But I skip the cream (I do sometimes try to be good to my poor lactose intolerant stomach).
I also have no idea what cream sherry is and have never tried to find out. Instead, I use white wine. Once I skipped it all together and the recipe was still great.
For a cheaters version, skip the dough and top with puff pastry. (Pro tip from my great grandma: if you want the puff pastry to be crispy on the bottom, bake it beside the pies and then put it on top.)
My sister and I have been obsessed with rosti forever. She used to get it for breakfast when she was doing her undergrad.
In Oxford, I finally took the time to make it myself (after we forced our mom to make it for years). It’s actually not that hard once you’ve grated all the potatoes.
I use this recipe but make the rosti thinner because I like a really crispy potato pancake. For extra crispiness, add more butter or oil between pancakes.
To make this a full meal, you can add toppings to the rosti. My favourite are smoked salmon and sour cream, a fried egg, or wilted spinach and mushrooms.
My dad gave me a recipe from our Italian neighbour and ever since I’ve been eating way too much pasta. Her recipe is essentially the same as this one, but adds grated carrot and a tablespoon of tomato paste into the sauce. The grated carrot really elevates the sauce.
For meatballs, you can use whatever recipe you like. I don’t eat most meats, so I make chicken or turkey meatballs. The real trick is to bake them halfway then finish cooking them in the sauce for about 50 minutes. The bake keeps them together when they’re simmering in the sauce, but the sauce keeps them super moist.
Minestrone is one of my favourite soups. Since most of my other favourites involve pureeing root vegetables, this is basically the only one I make.
Minestrone can be played with and you can add whatever substitutes you want. I’ve made bean ones, chickpea ones, and even ones with macaroni noodles.
I don’t actually use a recipe when I make this – I tend to Frankenstein a few different recipes together based on what I have in my fridge – but this is my usual base.
Growing up, my favourite restaurant was a Spanish tapas joint near my house. I was constantly dragging my family there.
In my mom’s house, we had 4 kids with crazy different food preferences. The one dish we would usually all eat (until I went through a weird half-vegetarian phase and my little sister decided to boycott any restaurant I liked) was the paella.
To this day, paella is one of my comfort foods. I don’t often make it, or I make a badly bastardized version.
This recipe is what I strive for when I do make it, although I omit the razor clams.
I always call this a Spanish omelette. I don’t know why, but that’s what’s stuck in my head.
This dish is so brilliant. It’s easy to make, travels well, lasts in the fridge, and can easily be paired with anything. I usually do a side salad to go with it or some cooked mushrooms.
My favourite thing to do in Spain (which I don’t think I could get away with in the UK) was to get a tortilla boccadillo – that’s a baguette with a huge slice of Spanish tortilla in the middle. It’s basically carbs, carbs, eggs, and more carbs. But damn it’s delicious!
Pro tip: if you’re struggling to flip the tortilla, place a cutting board on top of the pan, flip them together then lift the pan. Then you can slide the tortilla from the cutting board back into the pan. Voila! You haven’t broken your giant omelette!
Quiche is such an easy thing to make, but it feels so fancy. Well, it does when you aren’t filling it with bacon and cheese like I used to do.
The real trick is to make the pie crust yourself. I find store bought pie crusts too bland, especially since this doesn’t really have liquid or sweetness to flavour it.
Some of my favourite quiche fillings are bacon and cheese, mushrooms and asparagus, smoked salmon, or tomato and goat cheese.
My family are potato-haters. If they’re fried, they’re fine. But otherwise, you won’t really find potatoes in our houses.
I am the black sheep, because I adore potatoes. When I was in Austria, I took full advantage of the chance to rebel and ate this potato salad for basically every meal.
The acidity of the dressing makes it feel really light, so you don’t feel like a stuffed elephant after scarfing down two bowls of this salad (… I may be speaking from experience).
This is the best side dish for schnitzel, but I’ve taken to eating it on its own as well.
I love chicken parm, but I can’t be fussed to flatten a chicken. Eggplant parm is so much easier! And eggplants are my favourite vegetable, so it’s really a no brainer.
Make sure to include the panko for that nice crispness. If you have time, make your own sauce so you can control the acidity.
You can tell I’m Eastern European when you get me around cabbage rolls. My mouth instantly waters!
I don’t know why – we never really ate them growing up.
I think it’s some sort of like genetic component. My cells are crying out for it – cabbage!!
There are two recipes I love for cabbage rolls: the traditional and the Serbian version. The Serbian type are called sarma and they’re made with ribs to get an extra meaty flavour.
I don’t eat ribs, so I’ll have to wait until I’m somewhere where I can pawn those off on someone else when I make them. Instead, I stick to the traditional cabbage roll but with turkey.
Technically, bruschetta is a side dish. But one summer my mom declared it “fun with crostini” time and we were living off this stuff. So I’ve come to realize that if you eat enough of these little toasties, you’ve got a full dinner.
I love a good bruschetta. It’s all about the quality of ingredients since it’s such a simple dish. Make sure to get a nice olive oil, good tomatoes and some fresh basil.
I love experimenting with breads too. Sometimes I top ciabattas or thin focaccia slices instead of a baguette.
Middle Eastern Recipes
I make this using Honey & Cos recipe from their cookbook, but Epicurious has a pretty similar version. I chop the cauliflower before roasting it for a more even bake.
This recipe has an asterisk beside it because I haven’t actually made it yet. I’ve never had shakshuka but it’s on my menu for May so I’ll be trying it soon!
I’ve included it since it’s one my mom always recommends. It’s a simple recipe that change be altered based on what you have in the fridge. She usually uses Honey & Co, but this recipe is similar.
I learned to make laksa in a Malaysian cooking class in New Zealand. We made the paste from scratch, but I don’t have the storage space to buy all the ingredients needed. Instead, I get laksa paste from the Asian supermarket near my Tescos in Oxford.
This recipe is similar to the one I make. I swap out chicken for tofu puffs (deep fried tofu that you can get pre-made at an Asian supermarket), and I top it with crispy onions (from the Asian supermarket or Waitrose).
This has been a go-to of mine for forever. Like the black bean fajitas, it’s easy to make and totally adjustable. My favourite recipe is this sweet potato chickpea version. I always forget to add spinach because I’m too excited to eat it!
I made up a stir fry recipe while living in new Zealand when I was missing half the ingredients. But this one is similar and delish! I add mushrooms and double the spinach.
Is there a more classic white-person favourite than butter chicken? I love Indian food but I’ve only just started to explore the cuisine fully. Living in the UK gives me a ton of opportunities to try out new dishes – which I’ve been doing a terrible job at since I found one amazing butter chicken that I keep reordering.
Another classic Indian dish that’s easier to make than you think. It’s a great thing to add to other meals, like topping a pizza or adding to a taco.
Teriyaki chicken is my favourite Asian dish that I learned to make in New Zealand. I used to hate the sauce until I realized I hated cheap teriyaki sauce. If you make it yourself, it’s so much better!
I prefer to make it with whole chicken thighs and add steamed broccolini on the side. Always add rice so you can sop up all that extra teriyaki sauce.
Note: this isn’t the recipe I got in New Zealand. Since that’s a paid class I am respecting the owners by not sharing their recipe without permission.
A student staple for me. I love the rice you get at teppanyaki restaurants (they’re cheesy, but I love them!). It’s always my favourite part of the meal. Over the last few years I’ve been working to perfect a recipe at home, but I’ve yet to come anywhere close.
The nearest I’ve gotten is this Pickled Plum recipe that I add sesame oil to.
If you’ve been to the UK in the last two years, you’ve definitely heard of katsu. It’s the latest craze and honestly I get it; it’s delicious!
Jamie Oliver has a good recipe for an at home katsu.
Again, I can’t be bothered to pound a chicken breast flat so I always buy a pre-breaded chicken or sub in chicken cutlets.
I made this a few months ago and totally biffed it. I forgot half the ingredients (from the store and in my fridge), I subbed a few things, I over filled the bowl so I couldn’t evenly spread the sauce – but it was still great!
If it was that good missing half of the bits, I bet it’s even better when you actually follow the recipe.
There are so many different ramen recipes out there. I’ve tried a few and they’re all pretty great.
This is the recipe my mom first used to make ramen. We’ve both played around with it since and found some others to try. But for a first time recipe, this is really great!
I subbed in ground chicken.
I learned about pho from TV and then waited years to actually have it. On a Christmas trip to New York this year, I finally had a delicious ginger chicken pho.
I definitely recommend it!
The ginger brother with the Asian spices, and a bit of sriracha, is way better than the regular old chicken soup I’ve been having all my life.
Screw Campbells, pho is my new cold remedy!
(I may actually get kicked out of Canada for saying that.)
I’ve been craving pad thai like crazy since the lockdowns began. I don’t often get it, but knowing I can’t makes me want it so much more!
This shrimp pad thai recipe is on my list for May as well.
My neighbours are gonna want to kill me when I start smashing peanuts with a rolling pin!
I am in love with tajines. Even since going to Morocco, I’ve been enamoured with this method of cooking. Unfortunately, I don’t actually own a tajine. That means I’m usually doing some weird fake version of the recipes – which is why you don’t see more complex versions on here.
This chickpea and roasted red pepper tajine is actually one of Epicurious’ selections for pantry meals you can make during quarantine. So I gave it a shot and it really is good.
As I said, eggplants are my favourite. A dip that’s entirely eggplant? Yes please!
I’ve tried to put off making zaalouk since quarantine began, solely because once I start, I will literally never stop. Also because it deserves good bread to go on the side and I’ve yet to commit to making pita or flatbreads (they’re later in my to bake list).
This is another dish I’ve never actually had. Apparently it’s the best African dish there is – although there is some contention as to which location makes the best.
I’ve opted for a Nigerian recipe as, according to some guests on the Off Menu podcast, it’s the better for the two.
Everyone in New Zealand is obsessed with cheese scones. They may not eat them often, but if asked they will all sing their praises.
And everyone seems to have a different recipe.
The basic components are all the same, like the ones in this recipe. Typical additions are a bit of mustard or paprika for added flavour.
I know the British are more well known for their sausage rolls, but (unpopular opinion) I think New Zealand’s are better. First of all, they’re bite sized so they’re way easier to eat. Second, they all dip them in ketchup (“tomato sauce” as they call it), which makes it slightly less greasy and dry. Third, I just think the meat is nicer.
This is a recipe I actually can’t find anywhere online. I learned to make this cake when I was living with a family in Austria. The mom used to make this for her kids all the time.
It’s a dark chocolate cake made with ground almonds.
Since I can’t find another recipe, I’ll share hers:
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of ground almonds
½ cup of cocoa powder
½ cup of olive oil
1 pack of vanillezucker (8g) [you can make this from recipes online or sub a splash of vanilla and 6g of sugar)
14g of baking powder
Icing sugar (optional)
Preheat your oven to 310F. Combine all ingredients with a mixer. Pour into a buttered baking dish or Bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle with icing sugar (optional).
Banana bread has nothing on banana cake – probably because it’s topped with a fudgy chocolate icing.
In New Zealand, you can buy a great banana cake from Countdown for cheap, so I never had to make it. But once I left, I was dying for this amazing treat.
I highly recommend giving it a shot if you’re even minorly fond of bananas and chocolate.
We all know apple strudel – it’s an iconic German dessert. But we don’t have all the time or patience to make the dough.
I’ve never even attempted it
To cheat at this recipe (or any others) use filo. A few layers of filo work just as well and saves you a ton of time!
I’ve also seen people use puff pastry, which gives you a slightly fluffier end product.
I made this for my family on the weekend, after failing terribly at making it for my friends in Oxford. I use Honey & Co’s recipe – which you can find for free in their Instagram story highlights.
This recipe is very similar, but omits the hazelnuts that leave out of the Honey & Co recipe.
My Australian flatmate in New Zealand gave me this recipe after opening my eyes to the magic of Levain cookies. I loved them so much that I actually went to Levain the first moment I could when my mom took me to NYC months later.
If you don’t know the classic bakery, don’t worry. Just know these cookies are giant and chocolatey and so so good.
I ate these for breakfast, lunch and dinner when I was in Portugal. Which, now that I’m thinking about it, probably contributed to the stomach bug I couldn’t shake (custard probably doesn’t help a sore tummy – especially a lactose intolerant one).
Still, I wouldn’t change a thing. Those tarts were amazing and I’ve since put this recipe on my to make list for May.
I learned how to make a cheaters mango sorbet in my cooking classes in New Zealand. They would puree the mango, freeze it, and then serve on top of a pudding.
As someone who is constantly looking for new sorbets, this was a great discovery.
I’ve yet to make this version, but I think it’d be even nicer (since the other version gets a bit pulpy in a giant bowl).
A Journey of a Post
Well that post got away from me. I definitely intended it to be a lot shorter, but at least with quarantine y’all have the time to read it!
I’m off to make some chicken souvlaki and hopefully be transported to somewhere a lot sunnier and warmer than Toronto.
Good luck on your global recipe adventure. I hope it takes you far across the world and warms your stomach.
Stay safe – and wash your hands!
What’s your favourite go-to recipe?