Soup beats the heat in humid Singapore
This tiny island nation is soupy hot, all year long. Even so, a healthy, popular lunch here is fish bee hoon soup. The delicious broth, lusciously garnished with Chinese parsley and fried onions, is low in saturated fat. It’s often served with a small platter of fresh, red chili peppers, which may even give this nutritious lunch an anti-cancer boost. “Fish bee hoon is most commonly sold in hawker centres at an extremely affordable price. Boasting a base of thick rice noodles, the pale, white soup gets its rich, distinct flavour from fish stock, and a little bit of milk, with either boiled or fried fish slices as the star ingredient. Cubed tofu is often added, along with cooked tomatoes and high-fibre, nutritious vegetables,” says Felicia Lim, a food writer, and native Singaporean. “Be prepared to perspire while you eat this dish in hot, humid weather. I can assure you it’s worth every slurp!” she adds.
Make sure to read 16 Condiments That Are Secret Health Bombs (And What to Eat Instead).
Go for the fresh fish in Mexico
International etiquette expert Sharon Schweitzer has lunched around the world. Mexico’s seminal lunch dish—ceviche—is one of her healthiest picks. “A traditional seafood dish, ceviche includes fresh fish, shrimp, diced vegetables, avocados, cilantro, and lime. It’s commonly found in coastal cities, and seafood restaurants throughout Mexico.” This no-cook delicacy gets its protein chops from fresh fish, such as tilapia, and an alphabet’s worth of vitamins, plus folate, from cilantro, its signature herb.
Savour Spain’s largest (and healthiest) meal of the day
Another favourite of Schweitzer’s is Spain’s paella. “Although lunch is the biggest meal of the day here, you can still eat healthy in Spain. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish, made with rice, oysters, shrimp, chicken, mussels, clams, fish and lots of vegetables. It’s high in protein (and in taste) making it a popular choice.” Paella is usually served with other courses, such as a large, green salad, and crusty, whole-grain bread. If you’re looking for a truly authentic, Spanish lunch-time experience, savor every bit of paella slowly, with friends, and take a beneficial, midday nap, or long, leisurely walk afterwards.
Get the recipe for Brown Rice Paella with Mussels and Bell Peppers.